When judging the best and worst designs of shirts for Premier League clubs each summer, we generally wait until we see the ones from Wigan since they’re usually some of the worst. But while Wigan has changed their shirt manufacturers again, we’ve run out of patience with the Latics and bring you my verdict on the best and worst Premier League shirt designs for the 2010-11 season.
We did a similar thing last summer when we picked the good, the bad and the ugly of Premier League shirt designs for the 2009-10 season.
Browse through the best and worst designs to see how your favorite club did:
Best Premier League jerseys of the 2010-11 season:
9. Blackburn Rovers home
The symmetry of the Blackburn Rovers jersey by Umbro is perfect. The blue and white halves are practically a mirror image, but the sponsor’s logo seems to keep a bond between the two halves. It’s another classy design by Umbro and one of the better Blackburn home jerseys in quite some time.
8. Everton home
If you removed the sponsor’s name, club crest and Le Coq Sportif logo from this shirt and asked soccer fans to figure out which club it belonged to, most would answer Everton. Rather than busy the shirt design with flashes of color or fancy trim, Le Coq Sportif stuck with the basics and created a classic Everton shirt.
7. Birmingham City home
When a club asks its supporters to select the design of their new jersey, it’s quite often a sound decision. Such was the case when Birmingham City presented several designs for supporters to choose from for their 2010-11 home shirt. The picture of the winning design (pictured above; which doesn’t do the shirt as much justice as it deserves) is bold, modern and like unmistakeable that it’s a Birmingham City shirt.
6. Liverpool third
The sharp contrast between the yellow trim and black shirt will definitely make Liverpool’s third jersey for the 2010-11 season stand out in a crowd. The classic Adidas style is simple, understated and perfect. Don’t change a thing.
5. Manchester City home
The unmistakeable color of Manchester City’s home shirt looks even better when it’s featured in a modern but clean design. The collar is different, but will hopefully look better in person.
4. Sunderland home
While many northeast Englanders may refuse to admit it, Sunderland and Newcastle United have a lot in common. But perhaps the biggest commonality is their similarity in design of soccer shirts. Newcastle United features the black and white stripes of Tyneside, while Sunderland embrace the red and white stripes of Wearside. But a big difference this season is how classy the Sunderland home shirt is while the Newcastle United one is too complicated for its own good. Designed by Umbro, Sunderland’s home jersey features clean lines, a traditional collar and a sponsor’s name that seems to fit well with everything. Bingo!
3. Everton away
You can say that one thing that Everton has is cajones. Very few clubs would come out of the closet not only with a pink shirt, but one that’s described as “lightning pink.” But fair play to Everton for deciding to go with something bold rather than the play-it-safe designs of fellow Premier League clubs. It’s bright. It’s bold. It’s in your face. And at the end of the day, it’s a well-designed shirt.
2. Tottenham Hotspur home
There’s something lovable about the new Tottenham jersey that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. At first I thought it was the retro design. But it suddenly dawned on me what it was this past weekend when I saw Spurs wearing the jersey for the first time in their friendly against San Jose Earthquakes. It was that the shirt reminds me of the North American Soccer League (NASL). While there is no NASL shirt that specifically mirrors the look of the original Tottenham design, the spirit of the NASL is very much alive in the above design. Die-hard Tottenham supporters may refute the suggestion, but there’s no doubt that Puma’s design is a breath of fresh air in a design year that has been quite stale.
1. Arsenal home
Arsenal and Nike made a smart choice in going back to the design of the Gunners shirt from the early 70s and reinventing it for 2010. The simplicity of the shirt is what wins you over and it has enough splashes of modernity with the logo, updated crest and sponsor’s name to not overdo it. The only criticism is that the red cuffs at the bottom of the sleeve look too big, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Worst Premier League jerseys of the 2010-11 season:
7. Tottenham away
The question that comes to my mind when I see a picture of Tottenham’s away jersey is, why? Why create a jersey that is so forgettable? Why not create a shirt that is as bold as the new home one but in sky blue instead? Instead, what we end up with is a shirt design that is plucked from the Puma template and updated with its baby blue colors. This shirt does nothing for me.
6. Liverpool away
Liverpool’s design of their away jersey wouldn’t be so bad if it was for the pinstripes. They detract from the overall design of the shirt and clouds the aesthetic quality of the shirt that lies beneath it. Remove the pinstripes and the rest of the design would be allowed to breath.
5. Aston Villa home
It’s rare for a club as classy as Aston Villa to unveil a shirt design that is lacking of, well, class. Uninspiring, bereft of ideas and unattractive, the shirt looks like it was cobbled together by some mad seamstresses at the last minute.
4. Fulham home
It’s bad enough that the design of the shirt looks like something an AYSO team would wear, but the shirt is made worse by the obnoxious tag line that appears under the sponsor’s name.
3. West Bromwich Albion home
A brilliant shirt design ruined by a horrible sponsor logo and phone number. While the shirt does everything right, the sponsorship completely wrecks it and cheapens it considerably.
2. Manchester United away
It’s not so bad that the away shirt was white, but Nike had to spoil it by adding a Flash Gordon-inspired lightning flash to separate the blue and red colors.
1. Chelsea away
This Halloween inspired shirt is no joke. Not only is it black with orange trim, but to make matters worse it features pinstripes on the front of the shirt. This is yet another poor design of a Chelsea away shirt.
So there you have it. Some of the best and worst shirt designs for Premier League clubs. There were many that weren’t featured in the rankings above. So many of them were blah, middle of the road designs that neither made me swoon or vomit. But let’s just hope that next season the quality of the creative designs improves.
To me, it’s interesting to note how Adidas, once a leader in shirt designs, has relinquished its superiority to create wonderful designs in the Premier League. Other than Liverpool, its designs for Premier League clubs have been very lacking of late.
I don’t believe this coming season will be the worst, but it’s time for clubs to think longer and harder about their away jerseys and, if they’re still not sure, ask their supporters for advice. Judging by many of the designs shown above in the worst section, their supporters weren’t polled.
What do you think? Which shirts are missing from the best and worst that you think should be included? And which rankings do you agree or disagree with? Click the comments link below to share your opinion.