The unveiling of the new shirts for the Premier League clubs each summer is a ritual that many supporters enjoy. It gives us a chance to poke fun at some clubs, while it makes many of us wonder why our club can’t have a design that’s as good as that other club.
While not every Premier League has officially unveiled their shirts for the 2011-12 Premier League season, we’ve been able to get our hands on the majority of shirt designs. Some of them are leaked photos that you may have already seen on this site before.
What I decided to do was to rank the shirt designs from worst to best. You may disagree with my opinions. In fact, I expect many of you will. But feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below. And if you disagree with my rankings, go ahead and post your own in the comments section below.
Without further ado, here are the best and worst Premier League shirts of the 2011-12 season thus far:
36. Bolton Wanderers home shirt
It’s a shame that Bolton is so entangled with Reebok, as a sponsor, because it makes it hard for the Wanderers to walk away. With Reebok being a long-term sponsor and a local company to Bolton, it’s been several years of turmoil for Bolton Wanderers supporters hoping for a half decent shirt design. I’m not sure whether it’s Reebok hiring kids out of university or if they’re trying too hard, but this design of different symmetric shapes is a shambles.
The shirt looks like something a kid would wear, not a grown adult.
35. Newcastle United home shirt
Squint your eyes for a second and you may see a double white line running down the middle of the shirt — something you’d expect to ahead of you while driving down the street, not on a football pitch. To make matters worse, the black stripe down the middle looks like a tie on top of a white shirt and flanked by a black jacket with the sleeves cut off.
For a club who has a tradition of wearing so many wonderful designed shirts — most by Adidas — it’s a shame to see what Puma has developed this season. It goes against what makes Newcastle United such a proud footballing tradition — the black and white stripes that so many Geordies are proud of wearing. This has got to be one of the worst designs I’ve ever seen for a Newcastle United home shirt.
34. Fulham away shirt
The sooner Fulham gets a new shirt sponsor, the better because the current sponsor’s name looks so obnoxious on the plain black shirt. What happened to the classic Kappa designs from the last decade when they lit the world alight with some beautiful designs that were the envy of many football punters?
This one looks like something a bank robber would wear minus the glaring white logo on the front.
33. Blackburn Rovers away shirt
There’s not a lot much more to say about the design other than it looks like an old-fashioned goalkeeper jersey (imagine this shirt with long sleeves). Sadly the shirt design lacks the creativity and inspiration that Blackburn’s home shirt possesses.
What a contrast to the home shirt by this club which features such a traditional and memorable design.
32. Wolverhampton Wanderers away shirt
The away shirt for Wolves would look OK as a T-shirt but it lacks the creativity to make it anything special. It’s more original than Fulham’s away shirt design, but that’s not saying much.
31. Aston Villa away shirt
I was never a fan of Croatia’s checkered-shirt design, and I’m not enamored by Aston Villa’s away shirt either. Hopefully the checkered design will look less prominent in person, but why Nike featured a checkered design in the first place is beyond me. A plain grey shirt with claret trim would have looked far better.
30. Sunderland away shirt
Sunderland’s design is perhaps the most outlandish out of all of the shirt designs we’ve seen so far for the upcoming season. While I appreciate Umbro’s attempt to be creative, the cyan blue color and white band across the shirt makes this one look like a women’s soccer jersey.
29. Wolverhampton Wanderers home shirt
A gold-colored shirt is synonymous with Wolverhampton Wanderers. The design is decent except for the black line across the chest which makes the shirt look like someone slashed it with a pen knife.
28. Tottenham Hotspur away shirt
Every season Tottenham throws a curveball when they reveal their new shirt designs. In previous years, there was that brown jersey. Then there was the dark blue one with Asian characters on the front. And now this season, they’ve decided to surprise people with a purple shirt design. It wouldn’t look so bad if it wasn’t for the awful bold font displayed that highlight’s the shirt sponsor name.
27. Liverpool third shirt
It’s not that the design of Liverpool’s third shirt is bad, because it’s not. But it’s a shame that the design is so repetitive of a Olympique Marseille jersey. While attractive, it misses the creativity that we would expect to see in a Liverpool shirt design.
26. Aston Villa home shirt
While not as bad as Aston Villa’s away jersey, the home shirt features the famous claret and blue colors. It’s just a shame that they decided to include a checkered design for the front and back of the jersey. Without it, the shirt would have looked far more appealing.
25. West Bromwich Albion away shirt
Not sure why, but several Premier League clubs have included cyan as the color of their away shirts this season. West Brom have the most cyan of all of the shirts. It’s definitely distinctive and the bright cyan hoops across the front of the shirt are a nice touch.
24. Arsenal away shirt
Nike and Arsenal have gone with an unconventional design this season for their away shirt. But it ends up looking like a horse jockey uniform rather than something a footballer would wear.
23. Sunderland home shirt
It’s a shame that Sunderland had to change their shirt this season because last season’s was so simple yet elegant. The design (pictured above) is decent. However, the black trim and v-neck ruin the design in my opinion.
22. Fulham home shirt
On paper, the design of the new Fulham home shirt looks harmless enough. This is one I’d like to see in person before giving my final opinion, but it looks like a step forward for Kappa and the Cottagers.
21. Swansea home shirt
Many Swansea supporters, myself included, were hoping for a retro design by Adidas for the new Swansea home shirt. What we got was a template design, which isn’t awful. It just lacks originality.
20. Bolton away shirt
Bolton’s home shirt designs are so inferior that their away jerseys are often far more appealing to the eye. The dark blue shirt with yellow stripe across the left shoulder is a nice touch. If there was no sponsor’s name, the design would be even better.
19. West Bromwich Albion home shirt
It’s not the best West Bromwich Albion home shirt design, but it’s certainly not the worst. It would have been better if the dark blue stripes went all the way up the shirt. But Adidas worked the design into one of their templates, to the detriment of the overall design.
18. Stoke City away shirt
Squint your eyes a little this upcoming season and you may think you’re watching Inter Milan on the pitch at the Britannia Stadium. The dark blue and sky blue striped shirt is a winner in my opinion, and it should be a hit among Stoke City supporters.
17. Arsenal home shirt
The 125th year anniversary shirt to celebrate Arsenal’s long history features a special crest to crown their existence. While the oak leaves surrounding the Arsenal logo are meant to be a nice touch, they end up detracting from the overall design. I’m all for history, but I think Nike could have done a better job designing the crest — perhaps with smaller oak leaves that are not such an eyesore?
16. Manchester United away shirt
Manchester United’s away shirt for this upcoming season is definitely unique. It’s distinctive design will stand out from the crowd this season. Plus, there’s a lot of detail to the shirt — such as the thin black bands within the black hoops — that add to aesthetics.
15. Newcastle United third shirt
If only Newcastle United’s shirt could be as well designed as their third shirt. This simple design is enhanced by the white diagonal lines across the shoulders. This one should be hit on Tyneside.
14. Chelsea away shirt
Yes, the upper half of the Chelsea away shirt looks like solar panels, but the futuristic look-and-feel is definitely a step forward by Chelsea and Adidas. The more I look at this one, the more it grows on me.
13. Manchester United home shirt
Manchester United have mixed modern with retro to produce a no-thrills home shirt that will satisfy their older and younger supporters. It’s hard to fault a design feature on this shirt. It’s so simple, it’s brilliant.
12. Everton away shirt
Everton have gone back into the past with an away shirt that many will remember Toffee greats such as Alan Ball wearing. Of course, the new design isn’t an exact duplicate of yesteryear, but it’s close enough to evoke the pleasant emotions while staying true to the present. Hats off to Le Coq Sportif on this one.
11. Manchester City home shirt
The above photo doesn’t do the Manchester City jersey justice, but other than the sponsor name in black, this design is practically flawless. There are a lot of design features on this one that may go overlooked. But on closer inspection, you can see that a lot of hard work have gone into making this one a winner for City supporters.
10. Everton home shirt
Everton’s home shirt is a modern design of something that I could picture Dixie Dean wearing, if he was still alive today. The collar design from yesteryear reminds people of Everton’s history and what a proud place they have in the books of English football.
9. Tottenham Hotspur third shirt
I can’t believe that Puma decided to feature a third shirt for Tottenham that is the same design as the third shirt for Newcastle other than a different colored diagonal stripe. Still, this design as well as the Newcastle one, is well done and should be a hit at White Hart Lane.
8. Newcastle United away shirt
I’m not a fan of template designs, but this template from Puma is a winner in my eyes. For the Newcastle United away shirt, they’ve gone with a bright orange color. Whether Newcastle can live up to the promises of Holland, we’ll have to wait and see. But it’s a bold design that will definitely win a lot of support this upcoming season.
7, Manchester City away shirt
Manchester City and Umbro have gone back into the time machine and created a modern version of an away shirt design that is tied with Manchester City’s past, from the 1970′s. The sleeves will take a little getting used to, but other than that, it’s a beautiful design for a club that is beginning to emerge as a leader in England.
6. Stoke City home shirt
Here’s an example of a shirt design that uses the Adidas template that works well, mainly because the upper half of the chest is a solid color other than white as opposed to many of the other shirts using this template.
5. Liverpool home shirt
Liverpool and Adidas have stuck to their roots and have produced a home shirt design that will please supporters. There are subtle touches of modernity in the shirt. Yet it still maintains the classic look-and-feel that Liverpool fans expect.
4. Liverpool away shirt
Black shirts in the Premier League are becoming quite a bore lately, but this one incorporates touches of silver not only in the crest and sponsor name, but also thin pinstripes that really differentiate this shirt from others. The sleeve design and touches of red in the collar are pure class. Even the sponsor’s name looks brilliant which is something I thought I’d never say.
3. Norwich City home shirt
The small image of Norwich’s home shirt for the 2011-12 season doesn’t do the jersey justice. For once, the club shirt sponsor’s logo fits in well with the design. It’s so good to see the familiar colors of the Canaries back in the top flight of England. And this design from Errea will hopefully be synonymous with a memorable season for City this next year.
2. Tottenham Hotspur home shirt
Tottenham’s home shirt for the 2011-12 season is beautiful in its simplicity. The retro collar and stark white color complemented by navy blue crest is a thing of beauty. It’s just a shame that the sponsor logo (not pictured) has to ruin the design. Still, hats off to Puma for having a superior design that is a nod to Tottenham’s past.
1. Chelsea home shirt
The clean and classy design of Chelsea’s shirt this season features the typical blue of Chelsea, but the lighter blue hoops add a touch of modernity. It’s a perfect combination in my opinion.
What do you think? Do you disagree with any of the rankings listed above? If so, share your opinion in the comments section below.
What do you think of the new designs? Share your opinion in the comments section below. And don’t forget, for the largest selection of Premier League shirts for all 20 clubs, visit the EPL Talk Shop.