Bring it Back – Football trends that need a re-boot

One thing never goes out of fashion: Retro. This of course can mean absolutely anything that isn’t now, which is precisely why it never goes out of fashion. The new England kits, both suitably dapper and marvelously chic are certainly retro. The home one belongs in the Stanley Matthews era, where football shirts were essentially rugby shirts, before rugby shirts became essentially football shirts. The away one is – of course – an homage to ’66, as indeed almost every away kit ever produced by England since has been in the bizarre assumption that this will somehow help us, despite the fact that neither of our most successful (or least disastrous) attempts to win a trophy since has involved us wearing red away shirts. But never the less, the retro prevails, and the back to basics look endorsed by Umbro for England, has been similarly embraced by Brazil, Argentina and a fair few others. But what other fashion trends could we see making a comeback this World Cup? Or indeed, next season? And more to the point, what’s due a comeback?

Short Shorts – Who wears short shorts?. We wear…oh hold on, no, no one does. Short shorts are long overdue a return. The baggy look was all the rage in the 90s – what with grunge and Brit Pop and Ryan Giggs’ floppy hair – but somewhere around the mid noughties the shirts got tight again. The physically fit metro sexual man liked this. Not so much Barry from Seven Sisters, who found it rather undignifyng to squeeze himself into Spurs’ ultra sexy Kappa Kits. Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal life aside though, the shorts have remained long. Booo. If Diego Maradona remains sane enough long enough to stay in charge of Argentina after the World Cup, you’d hope he would extol the virtues of shorts barely bigger than your pants to his team’s erstwhile kit makers.

Perms – Another staple of the 80s was dodgy barnets. Perms, mullets, you name it, footballers loved it. Despite Cesc Fabregas and Nicklas Bendtner doing their best to restore the mullet at Arsenal and Lionel Messi heartily endorsing the “my mum did it” aesthetic, the closest we’ve got to a perm in the modern era PL is Luis Nani’s Lionel Ritchie Jheri curl. For shame footballers of the 21st century. No one in the England set up (David James aside) has remotely interesting hair. With Beckham out of the picture, it’s surely now up to Rooney to help bring back the funky dos. The Bobby Charlton springs to mind?


Orange sheepskined Managers – Ever since Big orange Ron slinked off our screens and out of our ears (which is an appalling mental image I apologize for) the bling’d up eccentric manager in the style of Malcolm Allison has gone the way of broadcastable racism. Big fedora’s, sheepskin coats, the old cliché of the managerial spiv has been dead so long it’s no longer really applicable. The new cliché is of a dour track-suited man terrified for his job. The Mourinho/Mancini dapper suited foreigner is the closest we’ve got (though Phil Brown certainly tried his best to reintroduce the tanned pillock look). Bring back smoking cigars on the touchline I say. Though that’s probably illegal now. Broken Britain ey Noel? The world’s gone to hell in a Top Man handcart.
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Lip Rugs – The beautiful football moustache is most certainly a thing of the past. Even die hard aficionados Graeme Souness and David Seamen have shorn theirs off, and they kept them for far too long after the fashion had died anyway. With Wayne Rooney a dedicated practitioner of the moustache’s arch enemy – the moustache-less gnome beard  – the future looks bleak for the return of the lip snake. Even David Beckham doesn’t dare touch it, and whilst Gary Neville has probably just about enough all round facial hair to form one decent ‘tash, it seems unlikely he’ll change his ways now he’s so close to reaching his life long goal of growing a semi-respectable beard. No, the moustache is dead, and it’ll take a brave man to bring it back. A hero is waiting to be made.

Garish eveningwear – Yes Becks has stepped out in some cringe worthy rubbish over the years, but it’s also been just the right side of annoyingly trendy – even the skirt! Where are the modern day Spice Boys? Paul Ince and his Chess board suits? and Kevin Keagan’s open shirted medallion man look? The England suits for South Africa are made by Marks and Spencer. Marks and Spencer for Christ’s sake!! You couldn’t get more conservatively dull if you tried. They should all be made to wear something by Vivienne Westwood if it were up to me. Bring back the garish. Footballers shouldn’t be trendy, they should be lost in a bubble of their own mad eccentricity. Rio Ferdinand remains the key I feel. Come on Rio, we know you can do it!

Hmmm…What else?

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