KIT DETAILS – WHY THEY MATTER!

by .

Good evening, my darlings; how are we on this fine day?

England plays Brazil. Should be a fun match-up. Shame the pre-game drama is about a kit detail.

That said, I do want to weigh in on it because I live in this world.

Nike presented this take on the English flag as a fun design feature. It has caused quite the culture war.

What is amusing to me is that this went right to politics. The nationalists decried it, some bigots jumped on it, and the flag lovers of the country railed against the abomination.

The left-leaning football accounts, even the football kit specialists, decided that they’d go the other way and say it’s outrageous for fans to be bothered by things like… kit details.

Uhhhhh… have we all lost our minds here? The bad right shaming the country with gross comments. The left pretending that symbolism is now not important?

Kits are part of the culture. How a country is represented in design is consequential. Those are two factual statements. The only type of person who would disagree with that statement is the sort that doesn’t like football transfers. Kits are massive; pretending they are not is an unacceptable viewpoint.

Forget boring culture wars; let’s distil this to the most fundamental question: Does it look good?

It doesn’t.

If it doesn’t look good, let’s ask the next question: Is the design rationale worth it?

No, it’s not. I have to be honest, when I first saw it, I assumed it was an inclusivity play that I didn’t know about. Nike wasn’t upfront in the social post. I dug around, and it’s actually hommage to the 1966 training kit.

If your design language is so off, the majority of fans make incorrect assumptions, or they have to google it, you have made a bad design choice.

Don’t take my word for it, read what Craig Ward, one of my favorite brand designers had to say about it:

‘Former England Kit design alumni here 🙋‍♂️

I think Nike just need to get their story straight. If it’s a message about inclusion or intended to stir up a debate then own it. They’re usually pretty good at that. Don’t dismiss it as a ‘playful update’ – they also said it had been influenced by an old training kit, so the rationale should be clearer.

All the other thoughts I have are second guessing based on the lack of clarity around the intent.’

Back to it: Nike risked the anger of a very patriotic island nation… to respect the training kit of 1966. I have to be honest; I’d have much rather it was an inclusivity/charitable awareness initiative because at least you could defend the design (lack of) as a necessity for an accurate representation of a charity, movement, or organization. Purple flag is a dementia organisation over here, if that’s what it was about, and there was a donation aspect from the shirt, who would be cold hearted enough to critique?

So now for the marketing question: Who REALLY cares about 1966? The generation that really loves flags > is likely very patriotic > is highly likely to blow a gasket if you reimagine the fundamentals of a national flag. In short, the target audience of the flag was traditionalists, and they gave them a non-traditional design detail.

As you all know, I’m far from a traditionalist when it comes to kit design, but when it comes to flags, you have to be careful. You might get away with monochromatic or an abstraction, but changing one bar of the flag to purple made little sense and the key point here: it’s not beautiful.

National flags, in most countries, are really important. When it comes to England kits, our flag colors are not really represented. That is rare for national kits. The Adidas Italian away kit is an abstraction of their flag, same for Brazil, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Argentina, France… the list goes on. England is a white and blue kit. Our crest is three lions. So if you’re going to take liberties with the flag of any country… probably don’t do it with England.

It’s also amazing to me how many people pretend this is a uniquely British issue. Do you think if Adidas changed the green in the Italian flag to yellow, that would land? You think messing with the Brazil flag on a detail would go down well? Which country do you think would react differently to an alien colour in their flag detail? The people saying this is fine would be the first to hold a corporation accountable for cultural desecration if it happened to another country, so why do they look the other way when it’s England?

What is amazing about this boring culture war, though, isn’t whether some people on the left are deeply unpatriotic or some people on the right are horrendously nationalistic… it’s that no one is asking the simple question of: is it a nice detail to look at?

It is not.

This is a big miss for Nike. They’ve fluffed a detail on an otherwise beautiful return to top-tier kits. That’s a shame.

Unfortunately, details matter.

Ok, that’s me done.

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141 Comments
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Northbanker

Take your political commentary to another site Cyril – it’s not needed or wanted here

Last edited 19 days ago by Northbanker
Cyril

< removed >

Last edited 19 days ago by Pedro
Nigel Tufnel

It’s a football blog. Don’t leave, just stop talking about the world’s problems here. There’s a thousand other places to get that off your chest. Talk football here.

Nigel Tufnel

Rich,
Your stats omitted the best part.. the push on the prick Porto manager.

China1

Pedro I make a lot of presentations and charts in my job and my manager recently begged someone to put me out of my misery and be responsible for changing the colour scheme of anything I make before it’s seen by a wider audience

That purple flag is right out of my kinda work lol

China1

I saw sky sports saying city think they might be about flout their 115 charges due to etihad airways potentially getting floated on the stock exchange

Can anyone more clues in on this explain to me how doing this would help address the 115 charges dating back several years?

Seems broadly unrelated to me

Useroz

Just watched extended highlights of the Germany and France game.

Havertz was quite active and his 2H goal well taken and a typical striker goal. Met a cutback and swept it home. Let his form continues…

Btw, strangely, France looked a bit toothless and all over the place in the last 3rd, despite Mbappe…

Kan

@China1, I am not Chinese, but I agree with your take about how we should treat history. Let it inform the future for the better. I’m not a part of those that feel that the current Europeans should spend the rest of their natural lives paying for what their ancestors did, neither should the offsprings of those affected by past injustices spend their entire lives paying the price for historical inequalities.

Sorry not sure if this post is political. If it is, please delete accordingly, Pedro

Useroz

Have spent some time reading up on /& watching Rodrygo online… while not a 6’3″ big CF (only 1.74m) profile, his pedigree, skillset, versatility acriss front 3, and performance in Spain etc look appealing, to me at least.

And Real M would likely put a hefty price tag (& wreck a Odegarrd premium!) on Rodrygo to help finance the Mbappe deal.

How would you find Rodrygo fitting in our system and ability to thrive in the EPL?

Jonathan

As much as I don’t like the flag image being changed, it’s not required, the biggest issues with the shirt is the cost. NIKE are just ripping people off now

Useroz

Saliba didn’t play against Germany at all… best not starting the next game too

So far, no reported injuries to our players , except a ‘slight limp ‘ Odegarrd had briefly.

No withdrawals yet!?

Rice played a full game and that Southgate would play him for another 90mins… unless he withdraws

Felix

Logie Bear

11 hours ago

Northbanker, Pedro:
For what it’s worth, Italy play in blue as that was the colour of the House of Savoy, which was the royal family in place when they played their first match in 1910.

Interesting, often wondered about the blue. Cheers

Northbanker

China – I assume the argument is that if Etihad floats and comes under different control, then it is no longer connected person to City and therefore any sponsorship payments will be at arms length

As you say this cannot be retrospective and should make no difference to the charges already levied

But it could enable them to receive future payments and therefore effectively ignore future PSR

Northbanker

However if City are in the Second Division by then then surely their market rate for sponsorship of their ground and shirts etc would be relatively minimal?

Marky Mark

Havertz has now scored both as a left back and as a centre forward for Germany. That’s one hell of a quirky record. Well done Kai

Emiratesstroller

In recent weeks several leading clubs and national teams have introduced a number of teenage talents into their first team squads and teams. Arsenal are reputed to have one of the most gifted teenage talents in Europe and yet his first team playing time at Arsenal has been limited to 13 minutes. By all accounts he has just signed/agreed a new contract at Arsenal. Let us hope that he will be upgraded next season to our first team squad. Noone expects him to be a regular starter in first team next season as we have an excellent starting eleven midfield.… Read more »

Emiratesstroller

Nanweri the player I refer to above has turned 17 this week.

Emiratesstroller

Endrick the new Brazil whizz kid who scored the winning goal against
England yesterday is a specialist centre forward.He is aged 17.

His goalscoring record does not match Nanweri who is a specialist attacking midfield [although he can also play right wing and centre forward]

Nanweri has scored 14 goals in 15 games played this season. That includes goals in last two U21 games against Chelsea and Spurs.

This weekend he scored in England U17 v Hungary game as well.

He is now 17 which is the same age as Endrick was when he started playing for Palmeiras.

Mysticleaves

ES

While Nwaneri is a massive talent, I wouldn’t be too worried if he wasn’t registered in the first team next season. I would be more interested in seeing that role go to Charlie Patino. He’s outrageously talent and is 20ish. Has tasted first team football now for consecutive years albeit on lower level. The environment, the pressure of relegation would have done him a world of good.

This season end we will be losing El Neny and Jogi (thanks for your services and goodbye). Charlie can do no worse than El Neny in the squad at present

Emiratesstroller

Mysticleaves

Patino has not started a game at Swansea since 1st January and his
time spent playing football since then is minimal if you look at Transfermarkt stats.

This is hardly the form or performance level to play in Arsenal’s first team.

My guess is that he will be offloaded this summer along with many other
loanees.

Frankly I expect Nanweri to be promoted to first team squad rather than
being loaned out to some Championship outfit.

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Agreed ES
ckub seem to be taking the gently gently approach with Ethan…
no need to rush but dangle enough carrot to keep him keen.

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Also agreed the lad can’t have to much pressure put on as the new messiah like jack was and indeed Grahame hick did in cricket,,, there was also a countdown on news at ten telling when he could play for England cricket.

Rich

I agree with Mystic.. Patino is outrageously talented, he makes incredibly difficult things look effortless. Elite balance + agility, can take 3-4 players out of the picture with a little drop of the shoulder, direct in his passing, and has an incredibly quick brain. It’s difficult to find or create space in central areas, only a select few players have the ability to create time + space for themselves and their teammates.. These types of players often look like they’re playing in a different time vacuum to the rest. We’ll have a decision to make this summer as he’s into… Read more »

Mysticleaves

ES Physicality issues are behind Patino’s lack of game time. His manager at Swansea said as much and also never stops praising his outrageous talent and professionalism. He said that if they weren’t fighting for their lives and were playing with more control, Charlie would be first name on the sheet. Arsenal play with more control and are very unlikely to be involved in relegation battles so Charlie’s skills more than his physicality will be most needed and if Arteta has found game time for Fabio Vieira, then lack of physicality can’t be a stick to be used against Charlie.… Read more »

James wood

Evidently we are looking at GIBBS WHITE..

Mysticleaves

Must be a joke

James wood

Nope reported on the BBC sport.

Positive Pete

Gibbs White.Oh yeah. Outdoor get on board with that one.One helluva talent.Anywhere across front 3 & pretty nifty to boot.Thats the kind of sharp looking transfer dealing we should be at.Get it done EDU.

Nigel Tufnel

Patino looks to have great potential to my eye. Still surprising that it doesn’t convince some of his loan managers. Nwaneri can play in cups for us next year So I’m not worried, as long as we stay engaged, communicate with him on his path into the team, whether it’d here or on loan.
None of us know about that behind the scenes stuff, so it can make fans more impatient.

Emiratesstroller

Rich I thought that Patino was an outstanding talent. However, his recent loan moves to Championship level clubs have been unsuccessful. You would have expected him to make by now a breakthrough. As I posted he has not started a game at Swansea since January 1st and most of his substitutions are less than 10 minutes. That is hardly a recommendation. Nanweri by contrast looks like an outstanding talent and certainly better than most of the recent teenagers who are playing for major clubs in EPL. That may explain why both Manchester Clubs plus Liverpool and Chelsea tried to recruit… Read more »

Mysticleaves

We are figuring out what to do with ESR, Fabio and Nelson and someone is excited about a lesser talented Gibbs-White? FFS!!

Positive Pete

Misty.We already know my son what to do with ESR,Fabio & Nelson.You haven’t being paying attention have You? Can’t be bothered to spell it out but does involve the word ‘ History’.
As got Gibbs white.Inferior he definitely isn’t.But then you’d know better than EDu / Arteta of course.

Rich

ES Past performance is no guarantee of future results, and that works at both ends of the spectrum. Just because a player like Havertz struggles at Chelsea, that doesn’t mean he’ll continue to struggle at Arsenal. Just because a player produces top level consistency for 6-7 seasons, that doesn’t mean they won’t inevitably regress at some stage. Young players still have massive room to progress at 20.. It doesn’t mean they will, but it’s still incredibly young. You only need to look at the development of Ødegaard + Saka over the last few seasons. Remember when a section of our… Read more »

Chris

I’d be happy to take Gibbs White but at a discount. The world knows Forest are in trouble financially.

Not sure he’d be an automatic starter for us but he’d certainly play his part a bit like Trossard does.

I have been impressed with him though (Gibbs White) nearly every time I’ve seen him play.

Positive Pete

Thankyou Chris.Someone with some knowledge.

James wood

Mystic go easy on the leaves.

Richard

Given how tight we are on FFP, I can’t see many big money moves happening this summer, or for them to be planned by the club already, unless we have lined up some players to exit already for decent fees. Gibbs White I could get on board with, but I think unlikely given that we are tight againts FFP. If Forest were to let him go for £10M, then I am sure that kind of money will be found. But if they want something like £50M, which is more likely, I struggle to see Arsenal making more than 1 purchase… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Richard
Northbanker

Patino is still developing and has been in two relegation dog fights so it just isn’t possible to assume he won’t succeed

I would love us to offer him a new contract and get some Arteta development to see if he can progress the already basic brilliant ball control he has.

There is space for him and Nwaneri in the squad assuming departures this Summer

Northbanker

There are so many players being linked with us now that we must be putting up smokescreens everywhere.

Fortunately the Toney rumours are burning out and West Ham are now in the running . Now that would be funny after he’s announced he wants to go to Real Madrid!