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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Friday, January

AFCON kits, ranked

Tottenham Hotspur Women Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

At the top today is defender Esther Morgan.

Ramble of the Day

A continuing theme from yesterday’s Hoddle is catching up on the content I have been regularly tuning into the Africa Cup of Nations, but forgot about the kit rankings I usually do to mark the start of a major competition. (It’s been a week!) I will make you wait no longer, though.

The kits from this edition of the AFCON are pretty impressive. There were bad ones and boring ones, but a fairly high number of kits were actually pretty nice. It was hard to nail down a top three, so I’d like to congratulate many on a job well done. Anyway, to that top three.

3. Sierra Leone’s home kit

This kit checks off the few things I always look for in a kit. I haven’t seen a kit like it, I love the color scheme, and I think it’ll look good styled a bunch of different ways. It probably provides enough visual interest on a pitch, and I think it’s very cool.

2. Zimbabwe’s home kit

FBL-AFR-AFCON-2021-2022-SEN-ZIM Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

Several of the kits at this edition of the AFCON are colorful and boast patterns — that’s why I liked a bunch of them. No one interpreted the memo like Zimbabwe and Umbro did, though. I love the idea both in concept and execution — the brushstroke look is modern and classy, and the colors marry well together. (There’s a discussion to be had on how multicolor flags can be really great starting points for kit design.)

1. Nigeria’s home kit

FBL-WC-NGA-CPV-QUALIFERS Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

If Nigeria’s at a tournament, it isn’t a kit ranking without them at the top. Nigeria and Nike cracked the code some time ago with its unique patterns and mix of greens, creating kits that are emblematic of trendy kit designs today. The pair continue to put out great work. It’s an impressive little streak that I hope lasts as long as possible.

As for the kits at the bottom, I don’t abjectly hate most of them. Someone’s got to be at the bottom, though, and I think these three earned their spots.

3. Ghana’s away kit

Minimalist barcode pattern Borussia Dortmund kit is not a winning combination of things for me. I don’t find it offensive, but I really think negatively of it every time I look at it. I can’t help it.

2. Burkina Faso’s home kit

Again, this isn’t a horrible design but I do think the few design elements aren’t executed in the best way. The little red patch at the top doesn’t feel cohesive in the design, which I think is down to the zig-zag line on a shirt that’s too simple for that type of detail. My personal pet peeve is when the piping on collars and sleeves don’t match up.

1. Guinea-Bissau’s third kit

There is potential in this kit, but the execution is where this design fails. I am a big fan of yellow but this shade is not my favorite. I have no particular issue with pinstripes but these feel a little too thick, and don’t marry well with the pattern. The pattern could be the star here, but I don’t think it’s utilized properly. Better luck next time.

tl;dr: The best and worst kits at this edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Stay informed, read this: Howard Megdal on Tampa Tarpons manager Rachel Balkovec, who became the first woman to manage a major league affiliate, and the impact of the decision in baseball for Forbes

Links of the Day

Brazil manager Tite excluded Renan Lodi from the roster for upcoming World Cup qualifiers because the player is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Transfers: Aston Villa signed Lucas Digne from Everton; Everton signed Anwar El Ghazi from Aston Villa; Newcastle signed Chris Wood from Burnley

A longer read: Jonathan Liew on PSG and the expectation of entertainment for the Guardian