EPL: New season, new shirts

08/08/17

BLOG SPURS

A new Premier League season means all-new EPL shirts – and to mark the big kick-off, we’ve asked around the office and put together this rundown of our favourites for the campaign.

5)     Manchester City Away

1000X600_01To the untrained eye, the colour of this is a bit of a wild one. Is it purple? Is it port? Maybe claret? Some kind of berry? It’s an unusual one, we’ll give you that. But, whatever you call the shade itself, the roots of Man City’s new away kit are tightly tied to one of the club’s greatest achievements. 50 seasons ago, City claimed their first title of the post-war era, pipping Man United to glory on the final day of the season (sound familiar?). Nike have revived their legendary look for 2017-18, with City’s latest home kit carrying a similar image to the one worn 50 years ago. Their new change strip though has caused a real disruption, with its own maroon-style hue the main colour for matches on the road. Smart, stylish and solid, in the words of our Kitbag team, Nike’s authentic editions really bring this classic colour kicking and screaming into the modern age. But we’ll touch on them with our #1…

4)     Southampton Home

1000X600_03While the leading brands often have free reign on a club’s away or third kit, tinkering with that definitive home design can be a dangerous game. From Cardiff City’s disastrous flirtation with red to Sheffield Wednesday’s risky switch to a pinstriped strip, it’s a practice that can often backfire. Ask a Southampton fan, who greeted their all-red effort of 2013-14 with a mixed reception at best. Nevertheless, the Saints and Under Armour have had another crack… and we think it’s just about worked. An effective twist on their traditional stripes, maybe it’s history that has softened the blow, with the kit’s design actually modelled on one worn in the 1980s. Either way, it’s a daring departure from the norm, with a broad block of white down the middle, divided by black and wrapped in red. In the biggest irony, the team’s away shirt is striped this season. Of course. With its temperature-regulating HeatGear® technology originally conceived by UA founder Kevin Plank himself, one of the Southampton home shirt’s standout features is its ability to deliver a neat, neck-to-skin fit without the squeeze. As its back neck wording says, the Saints are marching on and with even its shirt sponsor fitting the colour scheme, Mauricio Pellegrino’s side should look pretty decent on the way.

3)     Arsenal and Newcastle United 3rd

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With its fusion of an early 90s design with a popular mid-90s colour, Manchester United’s away shirt has received a LOT of love. But we couldn’t choose between these black beauties… so we’re leaving it up to you guys to select our #3. Unlike the lads from Old Trafford, there’s no old school patterns on show here. Instead, it’s all about those accents. Out of the shadows of the Championship, EPL newcomers Newcastle celebrate 125 years since their formation this season, making the golden applications of their new third strip a smart and fitting addition. Even the club’s classic stripes make it into this design, completing a tonal look that ranks among the best this summer. Arsenal meanwhile will be sitting pretty in their own PUMA effort. with the vibrant pink embellishment of its brand motifs and club crest presented in a striking, monochromatic style. Unapologetic to the end, even the classic cannon at the back is a blinding shade of pink, as is a tailored collar that makes this shirt ideal for wearing socially, as well as at the match. With fans of the Gunners and Magpies able to benefit from PUMA’s sweat-attacking dryCELL capabilities, these bold black attacks should be well-equipped to handle the heat of the season’s opening weeks.

2)     Liverpool Home

1000X600_06A favourite of among the traditionalists and another shirt that celebrates 125 years of football, the new Liverpool FC home effort really has to be seen to be appreciated fully. Thanks to the team at New Balance, we’ve had the real thing in the Kitbag office for a while now and it’s a true stunner. With its classic collar and cuff design and vintage Liver Bird motif, club tradition is clearly a core part of any Liverpool jersey, but it’s the red that makes it work. And what a red! Paying homage to the winning style introduced by the great Bill Shankly, it’s notably darker than last year’s, trading the high-risk red of 2016-17 for a powerful pepper red alternative. On top of that, if you check the shirt closely, you’ll find some tonal pin stripes, included as a throwback to the era when Liverpool were at their most dominant. As well as a standout Stadium option, Kitbag is happy to offer the performance-led Elite edition, as worn at Anfield by the Reds’ biggest stars themselves. With its special cage complemented by zonal mesh and heat-activated laser vents, this modern masterpiece from manufacturers New Balance is equipped to tackle the best of the EPL, head on.

1)     Tottenham Hotspur Away

1000X600_05Already a top seller, this newbie from Nike ticks all the boxes. Cool, contemporary and cultured, with a crest that pays homage to their double-winning team of 1961, the new Spurs change shirt proves that two colours can be more than enough. Pitting it against the acid test of our staff, one of the team described the top as “fresh and imposing”, which should be music to the ears of Mauricio Pochettino and his band of title challengers. The Tottenham team of 2017-18 will wear the same Vapor edition available now from Kitbag. Much like Man City’s equivalent, this cutting-edge, high-end players’ jersey is made with lightweight Aeroswift fabric, reducing distractions on the pitch by delivering a more performance-friendly cut. And by performance-friendly, we’re saying it’s more breathable, with the kind of precision fit a true elite athlete demands. With this Spurs Vapor top, you don’t need to worry about looking good or your jersey obstructing play. Instead, the path is free to crack on and make new history, in the same distinctive navy and white worn by Tottenham players for decades. Given it’s Nike’s first stab at a Spurs away top, we simply have to take our hats off. Their shirt is a successful mix of flair and function; what a way for the partnership to begin.

Ready for kick-off

Okay, so when it’s come to the crunch, Tottenham have fallen at the final hurdle the past few seasons. But can this fresh new kit help them over the line in style? Or will someone else step up to challenge Chelsea’s crown? Can Man United be consistent enough in racking up the wins? Will free-scoring Man City be able to plug their defence? Is it finally (finally!) Liverpool’s year? Or could Arsene Wenger reward the faith of the Arsenal board with a fourth EPL trophy? We’re playing it safe and sticking with the current champions. Conte’s men know how to get the job done and even the added pressure of Europe shouldn’t derail their march to a second straight league title. Our outside bet for a top four finish is Everton, who have recruited some absolute ballers to replace the outgoing Romelu Lukaku. And as for the outsiders, while another dream season will be beyond them, we’ll be keeping our eyes on the former champions Leicester, who have made some top-notch signings themselves in Man City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Sevilla captain Vicente Iborra. Whatever the final outcome come next May, this should be the most open and competitive season in years; and we’ve got player printing for all the title contenders on tap, as well as those all-important sleeve patches.

For more information on this season’s kits, head over to the Kitbag YouTube channel…

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