England's kit: What's all the fuss for?

Harry Kane in England's new kit

The home shirt is white, the away one red – run of the mill for an England kit, then?

So why have some 12,000 tweets featured the term “England kit” during the team’s two Euro 2016 warm-up matches?

Nike’s design – which breaks with tradition – has come under scrutiny. So will the Three Lions look downright silly in France this summer?

Is change a good thing?

Ned Flanders dressed in red and blue<!–

It is often said people don’t like change – not even when Nike claim the new England strip is “the most advanced kit ever to hit the pitch”.

The manufacturer says this kit is 10% lighter than in the past and dries 25% quicker, so is it the cocktail of colour that has irked fans and former players?

A move away from traditional blue/white home strip or red/white away offering, coupled with contrasting sleeve colours, has seen some claim England are losing their heritage.

‘We look like a non-league team’

England players were consulted about the strip, and stand-in captain James Milner told reporters he was more interested in the shirt’s fit.

But former players have not been so kind, with Gary Lineker telling his Twitter followers he “can’t think of a worse England strip” as Roy Hodgson’s side donned their red change kit for Saturday’s 3-2 win over Germany.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit and former England winger Chris Waddle “wasn’t impressed”, while ex-midfielder Rob Lee tweeted: “Red/burgundy, blue socks, worst England kit.”

Oliver Holt<!–

A shift to home colours for the defeat by the Netherlands did little to create some love for the design, with former midfielder Peter Reid stating he is “not having” the strip.

Marco Gabbiadini, who played for England B and the under-21s, was discussing the kit and not the side’s ability when he wrote “we look like a non-league team”.

Fix the socks, fix the kit?

Barkley, Alli and Stones for England<!–

Think the new strip looks a little like an away team forced into a last-minute sock change? Without doubt, the socks have been the focus of much attention, but their colour is a nod to England’s past.

“Bright red socks, featuring a linear blue graphic on the calf, celebrate the look of the English team that famously triumphed over Brazil at Maracana Stadium in 1984,” a Nike spokesperson told BBC Sport.

“They bring a vibrant spark of contrast to the head-to-toe look and highlight the most dynamic part of the footballer’s body, the lower legs, to accentuate speed.”

What does Nike say?

A change the England kit poster<!–

Nike’s deal runs until 2018, and the American sports manufacturer clearly feels it retains the confidence of the Football Association.

“For both kits, we set out with the goal of bringing together the colours that are synonymous with English football: white, red and blue,” said Martin Lotti, Nike’s creative director.

The manager doesn’t care a jot…

Hodgson has enough on his plate finalising his preparations for Euro 2016.

“The only thing that concerns me is the person wearing the shirt,” he said.

But will England be Euro 2016’s worst-dressed team?

Nike also make kits for hosts France, Portugal, Turkey, Poland and Croatia. Many of their strips feature sleeves which differ in colour to the body of shirts – much like England’s.

This fashion quirk – though perhaps not innovative enough to threaten the front cover of Vogue – has not gone down too well, so why couldn’t England have ‘done a Poland’ and kept to all white?

Poland kit<!–

Perhaps by Euro 2016, supporters will have adjusted and dislike will diminish. If not, maybe Sweden’s fairly glum away strip can become the focus of summer kit angst…

Sweden kit<!–

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