When the Kit hits the Fan

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Blogs
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Newcastle today released images of the new Puma home shirt to be worn next season (2011/12):

The new Newcastle United shit. Sorry, kit.

The shirt is available to pre-order now and will be released on the 19th of May, three days before our final game of the season, at home to West Brom where the kit will presumably be worn by the team against the Baggies as history tends to suggest.

Fans will obviously have their own take on the new strip but my personal opinion is that I don’t like it. I’m not saying I haven’t disliked shirts before, only for them to grow on me, but from the moment I set eyes on the – what proved to be accurate – leaked design several weeks ago, I felt that it was too simplistic and lacked one basic ingredient – Stripes.

The new kit could pass as a jockey's uniform

The lack of white stripes on the edge of the body make the shirt look like a solid black top with white sleeves, leaving room for just 2 white stripes. Also, one of my main bugbears from this season’s kit design is the use of a tacky, plastic badge, seemingly ‘stuck on’ as close as possible to the right-sided white stripe. I’m certainly a fan of the classy, embroidered badges on shirts of old compared to the plastic ones that Puma seem to favour.

Or, perhaps it is just the latest in a long line of Mike Ashley induced spending cuts? Either way it continues this season’s impression that Puma have simply selected a shirt from their 5-a-side or Sunday League catalogue and, quite literally, stuck on the Newcastle badge and Northern Rock logo.

The long-sleeved version looks like even more of a joke – like one of the outfits you see alongside the words ‘Ruby Walsh’ and ‘Epsom 2.15’ on the wall of a bookmakers.

The new, mainly negatively received shirt may divide opinion like Shola Ameobi divides opposing defencesbut one thing is for sure. It will sell well, as Newcastle United shirts always do. We follow the club, the team and whilst it is often said you follow ‘the shirt’, you don’t follow it because of its design, no matter how good or bad. Just look at last season’s atrocious change shirt offering. Slated so badly by the media and opposing fans, it garnered a cult-status among the Toon Army and saw one of the best returns on the pitch in terms of points per game of any NUFC away shirt ever.

Last season's awful away strip gained cult status as it proved to be successful on the pitch

So whilst my first impressions of the new kit are not good, I have learnt from past experience that only time will tell whether I will eventually like it or not. What will certainly help, however, is if the team on the pitch performs well in their new, shit kit.

What are your thoughts on the new shirt? What is your favourite home shirt of all time?

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