Do goalkeepers really possess a secret weapon?

If you were lucky, or should I say brave enough to witness my article on the top 20 worst Premier League shirts in history last week; you would have not only found that the nineties was a bad era of fashion, but goalkeepers jerseys in particular incorporated designs more extravagant than most.

From Schmeichel’s bright orange triangular contours, to David James series of swiggles, dots and a few more dodgy placed swiggles all on one Liverpool goalkeeper’s jersey, the visuals have paid credence to the myth that goalkeepers are a strange breed and that they are all mad!

But just why are goalkeeper’s jerseys more bright, loud and vibrant than the outfield kits? Do goalkeepers have a secret motive or secret weapon? Let us examine.

All stoppers need that extra bit of help. I mean it is the hardest job in the game, isn’t it? Keeping the ball out of the net. Everton’s Tim Howard currently sports a jersey G.I. Joe would be proud of. Football fans would have been AWOL not to notice the American’s army-like camouflaged number this term. Whilst Howard may wear it to fade and logically disappear into the Goodison backdrop after a possible keeping howler, the jersey is extremely off-putting for the opposition.

Whilst possibly ambitious to ponder upon the prospect of goalkeepers and kit makers conducting secret meetings in an old, disused factory before the eve of a new season, the growing trend of effervescent jerseys continues; this time at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech has built a reputation as one of the league’s best shutout merchants since his arrival from Rennes in 2004, but the Czech has been owner to a large range of particularly bright garments from his wardrobe.

In the 2010/11 campaign, Adidas crafted a bright yellow goalkeeper’s kit and the season before, Chelsea fans will recall a bright orange predecessor. Whilst this equipment may have made Chelsea’s number one look like a big construction worker or a large traffic cone, it would be foolish not to surmise that these illuminating designs are distracting for opposing strikers.

Of course, brightly outfitted keepers clearly distinguish the separation of the role from the outfield for the viewer, but the lively colour schemes are likely to possess diverting qualities in the eyes of a striker bearing down on goal.

Manchester City’s Joe Hart has been arguably the best stopper in the division this season, but Welsh strikers in particular have been the victim of another goalkeeping masterstroke.

Back in September of last year, Hart wore a ‘minty monstrosity’ according to TalkSport in the qualifier with Wales that seemingly sported countless white and green crosses of St George against the nearly undistinguishable crest of the Three Lions.

TalkSport too corroborated the essence of this article in surmising

‘The Three Lions are going for the old ‘distract the opposition by temporarily scrambling their brain with this crazy kit’ tactic’

Whilst this article may be a little tongue in cheek for your tastes, there is definitely something in the decisions to employ such infamous jerseys.

Howard, Cech and Hart may represent just a few of the many examples of gruesome garments worn over the years, but serve as contemporary evidence that the secret weapon myth most certainly lives on.

Am I clutching at straws or have you too noticed this phenomenon? Follow me @

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