In the run up to the new 2019/20 season we are going to review the home and away shirts of every Premier League team in advance of the upcoming season. We start with the away shirts, which tend to be more varied (both for good reasons and bad reasons) year on year compared to the home kit designs. All kits are to be given a mark out of 10 with 1 being downright awful and 10 being a future classic. Let’s kick off.
We kick off proceedings with this Arsenal shirt, which let’s face it, will not be bettered in this article. Going retro and taking inspiration from the famous ‘bruised banana’ shirt which featured from 1991-93, adidas have nailed every part of Arsenal’s away shirt (including the promotional materials) and we think all fans will agree. 10/10
Really nice effort from Kappa in their first season as Aston Villa kit sponsor. The sky blue shirt looks crisp and contemporary and features a nice diagonal pinstripe across the body for additional detailing. The emergence of sleeve sponsors has the potential to ruin what would otherwise be nice kits but the branding here is quite complementary with the Villa claret a good contrast to the sky blue. 8/10
Inspiration for the new away shirt was taken from the popular pizza graphic that featured on the club’s 1992/94 alternate jersey, which hasn’t aged well in our view [Link HERE], with the club using a similar pattern now on the sleeves of the away shirt giving it a little individuality. Given the ‘Pizza kit’ was red and white and this kit is navy blue, we do think it is a bit of a tenuous link, even though the shirt itself is good. 7/10
Brighton and Hove Albion
Slick, monochrome look from Nike for the Brighton away. There’s not much to dislike about the shirt but we hardly imagine fans flocking in their droves to buy either. 6/10
This away shirt is great and more than makes up for the home kit, which apart from the shirt sponsor has not changed all that much. Umbro have really delivered some great kits this season and this is no exception with a stunning graphic across the upper chest, with crest, branding and sponsor appearing in claret. Despite having the Chinese betting company Love Bet splashed across the shirt we think this shirt is excellent. 8.5/10
Chelsea’s new away kit has been inspired by the 1960s Mod culture which once thrived on the Kings Road in Chelsea, we’re thinking Phil Daniels in Quadrophenia. Known for their sharp fashion sense, the Mods were a key part of ‘Swinging ‘60s’ London, and the King’s Road, a short walk from Stamford Bridge, was at the heart of it.
The new kit is a white polo with a button-down collar trimmed with red and blue stripes. We see what Nike have attempted here and it is not an awful shirt by any stretch but in our opinion, it just feels a bit bland and uninspiring. 6.5/10
Crystal Palace FC
Initially we were not sure about this shirt but it has grown massively on us. PUMA have used a wavy overlaying graphic which really makes the shirt stand out. As previously mentioned, we’re not a big fan of the chunky betting company logo splashed on the front of the shirt but the combination of home colours on a black base works perfectly. As you can see, the lads love it. 8.5/10
Everton have used the colour ‘Living Coral’ as the dominant colour of the 2019/20 away kit. The colour takes inspiration from the kit worn by Everton for the Club’s first league title-winning season in 1890/91. A salmon-coloured kit was worn by the team throughout that campaign – and came 11 years before the permanent adoption of royal blue jerseys in 1901/02. The new shirt also features a distinctive two-tone coral sash design, echoing the design synonymous with the black and scarlet sash kit that earned Everton the nickname ‘the Black Watch’ in 1881.
Umbro have done a good job overall with this kit, but the Everton club crest in salmon pink has to cost it a couple of marks I’m afraid. 7/10
Leicester City FC
Leicester have technically released two away shirts for this season but for this review we will focus on the pink away kit. Adidas have gone for quite a generic template for this shirt which resembles the West Germany shirt from 1990, which of course is not the worst kit in the world to base a shirt on. I think our main issue with this shirt is mainly aimed at adidas rather than the aesthetic of the shirt. Adidas had the same shirt on sale back in May 2019 before the away shirts were released so minus the Leicester logo and sponsorship for £16.46 (image below). To make matters worse, the exact same shirt is now retailing on the adidas website for £34.95 (see HERE).
We think the shirt looks great, but this example just highlights how supporters pay over the odds for football shirts. 7.5/10
Keeping it clean and tidy, New Balance and Liverpool have taken a white shirt and added navy and red details through the sponsor and branding on the sleeves and cuff. Nice shirt, nothing too controversial but not overly inspiring either. Feels like the black and turquoise third shirt has been a bigger hit with the fans. 7/10
Manchester City FC
Manchester City and PUMA released these away jerseys which take inspiration from the legendary Manchester nightclub, Hacienda and also from Manchester’s rich musical heritage. PUMA have said that they are going to be taking inspiration from music in their kit designs in future years too so watch this space (Oasis or Bugzy Malone themed shirt perhaps?).
Keeping their base of a black away kit, City’s new shirt includes new features on the sleeves as well as on the shoulders. Celebrating Manchester City’s 125th anniversary, their away kit also included a commemorative ‘125 Years’ message underneath the crest. This shirt is original in its design and we think PUMA should be applauded for this. 8.5/10
Manchester United FC
Snake skin on a football shirt? Bold. It’s clear that they adidas and Manchester United wanted to try something different, but this effort is way wide of the mark. That being said, we think this shirt has the potential to reach cult status and could be looked on fondly in future years. 5.5/10
Newcastle United FC
Featuring dark green shirts, shorts and socks, this seasons effort from PUMA for Newcastle’s away strip doesn’t look all too inspiring at first glance but when you look up close you will see that there is a black fade effect. Lovely effort. 9/10
Norwich City FC
Loving what Errea are doing here. It’s bold, colourful and unique. Just what you want in an away shirt. Bit of a shame that the sleeve sponsor looks so bad. Almost a perfect away shirt. 9/10
Sheffield United FC
Nice effort from adidas here for the Blades, and while it does look like a standard kit template with the club crest on it is a really crisp shirt. 7/10
Not really sure what Under Armour were trying for with this shirt. The yellow top panel against the black base does not work. In our opinion, the worst shirt across the premier league and is further ruined by the awful sponsor splashed on the front. Shame really, because some of Under Armour’s efforts in previous seasons were actually pretty good. 3/10
We really like this Spurs away shirt and think the vivid purple graphic on the upper chest of the navy shirt works perfectly. Inside the shirt is the Club’s motto in Latin: “Audere Est Facere.” Nice. 7.5/10
Another use of one of adidas’ generic templates (see Sheffield United above). The shades of blue work well, but this is not one of the seasons stand out shirts. 6/10
West Ham United FC
This white away kit with claret and blue striped V-neck and cuffs is inspired by the 1980 FA Cup winning team. Umbro have really pulled it out of the bag with this one. The shirt has the 1980 crest graphic on the back of the neck, with the kit being completed by classic white shorts and socks. Superb. 9.5/10
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
A smart effort this from adidas, with this shirt reversing the home kit colours to create a black shirt with sleeve piping and adidas badge in the Wolves’ orange. Along the front, diagonal pinstripes cut across the shirt. While the shorts remain in plain black the short and the socks are in gold. 8/10