Ranking the 20 Premier League Teams on Their Away Jerseys
With the Premier League taking a break this weekend—unless you are a Swansea or Liverpool fan—the EPL table is no longer at the forefront of everybody's mind, for the next five days at least.
But there is one table which everybody has been hankering after. One list which separates the strong from the weak, the crass from the chic and the couture from the no-more.
The question on everybody's lips is not "why doesn't Robin van Persie dye his hair?" or "will Adel Taarabt wear gloves even when he is in Dubai?" but "where does my team's away shirt rank?"
Well fear not, fashion-ballers, here are those rankings.
20. Norwich City
And the award for least need for an away shirt goes to? Norwich City.
They play in yellow.
Nothing could be confused with yellow, except maybe amber, or jonquil. But as there are no teams who play in amber, or jonquil, this season, they don't get to wear their other kit much: a total of four times, in fact. And none of those were actually necessary.
So for simply wearing an away shirt "because they can", the Canaries are bottom of the pile.
19. Tottenham Hotspur
This may be a slight cheat, but why on earth the manufacturers decided it would be a good idea to dress north London's finest (sorry, one of north London's finest) as a checkerboard I will never know.
Black and grey is certainly not the new black. And it certainly shouldn't be attempted again.
18. Aston Villa
Sunglasses at the ready.
No wonder Aston Villa are struggling to win games, the ball must reflect off their outlandishly bright shirts and blind the players.
They only good thing about this kit would be if it glowed in the dark. However, seeing as no Villa fan in their right mind would purchase this replica Traffic Police Officer shirt, we will never know.
17. Wigan Athletic
There is nothing really to say about Wigan's away shirt. It can be summed up in one word: dull.
Roberto Martinez always wears nice coats, perhaps he can have a hand in the design next season.
Lazy, Chelsea. Just lazy.
They appear so low in this list, not because the shirt is a particularly offensive, but because of the sheer lack of imagination of the design.
This shirt is one a 12-year-old could design in FIFA through the "customize kit" setting. And taking design advice from 12-year-olds has never worked out well for anyone.
Especially 12-year-olds who spend enough time in front of a computer game to be able to actually design a fake kit for a fake team full of fake players.
15. West Ham United
West Ham will always have a place in my heart, mainly due to late-90s children's TV show, Renford Rejects. And their current away shirt seems to be a throwback to that era. And it probably should have stayed there.
I'm not too sure the lines across the front of the shirt were actually intended. Perhaps the delivery truck drove over the order when he dropped the kit off.
It shouldn't be too hard to track down the culprit: they'll have claret wheels.
Perhaps it is the all yellow. Perhaps it is the fact that Reading have the poshest sponsor ever, in Waitrose. Or perhaps it is the attempt to emulate an Ikea advert. But something makes me a little queasy looking at the Royals playing away.
Hopefully next time they face Norwich, both will insist on wearing their custard colored shirts, so neither are actually able to. And hey, then we get to see the Canaries' away shirt one more time too.
13. West Bromwich Albion
I can hear this chant echoing around The Hawthorns at their next home match, begging Steve Clark to let their team wear their other colors more often: "It's red, it's blue, it looks good on Lukaku."
Every fiber of common sense in my body tells me that this shirt is worse than Katie Price trying to break America.
But somehow, for some reason, Martin Jol's Dutch-influenced shirt keeps drawing me in. Like watching Jaws: The Revenge. You know you shouldn't, you know it's going to be terrible, but you can't help but look.
11. Newcastle United
Newcastle United have not always been snappy dressers. From Kevin Keegan's perm to Jonas Gutierrez as a Smurf to, well, this guy, the Toon really know how to leave an impression, and it's not always a good one.
However, their 2012-13 away shirt somewhat bucks the trend. Perhaps we should give one to the lad celebrating the victory against Chelsea earlier this month, he must be terribly cold.
Let's be honest, it's miles better than that pink thing they used to have. And if that improvement in design, color and overall judgement doesn't deserve a mention in the top 10, I don't know what does.
Southampton are more prone to wearing their yellow third kit this season—seriously, what is it with all the yellow?
And I wonder if the reason behind this, is that the kit designers could be being investigated by the Society of the National Protection of Mice*. Simply because the only logical explanation of how they created those tiny red lines up and down their shirt is obviously mice on unicycles, dipped in paint.
Mice on unicycles or not, being an old-fashioned kit nerd, I do like an away shirt that mirrors the home kit. And if it was reversible, that would have been even better. Still, there's always next season.
*Please Note: No mice or unicycles were actually hurt in the making of this shirt.
8. Queens Park Rangers
Much like Queens Park Rangers' own airplane (who says Tony Fernandes doesn't spend his money wisely), the Rs' away kit has stickers and logos plastered all over it.
With mini wings on the arms and go-faster stripes on the front, QPR have created every young boy's dream.
No, not Mila Kunis on the back, but a shirt that looks like a plane. How cool is that?
Rather than gambling sites, supermarkets or mobile phone manufacturers sponsoring their football shirt, Sunderland chose Invest In Africa, a company promoting Africa as a prosperous continent. And for that, they get bonus points.
But the fact that Sunderland have chosen a shirt which makes Lee Cattermole look almost unimpeachable takes them all the way to seventh.
Who would have thought turquoise was his color?
Yes, yes, I know, I criticized the grey and black of Tottenham's shirt, yet here I am, parading Raheem Sterling up and down the footballing catwalk wearing those exact same colors.
But sometimes less is more, and the "baby bib" effect really compliments their young squad. And it will also show when Sterling spills his post-match dinner down his top, allowing him to avoid any public humiliation.
A shirt with many talents.
5. Manchester City
From Blue Moon to Maroon, this snazzy kit makes even James Milner look a million dollars—a tricky mirage to pull off.
4. Manchester United
If this were a ranking of home shirts, Manchester United's tablecloth design would be nowhere near fourth place. But their preppy collared white kit isn't half bad.
Heck, even I'd buy it. But probably from eBay. In five years time. When it isn't the price of my weekly grocery shop.
3. Stoke City
And who better to model Stoke City's kit than a tall, skinny, blonde-haired man with perfect cheekbones? Abbey Clancy has taught her better half well.
With similarities drawn between this and Barcelona's kit, Lionel Messi must sometimes watch Peter Crouch on TV and think to himself "wow, the camera really does add 12 inches."
2. Swansea City
With a nod to their country, this Swansea away kit has Wales written all over it, metaphorically.
The whole red dragon thing they have got going on is rather smart. But the Swans perhaps need to step away from the animal theme soon. Nobody wants to see a Dalmatian shirt next year. Except for maybe Cruella de Vil.
Congratulations, Arsenal, you have finally won something.
Those who laughed at Arsene Wenger putting champagne on ice eight years ago must surely feel embarrassed now.
The Gunners have topped my esteemed list with their chic purple and navy outfit. If Wenger could just send Lukas Podolski to pick up the award from my house that would be just perfect.
That shirt really brings out his eyes.