Normally, the European football calendar would be well underway by now; Highsnobiety's #ladsfootball Slack channel abuzz with messages such as, “Arsenal still lack a proper defensive midfielder for me,” and, "How is Wes Morgan starting games for Leicester in 2020 FFS?" Alas, these are not normal circumstances, so instead, we turn to alternative topics, such as whether Messi is really leaving Barcelona and, more importantly, who is winning the 2020/2021 kit wars (hint: it's not Man Utd).
After a long coronavirus-related break from football earlier this year and an incredibly short “summer break,” the big kick-off in most major leagues has either just happened or is just around the corner. To celebrate the return of football, a trio of our editors plugged the football-shaped hole in their lives by running their gimlet eyes over a random selection of home jerseys for the upcoming year.
Some are good, some are bad, some don't look like they were created for playing sport in at all (seriously, what's going on, Zenit?). Find our flaming hot takes that would make an irate Talksport caller blush after the jump.
Graeme Campbell (Style Editor): Here's a hot take: this is not a patch on any of the (relatively) recent adidas kits.
Matt Carter (Content Director): As a debut shirt, it's not much of a statement, but I still like it. The teal accents are a nice throwback to the '90s.
Fabian Gorsler (Sneaker and Sportswear Editor): I'm in between. It's simple. It's clean. I think the colors work, but based on all the hype, it falls short.
Matt: The pattern looks like it was lifted from a bus seat in Wolverhampton. Is there gum stuck on the inside?
Graeme: I see McDonald's-inspired Matrix rain.
Fabian [Man Utd fan]: I reluctantly agree. The flecks just aren't doing it for me, though it’s not the worst of this selection, that’s for sure.
Graeme: Very possibly the least subtle logo I've ever seen. Atrocious!
Fabian: I'm not sure about the cobalt, either. It's almost too blue.
Matt: It's very blue, isn't it? You do get lost a little bit. The fit and trim remind me of an old England kit.
Matt: It's almost like a Rorschach test. Do you see reflections in a pool? Or a cracked vase?
Fabian: The latter, similar to their hearts when they bottled the Champions League this year.
Graeme: PUMA has been basing its designs off local architecture this year. I'm into it.
Matt: It's good storytelling, like when they did the Hacienda-inspired away kit last season. Plus a reminder that City is the real Manchester club, Fabian.
Graeme: I wonder what the lads at Hummel make of those chevrons? I really don't like the fitted sleeves.
Matt: Héctor Bellerín deserves better.
Fabian: I actually think this is an incredible kit. I love the chevrons, and the shade of red is perfect.
Matt: Cards on the table — what are they thinking?
Fabian: You don't like it?
Matt: It looks like a counterfeit!
Graeme: I read last year that Juve switched from straight-up black and white stripes because it reminds Americans of referees.
Matt: It's difficult to innovate stripes every year, but these look like they were done with a dried-up marker pen. Or a printer low on ink.
Fabian: This is so, so good. It's my favorite one.
Graeme: Post-modern perfection.
Matt: This is how to make stripes cool. It all fits together so well.
Graeme: Let's all move to Milan and become Inter fans.
Matt: Oh mate, I've got a soft spot for anything Roma touches. This is awesome, but check the away shirt: it's both a football shirt and a fashion statement. I love Roma. I love these.
Fabs: It reminds me of Scooby-Doo and the '70s in all the wrong ways.
Graeme: Let's all move to Rome and become Roma fans instead, seriously.
Graeme: You can’t go wrong with classic stripes.
Matt: I’m not sure which is better, Inter’s or Milan’s home jersey. They’re both fantastic.
Fabian: PUMA has been making some of the best kits this season, in my opinion. The stripes are really well balanced here and the subtle pattern is so cool.
Graeme: Does anyone actually get excited for Barca home shirts? Even if it's done well, you'll soon grow bored of seeing it, because they're, like, everywhere.
Fabian: I think the best recent Barca kits were from the mid-noughties. This collar reminds me of that.
Matt: Feel like pure shit, just want Pep Guardiola back.
Fabian: Wow. That's really bad.
Graeme: Those salmon-colored Three Stripes look so out of place.
Matt: They're nice on the socks, though. Very '90s gym-goer. It's 5" seam shorts season, right? These would go well with them.
Matt: This is Nike’s Juventus-equivalent. The stripes are all wrong.
Fabian: The stripes actually look worse the closer you get to the shirt, which I guess isn't terrible if you’re only watching on TV.
Graeme: Another example of the sponsor just not gelling with the kit.
Fabian: It's always hard to incorporate sponsors into striped kits, but they've done really well here. It's clean.
Graeme: A friend pointed out the close symmetry between the PSG badge and Swoosh, which I can't unsee. It really irritates me now.
Matt: The hypebeast's football equivalent of the box logo tee.
Matt: It's nice, if not a bit unadventurous. It fits well with the Bavarian uniform of jeans and Birkenstocks.
Fabian: I appreciate Bayern's integrity. Whereas Juve and PSG are both trying to be... funky, to break into the U.S. market, Bayern stays in its lane and does what it does.
Graeme: Serge Gnabry deserves better.
Graeme: When I said the Chelsea logo was the worst I'd seen in a while, this one gives me pause for thought.
Fabian: In Germany, this logo is usually blue and white. But because Schalke, BVB's rivals, are blue and white, they've agreed to make it black and white.
Matt: Grown men shouldn't wear this.
Fabian: Didn't Djokovic wear this to the Australian Open a couple of years back? It's a blue Lacoste polo with Gazprom branding plastered across it.
Graeme: I'm a sucker for a button-up collar and Cyrillic in any guise, but those tonal stripes are too much.
Matt: I'm not sure what this is, but it isn't a high-performance football shirt.
Graeme [Rangers fan]: Fuck off!
Matt: Stripes, hoops, whatever you want to call them, overload.
Fabian: Odd shade of green, too.
Graeme: Here's another hot take — New Balance actually makes the best football kits. This is lovely. Blue and yellow always works well.
Fabian: Love the stripes on this. They're very well balanced (pun intended).
Matt: Fantastic badge.
Graeme: Zenit made a tennis T-shirt, so Corinthians made a golf shirt.
Matt: If Bale were Brazilian, he’d definitely be playing golf in this.
Fabian: I like the collar, but it’s way too plain, to the point where I actually hope there’s a sponsor on there when they play.
Matt: They've tried almost too hard here. It looks more like a one-off, commemorative shirt.
Fabian: I mean, if any club can get away with purposefully trying to create a fashion statement, it's one owned by David Beckham. They don't have history; if I were to found an MLS club, I would go all out in making it the fucking coolest brand ever.
Matt: You just surmised everything that's wrong with modern football.