Posts Tagged ‘ Feyenoord ’

Ajax, the Dutch, the War

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Ajax, the Dutch, the War, Simon Kuper

This book was enjoyable but I think would have gotten more out of it if I had a better knowledge of World War II and the cultural and political happenings of the Netherlands and Europe. The relationship with the Jews for the Europeans generally and some soccer clubs specifically, is a large part of book. Again I don’t have a good understanding on this topic. Finally, a deeper familiarity with the histories of Feyenoord and Ajax would have allowed those passages to have made more sense. Having said all that, I did learn a lot, including the fact that soccer did exist during the war, which surprised me.

Whereas Dynamo was more of a linear story about a specific story line of the war, Kuper bounces around Holland and Europe to share his information and interviews. The delineation between good and evil is explored and challenges the reader. My favorite part of the book was anecdotes about various players attempting to keep playing football during the war either by changing their identity or escaping or negotiating with Nazis.

Kuper’s prose tells a tale of a very dark time in human history, and the book is worth reading because it gives a greater context to the influence of World War II on the game, the Netherlands, and football clubs in that country.

Kit Preview 15/16

Another year, another set of kits. For this year’s edition, I executed a two prong attack—a podcast looking at EPL kits and a few others from around the world, and my usual post grabbing strips for the upcoming season and commenting on them. This is by no means comprehensive and I am looking forward to suggestions and comments from readers. Here we go.

Let’s start in South America. This is a region of the soccer world that I know very little about in terms of history and kit design. Think I might recognize Vasco shirt and of course the iconic Santos home shirt.

This shirt from Nike for Coritiba jumped out at me. With the crest centered in the chest, it reminded me of the US shirts of mid-90’s, plus it has a nice, rich green.

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(Courtesy Football Fashion)

Another manufacturer that went with the centered crest and horizontal bands was Under Armour for Sao Paolo. Not sure about the collar but the rest looks good.

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(Courtesy Football Fashion)

The Scottish Premier League is another league I don’t follow that much, but I came across these kits when reviewing shirts for the upcoming season. The home shirt of Hearts really caught my attention, with a rich maroon and classy v neck collar, proving that once in a while, Puma gets it right. Love the fact that the away strip is just a reverse of the home kit.

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(Courtesy Football Fashion)

Then there’s this. WTF? What’s worse? The shirts and shorts or the player’s haircut? I await your comments.

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(Courtesy Football Fashion)

My favorite SEC team is the Florida Gators and now I can support them with this smart shirt with a vivid orange trimming a rich, deep blue. . . said nobody ever. This is one of the first shirts I saw for the upcoming season and I couldn’t believe it. I need a Dutch footy fan to explain this one to me. The shirt isn’t too bad but I don’t associate this color scheme with Feyenoord and the crest really clashes with the design.

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(Courtesy Football Fashion)

The FCB Centenary shirt is one of my favorite shirts of all time and this shirt for FC Basel has similar elements but for some reason doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s the black. Maybe it’s the black rib panels. Maybe it’s the hem around the waist. Something is not quite clicking.

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(Courtesy Footy Headlines)

German kits for the most part look pretty good for the upcoming season. The set from Hertha Berlin was quite sharp, with a simple vertical blue/white strip with red trim for the home shirt, a navy blue shirt with the blue accents for the away, and a bold red shirt for the third strip.

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(Courtesy Footy Headlines)

I also came across the set for Augsburg, where Nike took the narrow pin striping down one side of the jersey and added it to modern shirts.

fc-augsburg-15-16-kits

(Courtesy Footy Headlines)

Over in France, Nike produced a stunning set for PSG. I absolutely love the two tone home jersey, using a dark navy blue for the shoulders and shorts and socks, which goes well with the slightly lighter navy blue body of the shirt. The iconic red vertical strip is narrower than I can remember and creates a wonderful shirt. The all white away strip is quite nice as well as the all black third.

PSG-15-16-Home-Kit (1)

(Courtesy Footy Headlines)

Finally, I love this shirt for Galatasaray. The black shirt, which is a great starting point, has a simple ring collar, no ridiculous bands on the sleeves and is accented with the club colors along the rib and under the arms. The pinstripes are the final touch and make for a fantastic shirt. I give Nike shit all the time but they got this one totally right.

Nike-Galatasaray-15-16-Kit (5)

(Courtesy Footy Headlines)

So those are the ones that caught my eye. If you want to see more, I encourage you to visit the following sites. . .

Football Fashion

Football Kit News

Football Shirt Culture

Footy Headlines

Quality posts, great pictures and a wide selection on offer.

Strip Club–Best (and Worst) of 2014/15

Over the last couple of years I have done some sort of post focusing on the best and worst kits for the upcoming season, and this year is no different.  The 2014/15 campaign has started and I’ve tried to cast my net pretty wide, looking at shirts from as many leagues as possible.  Here is a sampling of what I found.

First, the worst.

Porto switched to Warrior for the upcoming season and after horrific designs for Liverpool (and mixed results for Sevilla), my expectations were low.  And Warrior didn’t disappoint.

The Home shirt is fine.  Standard blue and white vertical stripes, featuring 11 subtle sublimation lines that score the bold blue stripes, representing the 11 players on the pitch. These divide the blue stripes in 12, representing the 12th player, FC Porto’s supporters. (Courtesy Football Fashion).

The Away and Third shirts are eye sores.  The Away shirt uses some sort of camoflauge pattern, which has creeped into kit design (Napoli and Everton come to mind).  It’s distracting and takes away from a shade of navy blue.

As for the Third shirt, Warrior went with a pink hue that bolsters the flamboyant footballing style that the two-time European Champions are known for. The firm believes that it has designed a kit that breaks with convention while harnessing FC Porto’s unbridled passion. (Courtesy Football Fashion)

Warrior still has a long way to go, although they are way ahead in the race to push the boundaries.

(Photo courtesy of Footy Headlines)

Pete Nowakowski‎ (@petenowakowski) brought to my attention the set of jerseys that Wolfsburg will be wearing this season.  The European kit is especially atrocious.  Kappa created kits that use a X-shape, which the team states, is meant to represent Wolfsburg’s self-confidence and will to win. (Courtesy Football Fashion)  Have to say go with the obvious and say X does not mark the spot for this kit. (Photo courtesy of Football Fashion)

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Finally there is Blackburn Rovers.  The shirt has come under some criticism because it is not the typical royal blue but instead Nike used a much lighter shade of blue, which is officially called University Blue. Blackburn previously had worn a white / light blue home shirt between 1990-1992 and in the early years of the club. (Courtesy Footy Headlines)  But the real problem with the kit is the commercial used to launch it, #birdysdate.  Beware: it’s awkward and awful.

Now for the best

Nike has taken the sash that has been a recent trend in kit design and added it to the Zenit Away kit. The result is a simple shirt with a hint of flair, using something that I have not seen—the two tone sash.   The bottom half is the marine blue of the home kit with the top half a slightly darker blue. These colors are also used in the collar. Football Fashion provided this additional note: According to the club’s website: The new away kit has a contrasting stripe, similar to the belt that decorated the army uniforms of Peter the Great’s army. Overall very sharp.  (Photo courtesy of Footy Headlines)

Adidas is using the sash as well, adding it to the Anderlecht Home shirt. I’m not familiar with Anderlecht kits but know that the rich purple is the one of the main colors of the club. Typically the home shirts are white with purple accenting but for this season, adidas inverted the colors. I think this shirt works with the sash bringing attention to the club badge.  (Photo courtesy of Football Fashion).

Anderlecht-14-15-Home-Kit

The Leeds United kit came to my attention as I read The Damned United again this summer. Their iconic all white home kit, introduced in 1961 by coach Don Revie in hopes of emulating Spanish side Real Madrid, is subtly accented by the yellow and royal blue of the club. What really interested me about this shirt was the collar. Rides slightly high up the neck and is a unique design to me, with a notch at the throat area. Like the look of this shirt and maybe one day this storied club will return to the Premier League.  (Photo courtesy of Footy Headlines)

Feyenoord’s iconic home halved kit gets some nice touches with opposite colored sleeves and black stripes along the shoulders. This shirt gets an updated OPEL logo at the center of the shirt and the color of the logo goes well with the shirt.  (Photo courtesy of Football Headlines)

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The checkered sleeves of the Fortuna Dusseldorf Home shirt grabbed me and these added an element of style to an otherwise straightforward shirt. What an interesting badge as well. I don’t speak German but the official name of the club is Düsseldorfer Turn-und Sportverein Fortuna 1895. Fortuna was the goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion. (Thanks Wikipedia!) I might keep an eye out for this one at the end of the season and pick it up on clearance.  (Photo courtesy of Football Fashion)

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The Celtic Away shirts have been not to my liking the last couple of seasons, with the all black strip of 2012/13 being the exception, but this one caught my attention. I usually don’t go for green shirts but the dark, rich green is accented by several different colors. From Football Fashion: The new Bhoys’ away shirt features an enlarged graphic of the Celtic tartan on its front to reflect the club’s Scottish heritage. Gold-infused horizontal and vertical lines from the tartan run through the club crest to replicate the Celtic cross. Gold also appears as trim at the neck and sleeve areas. The entire strip is sharp and might be worth adding to a collection.  (Photo courtesy of Football Fashion)

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Then there’s the Real Madrid Away strip. I don’t know where to put this one. Obviously there is the color of the kit, which Football Fashion called a vibrant pink. Much different than the pink of Palermo and of Juve’s away kit from a couple of years ago. Then there is the collar, which is using the button that seems to be popular at the moment. Footy Headlines called it a classical henley collar. Think I will have to wait to see this in person on TV.  (Photo courtesy Footy Headlines).

Real Madrid 14-15 Away Kit (1)

So that’s a random selection of this year’s shirts for the upcoming season.  There are hundreds of kits from all over the world, but I only have so much time.  Doing research I realized how much access fans have to kits worldwide.  It used to be just a Eurosport magazine, showing uniforms of big European teams.  Now strips from almost every team in at least the top division in the major leagues in Europe can be seen if you look hard enough. These are the ones that jumped out to me.  If you want to see more, visit the following sites.

Football Fashion

Football Kit News

Football Shirt Culture

Footy Headlines

Quality posts, great pictures and a wide selection on offer.