Above is defender Kerys Harrop, and below is a ramble I wrote with the hope that news doesn’t overshadow it too much.
Ramble of the Day
Whether or not you’re ready for it, the Premier League is officially back today. I was prepared enough to do another batch of kit rankings (whether or not I’m prepared for the rest of what a season brings is yet to be seen).
I’d like to commend the Premier League clubs and their kit manufacturers on an overall job well done. There are a remarkably small number of trash kits this season, and a fairly small number of boring ones. With away and third kits especially, it seems most gave it a go and there are a ton of kits that are unique and pretty fun.
Some, of course, are better than others. Making the top three was quite an accomplishment as a result, but there are a few other kits that shouldn’t take missing out on the top three as criticism.
Anyway, to my favorites:
3. Arsenal’s third kit
A few clubs went for busy prints, and I am thrilled by this development. What I like about Arsenal’s third kit is that it’s such a cleanly packaged design — great colors that contrast nicely and a pattern that pops without confusing. Plus, it’s a kit that stands out amongst its others and can be styled a lot of different ways — I’m always going to have nice things to say about a kit like that.
2. Chelsea’s home kit
Let’s get the elephant out of the way: yes, I’ve ranked Arsenal and Chelsea kits nicely. I will say two things before I move on: first, it’s not my fault their kits are better than the others; and second, just bear with me a little while longer.
What I like about the Chelsea kit is that it’s chaotic and that they just went for it. It goes past the place of weird but boring, instead going straight to weird and unexpectedly wild. I like that vibe for kits, because it’s more fun than doing a boring home kit every year. Mix it up a little! Even if people don’t like it, there’s always next year to course correct.
1. Tottenham’s away kit
I told you to bear with me! All of the compliments I had for the Chelsea kit, I have for this Spurs kit — they went for it and created a unique look. It won’t just be a one of a kind look amongst other Spurs kits; it’s one amongst all the other kits in the league. All parties involved just did such a terrific job, and it’s easily a kit I’ll remember for a long time. It’s one of my favorite kits in recent memory.
I’ve run out of compliments, so it’s time to move on to the kits I didn’t like.
3. Southampton’s home kit
Why keep a boring look boring when you make it worse in some subtle ways? I suppose that was the idea behind Southampton’s home kit, designed by Hummel after a period with Under Armour. I can never truly sign off on a layered v neck for a kit, but the subtle downward arrows on the white stripes give the kit a beat-up look. It probably would escape my bottom three without that design on the white stripes, if I’m being honest.
2. Wolves’ away kit
Clearly, Wolves and Castore were trying to be interesting here, but this crosses the line from boring to actively bad. I’m not really sure what the point of the design is; I want to say it’s in the distressed family, but I am unconvinced. There’s a little bit of a Jackson Pollock element to the design, but I think they should’ve leaned in more if they were attempting to go in that direction. Maximalism is in! This isn’t it.
1. Watford’s home kit
There was only one kit I found genuinely ugly in this season’s selection, and it’s this one. I generally have no problem with a yellow and black combination, and no problem with hoops. I think the sequence of really thin stripes building up to one thick one really doesn’t work from any amount of distance. It looks like a fade, and I don’t think a black fade works or an accidental fading stripe works. I also find that the sponsor makes the look worse, more so than most sponsors.
tl;dr: Kit rankings, Premier League 2021-22 edition.
Stay informed, read this: Rhiannon Johnson on the Indigenous Sports Heroes Education Experience, which looks to tell stories of Indigenous athletes in Canada for CBC News
Links of the Day
La Liga’s clubs voted in favor of the league’s partnership with CVC Capital Partners.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa signed a new one year deal with the club.
A longer read: Rory Smith on how Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain spotlights a grim reality of modern football for The New York Times