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.

New England Shirt: Your questions answered...

So another new England shirt is launched and predictably the reaction to it is largely negative. What's more, the reaction comes mostly from people who think the world at large benefits from its weak, misplaced views, the product of less mental effort than it takes to work out what day of the week it is.

Yes, the people who have ventured out onto the information super-highway to express their impulsive vitriol today are all wrong. Not wrong in their opinions of the new Umbro offering, after all, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. They're just wrong to think their view matters on any one of the many sub-issues this matter provides.

Here at Football Fairground, however, we wouldn't want you to think we're also content to think a few sentences is good enough by way of valid comment. Nor, for that matter, would we want you to miss out on the waterfall of England-shirt-related insipidness spilling out onto the internet today.

What we've done, therefore, is provided you with a sample of the comments received on the website of one UK national newspaper along with our replies to each. We provide this service to show that negativity need not be a way of life, hopeful that the next time a new England shirt is launched, fewer of these tin-pot revolutionaries will hammer their computer keyboards until they're satisfied something barely plausible comes out.

Note: The usernames of the people commenting below have been removed to protect their own stupidity. Spelling and punctuation mistakes (yes, there were some, amazingly) have been corrected where appropriate. Swear-words have been obscured. (We know - equally remarkable for such a fine, upstanding bunch of Mensa inductees.)

"Another new home shirt? This is getting f***ing ridiculous!"

Yes, another new home shirt. Not very long since the last one, granted, but another new home shirt. A reminder, at this stage, of two facts: (1) No-one will actually be forced to buy one, and (2) it's 2012 and this sort of thing has been happening quite a lot since, ooh, the 1980's.

"Atrocious. Collar is awful."

A new collar, and a sculpted one at that. Still, it's different, and this being a fashionable garment of sorts, it's only natural that a bit of originality is used to avoid it being in any way identical to the previous England shirt.

"It seems every time Umbro launch a new England jersey they have to have something on it that 'harks back to 1966'…  I wish they could look forward instead of constantly referencing the past."

Well for one thing, the new England shirt features a red badge for the first time, which is pretty-forward thinking. And tradition and pride in past achievements is hardly a bad thing either, is it?

"Can't see them winning anything in that."

Fine. It won't look out of place compared to the previous sixteen, then, will it?

"Listen, Umbro. The England shirt is white with blue rim, always has been. Don't mess with it. Now we'll turn up at the Euros looking like a Poland away side. Great."

'Always has been' isn't even remotely close to being true, sadly. Luckily enough, Poland will probably turn up at the Euros looking like an Austrian away side, so that's alright, we figure.

"Essentially identical to all the others. Lot of white. Three Lions. One lonely star."

A quick hunt around the internet for, ooh, 25 seconds, proves your theory to be wrong. As for the 'lot of white' bit, you do know it's been England's national football colour for nearly a century and a half now, don't you?

"If we want to wear red, go back to the 98 World Cup away kit. The first England shirt I ever had, and still has pride and place in my loft."

Wow, you like it that much, huh?

"This one is pants. And all of them have been pants since the mid-90s when shorts and shirts started being made four sizes too big."

The world of football and/or fashion clearly isn't for you, is it?

"Can anyone actually remember the last decent kit Umbro made?"

Yeah, but there'd be no point telling you because there's a very good chance our opinion would differ from yours. Clearly you're not able to deal with those levels of incomprehension, so best move on...

"What’s with the star?? What's that in aid of?"

Right, well it all started back in 1930 when this Frenchman called Jules Rimet... oh forget it.

"Too f***ing bland... just like the team we'll put out this summer."

Good. Does that mean you won't be watching Euro 2012 and boring us with that lonely thought withering inside your pea-sized brain?

"Looks like a piece of ladies’ leisurewear."

Excellent. At least Umbro can expect some revenue from one portion of the British public.

"Aaaahh, yet another ridiculous England shirt, and almost certainly the worst ever. I would like to meet the a***holes that design this s**t as they should all be thrown into the River Thames at Wapping at low tide! That stupid collar and button - it looks like a girl's blouse. The FA should all commit hara kiri right now for f***ing up with what should be a great English icon. Simple v-neck or round neck - no collars!  Job done. The red round neck shirt worn by the England World Cup winners in 1966 became an icon and if it was good enough for Bobby Moore it should be good enough for now."

Presumably this is the shirt you wear every day as you wander aimlessly around that mental institution you call home, is it?

"Umbro - don't hold a gun to people’s heads and force them to buy it. Sheesh."

Hang on... Just checking the Sale of Goods Act 1979... No obvious mentions of compulsory firearms usage that we can make out...

"I didn't know EDL members got jobs at Umbro, fair play to them."

Yes, shame on you Umbro for so willingly and irresponsibly exploiting the national flag of England so shamelessly. May you never sing another verse of Jerusalem again.

So there you have it. Next week: The weather, and why there’s hope on the way for those people that aren’t satisfied with the type they’re getting...

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