So after all the carry on , the new Newcastle home strip has been unveiled to the seething masses .Was it worth all the build up?

Firstly before we look at the thing, anyone who says no one cares about things like this and indeed, that no one cares about Newcastle United anymore have been totally wrong as the hype and build up mostly generated by The Chronicle, has been the most before any unveiling in years, when in reality the last few decades have saw the sort of play on the pitch that would make you put on a long overcoat to hide the fact you were wearing a toon strip . Even in July.

The market is still there.

Part of the allure for fanatics this time has been the change of manufacturer from Puma to Castore, a relative unknown in the football market . Andy Murray, Rangers, Wolves and the West Indies cricket team haven’t been enough to stop the conspiracy theorists who think new the new darling of some of our support- Mike Ashley , is involved.

Whether he is or not has been discussed elsewhere on True Faith but in probably the biggest day of Castore’s history so far, lets look at the home shirt.

We have a million different away variations, it’s the Black & White that counts.

Firstly lets just say that ridiculous sponsorship logo would spoil any strip I’m afraid. We could have any classic offering from the 80s and 90s and stick Fun 88 on the front and it would ruin it and it does again here.

The gambling aspect is bad enough, but why does it always look like someone has just taped it on all of our strips? It does again here and it looks cheap.

That’s not Castore’s fault though they can only play with the cards they were dealt.

I’m afraid though that’s where the cheapness doesn’t end. The round grandad like collar and button down front look very cheap.  It makes me think of the really young baby kits you can buy.

Easy access in case they mess themselves. I mean we are not that bad yet are we?

That’s my major gripe. You would think Castore would have put everything into this , trying to avoid looking cheap as that accusation would be never ever far away with a new company like this.

The rest of the shirt isn’t too bad but isn’t anything startling either. Like Puma before they have went for thicker black and white stripes and less of them . This sometimes makes for decent kits but can we not have more Black & White stripes? You don’t have to pay by the inch, folks…..or do you?

I don’t mind the arms (he says as if anyone or myself actually cares about them) but simply I think the strip sums up where we are with Newcastle right now. Totally and utterly uninspired.

Its not the worst kit we’ve ever had but a big feeling is that we could have done a lot better, again mirroring what’s happening on the pitch.

Is my apathy about the Toon just starting to hit everything associated with it though?

Puma had worse strips than this to be fair and were a massive disappointment. We had some horrors with Puma though it did come out that Ashley wouldn’t pay the extra cash to get us into the inner circle where the kits were bespoke. We might as well have looked in the catalogue that Sunday league teams use.

At least with these , they will be made for us and to be fair you can sort of see that. That’s something at least, though again having had the template to go full on Newcastle with all our history of classic tops, they really ought to have got better than this. That’s my opinion. Not the worst but not the best. My expectations were zero mind.

It’s  good and the bad about the shops being took over by them.

I’m very happy a club shop will be open in Newcastle city centre. Every other major team has it and before Ashley deconstructed our revenue streams, so did we. Great to see jobs created (lets hope it’s the people who were cruelly relieved of their duties earlier in the year) and fair play for this, they probably didn’t need to do that.

HOWEVER, the picture I’ve seen of the Gallowgate shop is very much Castore without a thought whatsoever for Newcastle United. Castore shop!!!! Its not about you, man.

Plus they better not have Rangers strips in there. We get enough in the ground when Chelsea play us.

To sum up, I’m trying hard to like it but I’m not blown away whatsoever by it. The feeling from me is that Castore have wasted a big chance here. Its early days in our marriage though, maybe they will learn as they go along.

NUFC fans will buy a decent strip en-masse (Ed: or they used to). For a lot of fans it’s a quintessential thing to show where you come from or where your at and the pride of your club. This strip won’t do that.

It will be bought heavily, but out of duty more than excitement. Just like watching us at the moment. But remember people, it’s only a shirt.

SCOTT ROBSON