AFTER weeks of strip tease and blurred websites hints Boro have finally revealed all… the new Peru-style shirts are out. Hurray! It’s officially summer. Now let the eager queues form outside the club shop, let the kids compete to be the first on the block to wear one while playing on FIFA and let the Teesside kit-porn cognescenti start to deconstruct their DNA.
Boro leaked the new kits with a quirky if over-thought little YouTube video from the people who brought you the clunky pun-packed cheesy cult classic season ticket trailer “Woody’s New Bird” .
The home strip is red with a white sash that echoes the kit Middlesbrough Ironopolis wore in their one ill-fated season in the Football League in 1893-94..
although that is probably accidental. I can’t see the Adidas designers doing extensive research on the nuances of Teesside’s Victorian rivalry and I can’t see why the club would sanction a strip that pays homage to their long dead sibling. It is straight from P17 of the catalogue I think.
That doesn’t make it a bad design of course. It is eye-catching and contains the basic ingredients of red body with white flourish. It is a reverse of the classic Peru kit and similar in template to last season’s Wolfsburg kit. and last term’s Chelsea away top. And this season West Ham are using the same design for their away kit. And no doubt many, many more as they say on the compilation albums,
I’m sure it will look quite snazzy as we launch our bid for glory. And should Boro pull off a famous promotion then the Steel River Plate shirt could even become an iconic design burned into our psyche. After all the kit many regard as the ultimate Boro shirt was a radical innovation introduced by Jack Charlton in his first season.
I do like it the new sash shirt. And I think it is certainly better than last term’s yoke/sleeve combo… but I think every time Boro wander away from what should be our default they are missing an open goal. I know I bang on about the Above Average White Band but it should be the starting point of the brief every year. How hard can it be? It is obvious.
It is an eye-catching design identified with Charlton’s Champions, the Carling Cup victory and the UEFA Cup final and the club are missing the advantages of a distinct, unique image that helps forge identity among supporters and build brand recognition further afield.
In the other aisle, I can’t get excited about away kits as they generally have no rhyme nor reason (‘hunter and jade’ stripes? Purple? A blue cross tyre imprint?) and rarely any link with a club’s history but generally I’d like a blue/black strips element to them. Preferably stripes not hoops.
But that is what you get when you go with a big manufacturer, a templated style straight from the catalogue. Given the excellent feedback from the Bournemouth game you’d have thought they’d have gone with that white strip. But what do I know?
The away kit has echoes of the “traditional” and popular blue and black (it’ll probably turn out to be ‘sapphire and steel’ or something) – although it comes from P32, and is hoops instead of stripes and it is a generic template best known in England as the 2010 Chelsea away kit. … there’s that much vaunted Stamford Bridge link-up starting to bear fruit anyway.