There is a new episode of The Football Kit Podcast out today – click here to listen, with any feedback welcomed by me and my co-presenters, Les Motherby and Gavin Hope.
The topic at hand is goalkeeper kits – not necessarily our favourites but what we like and dislike in terms of stylistic approach – ‘You’re a Keeper’ for the good ones and ‘No Saving That’ for the bad.
Perhaps controversially, Gav put his head above the parapet to say he didn’t like when goalkeepers wore the same shorts and socks as the rest of the team – something that was the case in England until 1993 and is often cited by kit enthusiasts as something they would like to see return. His argument was that it created a disconnect in terms of the goalkeeper’s full outfit.
However, My own ‘You’re a Keeper’ was in essence a solution to that problem as it revolved around goalkeeper kits that tie in with what the outfielders are wearing, either in terms of the same palette – like so many countries at the 1998 World Cup – or the same design, like Switzerland in the early 1990s. In 2016-17, Manchester United ticked that box to good effect.
While the new first-choice shirt was not a great design in my opinion, using a halved design in two shades of red, there was some consolation with the all-black goalkeeper top, trimmed in red – this was a time when adidas’s major clubs and countries would have a bespoke colour-scheme for one of their keeper kits.
The socks worn by David de Gea with that kit were exactly the same as the outfield set and the shorts were those used by United away to clubs in white shorts – though with the torso stripes on the red shirt, white would have been a better accent choice on the black set.
Fortunately for the traditionalists, there was one occasion where the stars aligned – away to Celta Vigo in the semi-final of their successful Europa League campaign, back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero was in the all-black while the team-mates wore the black shorts, too.