Spread the love


One of the great philosophers, I forget who, once said, “there is nothing sadder… than a forty-something fat bloke in a football shirt.” That may well be the case but some of us never grow tired of the dreams that pulling on your team’s shirt can momentarily bring. Beesotted’s Director of Morphology, Luis Adriano, shares his expertise on the new Brentford kits.

I can see it now…

It’s the last home game of the season and flu-hit Brentford know a win against Fulham will secure promotion to the Premier League. A defeat for the away side will also leave them four points adrift of safety going into their last game.

Due to all the illness surrounding the club, forty-something fat bloke, and Bees supporter, Luis Adriano somehow finds himself on the pitch as a late substitute for crocked Pione Sisto (ok, ok… I understand the idea of us somehow bringing Sisto to Griffin Park is stretching the imagination a little too far.)

With the score 0-0, and the fifth of five injury-time minutes coming to a close, Adriano is felled in the box by Dan Burn (definitely not James Tarkowski).

The ref points to the spot. Andreas Bjelland, the Great Dane, hands Adriano the ball.

He smiles. “Just don’t do a Trotta.”

Ok, enough.

My name is Luis Adriano and I have an unhealthy obsession about football kits.

Especially Brentford football kits.

Especially adidas Brentford football kits.

See (http://beesotted.co.uk/?p=11083) for where I’ve previously tried to explain this obsession and apologies now if you like your online articles short (as in 1980/81 adidas shorts short) because this may well drag on for a bit.

Just over a year ago I was totally seduced by the #striptease campaign for the 14/15 home shirt on the club site.

Five images of different parts of the new bespoke top had me dribbling in anticipation by the time of the full reveal.

Each well shot image was carefully chosen to show a new part of the shirt and, to me at least, somehow made football shirt reveals sexy.

Some colouring issues on the image the club placed on the Superstore website led me to post a rather anti-climatic article again here (http://beesotted.co.uk/?p=12378) but with hindsight that design, made famous by Jota, Andre, Pritch and all the other heroes of Warbs’ wonderful play-off reaching side, could well be the best home shirt we’ve ever had.

So, just as Marinus’s collection of stats driven signings will have a lot to live up to, so did the latest design of red and white stripes.

In terms of pre-release marketing campaigns, rather than last year’s classy collection of daily images spread pretty much across a whole week, this year has seen just a single Twitter led picture showing the new home shirt having black collars and black adidas stripes on the sleeves.

To this football shirt anorak, that single close-up teaser image seemed more like a quick flash behind the bikesheds than the tantalising dance of a year ago.

There was still an element of anticipation though and enough of the new shirt not shown to beg some questions.

Firstly, who would the new sponsor be?

Secondly, will they have to put up with the similar ‘pub team’ white patch previous partners Sky-Ex and Hertings endured?

As the full reveal has hit the official website, both in a set of still images and a somewhat unimaginative but thankfully fairly cringe-free two minute plus video, the answers to the above questions are both big positives.

Matchbook.com is now emblazoned across the front of our shirts as well as the New Road roof for what has been announced as a record deal for us. This should be no surprise given the steep progress made on the pitch since the last sponsorship contract started.

It’s a one year agreement which you would imagine will have to be renegotiated upwards once again should they be shirt sponsors for a 2016/17 Premier League campaign.

On the second point, unless your buying the sponsor-less kids sizes, the Matchbook logo has been completely sorted out so it stands out on top of our dynamic ‘Power Red’ and white stripes.

With bold black and white outlining, it looks so much more professional than thosee dodgy white patches of the past. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has tried washing the old tops at all kinds of different temperatures to try and make the patches peel off.

So what about the rest of the new home shirt?

Again, the image you see when you go to buy it on the Club Shop (the ‘Superstore’ will always be the ‘Club Shop’ to me even when we’re retaining the Champions League) doesn’t do it justice. I do wish the club would listen to feedback on this and put a better image up but that is for them to decide.

However, those marketing stills of the players wearing the home, away and keepers kits, along with the ‘behind the scenes’ vid, do show one more stripey creation I will need to add to my collection.

As with anything, us football supporters do like to highlight the negatives on kit designs so let’s get these out of the way.

I’m not a massive fan of collars on football shirts but understand you have to mix things up every now and again and to be fair these ones don’t look too bad.

For the home kit, that is about it in terms of negatives.

To be really pedantic, I’d like to see the red and white stripey pattern from the front and back of the shirts continue onto the sleeves and the black adidas stripes on the shoulders be on a white, rather than red background. Told you it was pedantic.

Time will tell if I prefer this one to last season’s effort and no doubt performances on the pitch will help decide of it does become the best ever.

So a rating for the new home kit? Probably 8½ out of 10 from me.

The launch photoshoot also saw the likes of Toumani and Harlee wearing the new royal blue away kit.

Hmm, yes, royal blue.

While I would love adidas’s bloody ‘Power’ shade of red to become known as ‘Brentford Red’, the shirts (and shorts and socks) the team will wear on their travels when there is a clash, will no doubt be referred to by many as Chelsea blue.

I do understand Mark Devlin’s point about wanting to make a change from recent (mostly yellow) away kits, but surely there were many other options that didn’t make us look like an imitation of the current Premier league Champions from down the road.

In fact, I know there were other options.

The away strip is disappointingly not ‘bespoke’ like the home and is actually the ‘Tiro 15’ shirt that any Sunday League side can order for a lot less than £41.99 a pop.

There are plenty of other template kits we could have gone for that don’t look like our near neighbours and I can’t help feeling supporters are being rather mugged off having to pay over £20 for a Brentford badge and Matchbook.com logo.

Again, due to it being a company within the gambling industry, the Matchbook logo won’t even feature on the kids sizes so you are pretty much paying the extra money just for your Brentford badge on the children’s tops.

That said, of all the more expensive template kits in the latest catalogue, it is one of the brightest and if it helps the players pick each other out on the pitch and we win most of our away fixtures then I guess I won’t mind so much.

The goalkeepers’ shirt is again one from the stock adidas catalogue and will most likely be mirrored by whoever is in the Ipswich goal when we kick off our league campaign on 8th August.

A return to ‘old school’ goalkeeper green, with mostly white, and a little red, trim does please me and take me back twenty plus years to the likes of Gary Phillips, Paddy Roche and Len Bond before Hummel made Graham Benstead wear that awful rainbow number back in 1992/93.

I write this a few hours before we will be able to pre-order all three of these new kits.

I gave up goalkeeping when I was eleven and even I think grown-ups wearing these tops looks completely weird unless they’re actually playing in goal for a 5 or 11-a-side team themselves. I’ll pass on this one even if I’d rate it as 8 out of 10 design.

Unfortunately with the away kit, I do struggle with that cost issue. Even more so than those undoubted comparisons it will bring to Chelsea. I’m torn because it does actually look quite smart. If there are still some left come next March and the price goes down then I may be tempted to pick one up.

For design I’d probably say 7 out of 10 but I don’t quite understand the choice of royal blue and have to say value for money is currently 2 out of 10.

Finally, having seen how good it looks on Tarky et al, I can say fairly confidently that I WILL soon be putting my order in for the new home shirt.

I shall then run through that last minute penalty at home to Fulham again and again and, who knows, if there is a major flu outbreak next April, maybe I will make wearing football shirts a little less sad for forty-something fat blokes.

Luis Adriano