England, Oh England. Let’s not focus on them and the Hodge. It won’t do anyone any good. Let’s just look at the shirts eh?
Puma wheeling out their template again. It works though, quietly understated, with a hint of class. I like the little stripy detail on the sleeve, and the gold flashes work really well, even with the silly strips up the side.
Collars a bit odd though.
Overall it’s a solid effort.
It’s got mad bit and bobs happening all over the place. Aertex panels, swooshes, gold thread, crazy collar.
It’s different at least. I’m not sure it’s any good, but it’s different. So far, in this World Cup, different actually counts for a lot.
Over the last few years Umbro really upped the game for the England shirt, and in doing so gave the whole area a much needed kick up the arse.
Nike nicked the contract off them though, and this is their first proper shirt. (I’ll ignore their first rush job). It’s not too bad, the subtle pin stripes are a neat touch that remind me of the 86 shirt, the blue contrast in the badge and logo work well (it looks great with the lighter blue shorts too).
There’s even a bespoke typeface designed by Neville Brody for it.
The collar lets it down badly though.
Overall there’s not much to dislike, but I just can’t warm to it like I did with a lot of Umbro’s work. There’s just something missing.
I’ve talked about it before in other posts, creating a simple, minimal, effective football shirt is very difficult. There’s a really fine balance between something that looks like the design team couldn’t bothered, and something that looks like beautifully crafted excellence.
This shirt actually goes past that line and into the ‘not sure when to walk away’ end of the spectrum. I don’t like the subliminal St George’s cross, it doesn’t do anything. It’s not bold enough.
Again I don’t hate it … but I don’t exactly love it either.
There’s something not quite right about the Italians having their shirts designed by Germans. Maybe it’s the stereotypical efficiency of Puma’s insistence on seemingly using that template for all the shirts. It’s heavily modified here, but it still has all the same hallmarks, not least those annoying, superfluous side strips.
The colour is suitably azzuri. The little Italian flags on the sleeves are nice. The collar is overly fussy and buttony, but at least it’s different.
Overall it just doesn’t feel very Italian.
Even though it’s quite a simple shirt it does come across as being cluttered and messy. The pinstripes could do with being knocked back a bit I think.
It’s basically yet another disappointment.
Well that’s us half way through the 2014 World Cup kits and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit disappointed so far. There aren’t many shirts standing out, and there certainly aren’t any from this group. There’s nothing awful … but I want more from a World Cup shirt.