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They Are So 90s: The Best Kits of the Modern Era

September 08, 2015

- Grant Whittington

Arguably a more interesting topic than discussing whether or not Raheem Sterling will still be at Liverpool next season, football kits often enter into folklore alongside the players who wear them. Players can be extremely superstitious about their kits, for example, while those that are worn during period of success often emerge as the most iconic among fans. Just cast your mind back to 1996, when title-chasing Manchester United changed out of their unpopular grey kit while trailing 3-0 to Southampton at The Dell. Although some have claimed that the colour of the kit merged with the background, others believe that the players simply considered it to be ‘unlucky’.

Over the years we’ve seen many fantastic designs, lauded as much as an Armani suit or classic pair of Crockett and Jones would. So we decided to take a look back at three brilliant kits from the modern era.

Manchester United Away Kit (1993-1994)

The year of United’s first league and cup double, 1994 also delivered a team that many still consider to be Sir Alex’s finest. With the impregnable partnership of Bruce and Pallister at the back, Roy Keane dominant in midfield and Eric Cantona’s guile providing a cutting edge up-front, it was a team packed with power, pace, skill, and experience. The team was also blessed with a stunning all-black away kit during this season, with a pallid blue trim doing little to dampen the stylish and imposing nature of the attire. One of our favourite kits of all time, it begs the question why more teams do not wear black?

West Germany (1990)

Arguably more iconic than stylish, West Germany’s simple but striking kit from the 1990 World Cup became a seminal image of the tournament. Featuring a black, orange and red stripe across a crisp white design, this kit also bore the German flag and was undoubtedly a visual highlight of an already colourful Italia ’90.  It also helped that the Germans managed to win the World Cup after a turgid final against an ill-disciplined Argentinian side, while the squad featured a number of legendary players including Lothar  Matthäus and flamboyant forward Jurgen Klinsmann.

Arsenal Away Kit (1988-1989)

Sometimes, a kit is remembered for a single moment rather than sustained success. This was certainly the case with Arsenal’s away kit for the 1988-1989 season, which just so happened to included an eye-catching combination of yellow shorts with black shorts and trim. In the days before cable television, millions were watching on ITV as the Gunners headed to Anfield on the final day of the season needing a 2-0 to win the Championship. With Arsenal leading 1-0 deep into stoppage time, few will forget the moment that Michael Thomas surged through the Liverpool rearguard to score the last-gasp goal that clinched the title. For this reason alone, this strip remains an icon of the modern English game.

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