Fans are back in the grounds. The breakaway ESL is a distant memory (give it up Juve, Barca and Real). And Premier League football is underway again. But the real battle for glory takes place not on the pitch but in the design of the kit. Kits may be big business, but they’re also so much fun. Here, Ged from Underdog Sports Marketing picks his Top 10 Premier League kits from this season.
1. Manchester United Away
Ask any fans of a certain age what they remember about the 1992 Rumbelows Cup final and I’ll bet it’s the white and blue United away kit rather than Brian McClair’s winner (poor old Choccy.) Adidas have once again taken the DNA from a classic and made it a modern day work of art. However, Solskjaer is going to need more than a League Cup to match expectations this season, but I’m sure topping the table in our kit competition will let him rest easy.
2. Spurs Home
It would be very easy for a plain white shirt to look like your PE kit but Nike makes this one look ultra classy. Rather than detracting from the main event, the sponsor’s branding actually compliments the design, and it’s not often you can say that. The basketweave pattern is a great touch and will be a hit in the club shop...although Spurs fans might want to hold out before getting Kane on the back just yet.
3. Arsenal Home
If you married Arsenal’s recent kits with the football they played in the early noughties, you might just have something so sexy, you’d have to broadcast it after the watershed. This stripped back effort has a touch of the Ajax about it, which is a massive plus point.
4. Arsenal Away
Arsenal in yellow and blue are almost as iconic as they are in red and white. After last year’s ‘bruised banana’ homage this is another quality effort. It picks up a Champions League spot in our league, which is probably as close as the Gunners will get to this accolade. It would be higher were it not for the odd choice of yellow shorts when they should quite clearly be navy.
5. Manchester United Home
If you hadn’t figured it out by now, I’m a sucker for a retro kit and this one just screams Robson, Strachan and er....Jesper Olsen. Adidas are doing a great line in taking classic designs from their past and bringing them up to date for the modern era (more on that later) and this doesn’t disappoint. The Team Viewer branding looks a tad uninspired but it’s a cracking kit that’s only a Sharp logo away from perfection.
6. Brighton Home
The Seagulls’ home kit from last season was best in class and this isn’t far off that level. Proof that you don’t need to muck about when you’ve got blue and white stripes. Stripped back design with a splash of yellow makes for a classic effort. We’d be looking at top marks if it weren’t for the clumsy-looking sleeve sponsor.
7. Leicester Home
The King Power Stadium is set to undergo redevelopment in the forthcoming years, maybe to accommodate all the trophies they keep winning under Brendan Rodgers. Whilst the Ulsterman has got them playing stylish football, it’s Adidas who can take the plaudits for this number. I’m not normally a fan of gold trim but it feels like a nod to the Steve Walsh era, so perfectly forgivable here. The massive dragon on the sleeve is less so.
8. Southampton Home
Whilst we’re talking about Hummel, what about this beauty for the Saints? Once again, there’s great use of the ‘v’ motif, not just on the sleeves but on the main body of the shirt itself. Once again Hummel showed much more originality than just opting for a template kit and taking inspiration from the 1980s when they last provided Southampton with their kits.
As usual the St Mary’s faithful have gone for a creative and funny kit launch video. Fair play to them for taking the piss, or should that be Le Tiss out of themselves.
9. Everton Home
Hummel are racking up classic kits like it’s 1988 all over again. There is something incredibly enchanting about the ‘v’ design down the sleeves. Dare I say it, but it’s up there with the Nike ‘swoosh’ and the Adidas ‘three-stripes.’ The two-tones of Royal Mersey blue with a flash of yellow is a great look. Chuck in 40,000 supporters and the ‘Theme from Z Cars’ and you can’t help but remember why football is so bloody great.
10. Crystal Palace Home
Full disclosure, I support Charlton. So offering praise to Crystal Palace doesn’t come easy to me. However, they’ve pulled a cracking design out of the bag with Puma this season. If it weren’t for the oversized bookie logo this could be in the Champions League places, something Palace fans can only dream of. As it is, a top half finish is very respectable.
Ged Colleypriest is the founder of Underdog Sports Marketing