Ever heard the saying that what you wear can affect your performance?There is a reason why high-powered city folks dress and look like a million bucks; probably because many are earning millions, but aside from that, dressing in a sharp, luxurious suit, is empowering. Dressing this way also puts them in the right frame of mind to tackle whatever comes their way, and to make smart decisions.
It’s the same for footballers. Yes, ultimately it’s what an individual player can accomplish in tandem with the talent on the team that determines their level of success, but their kit (the uniform they wear) can also have an impact. A lot of you may be cynical, but psychologists reckon that the right kit can improve performances – even if it’s by 0.0001%, it’s still worth it.
Invest in the right shirt, the right jersey, and it could positively affect a player’s performance. It also makes sense from a business point of view; a slick looking football jersey will send the club’s merchandise sales through the roof.
But not every team has got it right. Over the years there have been some absolute shockers – God knows what the kit manufacturers and design teams were thinking when they put together the ghastly attire featured below. Every team currently in the Premier League has a jersey they’d like to forget. In fact, they’d like to burn the jersey along with all the photos and footage of their players in it; but they haven't, and we will take a look at the worst jerseys of every team currently in the PL.
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21 Arsenal: away shirt - 1991-93
If anyone reading this has photosensitive epilepsy I hope you managed to divert your eyes away from the picture in time. This shirt should come with a warning even for people without epilepsy because looking at it for too long could result in serious headaches or migraines. God knows how the Arsenal fans managed to put up with it for two years, forced to watch their favorite players look like neon honey bees.
The black and yellow horizontal stripes intermix to make bigger stripes in a kind of "z" like fashion –Although fashion’s a bad word to describe this shirt..
Quite a few teams around the world have used these colors and style, but very few have managed to pull it off. Arsenal was not one of them.
20 Bournemouth: away shirt 1993-94
Wow! The Bournemouth away kit really included a horrid shirt, one of the worst ever, and definitely deserves a place on this list.
Again, it was a design of the 1990s, although it’s so bad it was probably a fashion faux pas even then. We’ve said some of the designs of the 1990s are like the design team got their inspiration from curtains or wallpaper. But look at this shirt, would you want this design incorporated into your curtains? Everything’s wrong about this design, the color scheme, the pattern and the overall design is just ridiculous. Thankfully Bournemouth weren’t making waves in football at the time, otherwise they’d have been subjected to even more ridicule. Thankfully this horrible ensemble lasted just one season.
19 Burnley: away shirt 1993-94
Thankfully this jersey wasn’t worn too many times. It was released by the club in order to celebrate one of the biggest accomplishments for the club, when they reached the playoffs at Wembley Stadium. But they could have released something better to remember such a major success, instead fans were shelling out extortionate sums of cash to get their hands on that. For fans to remember such a major event in their club’s history, they’ll be looking at that shirt and thinking, why...why.
It’s certainly a vintage shirt; not vintage in a classic sense, but vintage in an ugly sense. The thick vertical white and yellow stripes going down the length of the shirt, separated by fuzzy black stripes doesn’t make it pop at all – sometimes simple is better.
18 Chelsea: away shirt - 1994-96
Yuck – some people may call it a classic, or even retro, but the majority of you guys will surely agree that this kit is best described as just tacky. It’s the design but also the greyness of it all that’s just so unappealing. It’s as if the design team thought, "okay, grey is the way we want to go, let’s just make everything grey but we need to jazz it up a bit...oh I know let’s add a few stripes.”
So, that’s essentially what Chelsea – one of the biggest clubs in the PL ended up wearing away fixtures between 1994 and 1996 that looked like a sweatshirt. A grey shirt with a few grey stripes at the top, and just for a dash of color, some orange at the sides – just for the hell of it.
17 Crystal Palace: goalkeeper jersey 1994-95
Why do teams subject their keepers to having to wear the most awful jerseys? We could probably do a whole other list based purely on ridiculing the awful goalkeeper jerseys we’ve seen over the years. This Crystal Palace goalkeeper jersey rightfully makes this list. It’s a yellowy orangey thing with a few bits of black – a real mish mash of color. It’s certainly a contender for one of the worst goalkeeping kits of all time.
The Eagles weren’t soaring during the time of this jersey. They were actually relegated during that season with an abysmal points tally. The following season things began to pick up and they quickly gained promotion to the PL again. It coincided with the time they flashed that shirt (just saying).
16 Everton: away shirt - 2010-11
Real men wear pink – that’s a saying you’ve probably all heard before, but it doesn’t have to be the only color on a football shirt. Not just pink either, bright fluorescent and eye deafening pink.
A touch of pink is acceptable, perhaps a darker shade of pink, but Everton’s away kit during the 2010-11 season was a tad overboard.
Thank goodness it was their away kit and we didn’t have to see the team at Goodison Park in that shirt – the players would have been ripped to shreds had they stepped out in that kit in Merseyside. We know they'd never have heard the end of it from their Liverpudlian neighbours and fiercest rivals.
One thing’s for sure, Everton wouldn’t have had to worry about potential color clashes when playing away from home.
15 Hull City: home shirt 1992-93
Hull City are known as the Tigers, so in this respect at least the shirt’s design had some relevance, but they definitely went overboard with the whole tiger theme. The 1992-93 home jersey looked like some form of fancy dress – it’s as if they actually skinned a tiger and printed the stripe patterns on the jersey. If anyone didn’t know that Hull were nicknamed the Tigers, they’d certainly have figured it out after seeing their players in those jerseys!
It’s not just us that think this is one of the worst shirts in history. Many corners of the media and various polls have deemed this to be a monstrosity – one of the worst football shirts ever!
Thankfully today they’ve simmered down on the tiger stripes. The stripes are still there, and so is the color scheme, but it’s just a few vertical stripes as opposed to a migraine-inducing mish-mash of tiger-like stripes and patterns.
14 Leicester City: goalkeeper jersey 2014-15
This Puma goalkeeper’s jersey was bright pink – and it didn’t work. The Foxes play in blue; the champions are recognized for wearing that sky-blue jersey with their stadium’s name emblazoned across the front. Bright pink, even for a goalkeeper is pushing it a bit too far – especially for Leicester who usually keep it quite safe and simple with their kit designs.
Leicester’s shirt designs usually work. They’re minimalistic with their club’s logo, stadium’s name, and the name of their sponsor. It certainly works, proving that simple is sometimes best. But they got it wrong with the bright pink in 2014-15.
The season marked their return to the PL after a decade-long absence. They were battling against regulation for much of the season, until a remarkable run of form at the right time meant they were assured of safety. We all know what happened the next season – arguably the biggest shock in PL history, as the Foxes went on to claim the PL Title.
13 Liverpool: away goalkeeper jersey 1995-97
Here’s yet another godawful goalkeeper’s jersey from the 1990s. You’ve got to feel sorry for the keepers that were around during that era. They were dressed up – seemingly by idiots in the dark – and had to deal with it, while still trying to look like professional footballers.
We’ve gone through some pretty awful goalkeeper jerseys, but this one has to be up there. Sponsored by Adidas and Carlsberg. perhaps the kit designers had a bit too much of their sponsor’s product, because this jersey looked as if it was designed by a child. Yellow, orange, white and black, different patterns in different areas of the shirt – the whole thing is just another mish-mash of different awful design ideas which definitely didn’t work, even if it was in the 1900s.
12 Man City: Wembley 99 Play-off final shirt
Those attending Man City’s famous match at Wembley in 1999 were urged to buy this shirt to show support for their team. The team wore the jersey thanks to a terrific goal scoring spell by Shaun Goater; he scored the vital goal to beat Wigan in the semi-final which sent City to Wembley. They ended up prevailing and got promoted. The only thing the City boys would want to forget about that night is that horrific shirt.
The official Man City Shop website states the shirt is “styled with yellow and black contrast stripes for a stand out look.” It’s a stand out look all right – you can’t avert your eyes from that striped monstrosity, but not in a good way. It didn’t do the City boys any harm that night, but it would have been better if they got promoted in style.
11 Man United goalkeeper jersey - 1993-94
Wow, this is an assault on the eyes. Thankfully only the keeper wore this jersey and not the other 11 players. Maybe their thinking was to confuse the strikers with all that color, all those stripes. It must have helped Peter Schmeichel in goal when faced with a penalty, as penalty takers must have been transfixed but at the same time disgusted by all that color.
Seriously, what were Man United thinking? They’re yet another team who had a thing for stripes during the 1990s. A white shirt with lines of blue, yellow and black – that pretty much sums it up. The jersey feaures an awful color scheme and one that Schmeichel would definitely want to forget. As you may have noticed by now, it wasn't a fashionable era to be a goalkeeper.
10 Middlesbrough: away shirt 1996-97
Why is it that it’s mostly the away shirts that have the most horrific colors and designs? It’s as if the various departments involved in the designing process think that they’d better spend all their time, effort and cash getting the home kits right. Almost like they want the players to look good and proper in front of their home fans, and then leave the away kits as an afterthought.
Middlesbrough had a terrible away shirt in 1996-97. It’s essentially a white shirt with a little cross going on down one side. The cross-like design is made up of a blue pattern, something that might have been fashionable as a curtain design during the mid-1990s. Cellnet would’ve been one of only a few companies to have not minded being displayed across that shirt.
9 Southampton: third kit 1991
Bright yellow – so bright it hurts your eyes – it’s always going to be bad shirt color choice. Southampton’s third kit in 1991 was questionable to say the least. It’s as if they ran out of ideas after designing the two most important kits for the 1991 season – the kits that were going to be worn the most – then just went with any old idea for the third kit. At least it was the third kit, which meant the players didn’t have to don those yellow flames too much that season.
The yellow shirt was ridiculous, but so was the entire kit; that yellow shirt with white shorts and socks - a color clash of an epic scale. They actually had a blue version of the kit which was quite good; they should have just stuck with that in 1991.
8 Stoke City: away shirt 1992-93
Stoke City, a team synonymous with those red and white jerseys we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the years, actually once wore purple. Granted it was their away kit, but even so, it seemed like a totally alien color to Stoke City.
Purple isn’t great on a football shirt – even today you rarely see a team that wears all purple. It’s risky trying to pull off designing a purple football shirt, and in Stoke’s case, it certainly didn’t work. Perhaps if it was just purple with the team’s logo it could have worked. But of course, with it being the 90s, it had to be jazzed up a bit. Different shades of purple stripes separated by a touch of white – it just didn’t work.
7 Sunderland: goalkeeper jersey 1994-96
Wow – look at this kit and you’ll probably be speechless, and not in a good, wow that’s amazing way. We’ve already mentioned that goalkeepers had it tough when it came to wearing pretty nasty shirt designs. But this is taking the biscuit. The shirt designers were really not trying when it came to designing this jersey, and judging by the end result, it’s safe to guess that many actually were upset that they had to stare at this thing.
They picked the most lucid colors; they didn’t need a fashion guru to tell them that it just didn’t work. It’s as if each of the designers made their own shirts. Then they couldn’t settle on a design so they decided to incorporate all their ideas and form an utter monstrosity of a shirt.
6 Swansea: away kit 2015-16
In 2015, Swansea released their new away kit for the upcoming season. It was already the subject of ridicule before the Welsh side took to the pitch. The vivid bright green change strip was a far cry from the club’s traditional colors. With Adidas as the club’s new sponsors on board, Swansea decided that a change was in order, but I don’t think anyone envisaged the outcome. To pick out some positives, at least the entire jersey isn’t green – gives our eyes a bit of a break.
The jersey didn’t give them a great deal of success. They finished in the lower half of the PL table in that campaign – in 12th place – and ended up going through three different managers in the process. Their away form was pretty dire too; this season they’ve binned the lime green but it hasn’t changed their fortunes. They’re stone cold last in the PL, have an awful record on their travels, and relegation seems to be an inevitability.
5 Tottenham: away shirt 2014-15
Think of Spurs and you normally think of white; white shirts for White Hart Lane. Tottenham’s away kit is totally different, as of course it’s meant to be. Being different doesn’t necessarily mean the shirt’s bad though. Over the years there have actually been quite a few classic designs, often blue (either dark blue or light blue) with the club’s logo and sponsor emblazoned on the front. Their current away kit’s pretty decent, although pretty retro – but it works.
But what was the club thinking in 2014? Getting their players to dress up like yellow canaries was certainly a bad decision, not one of the brightest – excuse the pun. Thankfully they’ve rectified the issue and hopefully that bright yellow away jersey doesn’t make a comeback.
4 Watford home shirt 2015-16
Watford isn't the best team in the PL, which is probably why they subjected their player to wearing this jersey – to make them stand out a little. It certainly makes them stand out, like a swarm of bumble bees buzzing about aimlessly in a field – that just about sums up their football actually.
The yellow and black color scheme has been done already – there’s not a lot of imagination there. Those stripy home jerseys are a real effort to look at. The shirt’s ghastly but it does fit in with Watford’s colors. They’re known as the Hornets and the Yellow Army, so I suppose in that respect, the shirt is acceptable. Watford might be hornets but they certainly don’t sting when they’re cornered, but maybe they can daze you with these horrid jerseys.
3 West Brom: away shirt 1993-94
Again, it’s another case of the stripes. West Brom’s 1993-94 shirt was worn when the team were on the road, and it certainly didn’t bring them much luck as they had a tough and pretty disastrous campaign that season. The side was knees deep in a relegation battle for the majority of the season – a battle that went down to the wire. They managed to hang on in Division One by the skin of their teeth due to having a superior goal difference.
We’ve touched upon how what you wear can increase your morale; this green and yellow stripy mess didn’t do them any favors in that aspect. The jersey looked more like something a jockey would wear rather than a team of footballers – thankfully it was only around for that one season.
2 West Ham: away shirt 1991-92
Thankfully this shirt was only worn for the one season. It resembles something you’d wear to bed, not take to the field with in front of thousands of fans.
West Ham were already an established club by the early '90s. They’d gained a huge fan following and were the pride of the East End of London. But not many fans would’ve been proud of this attire; the club’s sponsor at the time, BAC Windows couldn’t have been best pleased either.
Their away shirt today is far better. It’s much simpler, sharper, but looking at it you’ll still be able to tell it’s West Ham. The blue and white striped shirt of 1991-92 bore no resemblance to The Hammers; no wonder it was discontinued after the one season.
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