i want to be like you

There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of, “the best form of flattery is immitation.”

liverpool's adidas third kit for the 2010/2011 season
exhibit a: liverpool's third kit looks strangely familiar.

It’s always seemed to me that the undertone of the phrase implies that someone is angry at having been copied by a lesser person. “How dare they jock my style!” seems to be the general feeling being broadcast by the copied party.

But really, it’s a good point to get across to the offended. You know you’re doing something well when other people are trying to be like you. There’s no doubt that those enviably looking on at your successes will inevitably try to replicate some of the steps you took to get to this point. So effectively, their copycat behavior is ultimately a testament to your awesomeness.

In certain circumstances, it’s possible that even those you once strove to be like are now striving to be more like you. If that’s the case, then you are really sitting pretty…. so Manchester City, take your well-earned bow.

Examine Exhibit A, up and to the left: the recently leaked 2011/2012 third kit for Liverpool by Adidas.

As is commonly known, Liverpool have long been the most successful club in English football. With 19 league titles, 7 FA Cups, and 5 European Cups, the Mereyside club have been the side that everyone (and I mean everyone, right Sir Alex?) in England wanted to be.

Also widely known is Liverpool’s recent fall from grace. It’s been two years since the Anfield outfit have finished inside the top four, and this upcoming season will be their first without European football since the 1999/2000 season. Whether this dip in results is due to the increased competitive abilities of the rest of the league or due to a decline in the club (it’s likely a bit of both), the fact of the matter is that Liverpool are now the ones staring enviously up the table.

And what better way to get back to the top than to emulate those who are currently at the top, right?! And who better to emulate than world-conquering Manchester City?

manchester city's 2007/2008 away kit by le coq sportif
perhaps liverpool think they can repeat city's meteoric rise if they start dressing like them.

So how are liverpool copying the citizens? Take a look at the kit to the right.

You see what i mean?

Sure, City’s 2007/2008 away kit by Le Coq Sportif isn’t exactly the same as the Liverpool’s new third option, but they are remarkably similar. The shorts and socks to be worn with both kits are white. the light blue and black striped shoulder sash persists in both, though in slightly different weights and locations.

I mean, could the Adidas designers really not have noticed the similarities? Aren’t they paid to check on these things?! They had to, which leads me to believe that maybe they did notice it and were actually trying to summon City’s mojo through the finest form of flattery.

However, if that is the case, then there are two huge problems with this.

  1. Maybe picking this Mancunian kit to imitate wasn’t the smartest of ideas. The season that City wore them, they finished 9th. Hopefully Dalglish and company are prepared for the consequences of wearing this imitation.
  2. When are they even going to wear this thing? Liverpool don’t even really need a third kit this season. None of next season’s Premiership clubs have black home kits, which means that Liverpool’s sharp looking away kit will work just fine. (If you’re wondering about Newcastle’s more-black-than-usual striped kit, Liverpool would wear their traditional reds anyway). Secondly, for most squads, a third kit is needed for European travels. But as i mentioned above, that’s not even an issue for them this year.
So, if Liveprool really want to channel the success that City has seen over the last two years, maybe going with a plain light blue kit would have been a better homage. It doesn’t really matter though, as this kit will probably only see the pitch during preseason.
But regardless of the reason Liverpool chose this particular kit design, it’s fairly simple to determine the real reason it even exists in the first place: so they can sell it to you to make money… wait, wait a second… maybe they are trying to be like Citeh after all.
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