Best and Worst Premier League Shirt Designs of 2010-11 Season

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.

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32 thoughts on “Best and Worst Premier League Shirt Designs of 2010-11 Season”

  1. Personally I think Fulham’s shirt is pretty nice in a groovy-retro kind of way (apart from the tag-line). I also think Birmingham’s shirt is an eye-sore, and I think Liverpool’s black kit is as bad as their white one (both of which are worse than the Chelsea halloween costume).

    The Villa shirt looked good in the promo shots, but in that picture of Stu Downing, it seems about 2 sizes too big, in a baggy mid-90s kind of way. Is that the cut of the shirt or just Downing’s preference??

    Strange that Tottenham’s home kit is so awesome, but their away kit is so bad. And their third kit is even worse in my opinion. I wonder if Puma had different design teams work on those shirts?

  2. I agree also that Sunderland and Blackburn both look pretty stylish, and WBA would have been a classic if not for that red house logo. Umbro seems be making a strong comeback, whereas a few years ago it seemed like they were dying out and Adidas/Nike were taking over.

  3. The Chelsea shirt isn’t great, but it’s not THAT bad. How can they get worse kit for what might as well be Liverpool’s third kit with orange instead of gold?

    And yet Everton gets props for a bland template that only stands out because it’s pink.

  4. How is Everton’s pink shirt that good? Because it’s pink?
    And I think if Liverpool’s third shirt is that high, Chelsea’s home shirt should be on the “best” list.

  5. I thought the Liverpool away jersey was pretty nice but I tend to like pinstripes. I think the pink Everton jersey is god awful and should be #1 on the worst list. I’m indifferent about the halloween Chelsea jersey. If they chose a different color than orange I would love it. I also thought the blue away jersey for Newcastle was really good too.

  6. West Ham has a classic away shirt. Easily one of the best they’ve had in a long while. That would have made my top 3 for nicest shirts. That Spuds shirt is awful. Both really. I may be a bit biased…

    1. If the sponsor’s name didn’t ruin the shirt, West Ham’s away jersey would have been in my top 3 of favorite jerseys this season. I’m not expecting the Hammers to remove the sponsor’s name. It’s just that it’s so big and competes with the horizontal lines underneath it.

      The Gaffer

  7. You are spot on with your rankings w/ 2 exceptions:

    1. Liverpool 3rd kit is not among the best, imho
    2. Everton’s away kit is just awful

  8. I agree with Erich. I dislike the Liverpool 3rd shirt because of the crest color change.

    Everton’s Pink is horrid. Man U’s redesign is confusing. And I actually like Chelsea’s Black and Orange a little bit.

  9. switch liverpool 3rd and away kits I think the red-on-white looks cleaner than the gold-on-black. and the pinstripes are dope, don’t see where your argument lies. without them the shirt would be plain and boring, but if that’s how you like your shirts to look then I understand. Everton away is horrible, I don”t like Bhams’ new kit too much (I liked their last one better) and Arsenal’s home jersey should be banned from the league as each player will look like he’s wearing two captain’s armbands. For criticizing other kits like WBA’s for having a logo ruin the design, you sure are forgiving with those blatant, unsightly and appaling blemishes on this otherwise well-designed jersey.

  10. Liverpools in best and Chelsea’s in worst? They are the same thing… here – I fixed what was said about Liverpools and it totally reflects Chelsea’s as well:

    The sharp contrast between the orange trim and black shirt will definitely make Chelsea’s away 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.

    Changed 3 words – yellow to orange and Liverpool’s third to Chelsea’s away. At least apply them the same…

  11. Tottenham’s home jersey has an unfair advantage – no sponsor shown!!!!! I doubt they will look that good when the sponsor is on it. Unless they’re going sponsorless at home??? If they are….respect for spurs.

    1. Richard, no, that wasn’t the case. I picked the image without a sponsor since it was the best image I had. But we have pictures of the new Spurs strip with sponsor on the front. Doesn’t look as good as without a sponsor, correct, but the jersey still is beautiful.

      The Gaffer

  12. Bizarre choice of top shirts. Only Blackburn, Citeh & Sunderland are good in this top 10 [maybe the Arse too]. Everton [away] is awful, Birmingham’s even worse & Spurs is an over-designed chav shirt. Fulham’s shirt is cool and where is the best of all – Blackpool?
    More importantly whatever the shirt one thing is certain, it’ll be ruined by logos. The WBA shirt [always one of the best] has been destroyed. That House!!! Did this logo win 1st prize in a local art project for under 9s?

  13. Needs updating for the new Wigan kit – have you seen it? Even worse than the last one, and that’s saying something.
    Ticks all the boxness required:

    Poorly designed/dated: Check!
    Needless asymmetry: Check!
    Lamentable quality: Check!

    Welcome aboard, Mi-fit!

  14. If you ignore the sponsor tag line, the Fulham kit isn’t bad at all. It’s a bit of a throwback design. Again, I challenge Gaffer to convince me he would refuse a multimillion dollar deal to have FXPro & its tagline in the header of this website.

  15. I’m a Liverpool fan and I have to disagree with you on their strips here. I love the pinstripes and hate the sublimated diamond design in the home and third kits. How do pinstripes detract from a kit and those gaudy diamonds that were cool in the ’80s make a classic kit? I like the bright gold in the third kit and am glad that the crest matches the color scheme, that was one of the things I hated about the third kit last year, but those diamonds make it look cheesy. I’m also a fan of the Chelsea away kit. The only negative is that last year’s away kit was one of the best looking shirts ever in my opinion. I like the fading pinstripes and while orange has only featured in their kits twice, I think it really works. It’s much easier to look at than that god-awful pink Everton kit.

  16. i think the liverpool second shirt is pretty goood..the worst is everton as it pink in colour..what so mad with its design..Man utd shirt is totally rubbish…very2 awful…i think i prefer liverpool home

  17. all i can say is, i wish united were still sponsored by umbro- they make the best shirts and i love the collars on sunderland/blackburn.

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