But, before we get to all the wheelings and dealings that may or may not be taking place, allow me take a quick detour to discuss Liverpool’s newest kits.
Released on Thursday, but having been posted on numerous sites across the Internet for quite some time, adidas and LFC officially unveiled the new away kit. Although I rather liked last season’s fire engine yellow (a subtle nod to the Spanish national kit, I thought), swapping it for white (again) is not necessarily a bad move. The problem is, we ended up with training gear passed off as a proper kit.
The white shirt with red accents looks sharp, but is ruined by the red arches (or whatever the fuck those are… maybe they’re supposed to be Liverbirds?) emanating from the armpit to the shoulder with the ‘tails’ wrapping around the stomach. I’m used to (and reluctantly accepting of) these types of designs on shorts (and lucky us, the design has been incorporated in our new ones), but shirts should be held to a higher standard.
That is to say, they shouldn’t be ass-ugly.
I will concede that this type of design is currently in vogue with most manufacturers, but I see no reason why Rick Parry and the new owners can’t or won’t demand a kit that isn’t derivative of an existing adidas template or drawn up by a mildly retarded intern. And, while I will also cop to being a bit of a traditionalist that favors cleaner, more retro-looking shirts, this new offering is an utter travesty.
To be fair, not everybody hates it. Amanda at YNBA stands in the minority. Just don’t ask her about the ‘keeper’s kit.
Anyhow, if you’re itching to piss away your hard-earned money on these new eyesores or just want a closer look at all the newest offerings, here’s a glance through the official site. (though I highly recommend buying your kits off an Asian eBay seller… much less expensive!)
So, considering that the away kit had been leaked for ages (and won’t be officially unveiled for weeks), one can only assume that the leaked third/European kit is just as authentic, which is equally, if not more, unfortunate.
Let me preface this by saying I like the ‘Back in Black’ look. I thought the 2002 away kit was sleek enough and when rumors surfaced that we were getting another black shirt, I was genuinely excited. Black can look bad-ass and I’ve been partial to it since my high school team wore all black my senior season. Years later, I even lobbied my beer league team in Wilmington to buy black Squadra jerseys which worked out real well in the oppressively hot beach climate.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get ‘bad-ass’. Instead, we got just ass.
At least the white away jersey had a sense of symmetry to its ugliness. But this amateurish attempt incorporates a red snake/slash with clashing white adidas stripes. And what’s going on with that collar? White and red, together, living in perfect harmony? Horrible. And not least of all, the black looks faded, like charcoal.
As the guys from In Living Color‘s ‘Men on Film’ would have said…
Also from RAWK, in “The new kits: launch dates, info, numbers, gripes etc” thread (page 59) are two Photoshopped versions of what the new kits might have looked like if adidas had elected to employ a more simple look. (Credit to poster ‘Dirty Harry’)
Tell me those don’t look miles better!
Granted, the third kit could use some more work: the black shouldn’t look like Mom has washed it one too many times, the collar could stand to be one color (red), the white adidas stripes should be red, and the adidas emblem and the crest could be moved to opposing sides of the chest, but eliminating the superfluous coloring automatically upgrades the finished product.
As for the goalkeeper kits, well, I reckon those are historically horrific so I won’t even broach the subject.
Okay, I’m done with the fashionista dissertation.
Now, onto a much different type of ‘shopping’…
(You see, Nate, I don’t need any signings to gossip)
Rafa has basically stated that he wants to buy early (i.e. NOW) and not be forced to wait until the late dog days of summer to finally bring in the players he needs.
“It is always talk, talk, talk. Nothing happens.”
“There are top-class players we can sign now for a reasonable fee but we have to move quickly.”
I couldn’t agree with him more. Let’s get the man some, um, men.
But just as important as low(er) prices is getting these cats together as a cohesive unit as quickly as possible. Let’s bring the new buys/guys in early so they can start bedding in and Rafa will have the full squad at his disposal once preseason training starts. This is paramount should we wish to kick the season off correctly and mount a serious title challenge.
So, without further ado, I offer up this week’s transfer musings…
According the Tall One himself, Rafa has told Crouchie that he does indeed figure in the plans for the upcoming season and will not be sold to Newcastle. At least, not this summer.
Rafa wants Sami Hyypia to see out the remaining year of his contract. I suppose this means we will not be buying a new centerback this summer, which is good news as the money should be better spent higher up the pitch and Sami has been a fantastic servant to the club.
Martin O’Neill may be plotting a double raid on Anfield, as Villa may want to take both Bellamy and Kewell off our books. Oddly enough, the freshly-anointed Welsh captain is still rumored to be (over)priced at £12 million. Kewell, one would assume, could be had for a bag of magic beans.
Juventus have reportedly made a formal bid for Sissoko. Rumor has the price somewhere between £10 and £13.5 million. Barca may or may not be ready to match this phantom offer. Then again, other ‘reports’ are quoting a value of £7m. But after being bought for a shade under £6m, and having three years left on his contract, that strikes me as foolishly conservative.
Liverpool have actually signed a few players. Joining the reserve squad are two Hungarian strikers, 17-year old Krisztian Nemeth and 18-year old Andras Simon. Also joining the ranks is a Swedish midfielder, 15-year old Alexander Kacaniklic.
Don’t forget, 20-year old Sebastian Leto (Argentinian attacking midfielder) and 27-year old Andriy Voronin (Ukrainian striker) have already signed on for next season. Voronin was Berbatov’s strike partner at Leverkusen. If he’s three quarters as effective as the Tottenham hitman, he’ll be worth the money. (yeah, he’s coming over on a free)
Speculation continues that Rafa may launch a £10 million bid for Lyon’s Florent Malouda, who is valued at anywhere from 10 to 15 million pounds. The winger seems resigned to leaving France and is making the right sounds about a move to Liverpool.
Speaking of wingers, Valencia’s David Silva may be available for £12 million…
…or Benfica’s Simao Sabrosa could come to Anfield in exchange for Djibril Cisse. How’s that for using the barter system?! Cisse’s purported preference for either England or Spain could throw a wrench in the works, though. That and his gingerbread legs.
This week, most of the Eto’o rumors have him off to Arsenal. Sorry to disappoint. You’ll just have to wait another week.
Portsmouth are denying that they could sell goal-scoring defender Matthew Taylor for £5 million to either Villa, Liverpool or the cross-town bitters.
Mathieu Bodmer, Lille’s 24-year old midfielder, has been linked to Liverpool for £8 million. An odd rumor, considering the ‘No Vacancy’ sign is lit in the center of the midfield.