Twice as Nice – Southampton, 2012-13
- Thanks to David Breach for his assistance
The 2020-21 Southampton home kit won’t be striped and, instead, will feature a red shirt with a white sash.
The third strip will be a reversal, albeit with the sash going in the opposite direction, and such a state of affairs calls to mind the 2012-13 campaign. Back then the absence of stripes – or, more accurately, the presence of pinstripes – allowed for the home and away kits to create a striped pattern in advertising material.
The inference was that, home or away, they would technically be in red and white stripes, but the reality didn’t bear that out. At St Mary’s, the all-red first strip made the Saints look unfamiliar but, when a clash arose on the road, the white strip wasn’t called on as much as expected.
Southampton’s first away game against a team in red was in September at Arsenal, whose large quantities of white prevented the away kit from being used. Instead, the Brazil-style third – the 2011-12 away – was worn with blue alternative socks. It would be used in its default format at West Ham United the following month.
The white could easily have been used at Upton Park – with red shorts if necessary – but it wouldn’t see game-time until the defeat at Liverpool in December. Later that month, the third was logically called on for the game at Stoke City. One theory put forward by our friend David Breach is that, because the red home strip was non-traditional, the club were trying to appease fans with the use of the yellow and blue outfit, given its positive history.
Perhaps because of the white strip’s under-utilisation, Southampton decided to register it as their home kit for the FA Cup. Unfortunately, while they were drawn to host Chelsea, the game ended in a 5-1 loss and that scoreline was presumably a factor in it being shelved after that.
A week after the Chelsea game, the yellow was worn at Villa Park and also at Old Trafford later in January, as well as the penultimate game of the season away to Sunderland, when it would have been required anyway.
Southampton have yet to announce what the 2020-21 second kit colour will be – we shall be watching to see how often they end up wearing the white strip.