Whether made by American sports apparel giants Adidas or Warrior, and sponsored by Danish beer company Carlsberg or multinational bank Standard Chartered, Liverpool has had their fair share of visually-appealing jerseys as well as disastrous versions of the famous red top. It’s always better to look at the good than the bad, so here are the top 5 jerseys our favourite Liverpool players have had to wear since the start of the naughties.
5th – 2013/14 Home Kit
The season just past was one of much success, excitement and optimism. The Reds almost stormed to the title with an eye-watering 102 goals, with around one-third contributed by now-Barcelona forward Luis Suarez. The swashbuckling, fearsome Reds made Anfield the fortress it once was, as manager Brendan Rodgers so desired, and they did so donning this home kit. It was in this kit that the Reds destroyed top four rival Arsenal 5-1 and bitter city rival Everton 4-0, while claiming what seemed like the title-swinging 3-2 victory over eventual champions Manchester City.
Fans were initially disillusioned by the kit released by Warrior at the back end of the previous season, citing the over-simplicity and lack of creativity in design. But to be fair, it looked great on the players and the double white stripes on at the end of both sleeves as well as at the collar area were a neat and slick touch. The Reds were far from lacking creativity and certainly did not finish the season in a simple manner. Also, this jersey made its debut during Jamie Carragher’s last game for the club during the last game of the 2012/13 season, surely making Reds fans even more sentimental whenever they reminiscence over this kit.
the reds’ greatest forward partnership in the modern era
This will probably the enduring image of Liverpool’s season in this home kit: the sight of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge making a mockery of opposition defences, with skipper Steven Gerrard behind dictating play.
4th – 2007/08 Away Kit
The Reds’ last major impact in Europe’s elite competition, where they lost out in the semifinal stage, started with a late freekick by Gerrard, donning this kit, that proved the winner in the first league game at Aston Villa. Other than the deep run in the Champions League, the Reds endured an average season, by Rafa Benitez’s standards, as they finished 4th and made little noise in either domestic cup competitions.
Still, this was the season that Fernando Torres arrived from Atletico Madrid, and in his debut season, Torres managed 24 league goals. The most notable of these goals in this away kit was the rasping strike that got the Reds on level terms at Middlesbrough. Also, Kop favourites like Peter Crouch and Dirk Kuyt donned this kit during difficult away days, and former vice-captain Daniel Agger was just starting to emerge as a key fixture in Benitez’s, and subsequent managers’, Liverpool side.
This kit is probably the best looking away jersey in this era, with the bold, bright red features seemingly even more vivid on such a pure white base. This jersey just looked very defined and certainly made the players look good, even if their play at times did not look as pretty.
3rd – 2004-06 Home Kit
The period in which this kit was worn will probably be the most remembered in the more recent history of the club. Admittedly, the league form during these two seasons were not great, but the cup triumphs masterminded by Benitez, and the way his side won both finals, will surely be in the hearts and minds of every Liverpool supporter for times to come.
This kit, manufactured by Adidas’ predecessors Reebok (ironically bought over by Adidas in the middle of this period in 2005), was simple yet showed off everything Liverpool was all about – the colour red. The almost all-red look, with no white stripes on the sleeves or complicated collar features, was only punctuated by two white designs below the arms, and to the sides, of the players.
they were the core of the side together for another eight years
This jersey was probably the making of a then-young Gerrard, and saw Carragher start to reach his prime. This jersey was part of magnificent Anfield victories over Olympiakos in the Champions League group stage, Juventus in the subsequent quarterfinals, Jose Mourinho’s first Chelsea side in the semifinals, and of course, Carlo Ancelotti’s great AC Milan side in Istanbul. The following season, this kit was also seen in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, where against West Ham and like the Italian side a year prior, Liverpool repeated their penalty shoot-out victory after regulation time ended at 3-3.
2nd – 2009/10 Away Goalkeeper Kit
Picking this, and at second even, may come as a surprise, but aesthetically, it looks magnificent, and also practical. The bright yellow would surely have put off opponent strikers in one-on-one situations. Also, it was donned by probably the most suitable candidate, former goalkeeper and Anfield favourite Pepe Reina. The Spanish goalkeeper looked even more formidable in bright yellow.
reina edges dudek as the reds’ greatest modern day ‘keeper
This particular season, though, was probably one to forget, as Liverpool followed up a title challenge and near-miss in 2008/09 with a seventh-placed finish, that ultimately saw Benitez get the sack and started the Reds’ five year absence from Europe’s elite competition.
However, at this time, Reina was firmly established as one of the leaders of the dressing room, and it showed in some dominant performances wearing this yellow kit. Comparing this with recent goalkeeper kits made by Warrior, one can only reminiscence fondly with this kit’s simplicity yet quality design. The ‘keeper who donned this kit displayed similar quality; could the current crap-looking goalkeeper jersey have a similar effect on current Liverpool no.1 Simon Mignolet’s poor form?
1st – 2008/09 Home Kit
Another kit on this list that saw a ultimately futile title challenge. This jersey saw Liverpool come within four points of the title. The side that donned this kit is probably the best since the turn of the century, in terms of the overall balance. Compared with Rodgers’ epic side last year, Benitez’s version of title challengers did not score as many goals, but scored more than enough while being defensively solid.
what a side.
Torres, in retrospect, hit his prime in this kit. Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano were the best midfield partnership in the world at that time, and this kit was Sami Hyypia’s last as a Liverpool great. Gerrard probably had his best season, at least goalscoring-wise, in this jersey, and enjoyed a wonderful forward partnership with Torres. In this kit, everything related to Liverpool, including their future, looked rosy and Gerrard should have lifted the Premier League title in this kit. Alas, the Reds fell short after a disastrous January period for which they didn’t recover from.
White, the other colour on this kit besides the red base and the club crest, was used for both sponsors’ logos as well as the white three stripes (synonymous with Adidas) on the side of the top and the bottom. This uniformity of design certainly made the kit look even more sleek, and in a way, had the effect of making the red base on the jersey stand out even more than usual, giving the red a bolder look. It was certainly an impressive-looking kit that presided over an impressive season.
Do you think other year’s Liverpool kit should have been in place of any of these on the list?