The pre-season is upon us. Football is slowly rising from its small nap and prepping up for the long season ahead. The teams have put their new kits for sale and the rush to buy them is giving all the eager fans jitters at night.
Manchester United has also joined the bandwagon and released their kit for the 2022/23 season, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, and Raphael Varane donning the fresh jerseys. The Adidas kit is also a homage to the iconic ‘collar’ that was once a dominant feature of United’s shirt.
In a video posted by the club, one can easily see the resemblance with an old kit that the former King of Old Trafford, Eric Cantona, and his associates used to play in while casually tearing apart teams in the Premier League. In a way, the new kit is a reminder of the good times that the club enjoyed and a promise of a better future.
It’s official – the ‘collar’ has returned for the Red Devils. But it’s not only about wearing that shirt and taking the pitch. It’s about dressing oneself with sublime confidence and swagger, in that vintage shirt that cries out to the eternal legacy of the club that has been overshadowed in the past decade.
A moment of magic, a guardian angel, a man on a mission is what United has sought from all its signings in the past eight years. Even bringing back Ronaldo couldn’t ease their woes, but this revelation of the new kit has brought back the exhilarating visuals of Cantona’s brilliance and goal-scoring sprees for United. It’s nostalgia 101.
The fans adored Cantona, who dominated games with his out-and-out attack abilities. His agility and anger were the driving factor in his game and the images of him turning around with the ‘collar’ popped up and arms wide open after scoring a goal has been a sight to behold forever by United fans.
Lately, after the release of the new kit, the fans are debating who has the true grit in the current squad to play with the bad boy charisma of Cantona and replicate his iconic style of keeping the ‘collars’ up at all times. A few names have come up – McTominay, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho have been touted to play with that bravado, but the one that has caught the attention of the fans is United’s new number eight, Bruno Fernandes.
Since he arrived at the Theatre of Dreams, Bruno has given a significant boost to United’s chances of fighting for the top four in the Premier League, but because of a few rotten apples, the team has suffered. The Portuguese’s impact has been immediate, and it’s almost blasphemous to imagine United with Bruno anymore.
Bruno has been ferocious on the pitch, just like Cantona. He’s not the one with the cool head but is steamy and would run at opponents at every turn. Recently, his video of shouting at Fred and Alex Telles when the players were caught filming rather than getting ready to practice shows his determination to get United back on level terms with its legacy.
Cantona, who is often referred to as the former king of Old Trafford would certainly stamp his approval for Bruno but the least that the Portuguese could do is get those collars up and put United back where they belong.