The 09-10 kits are appearing thick and fast. Here is my review of a few of the outfits unveiled a while ago.
Arsenal Away Kit 09-10
After the furore surrounding the recent white away and the welcome return of last season’s yellow and navy kit the rumours were that the infamous green away outfit of the early 80s was returning to the Arsenal wardrobe next season. Although it may yet appear as a third kit the 09-10 change strip was in fact revealed to be a simple but classy all navy ensemble. Featuring a very similar cut to the latest England top the shirt includes a neat button up collar and very fine pale blue pinstripes – this particular shade of blue was, of course, popular during Nike’s early years at the club in the 90s. The shorts and socks are basic and functional and are adorned with the merest of pale blue trim.
Bolton Wanderers Home Kit 09-10
All the debate about the Newcastle away kit has somewhat quietened the original disapproval that could be heard when this new Bolton home kit appeared just before the end of the season. Once again Reebok have opted for an asymmetrical look but have splashed a bold arrangement of vertical navy bars at the bottom of the shirt, topped off with a V stitching. In another strange move the shirt features the Bolton badge sitting on a pocket – yes, a pocket! Quite why Premier League players will need a pocket on the shirt is another matter. Its certainly a curious ensemble and one which, although it looks better in the flesh then it does on paper, is, in my view, one of the more overworked and therefore weaker designs for the forthcoming campaign. Further unfamiliarity occurs with the departure of Reebok as main shirt sponsor after 20 years. They have been replaced by online betting company 188Bet who will also be sponsoring Wigan in 09-10.
Liverpool Away Kit 09-10
I’m not a fan in general of black kits but I do think the latest Liverpool away is better than most. Although its not a ground breaking design from adidas, its the combination of red and pale gold that improves the kit for me. The shirt also features what appear to be very subtle animal markings on each side of the shirt – similar in style to the fern graphics that appear on the All Blacks rugby shirt. Some criticism has been levelled by fans at the restrictive neck design which may lead to players ‘customising’ this during games. In seeing the shirt in my local high street I was surprised to see that the colour is in fact a very dark charcoal grey and not black at all. Perhaps this tiny detail is what has helped lift the design.
West Ham Away Kit 09-10
I was expecting a return of the iconic pale blue away with twin claret hoops but instead Umbro surprised everyone with this all navy Hammers change strip and continued the regular rotation of navy kits, white kits and pale blue kits. A solid, but perhaps unremarkable design, its main distinctive feature is the large vertical pale blue panel, trimmed with white. The shirt also incorporate’s Umbro’s new trend for slightly retro looking collars/necks. The pale blue (which seems a slightly different shade to the usual West Ham blue) white and navy combination is a tried and tested approach – perhaps it might have been interesting to combine claret with the navy this time.