The ethical uproar that shortly followed the news of Wonga sealing a £24 million four-year shirt sponsorship, somewhat glossed over the hype of the new kit. Arguably, you could say the smart away strip eased the inevitable pressure and criticism the home kit would face. Yet as the sale date slowly makes it’s way around the everlasting per-season corner, the question that plays on every fans mind is asked again: Do I fork out another 50 quid on an average at best home top?
Newcastle fans have been left hanging, as Ashley used the commercial window of Sky Sports News’ 92Live to unveil their home kit, becoming the final PL side to do so. The club are also holding out on the sale date, waiting until the first home game on the 22nd of August, when we host West Ham.
The fact there has been a few weeks between the reveal and sale of the kit allows time for the strip to win over fans. We all know someone who complains about the state of the new top constantly, buys it and then explains that “It grew on them”. If you don’t, it’s probably you.
In comparison to the mock ups, the final product isn’t as disastrous as it could have been. But then it isn’t exactly as unique as it could have been either. The blue and gold trim add a certain amount of individuality, however it doesn’t exactly stand out as one of the best home kits in recent years.
The gold shoulder slashes in the fake strip above (similar to the light blue slash on the away top) would have mixed it up a bit and given the shirt something about it, giving it that individuality every fan looks for in a top. The combination of blue and gold stripe trims and a gold collarbone trim would have added a bit more, to the somewhat bland top. Puma haven’t strayed too far away from their King template, with the purpose of their stripped collar piece being anyone’s guess, yet they have accommodated the black and white stripes well, with the trim colours complementing the badge.
With many still craving the return of Adidas, Puma was always facing an uphill task winning fans over with the controversial Wonga logo slapped across the front of their latest Newcastle kit. The return of a stitched crest would certainly see a lot more get on board. Not fully out of their capabilities, the kit designed for the recent friendly against Braga, to mark Sir Bobby Robson Day, seemed to hit the right notes with fans.
With mixed reviews from it’s release at the start of the month, it seems Cisse won’t be the only one reluctant to pull on the new home shirt.