If you’re anything like me, seeing the first pictures of next season’s strip is more than just another shirt. A kit can go on to denote historic years in football and imprint themselves on the defining memories of entire chapters in a club’s history.
Whilst shirt sales may be more costly and less important than they use to be in this TV-money era, there is still a wonderful sense of childlike excitement whenever we get to see what our team will be wearing next year.
With that being said, I’m sure most of you felt an overwhelming sense of relief at the newest images of the 20/21 strips that were leaked this week. The home kit look leaps and bounds better than the previously rumoured and now infamous ‘bus-seat’ design that had been circulating the internet – although there is evidence of the slightly different coloured streaks still present. As for the away kit, it is neither the ‘snakeskin’ gold, nor the ever-jarring blue, but sees the welcome return of black.
As opposed to defining details like this season’s Treble-inspired crest or the prominent patterns of the away and third kits, these new kits go for a wavey, textured look and classic white accents. The almost fleece-like pattern is weaved horizontally across both shirts, and although the specs are yet to be confirmed by official release, it looks like this design will compliment a tighter, stretch-fit style.
Cut and Paste?
One criticism that can be levelled at both kits is the lack of innovation. Both the home and away kit work off the same, relatively minimalist template, with the only apparent variation being the base colour. What’s more is that not only is the design very simple, but it is actually an Adidas template we’ve already seen only a couple of years ago on the 16/17 away shirt – the memory of which will forever be tied to the Europa League final, for instance.
All in all, these new shirts aren’t a drastic departure from kits seen in recent years – the closest comparisons being the aforementioned 16/17 away shirt and Mourinho’s second season 17/18 home shirt – but they still tick all essential boxes for a good United kit. Besides, if last year’s away kit has taught us anything, it’s that big, bold changes don’t always make for memorable in a good way.
Whilst Adidas might not push the boundaries with their designs and have rightfully faced criticism over their simple templates approach in recent years, when it comes to United, you can’t go too far wrong sticking to the classic red, white and black. The images released look to be the most genuine yet and if they do prove to be the confirmed kits for next season, I’ll happily be copping both.
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