Best and Worst Premier League Shirts of 2011-12

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.

49 thoughts on “Best and Worst Premier League Shirts of 2011-12”

        1. This is obviously meant to be an opinion based article. and i agree, most of his opinions aren’t the greatest, but thats what makes opinions, opinions, right?

  1. I like to wear TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR home kappa shirt…still Iam pleased with new puma designs none smarter well done, next up under armour brand from the US …c`mon you Spurs! lol…

  2. You couldn’t have got this more wrong.

    I the Away Arsenal kit will look good on the field believe it or not.

  3. The Man Utd away shirt is kind of “too busy” for me. But it’s one o fthose shirts that you would actually have to see before you buy. Not all that thrilled about the new home shirt as it too closely looks JUST like last year’s shirt. I actually liked the collar on the last version and wished they kept it. There is a rumor about a black shirt (a 3rd shirt perhaps?) that is coming and I would love to see that released.

    1. I agree — the Villa shirts or some of the coolest.

      Aside from this, as a Spur’s fan I’m pretty disappointed; the white shirt is classy but the other two — especially the the purple. Terrible.

      Who designs the kits anyway? The manufacturer (nike, puma, etc.) or the club? It should be the latter.

  4. as Man Utd fan i think the home kit is to plain… My favourate kit has to be either the Tottnham Black Kit or the Chelsea home kit :-)

  5. You have to ask what the hell are you basing this on? Shirts are ruined when the sponsership is the main thing you see aka Norwich, What’s so great about Liverpool’s two and Tottenham’s (boring) and what’s wrong with Newcastle’s and Sunderland’s away.

    1. Sponsorship is a fact of life in the game now…get used to it my friend. The best we can hope for is that it be incorporated well in to the overall design and colors…like Pool’s.

  6. I am with you for the most part…however I would have picked all of Liverpools jersey’s first then Chelsea’s second…I really like the away Chelsea. You are right about the in the States it is so familiar to us…the entire MLS uses it…but when done right it can work…

  7. i love the villa away shirt. i love the Man utd. away shirt. i hate the Man utd home shirt and Chelsea’s away shirt. Chelsea’s away shirt does not grow on you. In fact, the more i see it, the more i hate it.

    I think the author of this article should have picked a more inovative shirt for their number one pick. Chelsea’s is just blue. Same as always. How could that lack of design be number one? It would be like making Man utd’s new home shirt as number one. Its usually always the same.

    Maybe the author should have created a poll for this article before choosing the “number one best looking shirt”.

    The name of this article should be changed to “The number one best looking shirts that look exactly the same every year, of 2011-12”.

    But that’s just my opinion..

  8. I thought you were generous in your rating of the Arsenal away shirt, which I think is their worst ever.

    1. It looks better in some of the pictures I’ve seen of the players wearing it. But it’s still awful overall. I wouldn’t say it’s their worst away shirt ever, but it’s up there!

      The Gaffer

  9. The Arsenal home kit entry is utter nitpicking, in terms of the oak leaves business. If the Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham kits are revered for their ‘clean’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘simple’ design, than so can Arsenal’s 2011-12 home kit. In fact, the last of a red ring around the neck and the sleeves gives it an even SIMPLER look than last seasons. It’s just as clean as those other kits. Be fair, is all.

  10. You left out the City 3rd shirt. City’s dark blue away kit from last season is now the 3rd kit.
    That would have to be placed pretty high on the list.

  11. i think man u, man c, and liverpool away kits should be higher, they are both amazing. and why is chelsea’s kit top? the shoulder pads ruin it

  12. As a Spurs supporter I really like the 3rd kit, I was hoping for a black kit. Don’t care for the purple away Spurs kit, I would prefer the sky or navy blue but that’s me. I think the Spurs home kit is sleak and classic looking but in the future I would prefer something looking towards the future instead of the past. Not a West Brom supporter but I have say I do like their home and away kits. The black Liverpool shirt is very nice and I think I am in the miniority because I do like Liverpool’s third shirt. The Aston Villa kits remind me of a chess board.

  13. My absolute favorites on this list were the Manchester United away shirt and the Chelsea away shirt. They’re really, really cool looking.

    I don’t think that the shirt that you ranked #36 really deserved to be last on the list, though. I think it’s a cool looking shirt. Not great, sure, but not terrible either.

    By the way, if anyone’s looking for sports equipment or nets or anything like that, I’ve got loads on my website. I sell all kinds of sports equipment from baseball pitching machines to golf flags. So you should come check it out at

  14. while i dont like the shift away from the traditional black and white stripes, the one thing i like for the newcastle kit is the black back with white numbering.

    i also dont like how the puma logo and the newcastle crest are not even again. its not as bad as last years, but i loved the logo and crest being in a straight line like adidas had it.

    i like tottenham’s home jersey too. i may have to get one this year just for the nice collar. last year, if you bought early enough, they shipped one without a sponsor logo. maybe this year, people buying early will be as lucky.

  15. Honestly Gaffer, the Chelsea home shirt looks horrible, IMO. Their away kit isn’t all that good, either, but it’s a big step above the home kit.

    I happen to like the Liverpool third kit, I think it has a classy yet modern look to it. I also really like the Tottenham third shirt, but I have zero idea why they made it look identical to the Newcastle away kit.

    I do agree with your assessment of the Tottenham away shirt but sponsors = $$$ and the Autonomy logo would look far nicer.

  16. Hate Liverpool but their black away kit is the best kit so far for the 2011/12 season.

    Man City’s kits are God awful. Their kits this year were really nice. No need to change. Again, I hate City as well.

  17. After watching Fulham play yesterday, their home kit should be in your top 5. They looked pretty imposing in their new gear yesterday. I wasn’t really sold on it until I watched the game.

  18. Two main general observations:

    Firstly, there seems to be a lot of very generic, template-style shirts this year (eg Stoke home, Stoke Away, Liverpool Third, and Swansea Home all look very similar to each other in their basic design. Likewise, Spurs Away, Newcastle Away and Newcastle Third). It strikes me as kind of amateurish-looking: like when Sunday league teams wear mail-order shirts from a Pro-Star catalogue.

    Secondly, it seems like proper collars have almost entirely disappeared. Shame, because I think round neck collars look pretty much terrible on anyone. V-neck or proper fold-down collars are much better looking. Only Everton and Spurs have proper collars in the pics above, plus a few others with V-necks, but it seems like round-necks are much more common for some reason.

  19. By no means am I ridiculing or criticizing any of the teams, I simply want to be enlightened. Why do teams incorporate a color that is not in their traditional scheme? Like why does Man U use blue? Potters , cyan blue, ect.
    I admit that I am used to the American sports as that’s what I’ve grown up with. It would be odd to see the Chicago Cubs wear green or the Oakland Raiders wear yellow. Does anyone know the answer to this? Like was there a sale on cyan blue material this year? Ok…I’m sure that’s not the case but it did make me wonder. Also noticed that no one club last season wore green. Wait. Didn’t Fulham wear that olive green shirt once?

    1. footballfool. it would be very wierd if united used red in their away shirts. two red teams against each other doesnt work you know.

      united have always used blue as an away shirt or third shirt.

  20. Dude, the claret checkers of Villa are awesome, ManU’s away kit looks like crap if you ask me(and I’m a United fan), Arsenal’s home kit should be up there is Chelsea’s is number one, and Livepool’s aren’t even all that good

  21. Seems Adidas and Nike save their best for Chelsea/ManU. I definitely always like their designs; especially ManU.

    As a Villa supporter I’m not sure about the checks, but will be rocking them anyway! UTV

  22. The Stoke shirt is the coolest one here, reminds me of Bayern Munich! Well done adidas after that terrible shirt thay did last season. THe Chelsea one looks like boy’s pyjamas. And what’s going on with that Arsenal badge??!

  23. The Bolton design probably isn’t appetizing in any way, but I believe it would look better if it were photographed on a dummy torso like some of the others. I like see a mix of traditional, progressive/weirld, mixed, and minimal designs when looking through an entire football league. Certainly, a lot of the jerseys here are pathetic, which always makes me wonder just why the hell it seems that a club doesn’t seem to take the initiative to either design a kit themselves or hold contests in which fans submit designs for the next season’s kit (there are plenty of people out there with Adobe Illustrator).

    Yeh, I’m a Chelsea fan, but I think most people would have to admit that this year’s home kit is the best since Adidas began making Chelsea kits. Meanwhile, Tottenham’s jersys look like sh*t. The Fulham jersey doesn’t deserve the criticism you give here, although I would agree that Kappa doesn’t seem to waver from a fairly simple format/template (then again, it’s nice that they are distinct and evolve their seams and lines slowly through the years). Liverpool’s away/3rd is crap, as are a tonne of adidas designs–template as you say– out there, in the football world. I can’t figure out what Wolverhampton’s maker are doing, so I’ll just disregard that one.

  24. Man i think there’s something wrong in your judgement.i feel that arsenals away kit is the coolest.Dennis Bergkamp wore the same kind.No doubt that arsenals home kit is a disaster but d away is 2 good.i hate chelsea home kit but really like chelsea and manu away kits.they are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. And no one takes notice that the home S’land jersey looks like a Rita’s employee uni? I can’t stand it. Meanwhile, the Man C away is a nice contrast. Something about that red & white that doesn’t go in my head.
    Maybe altering the direction of the stripes? Either way, I want to watch a football team with a drawing uniform, not a barber shop quartet.

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