Well, that was hard. A 5-0 drubbing to Borussia Mönchengladbach. One of the worst ever defeats in Bayern Munich’s long and rich history. There’s a lot to pick apart from a disaster like this, and some not on the pitch. One aspect that I decided to look into was the kits.
Bayern suited up in their normal red home kit against Gladbach, a kit that is quite frankly not too pleasing to the eye. Which got me wondering: do bad jerseys tend to go with bad results? Well, history tends to prove that theory more often than you might realize…
Exhibit A. Mintstrocity 18/19
The 2018/19 season will be remembered for a couple of things, namely the farewell of Robbery and Rafinha, the disappointing Champions League exit to Liverpool, the domestic double that almost made up for it, and so on. One of those things is the utterly hideous away kit.
Easily one of Bayern’s ugliest ever kits to date, the mint-colored hospital gown was worn in a total of eight games, with the record being three wins, three draws, and two defeats. That may not seem too bad on paper, but those three draws were tepid, lackluster affairs, while among the three wins, only a 4-0 win over bottom-placed Hannover was decent. One of them was a 1-0 win over a Regionalliga side! Yes, a fourth-tier side! Simply put, Bayern rarely looked good wearing this kit, and thank God it was ditched after the season.
Exhibit B. No stars, too many stripes 10/11
This kit may not be hated by too many people, but I find it revolting. There’s such a thing as too many stripes. We’re not Juventus, Newcastle, or any other team that has stripes. Stripes are not a Bayern thing. I’m not saying they never work; in fact, even our sextuple winning kit had stripes, but very subtly. This garment from 2010/11 looked like it was designed by someone wearing one of those crazy glasses that you find in joke shops.
And how well did Bayern do that season? Well, they finished third in the Bundesliga, their lowest finish in the 2010s, they got knocked out of the Champions League early on, and they also failed to win the Pokal. A season to forget, with a kit to forget.
Exhibit C. Drab and dead, 98/99
The third kit from this season was so depressing to look at. In my humble opinion, football teams rarely look good in gray. It’s such a sad color. It reminds me of cloudy skies, trash bags, sweat stains, and other gross stuff. This fateful season, we decided to put it on our kit. Add that to an ugly brown trim, and you’ve got yourself one bad looking kit.
The kit was worn in the 1999 Champions League final. The less said about that final, the better.
Exhibit D. White flag of surrender, 19/20
Now, this kit isn’t the worst looking kit on this list. In fact, it’s not a bad looking kit by any means. It’s not beautiful, but it’s not bad either. However, it’s definitely the worst kit out of the three that were released in 2019/20. It looks a bit plain, bar a graphic looking pattern on the bottom of the shirt. Guess what color that pattern is? You guessed it, gray. It doesn’t really scream “Bayern,” you could put any other team’s logo on it and it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Bayern didn’t really play their best games in this kit either. It was worn in seven games, and while Bayern only lost once in those seven, that one time just so happened to be the infamous 1-5 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. It was Bayern’s worst recent defeat until the Gladbach fiasco happened, and the kit did the team no favors. Fun fact, the kit was never worn in Bayern’s successful Champions League campaign. Coincidence? I think not.
Exhibit E. Gaudy in Gladbach
We come back to the present for our final entry. This season’s home kit is by far the worst home kit of the last ten years, rivaled only by the red and blue stripes of 14/15. Why did they go for a burgundy as the main color instead of bright red, I’ll never know. And what’s with the series of downward-pointing Vs on the front? Are we supposed to go down with them? It looks awful, and it’s a shame that it’s our main kit of the season.
The kit will remain in infamy as the kit that was worn in Bayern’s worst loss in over 40 years. But then again, there’s still a long way to go this season. If the team can pick up the pieces and pick up a trophy or two at the end of it, maybe this kit will be looked on with a bit more favor. As of now, though, it’s an ugly kit that was worn in an ugly game.
These are just some of the examples in which Bayern’s kit reflected the team’s success. Of course, there are several outliers too. For one, the most beautiful Bayern kit of all time, the 2011/13 home kit, was worn in the Champions League final that never happened. But that particular kit was redeemed by being worn in the treble winning season the following year. See, if kits are good looking, they tend to be successful too.
It’s too early to judge how this season’s kits will turn out. But it would be a shame if the beautiful away kit for this campaign had to go to waste because of a poor home shirt and season. Hopefully the team can bounce back after this crushing defeat and make those kits proud. Who knows? If the team wins the Bundesliga and/or the Champions League, I might get the home kit after all...