Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The East London Hammers?

I was watching West Ham v. Arsenal last night when I noticed something peculiar: Instead of a shirt sponsor on the front of their jersey, West Ham had their players' individual numbers screened onto the shirt. Examples here, here, and here

It seems the Hammers have fallen victim to the global financial crisis. They entered the season sponsored by XL Leisure Group, who have since gone belly up. I guess that rather than leave the front of the shirt blank, the club decided to put something on there. 

We've certainly seen this type of thing before, most notably in the World Cup. However, we've never seen it executed in this fashion. The numbers are pretty big and set against that white backdrop the Hammers now look like long–distance runners or an NFL team.

Monday, September 22, 2008

2008/09 Season Preview

The season has kicked off all around Europe, so it is an appropriate time to reflect on the new kits that were released for the new season. So without further delay, here is the good, the bad, and the ugly:
Let's start with the bad. I really don't like Arsenal's new home kit. Arsenal belong in all–white sleeves, period. That's my main gripe about the shirt. On the other hand, their away shirt is quite spiffy. Manchester United's new designs are so boring to me that I won't even link to them. I will give them credit though for not changing their home kit from last season's. I can't seem to get my head around Marseille's new away kit. Is it a breakthrough in football fashion or is it a horror show? I am leaning towards the latter. I think the argyle pattern might have worked if the colors were a bit more subdued. Honestly, can Lille's shirt sponsor be any bigger? Ligue 1 must be in major financial difficulty if French clubs are whoring out their shirts like this. It's been said in these pages before, that is no longer a football shirt. It is a racing shirt. AZ Alkmaar will be wearing collars reminiscent of 1890's football clubs. Big change at Ajax, where ABN–AMRO's familiar vertical advert has been supplanted by something called Aegon. I usually do not mourn the changing of a shirt sponsor, but c'mon. Ajax and that ad went hand in hand. 
But the hands–down worst kit of the season has to go to Bolton Wanderers and this horrible Reebok outfit. That looks like a third–rate club's training shirt! Are they for real? Who looked at the prototype of that kit and said "Hey, that's nice. Let's go with that." ?
Now on to the good stuff: AC Milan restored order to their world by coming out with a fresh update to their timeless kit. A big improvement over last year's shirt. There was a lot of hubub over Barcelona's ditching of their famous stripes, but I say relax, people. That new home kit is splendid and evocative of their centenary shirt from back in the 1998 season. The away kit is also quite nice. Too bad they will continue to use their teal ensemble as their 3rd kit.  Let's hope there are not too many occasions for that. Athletico Madrid went back to wearing blue shorts with their home kit, and the results speak for themselves. That is one of the best kits in the world. I thought  Borussia Dortmund's home shirt was also a fresh take on a classic style. Those pinstripes just scream of the '80's to me. I like their away kit as well, but unfortunately it is ruined by that loud, diagonal sponsor. A couple of minimalist designs that I really like: Sporting Lisbon's away and Panathinaikos' home. I love that huge clover leaf on the shirt, reminds me of something out of the turn of the 20th century. Call me crazy but I like this design from Sevilla(one of their dozens of kits).
But my favorite kit of the new season: 1860 Munich. Here is a better view. I just love that design, it's fun and the color scheme ensures that it is not too tacky. This jersey would be absolutely perfect if they had Löwenbräu as the shirt sponsor(they used to back in the day).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best of the Strange Kits: Shimizu S–Pulse

Submitted here for you is Japanese Club Shimizu S–Pulse. I can't tell you much about Japanese football, but I can say that S–Pulse have a unique kit. There is usually some variation on the globe motif, perhaps because the club's shirt sponsor is Japan Airlines. This is the kind of kit that I admire in secret. I actually like the design but could never bring myself to wear it in public. Of course if I was a supporter, it would probably be a different story.

Update: My schedule's been pretty hectic lately, severely limiting my ability to post on a frequent basis. My apologies to those of you that been expecting our critique of the new kits released for the 08/08 season. Rest assured, the article is almost finished and will be published soon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Best of the Strange Kits: Denmark '86

This interesting kit for the Danish National Team was made by Hummel for the 1986 World Cup. Denmark had a great opening round in this tournament, with famous wins over West Germany and Uruguay, who they beat 6–1. I was a young boy watching this tournament and I was mesmerized by the Danes' fantastic team play. They had some great players like Michael Laudrup, Preben Elkjaer, and Søren Lerby. I thought the Danes might be the heirs of total football.
I remember thinking at the time that the Danes kits looked like no other teams' in the tournament. I thought they looked so futuristic compared to the fairly simple designs of the other nations.
Unfortunately for the Danes, their good start in the tournament didn't carry over to the knock–out stage, where they were eliminated in the round of 16 by Spain.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The End of An Era

According to this article, Athletic Bilbao of Spain will start wearing advertising on their shirt for the 2008/08 campaign. This is an unfortunate development, as Bilbao was one of the last clubs to have a shirt without a sponsor. Is there any club left now that is sponsor–free?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Best of the Strange Kits: Borussia Dortmund

Over the next couple few posts we are going to exhibit some kits which deviated from the norm. I always try to keep an open mind when seeing new kits, and these kits certainly pushed the envelope.

First up is this neon yellow number from Borussia Dortmund, circa the mid 90s. Dortmund have been a Nike club for a very long time, save for a rather unfortunate period in the early 2000s when the club was making their own kits.

I liked this kit very much. It coincided with one of the greatest periods of success for the club, maybe that's why I always thought it looked so intimidating. To me it was futuristic yet classic. The thin hoops on the socks were a great touch.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New AC Milan Away shirt 08/09

This is rumored to be AC Milan's new away shirt for the 2008/09 campaign. Milan invariably choose white as their away color, and in fact, white has been viewed as a lucky color for the club. Assuming this leak is legit, I think this is a pretty nice shirt for my beloved rossoneri. I like the cross on the shirt, it goes well with the motif of the club. Though it's a little surprising that Milan would feature a cross so prominently on their shirt after all the controversy last year with Inter. What I don't like is that bwin advert, I wish Milan would dump them ASAP. All in all, a pretty good shirt. Now I hope that Milan will release a new home kit. Last season's home kit was one of the worst in memory.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Euro 2008: The Football Kit Blog Report

VIENNA–Euro 2008 will go down in history as an outstanding tournament full of nail–biting finishes. That will be the consensus throughout the world media. But how many columns will be devoted to the uniforms of the tournament? Not many, I gather. Here, without further adieu, is my take on the kits used in Euro 2008.

Let's start with the bad. In the past few major tournaments, I have noticed a trend of teams coming out in solid color kits. This is an unfortunate development. For example, Portugal used to wear this. In Euro 2008 (and going back further, actually) they have been wearing an all–red kit. It is certainly debatable which look is better, but the green shorts are no doubt more traditional. Take also the example of The Netherlands. When they came out wearing the orange shirt/white short/blue sock kit, they looked brilliant. But when they came out as they did in the majority of their matches in all–orange, it didn't work so well. And why, for example, can't France look like this when they play against Romania? Does UEFA really think television viewers won't be able to distinguish between the two sides?

This tournament was a complete disaster for Puma. In footballing terms, only one Puma team (Italy) made it to the knock–out stages. Puma also outfitted Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland. Game to game these teams looked indistinguishable from one another. Take a look at this, this, and this. Save for the crests, those kits are identical. It's the epitome of laziness. At least with Nike or Adidas there are some subtle touches that set each kit apart, but Puma apparently believes that all national teams should wear the same thing. The kits themselves are relatively nice but also a little boring. Those two sets of fonts they used for name & numbers weren't anything special either.

Adidas had a decent tournament, with several of the teams they outfit making it to the latter stages. The final was an all-adidas affair. The kits were pretty good too although somewhat predictable. My favorite of the lot was the German kit. My one major gripe would be those tacky name & number fonts.

Umbro was represented in the form of Sweden, and I think you'll agree it was another ho–hum effort by Umbro. No wonder this company loses sponsorship after sponsorship. For the most part there is nothing in their designs that make you want to part with your hard earned cash. England should wise up and ditch Umbro for Nike.

The big winner to me was Nike. Once again they took the effort of making unique kits tailored to each nation. A detail that particularly stuck out to me was the use of Turquoise in the Turkish away kit and other gear. I thought it looked great and was totally unique. I was intrigued and found this fantastic explanation by a Turkish fan on football shirts news:

"Turquoise means “Colour of the Turk” in french (or so they say) it is said that in medieval ages, only Turkish artists can paint ceramics in this colour. The european artists had tried so much to copy this colour but were unable to do so. A sportswriter Mehmet Demirkol first mentioned that Turkey must wear turquoise jerseys, a few months later manager Fatih Terim announced that the new away kit will include turquoise details. This jersey can be the beginning of a new era. It is planned to switch to a full turquoise shirt in a few years, and be recognized with this color like Azzuri of Italy and Orange of the Netherlands."

It would be really exciting if Turkey were to change their home shirt to a Turquoise shirt, but it's unlikely to happen. Remember when Mexico were going to change their home shirt to white? Tradition is sometimes very hard to part with. In this case, I think it would be a good thing. There are already so many other teams with red kits. I also thought the Turks' name & number font was nice and it looked appropriate.

Another Nike highlight for me were the Russian kits. Both homee & away were really nice and looked sharp on the pitch. The white Russian kit was actually my favorite kit of the whole tournament.

I had a couple of minor gripes with Nike. All their keepers looked exactly the same, and the number font they used for The Netherlands was ugly to say the least. Look for that keeper kit now on club teams all over the world in the upcoming season.

Croatia had the misfortune of not being able to wear their white and red checkered shirt in any of their four matches. It's unusual a team would go that deep in a tournament and never wear their home shirt.

All 16 teams had a sleeve patch on the left side that read "RESPECT." A nice idea, but it didn't really translate to more respect on the pitch.

A couple of nice touches in the celebration after Spain's victory in the final: Sergio Ramos and his t–shirt dedicated to former teammate Antonio Puerta who passed away on the pitch last year. Also, back–up goalkeeper Andres Palop put on a throwback Spanish goalkeeping jersey, that of Luis Maria Arconada.

Our special offer is still in effect. The first person to donate $60.00 US to our blog will get the Manchester United 07/09 jersey shipped to them. Jersey is brand–new, size XL. Read all the details here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why Not Make a Donation?

Here, straight from the Football Kit Blog archives is the 2007–2009 Manchester United Home Shirt. I'm giving this baby up in an effort to raise some cash. Blogging is fun and all but bills still need to be paid. So, the first person to donate $60.00 U.S. to the Football Kit Blog will win this shirt. Is this a shameless attempt at raising some money? Yes. But look at it this way: You get to help a blogger and at the same time acquire the shirt of one of the greatest football clubs in the world. More details about the shirt in a minute, but first some answers to some possible questions you might have:

How do I know that this is for real?

That's a tough one. For what it's worth, this is Football Kit Blog's ebay account. You can see that we have 100% feedback as mostly a seller. I would just sell the shirt on ebay if not for the enormous hassle that has become. We have a reputation to uphold and don't plan on going anywhere. We are doing in this in an effort to raise money which in turns helps us to spend more time working on this blog. Who knows, if this is successful perhaps there can be other special offers like this one. $60.00 U.S. is not that much for a great shirt like this including shipping.

Is this offer open to participants outside of the U.S?

Absolutely. The only thing required to make a donation is a paypal account.

Do you accept any other form of donation other than paypal?

We will not accept any other form of donation. To win the shirt on offer here, your donation must be at least $60.00 U.S.

Ok, Great! How do I Donate?

You can donate clicking on the "Donate" button on the top left corner of this page. Then enter at least $60.00 in the donation amount field. Anyone is welcome to Donate any amount, but in order to win the shirt, you must donate at least $60.00 U.S.

Now onto some details about the shirt:
First of all, it is brand new. 100% authentic. Tags still on. Given to me as a gift but it is not the right size. Never worn. In Immaculate Condition.

This is the shirt of the back–to–back Premiership Champions, Manchester United FC. The shirt in the pictures is the exact shirt that will be shipped. It is made by Nike and is Size XL. All preliminary reports indicate that this will be the Red Devils' shirt for the 08/09 campaign as well. A simple shirt with some elegant embellishments. For one, the racing stripe on the back meant to denote that United are the defending Premiership Champions. On the top part of the stripe is United's "Devil" logo, while on the bottom of the stripe are the letters "MUFC".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Heaven for the Red Devils

Congratulations to Manchester United for their victory in tonight's UEFA Champion's League Final. Football-wise it was a thrilling match, a very testy affair. There were many underlying dramas leading into this game and upon the start of the match a couple of other dramas were introduced. The rain and the condition of the newly installed grass field at Luzhniki Stadium were big factors in the game. The pitch tonight was a disgrace. UEFA must takes steps to make sure the fiasco that occurred today never happens again. The players were slipping all over the place and it wasn't just because of the rain. There were also many more players cramping up than usual and those lads all risked being injured on that poor excuse for a pitch. How can a stadium be a "UEFA 5 star" stadium and not have a proper natural grass pitch?

I actually thought Chelsea was the better team on the night but as we all know the penalty spot definition can be a lottery. So it's United who walk away with the trophy. Onto some of the kit analysis:

United came out in their red shirts, white shorts & socks look, I thought they might go with black socks since Chelsea usually wears white socks. Instead, Chelsea came out in an all–blue number right down to the socks. I still think they could have waited to introduce their new kit until after the final, but that being said that new Chelsea home kit is splendid. United's kit is nice too, although I think that "AIG" ad looks a bit, well, awkward. Chelsea were also sporting some new name and number font on the back of their jerseys. I tried to make out what the little logo was on the bottom of each digit, I think it was the Champions League logo. Could this be some new Champions League font? In last week's UEFA Cup final both Rangers and Zenit came out wearing the same font on the back of their jerseys with the UEFA Cup logo on the bottom. Maybe this is the direction UEFA is going in for the next season, making clubs wear standardized names & numbers in continental competitions. United were still wearing their Nike names & numbers.

According to this story, Chelsea goalie Petr Cech had a new kit designed for this final, a fluorescent orange number that he believes will trick players subconsciously to shoot right at him. It didn't seem to work too well, as Cech was only able to save 1 of United's 7 penalty shots.

Hat Tip: Football Shirts News

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chelsea FC: Tempting Fate?

I am somewhat superstitious. I know football supporters are a fairly superstitious lot as well. That is why my eyebrows were raised when I caught wind of this: Chelsea FC is planning on wearing their 08/09 shirt in next week's Champions League Final against Manchester United.

Chelsea have been wearing this shirt (06/08) for the past two campaigns. Last weekend in a vital Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers Chelsea debuted their new kit which they will be wearing in the upcoming season(Chelsea ended up drawing 1–1 with Bolton). Debuting new kits during the final matches of the season has become somewhat of a tradition, especially in England. Here's my beef: Chelsea have had such a gritty campaign coming back from a lot of adversity. All along the way they did it wearing this shirt. Now, on the eve of the biggest match in Chelsea FC history they are going to wear a kit different from the one that got them there? Sounds like a bad omen to me. I had been leaning towards Chelsea winning the match in Moscow, but now I am not so sure. United will be wearing the kit they have worn all season. If I was a Chelsea supporter, I would be raising hell over this.

I would love to hear from Chelsea supporters. What do you say? Am I making too big a deal out of this? Or is there something to this?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Greatest Hits

If you're new to the blog I thought I'd save you the trouble of scanning through the archives for the best content. These are my favorite posts thus far (in chronological order) :

1. An Open Letter to the Premier League

2. Is This Football or Racing?

3. Adidas Is Ruining Football

4. A Bad Gamble

5. The Poll

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Liverpool 08/09 Shirt Makes its Debut

Liverpool debuted their new shirt for the 08/08 campaign in this past weekend's Premiership match against Manchester City. This kit replaces their 06/08 kit which was Liverpool's first Adidas kit in ages.
Some analysis:
The main differences between the old and the new kit are the lack of a collar and piping on the new shirt. The old kit had both. I personally like this new version of the iconic Liverpool shirt but I do have one gripe: that collar is a little weird. The way it juts out like that I think is a case of over–thinking. A simple white trim along the collar would have been so much nicer.

Btw that City kit is pretty sweet...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I *&^%@# Hate Broken Links

I, like many of you hate broken links. That's why I'm so frustrated with myself for linking back to sites like yahoo sports in some recent posts. I should have known better. No more broken links here. As for those links already broken, I will try to go back and fix them when I get some time.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Best Looking Rivalry

This weekend there will be yet another edition of the Argentine Super-clasico between River Plate and Boca Juniors. This is a great time to talk about the aesthetic aspect of this rivalry, which we believe to be the best–dressed rivalry in all of world football. First off, both teams can wear their home kits when they play each other, which is critical. Second, no other rivalry has such a great combination of uniforms.

With all due respect to my beloved AC Milan, I've never though that vertically striped shirts where particularly impressive. The one striped shirt that I think is absolutely gorgeous is Argentina's national team kit. That means that the big Italian rivalries(except maybe Roma–Lazio) are not that great visually to me. Real–Barça looks pretty good. England has a few great visual rivalries, like Arsenal–Spurs and Man U.–Man City. I also like Celtic–Rangers from Scotland and PSG–Marseille from France. But the cream of the crop is definitely River–Boca. River with their distinctive white shirt with red diagonal sash. They usually wear black shorts with their home kit, but this season I have been noticing them wearing white shorts a lot. Boca has an equally distinctive kit, I know of no other club in the world that sports that blue shirt with the horizontal yellow band.

As far as club teams go, who do you think are the best dressed rivalries? I smell another poll coming on. If you vote Other, tell us in the comments what you think is the best–dressed rivalry.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Digging in the Vaults: Arsenal away kit 2002/2003

This shirt was part of an all–navy away strip Arsenal wore in the 2003/2003 season. Made by Nike, this was a very innovative shirt in many ways.
This was the season Arsenal introduced their new crest. The new crest was panned by some Gooner traditionalists, but I feel that the new design is classy enough and it brought the crest into the 21st century. Actually, now that you look at the old crest vs the new, you wonder why no one had thought of doing that any sooner. Then, there was the geometric fade pattern, another controversial design element that I actually like very much. One thing I especially like about the pattern is it makes the shirt match perfectly with my pair of hyper blue Air Max Plus. The O2 logo is simple enough and it actually works well with the pattern. The astroid in the middle of the pattern is also right in the center of the O, creating a target effect. Can you picture Thierry Henry running at you in this shirt? He must have looked like a super–hero. The shirt must have brought some degree of luck, as Arsenal won the F.A. Cup in '03, beating Man. United in this strip along the way.
Finally, this shirt was part of those dual layer "cool–motion" shirts that were so problematic during the 2002 World Cup. During the normal shirt–pulling that occurs during any soccer match, the layers would rip apart, forcing the player to have to change his shirt. Then it would take the player an eternity to remove the tangled mess of a shirt to change into a new one. This happened a few times during that world cup, it was absolutely maddening. Someone dropped the ball there big–time. Fortunately, I don't have anyone tugging at my shirt when I wear it so this is not an issue for me.
As a side note, this same template was used for Leeds United's away shirt that same season.
I happen to think the dual layer issue aside, this is one of Arsenal's best–ever away kits, and it must have been somewhat popular as it was also used as the 3rd strip in the 2003/2004 campaign. It holds a special place in my collection.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Patricia W. from Michigan, who won our first ever Football Kit Blog Raffle. Patricia wins the Adidas originals Peru home shirt that we were giving away. Patricia, you should be receiving the shirt in the coming days. Thanks to everyone that entered and keep an eye out for other great promotions in the future.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Toronto FC Kit: The Best of M.L.S. in 2008

Looking over the league's crop of new uniforms, what strikes me is the dullness of all the team's jerseys looking essentially the same just in different colors. All 14 M.L.S. clubs are outfitted by German sportswear giants adidas, and their famous/infamous three stripes. I personally like the stripes but I wonder if it's really necessary for adidas to put them on the sleeves of every single shirt. Some shirts would just look better without the 3 stripes.

Some other random observations:

The Red Bulls do not make sense to me. First, they go ahead and make their home shirt white. Huh? I thought it was Red Bulls, not White Bulls. Then, they make navy blue their away color, meaning they don't have a red shirt at all! I want to root for this team so badly, and I do, but c'mon. Someone get with the program over there. And tone down the size of that huge advertisement on your shirt. Don't they understand that they would sell so many more of those Angel and Altidore jerseys if that ad was just a little smaller? In fact, they should just put the "Red Bull" typeface right on the front, like a normal club. That would be so much more legit. The Clashing Bull logo is already on the crest. Which brings me to that. Why is the logo two red bulls clashing with each other? Shouldn't they be teammates? I know that's the logo on a regular can of Red Bull but couldn't they have put some effort and thought onto this? Just one bull in the crest would have been so much better. There, Red Bulls. That'll be $20,000.

The Galaxy re–branding was pretty lame. Their logo is decent, but they should have gone with navy blue instead of all–white as their home shirt. Don't give me that "Oh, it's summer and it's really hot in L.A., so white is the smart choice" b.s. Most M.L.S. games are at night and the season starts in April when it's still not that hot. Besides, during day matches where it's really hot, they could have always switched to the white kit. I just think this was a lame attempt to keep up the Beckham/Real Madrid continuity in order to sell more jerseys worldwide. Pfeh.

One place I actually miss the 3 stripes is on DC United. Adidas has been outfitting them since their inception and those 3 horizontal stripes across the chest where there forever. It's a little bizarre that adidas would remove them after all these years.

Colorado's jerseys are actually quite nice. They've got that whole Aston Villa/West Ham vibe. They would qualify as my 2nd favorite M.L.S. kit design. My favorite would have to be...
Toronto F.C. Last year's expansion team really has the league's best kit. Mainly because of the seldom used but gorgeous red and gray color scheme. I also think that the template used for the kits is one of the nicer ones adidas currently has on offer. I may be in the minority on this, but the gray away shirt is a thing of beauty too. I just wish it was paired with a black or gray short.

Note: Time is quickly running out on our first ever raffle. Don't forget to mail your entry to footballkitblog@gmail.com before 12:00 noon this coming Sunday, April 20th. Anyone that sends an email before then to the above address with the subject line "Raffle" will be entered in the drawing. Limit 3 entries per person please. The winner will be announced on Monday, April 21st. Full details here.Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Barcelona Away Shirt 2008/2009

This is the time of year that images on kits for the upcoming season get leaked onto the web. We here at FKB like to keep up with the comings and goings, and today we have a leak of the 08/09 Barcelona away shirt. Now, there is always the possibility that this is a fake meant to throw off the crowd, but my hunch is it's legit and as you saw with the latest USMNT Away shirt release, we were pretty spot–on. I actually like this very much, and actually drool at the prospect of how this shirt would look if it was released a few years back, before Barça had their new agreement with UNICEF. How sweet would this shirt look without any sponsor logo? My guess is very. When compared to Barça's current away shirt, we believe this one is much better. I do like the club's current 3rd all–orange strip, which will probably be mothballed next season as they have already used it for two seasons.

Barcelona is one of the world's great super–clubs, one of their team mottos is actually "More than a Club." Along with their success on the pitch they have also achieved sartorial excellence almost every time they have taken the field. Nike has been making the club's shirt since the late 90's, and I have to say they have done a great job outfitting the Catalans. Some of my personal favorite's include this, this, this, this, and this. A couple of exceptions would be this and this. Of course I can't stress enough that all these designs that I like so much probably look a lot better to me because there is no advertising on them.

P.S. Don't forget about our first–ever raffle...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Raffle Time

Today folks is the first ever Football Kit Blog raffle. I was doing some spring cleaning and I need to get rid of some stuff. In that stuff was this lovely Adidas originals Peru home shirt. It is size large. It is not brand–new, I acquired it a couple of years back and have never worn it. It is in very good condition. There are just some a few small nicks right below the red sash on the front. What better way to part with it than to raffle it off to my fellow football kit enthusiasts? The shirt is white with a red diagonal sash on both the front and back. F.P.F. crest on the right side, adidas trefoil logo on the left. "Peru 10" on the back. Adidas 3 stripes in red along both sleeves.

The 1978 World Cup was perhaps both the all–time high and all–time low for Peruvian football. High for the outstanding play of Teofilo Cubillas(who wore #10), who was tied for second–highest goal–scorer of the tournament, and also for finishing first in a group that included Scotland and the Netherlands. Low because of the allegations of Peru taking a dive in their last game against the home nation Argentina. The Peruvians lost 6–0, helping Argentina get to the final on goal differential at the expense of Brazil. I've watched that match and I have to say it does look a little suspicious.

Anyways, the raffle is open to anyone that sends an email with the subject line "Raffle" to footballkitblog@gmail.com by 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, April 20th, 2008. I'll accept up to 3 entries per person. International participants welcome. The winner will be announced on Monday, April 21st and the shirt will be shipped out shortly thereafter. Good luck to everyone.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Tiff With Toffs

I think Toffs is a great site and store for the die-hard football fan. They sell retro shirts for almost every big club you can think of, and even some very obscure ones. But one beef that I have is that their website is not up to par. The navigation on the site is tolerable, but take a look at some of these pictures. How am I supposed to decide to buy something based off of that?

Like I said, they have some great shirts on the site, but I've got to be able to get a better look at the merchandise. I probably would have bought a shirt or two from Toffs already had it not been for this issue.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What's in a Color?

So according to this study, football teams clad in red are more successful. The study focused on England, and the results showed that "Red shirts give the team(s) an advantage due to deep-rooted biological response to the colour." I swear this is not the first I heard of this, I remember similar suggestions being made about 10 years ago. It can't be a coincidence that Liverpool, Manchester United, and Arsenal are 3 of the most successful clubs in English football, no?
I actually agree with this study and have something to add. White must also be included as one of the most successful football colors. If you think about it, almost every major football league in the world has an epic club that wears either red or white. From the aforementioned England, to Brazil (Vasco and Flamengo), Spain (Real Madrid), Italy (AC Milan, Juve), France (Lyon), Germany (Bayern Munich), Argentina (River Plate), Holland (The big three all use red and white). At the very least, this merits further investigating.
That color can affect human beings psychologically is nothing new. That this would apply to the world of football is only logical.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Those Snazzy Hondurans

I had to put up a picture of this brilliant kit from Honduras(It's the one with the stripes). They have been wearing it for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. They may have started wearing it earlier, but this is the first I've seen of it.
I had never been impressed by Honduras' kit, until now. This kit is absolutely gorgeous. No wonder the team was able to upset Mexico and make it to the Olympics in Beijing. The Mexicans, in their snooz-o-rama Adidas template kit never stood a chance. Note: The caption in that photo on Yahoo incorrectly identifies Mexico's opponent as Guatemala.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Football Kit Blog Book Review: True Colours by John Devlin

I recently got this great book from amazon uk. It is called True Colours: Football Kits from 1980 to the Present Day, by John Devlin. It is a must have for any football kit enthusiast. The only pity here is that there are not more volumes of this masterpiece covering all the clubs from all over the world. For it's slim size, it is a very impressive work in breadth and scope. It basically details every home, away, 3rd, and 4th kits of every English Premier League side that was in the top flight in 2005-06, spanning back to 1980. Along with the artwork for each kit there is a brief description of who made the kit, who the shirt sponsor was, a brief story about the shirt, and in what important matches it was worn in and by whom. Going through the pages you really get an understanding for trends in design, fabric, and colors that have taken place over the last few decades. Also, I realized that the Golden Age of Football shirt design was the late 80's/early 90's. There were just so many innovations that took place back then that we take for granted today. There are some really great shirts in here, like Arsenal's "bruised banana" shirt (I couldn't tell you why, but I love that shirt) as well as Manchester United's groundbreaking "Newton Heath" shirt. There are some real disasters here too like Chelsea's tangerine nightmare and this vomit-inducing number from Spurs.

If you are into this kind of stuff, you should not go without this book. I am hooked and just put in my order for Volume 2.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New and Improved

Welcome to the new and improved Football Kit Blog. I decided to customize the layout a bit, and I must say, it was about time. I liked the blogger template I was working with, so I just enhanced it a bit with a spiffy new header and a custom background. Hope you like. I thought now would be a good opportunity to re-introduce the blog.

Why I Started this blog:

I got a lot of my inspiration from Paul Lukas' fabulous uniwatch column, which I discovered about 10 years ago. I used to look for it in the Village Voice every week. It was one of the only reasons to pick up the Voice along with Savage Love. Anyways, when Paul moved his column to espn and eventually to uniwatch blog, I went along and have practically read every column/post since. When I first discovered it, I was surprised to learn that there were other people who were obsessed with sports uniforms as I was. I still greatly enjoy uniwatch to this day, but it tends to focus on the major American sports and football/soccer sort of takes a back seat. Well, football/soccer is my favorite sport, and I happen to think that the football kit is the most beautiful uniform in all of sports. See this.

That lead me to here. The Football Kit Blog. My take on football kits past, present, and future. I will definitely not be anywhere near as proficient and meticulous as uniwatch is, and I can never hope to match Mr. Lukas' talent for writing, but I will be throwing my two cents in from time to time. I'm interested to hear from people all over the world, especially from the supporters of the teams I may write about. I want to know what the local fans think.

While you're here why not leave a small donation. Any donation is greatly appreciated and will go to improving and maintaining the blog. And be sure to stay tuned to this space for exciting announcements in the future.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

U.S.A. (United States of Anticipation)

This is a photo I found floating around a discussion board, purporting to be the new USMNT Away shirt. The official release of the shirt is scheduled for mid-April. So, could this be a Photoshop fake? Absolutely, especially considering that I know I saw Clint Dempsey in that same pose when the new Home Shirt was released a couple of months ago. But a little rank speculation never hurt, and I actually think this is a classy shirt. Much better than the last USMNT away shirt, which was great in concept, but faulty in execution. Up close the shirt had a weird cut to it, the collar was freakishly big and puffy, and the crest was also way too big. It was more like a shield.

Hat Tip: Big Soccer.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Golden Touch

Here is Inter Milan's new gold-trimmed kit, which was debuted tonight in a Serie A match against Reggina. The gold trim will be employed on Inter's kit for one month to commemorate the club's centenary. While I like this touch very much, my only gripe is that they should have rolled this kit out for the whole season so the die-hard fans wouldn't be compelled to buy both the white-trimmed and gold-trimmed home shirt.

BTW, in this post we mentioned that Inter Milan's current centenary shirt would look a lot different with a full-sized sponsor logo. Well I went ahead and did a mock-up of what it would look like, and it pretty much vindicates Inter's move to make the Pirelli logo smaller.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Tip of the Cap

A tip of the cap to Arsenal, who beat my beloved AC Milan 2–0 tonight at the San Siro in the 2nd leg of their Champions League round of 16 match. Arsene Wenger's side won the pulse–pounding tie on aggregate 2–0. I have to admit that Arsenal was the better side over the tie, and some of Milan's players looked very long in the tooth by the end of the match. Nevertheless, it was a thrilling match. Barcelona now has to be the favorite to win this year's competition.
On a kit related note, Arsenal's white away duds are nice. I know there is a bit of an uproar in Goonerland about them (cuz they look like Spurs with red shorts), but I had a chance to see this shirt at Niketown. It has an inscription of sorts, something about Herbert Chapman. I always like it when manufacturers add little touches like that to the shirt.

Monday, March 3, 2008

And the Jersey Goes to...

It's time for footballkitblog's 2nd annual Jersey awards. Here we honor what I believe to be the best kits of the past season. To be eligible for a Jersey, kits have to have been released for the 2007/2008 season. There are 4 categories, best home kit, best away kit, best keeper kit, and best national team kit(home or away). So without further adieu, here are the winners:

1. Best Home Kit: This was a tough decision, as most of the big clubs don't ever change their home kits around that much. The winner here is Manchester City FC, whose light blue shirt and white shorts has always been a classy kit. This year their shirt was made by Le Coq Sportif, and I have to say they did quite a nice job. I like the white pinstripes very much. I also dig the Le Coq logo being on the shoulder. The Thomas Cook advert is minimal. Nothing groundbreaking in the kit, just an overall very solid design.

2. Best Away Kit: As an AC Milan supporter it pains me to say this, but the winner is Inter Milan for their "Ambrosiana" centenary kit. This kit is a tribute to the early days of the club, and to the flag of the city of Milan. The simplicity of the design and the contrast between the white shirt and the red cross is what appeals to me here. I also love the fact that they minimized the Pirelli sponsor logo on the shirt. This would have been a completely different shirt with a full–sized sponsor logo. I especially like this kit when it is worn with black shorts. All the controversy aside, this is a splendid kit. Being a Milan supporter, I vowed never to purchase an Inter shirt, but I had to renege on that vow this one time. I'm sure some of my fellow rossoneri supporters would not be too happy about that, but oh well.

3. Best Keeper Kit: I come from the Jorge Campos/Peter Schmeichel school of keeper kit design(OK, maybe Campos was a bit much). I believe the keeper kit is the one kit on the field that can afford to be colorful and loud. A lot of recent goalkeeper kits have gone for the understated look, with Nike, Adidas, etc putting out simple templates in different colors. With all that being said, the winner in this category is Club America and this Aztec–inspired number. Sure, it's loud and I would never ever wear it outside, and that "Bimbo" advert is atrocious. But I very much like this design for a keeper and I love that America's keeper Memo Ochoa helped design the shirt.

4. Best National Team Kit (Home or Away): This was also a tough decision as there were several impressive national team designs released this past season. Some that come to mind are Holland(away), Scotland(away), Italy(home), Germany(home) and Japan(home). There can only be one winner, however, and this year the winner is Russia(away). This kit is simply beautiful. The Russian flag proudly adorns the chest, and the white collar provides a sharp contrast to the red of the shirt. If I didn't still hold on to remnants of the cold war mentality, I would definitely pick one of these up.

So there you have it, our picks for best kits of the past season. Feel free to let us know what you have done differently.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Poll

Looks like Brazil has taken a clear lead in our poll about the best national team kit. It's too bad there can only be five choices. Here's why I included the ones I did:

1. Argentina – An iconic shirt. The shirt of Maradona. For an Argentinian player, wearing the shirt of Argentina is the highest honor attainable. This is also the case all over the world of course, but for the Argentinian the feeling is more intense. On an aesthetic level, the albiceleste shirt is quite beautiful, and the black shorts provide that dynamic contrast. I prefer the shirt when it is not mucked up by those black sleeve stripes, but I have a feeling those will be staying for a while. A splendid kit.

2. Brazil – The kit of the beautiful game. Bright and colorful, Brazil's uniform symbolizes creativity and a joy for the game that is unparalleled. There are a total of four colors represented on the kit(yellow, blue, green, white) coinciding with the colors on the Brazilian flag.

3. Italy – The kit of catenaccio. Perhaps the most feared of all kits, opponents know when facing the Azzuri(especially in important matches), it will be a very difficult match. Curiously, the blue in the shirt does not appear in the Italian flag, they are one of the few national sides that does this. According to footnote #1 here, Italy has been wearing blue shirts since their third ever international match as a tribute to the Royal House of Italy, whose color is also blue. The Italians have always kept their kit very simple and they were one of the last national sides to put the manufacturer's logo on the shirt. They had no logos on the shirt as late as World Cup '98. You gotta love that.

4. Spain – While Spain has not had a lot of success on the pitch, at least they have looked quite good failing. The red and yellow shirt along with the blue shorts is a great combination. I personally prefer when they use the more royal blue short as a opposed to a navy blue short.

5. Other – Of course we had to have this option to encompass all the other great national team shirts. Some of the best of the rest:

England – especially when they use red as the color for the name and numbers.

Holland – that orange shirt is just so unique, so recognizable.

Scotland – I always liked the dark blue shirts of the scots(I particularly like this version of the kit). As a kid, I found it interesting that when Scotland would play, the referee would wear a different color than black for his kit. Of course, that is an obsolete idea by now.

What do you think? Am I missing anything?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cafu's Mistake

There was a funny development in the Italian Serie A match between my beloved AC Milan and Parma this past Saturday. I was watching the match live, and I noticed that AC Milan's Brazillian right–back Cafu was wearing the wrong color socks. Most of you know that along with their famous red–and–black striped shirt, Milan interchange between black or white socks and shorts. The traditional Milan kit is made up of the red/black striped shirt, white shorts, and black socks. They change it around on occasion depending on the kit of the other team. Against Parma on Saturday the team came out in white shorts and socks, except for Cafu of course. The picture above is from the pre-match introduction, and Cafu didn't change his socks until a corner kick stoppage in about the 10th minute. Can it really be that no one noticed in the pre–match warm–up? Or had his white socks simply gone missing for a while? It's hard to believe the latter, since a team like Milan surely has dozens of extra socks on hand. Either way, a player of Cafu's reputation gets a pass from footballkitblog on this faux pas.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Fitting Tribute

In yesterday's FA Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City, both teams paid tribute to the victims of the 1958 Munich Air Disaster by wearing kits from that era complete with no sponsors. I wasn't sure how this was going to look on the pitch, but the results that you can see in these pictures were simply breathtaking, especially for Manchester United.