So here it is! After the away kit being leaked on Twitter, and some amazing mocks ups (one of which based on my sketches on what the kits should be like) – the West Ham 2016/17 away kit has officially been released.

The kit does show some similarities with styles in the past, such as the Reebok kit that was the highlight of our FA Cup run in 2006 and also the XL sponsored shirts.

Simplicity is something I absolutely adore in sports apparel and Umbro have not disappointed.

Taking on board comments from last season’s sky blue kit, fancy diagonal tonal claret line details are not featured this time around. Sky blue accents to the collarbone area define the shape of the kit, making the body stand proud – a detail carried over from last season’s claret and orange training jumpers. A claret collar around the neck with a sharp square front compliments the shape of the shirt.

The sky blue shorts are nice touch with claret piping, and the away kit will have white socks with claret and blue hoops positioned centrally to the shin.

The shorts and socks combo makes you wonder what combination will the home kit have.

White shorts is odds on but does the kit have claret or sky blue socks? The flexibility of the combinations is a major part of the kits in the modern game and with new FIFA rules stating that kits must be of a completely different shade to the opposition.

So could we see an away kit in all white just like our last fa cup final appearance? Can we see a (shirt/short/sock) white/sky-blue/sky-blue or white/sky-blue/claret combo?

One thing I think does need removing from the shirt is the text under the badge that acknowledges the inaugural season at the Olympic Stadium. This is an away kit, right? So will this kit be played at home games? 100% no. So why put it there?

I understand it being on the home kit as that is the kit we will be playing in. It makes no sense and has no divine right to be on there, and I would welcome the club and Umbro to explain why.

My opinion is that anything with the words ‘London’ and ‘Olympic’ is going to attract new fans across the globe because they are iconic, so it’s going to make money- no doubt about that – as we’ve seen that it’s already hit the shops in the far east but not in a local West Ham shop in Romford or Lakeside, where there is more West Ham fans to sell too.

Overall I feel the kit is impressive and all I have to complain about is the text under the badge.

The cuffs are in claret and feature the top half of the Union Jack flag in a sky blue detail. Like the stadium, like the city and like the flag, it’s all iconic places and symbols. Does the world not know we are a London club yet? I don’t mind the flag, and I think it adds a nice detail to a very simplistic shirt.

This is a kit that will be used frequently away from Stratford and hoping on foreign shores if we qualify for Europa League group stages.

Bubbles flying high and flying the flag – it’s almost like we are about to represent Britain & London… I just hope it’s for footballing reasons and not for Eurovision.

In three words: Bold, Proud & Clean

Verdict: 9/10

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