The 2012/13 home kit : Some early thoughts

The 2012/13 adidas home kit was revealed at 6am this morning, and HCK’s JGHull and SombreEthyl forwent another hour in bed and battled eye-blear to offer their initial thoughts…


I’m finding it hard to get overly excited by the new kit as it follows a template, the adidas Autheno 12 design.

I probably feel that way fundamentally because I’m a stripes man and this is a plain shirt, but also because this kit’s template exists on sportswear sites for Sunday League teams (such as here for example, thankfully it isn’t available in  amber and black) means it feels a bit less special somehow.

I’m pleased the sponsor is ‘cut out’ and whilst I wish we had a different sponsor,  it looks as good as it can do with the same ‘cut out’ applied to last year’s away shirt (eventually). The sponsors patch is bigger this year but the lack of patch means the new size probably won’t be noticed by most. The collar on the kit is a V which is better than any flappy collar or round neck but it might just be a bit too chunky. Whilst not as pronounced as the Liverpool kits of the mid 1990s (also made by adidas), it looks quite “fat”. Hopefully it’s one of those things that look better in the flesh.

The shorts don’t appear to be massively different although I suspect they are subtly somehow to ensure supporters want to update to the latest ones. I wonder if we’ve got any amber change shorts this time out?

One highlight for me is the amber socks – they simply look better than black! In saying that, I suspect with the away kit being black, we’ll match away socks with home shirt at some point in the season. I’m really looking forward to seeing the away kit.

Will I be buying one? I’ll not be at the front of the queue but suspect I’ll pick one up at some point – I’m a kit geek and *need* one – but at the moment, I’m not sure this shirt will ever be properly loved.


Typical, I bemoan us using the same template as Stoke two years in a row, then when we don’t, Stoke unveil a gorgeous design I’d be happy to see reproduced in amber and black.

I would have preferred stripes again but given that 6 out of the last 8 home shirts have been striped maybe it is time for plain shirt proponents to get their way this time.

When I first saw it I thought it looked like the Starfleet uniform Worf, Data and Geordi wore in Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s a design I’m warming to though, even if I find the sponsor too unpalatable to wear myself. Maybe I could boil wash the sponsor wordmark off, it certainly looks easier to remove than the monstrous patch on last years home shirt and I’m thankful we’ve not made the same mistake twice.

I’m not as sniffy as some about templates because I think most kits have followed templates to some extent, Wolves and City wore pretty much the same kits in the late 50s, the 60s and 70s. Most adidas 80s kits we consider classics now were the same basic kits in different colours or with different team specific detail. France ’84? Ipswich just added a sponsor and a horse. Holland ’88? The Soviets wore the same shirt in red and later West Germany wore a green version, template use is far from a modern phenomenon. I don’t like City consecutively using the same template as another side but does it bother me that Middlesbrough use this design for their away kit? Not in the slightest.

The announcement that a fan who takes a photo of themselves wearing the new shirt will get a squad number made me roll my eyes. A few years ago Bryan Hughes had his wages doubled but was told months later he’d not even get a squad number, now you can get one by spending £45 and posing for a picture, squad numbers have lost their cachet it seems. It perplexes me that the club don’t use adidas to organise launches more than they do.

Sponsor aside, this is a decent enough kit. I like the use of amber socks to brighten up the overall kit, they had to be really since the away kit is going to be all black and presumably there will be amber alternate shorts again that will be interchangeable with both home and away shirts. For the last two years adidas have done a better job with the away kit than the home and I think that will prove true for a third time when we see the change kit, but this home kit is alright, and I think it’ll grow on me.

The liked and loathed list 2011

 What did you like about City kits in 2011?

JGHull: I *heart* the all amber strip that has been used away this season. My little boy has the white away strip from last year and the full kit looks ace. Under used and under appreciated that strip.

SombreEthyl: I really liked the white away kit from last season too, I think adidas have done a better job with away kits for City than homes overall, I like this years Argentina blue shirt and the navy alternate shorts were a nice surprise. Using amber shorts and socks with a home shirt when away isn’t new, but this years version looks better than all the others, I’d love a pair of those amber shorts.

 What did you loathe about City kits in 2011?

JGHull: Whilst the sponsor was contentious, I think the lack of foresight as to how their logo would appear on the striped home shirt was a bigger issue and being honest, a bit of a clanger. At least the away shirt sponsor was applied properly – in the end.

SombreEthyl: That black sponsor patch on this years home shirt is just awful. I’m not impressed by the calibre of the company sponsoring us, regardless of how much they paid, but even letting that go, they didn’t need to ruin what is a better home shirt than the one it replaced. The yellow undershirts worn with short sleeve jerseys irritate me, I wish players would just wear long sleeved jerseys, and I didn’t like the constant mixing of bits of home and away kit last season.

What other kits have you liked in 2011?

JGHull: Inter Milan away, River Plate away, a splendid kit from Adidas for the Chelsea third strip, the newly released Germany kits (both) for use at Euro 2012 and the away kit Sweden wore at Wembley. As you can see I have a thing for contrast sashes on shirts, although I’d have moved the details of the fixture on the chest into the sash below the double diamond branding.

SombreEthyl: Initially I wasn’t keen on AC Milan’s thin stripes, but now I love that shirt. I agree about Germany’s kits, that green away shirt is gorgeous. Umbro have been consistently good the last few years, the current Peru shirt is delicious, Sweden away rather lovely, and I like the navy England away shirt and respect the brave choice to go away from red. Coventry’s retro kit is lovely, it deserves to be worn by a better side, and Darlington’s Errea home shirt is uncharacteristically good.

What other kits have you loathed in 2011?

JGHull: There are a few in the MLS which make me feel a bit “kit sick”. New York Red Bulls take branding to a whole new, and unacceptable, level and as someone who owns a few LA Galaxy bits of kit, the new kit is ruined by a horizontal yellow pipe across the collarbones. Not quite sure what Adidas were thinking there.

SombreEthyl: Nike have produced a few horrors this year, that Barcelona shirt with the stripes that change width is rank, I don’t like the fuzzy striped Juventus shirt either. My estimation of Puma kits is quite low, but even by their standards they messed up Newcastle’s home shirt, it’s ‘orrible!

Hopes for 2012?

JGHull: I’m looking forward to seeing what Umbro come up with for the Euro 2012 challenge with the England kit hopefully being more than just subtle changes as per the last home kit release. I’d imagine it’ll continue on Umbro’s “retro” theme (see Manchester City) but would be nice for it to be visibly different from the last couple. City to remain in stripes please, coupled with an all white away kit (it’s white’s turn for 2012/13!)

SombreEthyl: That Cash Converters go bust, voiding their deal with City. Failing that, Tiger Leisure releasing an unsponsored batch of replicas would be nice. Using Milan’s template for the 2012/13 home kit shirt be ok with me, as would using the Germany away kit for City’s change duds, we could sing the “who sometimes play in green” bit of ‘Black and amber team’ again.  England need to drop the lighter shade of blue for the shorts, back to navy for the Euro 2012 kit please, and Puma, please, please, don’t make Borussia Dortmund look ridiculous.