Why one of Man City’s best ever kits might go unused
The vast majority of Manchester City fans will agree that the Blues’ current kits are the best they’ve had for years
The strips Puma has designed since replacing Nike as City’s kit manufacturer in 2019 have been a bit hit and miss with supporters, but few can have any complaints about this season’s efforts.
City’s 2022/23 home kit broke sales records on release day, the classic sky blue and maroon design striking a nostalgic chord with supporters, as did the tribute to club legend Colin Bell. While the neon yellow and black ‘worker bee’ third kit has divided opinion, the return of a red and black striped away kit for the first time in a decade thrilled followers of the Blues.
The design made famous by the 1969 FA Cup winners received a modern twist, the vertical stripes becoming diagonal and the club badge changed to a vibrant yellow. It’s arguably the best away shirt in the Premier League this season; it’s just a shame City will hardly get to wear it.
A month and a half into the season and Pep Guardiola’s side are yet to wear their popular changed strip in a competitive match, it’s only outing so far coming in the pre-season win against Club America in the United States.
Over five away fixtures so far this season City have worn their home kit twice and their neon strip three times. Looking at the fixture list, there don’t appear to be many opportunities for them to wheel out the black and red number.
Part of the problem is the number of Premier League sides who have a predominantly red home strip. City were not able to wear red when they travelled to West Ham and Aston Villa, and they won’t be able to wear it for trips to Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth Southampton and Brentford. The amount of black in the design could also make it unsuitable for matches at Fulham and Borussia Dortmund.
After the international break City face three consecutive home games before making the trip to Denmark to tale on FC Copenhagen in the Champions League. Given that the Danish champions’ home strip is all white, City could finally debut their away shirt in a competitive match on 11th October.
It could potentially be used away at Leicester on 29th October and Leeds on Boxing Day, but in recent seasons City have worn their home shirt at both the King Power Stadium and Elland Road. Chelsea and Spurs away are possibilities, but other than that there are few opponents against whom City couldn’t just wear sky blue.
Of course this is of little significance to Guardiola and the results City need, but it would be a shame if such an eagerly-anticipated away kit doesn’t get the exposure it deserves.