There was certainly a familiar look to the new away strip launched by Liverpool in 2008.
Having returned to adidas two years previously, the club were given a kit which referenced the grey used at the end of the 1980s and start of the 1990s, trimmed in red (it’s also a look which forms the base for the current third kit).
The retro feeling was augmented by the fact that the change goalkeeper shirt was green with white accents, this being a period when clubs still received bespoke kits for their custodians.
It was a smart outfit overall, though one would question the decision to have the Carlsberg logo and the numbers rendered in white – back in 1987, when the first grey kit was launched, the Crown Paints wordmark was initially rendered in white with a red outline before being replaced by a red one.
And it was confusion with white which caused the mashup that we look at today. Four days before Christmas, Liverpool – topping the table – went to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.
While the levels of white had been dialled down on the Gunners’ home shirt, they still had white shorts and socks and referee Howard Webb presumably was of the view that there was the potential for mistaking them with Liverpool’s grey sets.
The proposed solution was that Liverpool would wear their home shorts and socks:
Robin van Persie put Arsenal ahead but Robbie Keane equalised to ensure Liverpool remained top for Christmas. The game wasn’t the easiest watch, though, with the red shorts and shocks contributing to an overall clash.
Given that Liverpool travelled south with the red items, one must assume that they were notified of the change in advance, but if that was the case, the green third shirt would surely have been a better option.
That had black shorts and white socks, though there were green change socks available, and they appeared at Stoke City just under three weeks after the Arsenal game.
This Saturday, Liverpool go to Arsenal again, but one would expect the purple second kit to get its first league airing rather than the grey third kit being used.