Paying homage to the illustrious history of the Manchester United no. 7 shirt, Nike is debuting the Manchester United Collection, a Nike Sportswear apparel range inspired by the flair, leadership and will to win that the club’s no. 7s have embodied through the ages. This range of off-pitch clothing has been designed with the club’s heritage, colours and character in mind.
Manchester United legends including George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo provide the inspiration for the designs and it is their style, passion and pride that the Manchester United collection captures.
The Best L/S Polo, red with white trim on the crew neck collar and cuffs, recalls the home shirt worn by the European Cup-winning team of 1968, whilst the black Woven Jacket gingham lining references the textile industry that helped establish Manchester as a centre of industry in the mid-18th century.
The no. 7 itself takes pride of place on the Covert Vintage Polo, sitting on the chest alongside a Manchester United crest, whilst the grey Covert Vintage Tri Blend tee proudly bears a gingham no. 7 on the back. The rest of the collection is made up of stylish Covert Vintage tees that incorporate a retro Manchester United crest.
Every piece of Manchester United Collection apparel has been created with the goal of reflecting the passion and reverence with which Manchester United fans regard the no. 7 shirt, and the range combines a vintage design aesthetic combined with Nike technologies.
The Manchester United Collection is available from www.nike.com.
How aware were you of the significance of the number 7 shirt when Sir Alex Ferguson allocated to you at the beginning of the season?
Yes, it means a lot. When I arrived at United I was already aware of exactly what the number 7 shirt stood for here, because we all know that many legendary players have passed through the club and worn that shirt, players who were almost larger than life. So I was pretty clued up about it and it’s a shirt that’s really made a huge impact at this club.
What makes it so special?
You can almost say that it’s different to the other shirts worn by the other players. It’s a shirt that needs to be worn by a player who is maybe that little bit different, individuals if you like. That’s how I see it anyway. I’d say it has to be someone special who wears that shirt because it is a little different.
Does it have to belong to a player with a particular style or character?
I think so, definitely. You can see that pretty much all of the players who have worn the shirt have gone on to become legends at this club. I’m just hoping that I can do something similar!
What is it that unites the great number 7s?
You could say it’s the winning mentality, the mentality of a champion, always wanting to win and having that hunger for trophies. Take David Beckham, he wore that shirt for what, eight to ten seasons and won five or six titles in that time, that’s something you look at and see why the shirt means so much at this club.
Then you have the individuality of someone like Cantona…
Yes, Cantona, Cristiano, Beckham, they really were all one-off players and it’s the word individual that most accurately describes them and they’ve certainly made that shirt even more iconic here.
Does the history of the shirt and the number of legendary players who have worn it bring extra pressure?
Yes to be honest, you could say it does because those guys have all sweat blood and earned so much respect for the shirt that the moment comes when you are on the field and you say to yourself, wow, I’ve got the seven on my back and I have to deliver and I have to make it even bigger.
What number 7 has had the most impact at Manchester United in your opinion?
It’s a tough one that when you consider the players we are talking about, people like Beckham, Cantona, and a few others, but I think that the player who has made the biggest mark in this shirt would be Cristiano, both for the trophies he won and the goals he scored.
What about George Best?
Even growing up in Ecuador I was aware of Best’s place amongst the great players – I only wish he had played a few years later and I could have seen more of him.
Did Sir Alex Ferguson say anything to you about the significance of the shirt before it was announced that you’d be wearing it?
No not at all. The manager just said would you like to wear it and I said yes, of course, no problem at all.
You were very confident?
When did you first wear the number seven?
In South Africa, on the tour.
What’s your style like off the pitch?
As simple and as straightforward as possible!
Do you think you’ve brought your own style of play to the no. 7 shirt?
Not so far, but I would certainly like to leave my mark in the future.
You don’t think you have yet?
No, not yet!
How does being at Manchester United compare to playing for Wigan? Was it a big step up for you?
There’s a huge difference because we all know United’s history compared with Wigan’s. Manchester United is a team used to winning trophies like the Champions League and the Premier League and unfortunately Wigan haven’t won things on that scale, so yes, history tells us that United are a bigger club than Wigan.
So it was a big step?
The big step was arriving at Wigan – it was always in my mind to see if I could progress and earn a move to a big club, and it turned out to be United.
What’s it like stepping out at Old Trafford in front of the home fans?
It’s really great. I wasn’t used to playing in front of 75,000 people every Saturday, Sunday
or Wednesday but I’m more accustomed to it now. I think that the first impression was,
‘wow, it’s really happening and I’d better perform well here!’
What did winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year Award last season mean to you?
It was really incredible, very moving, but it also was a great source of motivation at the same time. For me it was special to receive such a big award as Player of the Year, and since it was voted for by my team mates I think it was just unbelievable. But as well as the player’s award, there were the ones from the fans too, so all the trophies were really special. The third one was for best goal.
How are the goal celebrations coming along?
They’re not! I’m not off the mark for the season yet!
How do you feel this season has gone for you personally thus far?
Quite well. I think I made a good start to the season, but then I suffered an injury to my instep, followed by a back injury which left me on the sidelines, the back problem taking longer, for almost a whole month. But I’m fit again now and I’ve managed to play four games on the run. But now I think I have to get back to my best form and push myself even harder because there is stiff competition for places in the team and wait my turn to feature again.
You mentioned not scoring, have you set yourself a goal scoring target, a figure?
The ‘figure’ would be firstly to start playing regularly and playing well, and then the goals and the assists will gradually start to come along.
How many did you get last season?
No pressure then. I thought you had scored you know, maybe you’ve been celebrating your team mates goals more!
Sir Alex Ferguson rotates his midfield a lot. Is there any friendly rivalry in training between yourself and the other wingers?
Like I said before, there is quite a lot of competition for places which I think makes for some hard fought training sessions because everyone wants to be playing in the first team. It’s healthy rivalry and competition, with no ill feeling at all from any of the players. Everyone just wants to play and perform well for the good of the team.
Is everyone supportive, is it in good spirit and is there some joking around too?
Yes there is always some joking around in training but we’re all team mates and so challenges are always fair and never dirty.
Who’s the toughest full-back you’ve come up against?
Honestly, I would say Patrice Evra. I face him every day in training and it is never, ever easy – he’s very quick, physically strong and reads me very well. He’s a brilliant defender but also has the ability to put you on the back foot when he comes forward.
The team have a decent lead in the Premier League at the moment. Does that change your approach to matches at all?
Yes, it’s very different because of what happened last season, I don’t know if it was about the total disbelief that we could miss out on the league on goal difference, but when you lose the title like that it’s a really bitter blow to suffer. So now in every game and every training session everyone is even more focused and fully concentrated on playing well and applying ourselves to the task of regaining the league title and even better the Champions League.
Does the quality of Manchester United’s strikeforce make it easier for you as a winger?
They are all magnificent players and so as a midfielder you always have to be very aware of their movement which can be so rapid that if you are not concentrating, they can end up getting caught offside. So all of us in the middle of the park need to read the game so well because we are playing behind such an incredible group of front men.
How hard do you work on the training ground to develop the kind of understanding that you and Wayne Rooney enjoy?
It all happens quite naturally and spontaneously on the field during games. We all know about Rooney’s quality, he is so quick and bright, we could be here all day talking about how good he is!
So have you worked on anything to develop this understanding?
We’ve worked a little bit on crosses – they really need to be accurate because if they aren’t you might miss a chance on goal or an attack might break down. So we’ve paid a lot of attention to that.
Have you spoken about it?
No, not at all, just practised.
Robin van Persie recently praised the strength of the team spirit and collective effort at Manchester United. How do you think the management creates this sense of togetherness?
I think that this attitude, concentration and mental strength are down to the manager and every day that he’s there. Win or lose, you are in the next day, and you train every day and you want to win every day. If you lose a game one day, the next day you can’t afford to mope around because there’s another game in a couple of days. I think that’s the mindset of the team and of everything that Manchester United does.
What is the secret of United’s long run of success?
First and foremost it would be the manager, and his 26 years in the job. In addition it’s the day to day work that goes on constantly within the club to make Manchester United what it is.
How impressed have you been with Tottenham and Everton this season? Are they threats to the traditional top 4?
The Premier League is full of teams who can hurt you, not just Everton and Tottenham. They can make life difficult because even though they (Spurs and Everton) are quite a few points behind us but then there are plenty of other teams who make things tough for you. United might be top of the league but they can still play someone like Wigan or Reading who are near the bottom and either drop points or even lose. But I think that those two teams have done well so far, with around 40 points each and they are having very good seasons which shows they are heading in the right direction.
Do you see either of them grabbing a Champions League spot?
I think so, both Everton and Spurs have a good chance of getting in the Champions or Europa League, if they carry on in this form, they will go a long way.
Do you feel any pressure coming from your city rivals?
No way, no pressure at all. The only pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves to keep winning.
How excited are you about playing Real Madrid? Is the team looking forward to taking on Cristiano Ronaldo?
We all know the quality that will be on display in that game and the whole world will be watching. Any player would want to be playing in a game like that, but between now and then we have the matter of the Premier League to fight for, and once the Champions League fixtures come around we’ll be concentrating on those games and of course trying to make sure the fans enjoy themselves.
Is the dressing room talking about Madrid and Cristiano?
They might be but I haven’t understood anything or haven’t been paying attention, but I haven’t heard anything being said about Madrid or Cristiano just yet.
Are the Spanish speaking players talking about the Madrid game?
We talk about Madrid and La Liga every week, but not specifically about when we play them.
Who would you have given the Ballon d’Or to?
It’s a tough question but I would have given it to Messi.
Favourite 7 players ever, current or retired?
Ryan Giggs, Scholesy, Iniesta, Messi, Patrice Evra, Lampard, Totti
Favourite player of all time?
What can you say about Albert Morgan? What words would you use?
He’s great, and works really hard. Maybe a bit crazy too.
What characteristics do you feel United legendary number 7s share?
They’re all individuals but the main thing they have in common is that they’re winners. You look at Cristiano and he still shows that passion when he plays for Madrid – he’s a natural winner and he works very hard at it.
Do you think that’s what the number gives you – a sense of pride and a real will to win?
I think so, yes – they are very proud of the shirt, though I would say the 7 has only come to light in the last few years.
So you feel it has really blown up with all the younger players who have worn it recently, the likes of Ronaldo building on what George Best started?
When they started putting the names and numbers on the shirts, that’s when it really went big time as it got more personal. I’ve had the privilege of seeing some great players like Johnny Berry wearing the shirt through the years but it was only a number then, yet when you started putting names to it – Eric, Ronny and the others, then it became more of a symbol.
What the number 7 represent for the fans?
They look at these players that have worn the 7 and they’re just iconic figures for the fans, and Manchester United fans love to idolize their players. They see these players performing so well week in, week out and it just snowballs.
Why do you think the number 7 shirt has come to have this massive significance?
I think it’s the fact that our great number 7s have all been leaders. The one that really springs to mind here is Robbo – he’s still a leader now and he’s 50-odd. We’ve been blessed with these great number 7s who know how to lead men both on and off they pitch, set an example to their team mates and consistently score important goals.
In 7 words, how would describe Cantona?
I only need one: iconic. There will never be another and I don’t want there to be because he is a top man. He helped others, and when he was banned he was absolutely fantastic with the young lads at The Cliff. I’d like to meet up with a few of those kids that he coached and talked to just to see what kind of impact he had on their lives.
How about Ronaldo?
Ronny was Ronny, another great lad who I think a lot of. I had some good times with Ronny, he scored some fantastic goals for the club and he hasn’t slowed down since he’s gone to Spain. I’d love to see him come back here, as if there’s one player you’d want to pull you out of trouble, Ronny’s the man. He did that many times for us and scored some great, great goals while he was at it.
If Cantona’s “iconic”, what one word would you use for Ronaldo?
Last but not least, George Best. He played before your time as a kit man, but from your memories as a United fan, how would you describe him?
The game has changed a hell of a lot since George played but I still think that he could do the business today. I idolized him and I, like thousands of others, tried to copy him when I was a kid – the haircuts, the teddy boy style and of course he was a fabulous player.
One word for Best?
Was he the one who started the no. 7 movement?
Not for me really. That was Cantona.
What’s your favourite goal you’ve seen from a number 7 score?
I’ve seen so many. One of my favourites was a header at the far post by Cantona against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford – he out-jumped everybody, it went in like a rocket and it was just a great goal. I know I keep going on about Cantona but another great one he scored was against Newcastle from a Phil Neville cross, and then there’s obviously Ronaldo’s freekick against Portsmouth, his shot against Arsenal in the Champions League semi-final. They’re all fabulous goals from our 7s. I love them all!
Did any of the number 7s have any special rituals with their kit?
I’ll start with Ronaldo. Ronaldo was the one who started the ridiculous craze that most of them have got now – cutting the feet off their socks and making the long sock like a sleeve and then taping it up. That was all that he did.
Eric’s was the best – again it was the socks. We used to have to supply Eric with a brand new pair of socks every game and he used to put salt in his socks. He never told us why and there were many theories mentioned. Eric’s got a tattoo of a red Indian chief on his chest and I used to think it might have been because the chief liked fish and chips but I don’t really know. Who knows why he did it but obviously it worked!
In your mind which number 7 has had the most impact?
Eric. Eric all day long. Robbo was around when Eric came in but it was really Eric who kicked it all off. I can remember David Beckham when Eric left – he was desperate for that number 7 shirt, absolutely desperate, and he did very well in it when he got it. Eric though was the one that clicked everything together, I don’t like to say he was the final piece in the jigsaw but he was a massive, massive piece in the jigsaw, that’s for sure. He came here for a million pounds and this club will never, ever find a player as good as him for a million pounds again. Like I keep saying, he was iconic.
Do you keep in touch with Eric?
We see Eric, when he’s around he goes out of his way to come in and see everybody. He’s very human, very humble and he doesn’t like any fuss – Eric’s just Eric. I have one abiding memory of Eric – I can always remember him walking into the dressing room one night and all the lads had their suits on. Eric comes walking in, he had a nice blue suit on with a lovely pair of tan shoes, and these were in the days when you’d only wear black shoes with a suit. With this he had a nice blue three quarter length Crombie overcoat and a pink beret. If I’d worn it they’d have sent me to the madhouse but Eric looked a million dollars and I’ll never forget Steve Bruce sat on the other side of the dressing room reading his programme – he just looked up and went “Ooh aah”. And that sums up Eric for me.
So what was Eric Cantona like behind closed doors?
Eric was a nice guy and loved a joke but he was a very private man. I didn’t see it myself but a friend of mine used to live around the corner from him in Worsley and apparently Eric used to go into one of the local pubs, The Bridgewater, and it was one of these very loud pubs with a booth in the back. Eric was never out lapping up the attention – he used to go out the back and play dominos with the old lads and they loved him. He’d get himself a Coca-Cola and go sit in the back with the old guys. Apparently they worshipped the ground he walked on.
So he kept himself to himself?
He really was just a normal man and he still is – he’s top drawer.
Was he a big influence on the rest of the team in the dressing room before matches or at half-time?
He was a big influence on the other lads because he was the first one I met who’d be out practicing in the afternoon. Scholes, Becks, the Nevilles and all their generation were in awe of him. He’d be in The Cliff banging a ball against a wall, perfecting his skills – I can always remember being away for the cup final against Liverpool. We were staying at a place called Oakley Court in Windsor, and all the staff were having the usual meal on the Friday night with the manager when I just saw this ground floor window opening in the hotel, and next thing I know there’s a leg coming out of it. Then another, and then this body slipped down the wall and it was Eric. I just said to the manager “What’s going on here?” and of course the manager looked across and we both just started laughing as Eric was doing stretches and exercises against the wall – he had his leg up on the window sill and all. He did that for about ten minutes, climbed back up the wall, shut the window and was off to sleep.
Finally, what defines the spirit of number 7? Personality, style, play of play, the goals, the trophies?
I think it’s personality – you’ve really got to be something special in that respect to own the number 7 shirt.
Nike have released the new Manchester United home kit inspired by the city’s industrious past this season. The 2012-13 shirt will feature the iconic gingham check that hailed from Manchester’s famous cotton mills.
Manchester United Football club’s success has been founded on the traditional values of respect and hard work. Those values are what made Manchester the city it is and from the mid 18th century the cotton mills there were prolific in the industry. From those mills came the gingham fabric, an iconic check that like Manchester United is famous around the world and is now – for the first time – used on a Manchester United home shirt.
The tonal gingham in traditional and iconic red gives the home shirt a bold new look. The black v-neck collar gives the shirt a contemporary look. The inner back neck graphic on the shirt reads, ‘Forged in Industry, Striving for Glory’; paying tribute to the cities industrial past but also the club’s hard-working ethos.
The outer neck graphic is the iconic devil symbol so synonymous around the world with Manchester United whilst a diagonal hatched graphic on the white shorts is a subtle link to the gingham used on the shirt.
The socks are black with a red detail on the top and a white devil icon. They offer a new and innovative design featuring an updated cotton footbed offering the support and comfort enjoyed by professionals to all that wear them.
Whilst the kit combines modern sport and youth style to give the club an iconic new look, Nike’s innovation gives the team our most technologically advanced kit to aid athlete comfort and performance.
The new home kit is made from Nike’s ground-breaking recycled polyester, making it Nike’s most environmentally friendly kit ever produced. Each kit (shirt and shorts) is made using up to thirteen recycled plastic water bottles. This innovative manufacturing process reduces energy consumption by up to 30% compared to manufacturing traditional polyester. Since 2010 Nike has used an estimated 1115 million recycled plastic bottles to create its high performance kits.
The kits are made out of 23% lighter fabric with 20% stronger knit structure than Nike’s previous kits and feature Nike Dri-FIT technology to wick moisture away from athletes to help keep them cool and dry on-pitch.
Kits have bonded re-enforced t-bar junctions that support critical seams on the shirt and shorts and inner welded seams with a flat finish construction to improve comfort and performance. Temperature regulation is helped by ventilation zones, consisting of a series of tiny laser cut holes from the under arms to the waistband, allowing air to circulate to keep players comfortable.
Nike Pro Combat base-layers are used by athletes to compliment playing kits to further improve comfort and increase protection from injury. Whilst fans and players can enjoy the Nike’s Manchester United Sportswear collection off the pitch, inspired by the club’s heritage.
The “new master” of Old Trafford Danny Welbeck, of Manchester United and England, showcases the new NIKE Sportswear collection designed and inspired by his club side.
Danny as an eight-year-old had been training at Manchester City and dreaming of one day being a pro. City decided to skip on signing Danny just before Christmas. In the New Year Welbeck senior passed on the news but Danny didn’t seem fazed. “Dad took me to one side,” recalls Welbeck thirteen years later. “He had this concerned look on his face and told me that City had called before Christmas and wouldn’t be having me back. I was like, why didn’t you just tell me dad, it’s not a problem.”
With a shrug of the shoulders, the youngster simply went back to playing and got on with doing what came naturally. “I carried on at my club Fletcher Moss, scored a load more goals and soon I was at Manchester United.” He pauses and grins. “I never looked back.”
It’s not a cocky grin, far from it. Welbeck is a softly spoken, polite young man. He is a credit to his family and his club but behind the niceties is a strong athlete, equipped with an inner steel and self-confidence that makes playing for Manchester United and England feel normal.
Being a fan and part of the set-up at United from such a young age means Welbeck is well versed on the club’s long held ethos that always celebrates and embraces youthful vigor. If you are a good enough, you are old enough. “You know that the boss and the club are keen to give youth its chance and that gives the lads such a lift,” says Welbeck.
“It goes back to the Busby Babes who did their stuff in the 1950′s and that history is ingrained in the place. When you sign your scholarship you are taken around the club, you visit the museum, you are taught about the history and the young lads benefit from knowing what the place is about.”
“I grew up idolising the class of 1992; the guys I came through the ranks with took great inspiration from them. To suddenly be there sharing a pitch and a dressing-room with some of them is incredible.”
It didn’t take long for Welbeck’s elder first team colleagues to realise that their new young striker was there to do more than just meet his heroes. In 2008, coming on as a sub against Stoke at Old Trafford in the 63rd minute, it took only twenty minutes before he played a one-two forty yards from goal, carried the ball forward and unleashed an exocet of a shot into the top corner in front of the Stretford End. How did that feel? “Indescribable”.
Another thing Welbeck finds it hard to shed light on is the moment as a boy that he realised he was actually very good at his sport, the instant he realised that moments like that first goal at Old Trafford would be common place. “I was just into playing football, I wanted to play. I loved it. I guess I did get the ball and just run through everyone sometimes and score, but it just felt normal.”
Welbeck’s brother Chris, who is accompanying him on the shoot, is able to shed some light on the moment he knew that his sibling was extra special. “It was an FA Youth Cup semi-final against Arsenal in 2007. Danny was two years younger than most of the others and the team were losing at Old Trafford. Danny stepped up, made one and scored the winner. I sat in the stands and thought, he’s going to do this, he’s going to go all the way.”
For Welbeck, those skills would have to be matched by patience as his Manager chose to first send him on loan in early 2010, where he suffered injury, before sending him away again, this time further afield to the North-East where he spent the entire 2010-11 season.
That’s where that inner steel came once again to the fore. Some youngsters might have taken two stints out on loan as a sign they weren’t rated or wanted. Not Welbeck. “I took it as a positive. If you go away feeling down, you won’t do well so I got on with it and felt I did well. Last season was great for me. I got loads of Premier League experience and it felt good.”
“I had never been away from mum and dad, and there I am miles away from home, in a new city and I had to fend for myself. I learnt to cook and clean. I guess you could say I grew up. My cooking wasn’t that good at first but soon it got OK. Having said that I am back home now and it’s back to mum’s cooking!”
That ‘glass half-full’ outlook on life has served him well. He’s back in the United team as an integral part of an exciting, young squad but is also interesting the England manager who will be pleased to have fresh, positive players around a new squad; players unscathed by the perceived failures of the past.
Welbeck is certainly excited by his first steps into the international arena. “The youth is getting its chance and quality players are showing themselves to be up to it. I don’t think this crop will look back, and it is so exciting to be a part of it.” But isn’t he worried that like those before him, a new set of talented players will be burdened by such hyperbole as the previous ‘Golden Generation’?
“There are always expectations and you have to deal with them. Don’t focus on them, just play your normal game and feel at home.”
Wise words but Welbeck is quick to point out that his success so far means very little and that he is a young man still learning his trade. He is keen to adapt, to get better and be every bit the modern striker. “I don’t want to be a static centre-forward who just sniffs out goals in the six-yard box. I see the game moving on, I need to have movement, be a player who can stretch defences.”
“I like to be mobile. I have played on the wing so I like to drift and make space for my teammates. I don’t want to just score goals, I want to create chances for my team and hopefully I am. I can drop off, move wide, link up.”
Literally thinking outside the box has to be a help to a young striker who everyday works with some of the finest goal getters in the game. “Shooting practice is quality. Every ball is in the corner and as one of the young players you want to match that and prove you belong.”
And what of his manager? Once a striker. Does he still know where the goal is? “The boss doesn’t join in anymore but he’s always telling us what a great goalscorer he was.” If Welbeck has anything to do with it, you sense that the Manager will soon be telling everyone what a great goalscorer he has too.
Last night Manchester United played their second preseason fixture on their tour in the United States. The game against the Seattle Sounders proved to not much more than target practice for the United forwards as Fergie’s men put 7 past a hapless Sounders side.
We did notice United’s French fullback Patrice Evra wearing he recently released Nike Tiempo Legend IV Elite boots. Evra has been a T90 wearer for most of his United career but we first got a heads up that change was coming when Evra appeared in some of Nike’s PR images for the new Manchester United away kit in Tiempos. It isn’t the biggest surprise as Evra has often opted for the leather versions of the T90 in anyway. Evra joins fellow Tiempo wearer Park Ji-Sung in the new Elite boots and we wonder who else may be making a switch.
This season Manchester United will play in a striking blue and black away kit, inspired by the blue kits worn in several of their most famous victories, including the 1948 FA Cup final and the 1968 European Cup final.
The new away shirt consists of a royal blue body and sleeves with hoops made of small midnight navy blue and black stripes. There are exactly eleven stripes in each hoop to represent each member of the United team. The pattern of the shirt is modelled on a previous United away shirt, which consisted of red and white hoops and was worn for seven seasons between 1932 and 1939. It was also briefly adopted as their home shirt for the last two months of the 1933-34 season.
While the history and tradition of the club is present in the shirt design, the new away kit is made from Nike’s ground-breaking recycled polyester – which for the first time includes both the shirt and shorts. Each complete kit is made up of up to thirteen reclaimed plastic water bottles. This new manufacturing process reduces energy consumption by up to 30% compared to manufacturing traditional polyester and saves nearly 100 million plastic water bottles from being dumped at landfill sites.
The away shorts are entirely black except for the same hoop from the shirt consisting of eleven midnight navy blue and black stripes being featured at the bottom of the back of each leg. The new away socks are black with a small white devil from the club crest on the calf and a royal blue band at the top.
The lightweight kits (13% lighter than previous versions) actively regulate the players’ body temperatures on the pitch to keep them dry and cool at all times through use of Nike Dri-FIT technology. This technology draws sweat away from the player’s body through the material where it can evaporate. Temperature regulation is helped by ventilation zones, consisting of hundreds of tiny laser cut holes from the under arms to the waistband, allowing air to circulate to keep players dry, cool and comfortable. For the first time the club crest on the front of the shirt is heat transferred, making it even lighter and crucially allowing this area to now be ventilated as well.
The shirt has a new aerodynamic fit this season, now slimmer and more athletic, providing 17% more stretch than the Manchester United shirt of two years ago. While a bonded hem offers a streamlined look that reduces irritation caused by chafing.
To complement the new match day kit Nike has launched a unique Manchester United line of training and lifestyle clothing for both players and fans to wear on and off the pitch.
The kit and extended line are now available for purchase.
We were a little surprised to see the above PR image. United’s French full-back Patrice Evra has been a T90 Laser wearer for years but is in a pair of the Tiempo Legend IV Elite boots for the new PR campaign.
Nike have unveiled Manchester United’s new home kit inspired by the traditional red, white and black club colours infused with a distinctive pattern iconic in club history.
The body of the shirt is traditional red with a white crafted crew neck collar and central black stripe to replicate the design of the club’s iconic bar scarf, which has previously appeared on the shirts of legendary United sides of the past, including the 1977 and 1985 FA Cup winners, and on the back of the 2008 Champions League and Barclays Premier League winners.
The retro bar scarf is an instantly recognisable Manchester United pattern, held aloft by fans and players in times of both celebration and remembrance.
Inside the front of the shirt, on the back of the club crest, is the phrase ‘Relentless’, which perfectly captures United’s pursuit of success and drive to consistently win the greatest trophies in club football.
While the history and tradition of the club is present in the shirt design, the new home kit is made from Nike’s ground-breaking recycled polyester – which for the first time includes both the shirt and shorts.
Each complete kit is made up of up to thirteen reclaimed plastic water bottles. This new manufacturing process reduces energy consumption by up to 30% compared to manufacturing traditional polyester and saves nearly 100 million plastic water bottles from being dumped at landfill sites.
On the back of the shirt below the neck is a small devil from the club crest, while inside the neck reads ‘Manchester United.’ The home shorts this season are entirely white except for a small woven tab on the hem, which also features the black and white stripe from the United bar scarf. The new home socks are black with a small white devil from the club crest on the calf and a red, white and black striped band at the top. For the first time the club crest on the front of the shirt is heat transferred, making it even lighter and crucially allowing this area to now be ventilated as well.
The light weight kits (13% lighter than previous versions) actively regulate the players’ body temperatures on the pitch to keep them dry and cool at all times through use of Nike Dri-FIT technology. This technology draws sweat away from the player’s body through the material where it can evaporate. Temperature regulation is helped by ventilation zones, consisting of hundreds of tiny laser cut holes from the under arms to the waistband, allowing air to circulate to keep players dry, cool and comfortable. The shirt has a new aerodynamic fit this season, now slimmer and more athletic, providing 17% more stretch than the Manchester United shirt of two years ago. While a bonded hem offers a streamlined look that reduces irritation caused by chafing.
To compliment the new match day kit Nike has launched a unique Manchester United line of training and lifestyle clothing for both players and fans to wear on and off the pitch.
“As players, we get excited when we see the new kit. It’s a great feeling to wear it.” – Wayne Rooney
“It’s just a great buzz to pull on the shirt. I feel very privileged to be able to wear it.” – Michael Carrick
“When I wear the shirt I feel like I have the club’s history on my back. That’s why I always give 100 per cent whenever I play in the shirt.” – Patrice Evra
The kit and extended line is available for pre-order from 24 May 2011
Chelsea and Manchester United will face each other for the second successive year in the 88th FA Community Shield, the annual Premier League curtain raiser. The two teams also competed against each other in the 2007 match. Manchester United have won the trophy a record 15 times (albeit 4 of those were shared victories). Chelsea, who are the current holders, will look to add to their 4 wins.
In 2007, Manchester United won on penalties while Chelsea managed to turn that result around last season winning 4-1 on penalties. Most expect these two sides to be the Premier League title contenders again this season so it is interesting to look at their pre-season form as we try to decide on who, if either, has the momentum.
Chelsea’s pre-season has been slightly disappointing by their standards, The Blues have lost to Ajax, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hamburg. They did secure a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace however. Manchester United on the other hand have recorded good wins over Celtic, Philadelphia Union, the MLS All-Stars and a League of Ireland XI who they beat 7-1. United did suffer losses to Kansas City Wizards and C.D. Guadalajara.
Having said all that… Pre-season form doesn’t always tell you very much as managers are giving new signings and young players plenty of game time. And let’s not forget that many of the World Cup players have only just rejoined the squads after missing most of those games. So perhaps both sides come into this clash with a ‘clean slate’ and will be looking to stomp some authority on the other.
Community Shield’s are seldom ‘classics’ but don’t be fooled into thinking they are meaningless. One thing both managers will be very keen to avoid is injuries to key players. And this is where the Wembley pitch may come into the equation. Many players have fallen foul of the poor surface at the home of the FA. The field’s thick, heavy grass and uneven surface is a disaster waiting to happen. Fingers crossed we don’t lose a Rooney or Lampard for a month because of a questionable tackle or a caught stud.
At the end of the day it is not so much about lifting the shield but more about bragging rights for the fans, a boost of confidence for the up-coming campaign and an opportunity to raise funds for various charities throughout England.
We recently profiled the new Manchester United home kit and provided you with a glimpse of their away kit. Now we can share more images of the new Nike kit that Manchester United will wear on the road this season. Manchester United’s new away kit returns to the club’s traditional away colours of white and black, which have been worn throughout their history, and are the preference of United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The new away shirt possesses the same distinctive features as the home version, but has a white body and a round-neck collar. On both sleeves of the shirt is a bold splash of colour in the form of a black and red graphic divided by a jagged white chevron, which gives the shirt an intimidating and warrior-style appearance.
The away shorts this season are black with a white stripe containing black and red half chevrons on each side, with the Red Devil from the club crest at the bottom of the right side. The new home socks are white with a black top and a red ergonomic chevron on the back of each calf.