Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Nouveaux Maillots 2011/12 (Part 3)

Saint-Etienne (away) 2011/12
Some of the greatest club sides in the world have worn green and white hoops - Celtic, Sporting Lisbon... er... well, those two, and now Saint-Etienne aim to join them with their new away shirt. Looking not unlike a giant packet of Pacers (ask a grown-up), L'ASSE have replaced their plain white away shirt with some horizontal stripes. A nice touch given their home shirt this season has incorporated the vertical equivalent.

Apart from the stripes, all that's left to note are some white sleeves and the new Adidas cross-over collar which is original if not to everyone's taste. Throw in a pair of fairly plain green shorts and some green and white stripy socks and you have a very nice away kit indeed. What is it with Adidas this season?  Did the designers get a pay rise or something?

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Toulouse (home/away/3rd) 2011/12
A triple-bill of TFC topicality now as Kappa bring us their full range for the team from the south-west. First, there's the traditional violet and white shirt which looks very smart in a no-nonsense way. It has a round neck, violet sleeves and a series of small kappa logos in white running the sleeves which looks not at all bad. The rest of the strip is almost completely violet and sets the whole thing off a treat.

Score: 8 out of 10

Away from home, Toulouse will wear white shirts with a single vertical stripe down the middle in violet and a colour which can only be described as 'battleship grey'. While grey is a largely overlooked colour in the football kit market, I can't help but feel it's out of place here. Violet and black would have worked better, but hey - I'm not a designer. (Probably should be one, though...) As with all three shirts, there's a round-neck collar and this time there's the oft seen large-style Kappa logo on the shoulders in violet. The rest of the kit is white and again, the overall effect is clean and crisp.

Score: 8 out of 10

As a third strip, Kappa have sought to extend the violet and battleship grey combination (Kappa are calling it 'middle grey', by the way - not that it lessens its unsuitability) with a half-and-half shirt design which, again, would look better if the grey was black. Instead, half the shirt looks like it's made out of cheap grey plastic and, by the look of this picture at least, not even the same shade of grey as the accompanying shorts. To me, this is a kit that aimed high but ultimately scored low. Better luck next time, Kappa.

Score: 6 out of 10

Paris Saint-Germain (home) 2011/12
Anyone that likes playing 'Spot the Difference' will love this one. Yes, it's very smart and dignified but Nike didn't exactly push the boat out when it came to making wholesale changes. All they've really done is widen the middle red band, change the shape and colour of the neckline and throw the badge and Nike logo into the middle. 'Merci beaucoup', I hear the manufacturers cry, as they take another £65 off another customer with more money than sense.

Sorry Nike. It's all well and good, but you can do better than that.

Score: 6 out of 10

(This article is also available via French Football Weekly.)

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