Nike braced for backlash as England kit gets Wembley debut
If you thought away top was bad, wait until you see the new home strip, warn commentators
England's stunning comeback against Germany may have got the fans behind the team ahead of Euro 2016 but it could be a different story for Nike as the players prepare to debut their new home kit against the Netherlands.
The red and blue away kit was given a mixed reception after its debut in Berlin, reports The Independent, and the site adds that "American sportswear giant Nike are expected to bear the brunt of renewed criticism when the players take to the field at Wembley".
The new home kit features blue sleeves and red socks and, according to Mike Walters of the Daily Mirror, is even worse than the away version.
"The replica nightmare in acrylic modelled by England in Berlin on Saturday is coming to your local boozer soon, when the pot-bellied convene to watch games on the giant screen. And just wait until you see what Nike have done to the home strip when Roy Hodgson's men parade it for the first time against Holland at Wembley on Tuesday night!
"Whatever happened to the simple white shirt, navy blue shorts, white socks and Three Lions crest?" he laments.
The various additions to the kit are not welcome, the journalist argues. "If you mess with the England shirt to excess, you are messing with part of our national identity – and Nike have certainly made a mess on the Football Association's catwalk... It is unacceptable graffiti sprayed in the face of tradition. Hands off our Three Lions."
The kit came in for "heavy criticism" on Saturday, notes the Daily Express, and more of the same is expected at Wembley.
However, manager Roy Hodgson has done his best to steer clear of the controversy, saying he was only concerned about what was inside the outfits.
"As long as I'm happy with the players wearing the shirts, I'm not prepared to enter into a debate on the colours. I'm happy to let everyone out there have an opinion," he said.
What's the verdict as Nike unveils its England kit for Euro 2016?
Nike's new design for the England football kit has been greeted with a very mixed reception.
The home shirt features light blue sleeves and royal blue trim, while the shorts are white and the socks red.
The away shirt is red, in homage to the 1966 World Cup winners, with dark sleeves and blue socks.
They also come with a series of design innovation.
"The new Nike Vapor kits are said to be ten per cent lighter than the brand's standard attire, with 50 per cent more stretch, and absorb sweat 20 per cent quicker and dry 25 per cent faster than the American brand's most recent football kits," says The Guardian.
However, the reaction on social media was rather more blunt.
England's was not the only kit to be unveiled yesterday as Nike also released the strips for several other countries, which some onlookers considered looked very similar, with the US strip bearing a striking resemblance to that of the Three Lions.
France's kit also has a similar look - and has left fans similarly unimpressed.
Although the pick of the bunch for Euro 2016 so far appears to be the Adidas-designed Belgian tops: