Tag Archives: clean

Kazakhstan corner on waterlogged football pitch – VIDEO

VIDEO: Floody hell! No wonder this player gets that sinking feeling when he doesn't get past the first man from a corner…

By
Jill Reilly

PUBLISHED:

13:06 GMT, 7 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 7 March 2013

Disgruntled footballers have been known to blame the state of the pitch for a bad result.

But if these players in the Kazakhstani league were to put in a complaint it would probably be justified – after all taking a corner kick on a submerged football pitch is tricky work.

In a comical video posted on YouTube a footballer is seen being instructed by the referee to take the corner in what resembles the middle of a lake.

Scroll down for video

Water joke: The taker could be forgiven for not beating the first man with this corner

Water joke: The taker could be forgiven for not beating the first man with this corner

When he tries to throw it
to an area where the ball isn't at risk of floating away, he is ordered by the referee to replace it in the corner.

His team-mate comes over and the pair then improvise to try to get the ball in the box.

The corner taker, wearing No 10, kicks the ball up in the air and it is then caught by No 22 and kicked on to the pitch.

Comical clip: In a video posted on YouTube a footballer is seen being instructed by the referee to take the kick at the corner of the pitch

Comical clip: In a video posted on YouTube a footballer is seen being instructed by the referee to take the kick at the corner of the pitch

Easier kick: The footballer tries to throw it to an area where the ball isn't at risk of floating away

Easier kick: The footballer tries to throw it to an area where the ball isn't at risk of floating away

Handiwork: The player wearing a number 10 shirt, then engages in some impressive moves - he kicks the ball up in the air and it is then caught by his tea mate and kicked on to the pitch

Handiwork: The player wearing a number 10 shirt, then engages in some impressive moves – he kicks the ball up in the air and it is then caught by his team mate and kicked on to the pitch

But the water reprieve does not last long – the ball is then kicked straight back into the water.

In the background a clean-up crew can be seen pumping water out of the water-logged pitch.

Some users who watched the video commented the game should have been called off as the referee was not unable to see the pitch markings.

Flooded. THE most ridiculous corner kick EVER

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Rio Ferdinand tweets that anyone comparing Gareth Bale to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo "doesn"t know football"

Think Bale is on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi You don't know football, says Rio

PUBLISHED:

09:36 GMT, 27 February 2013

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UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 27 February 2013

Rio Ferdinand believes anyone who compares Tottenham’s Gareth Bale to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Barcelona magician Lionel Messi ‘doesn’t know football’.

The Manchester United defender tweeted to his four million followers that Bale needs to keep scoring at this rate for three or four years for there even to be a debate.

He wrote: ‘People mentioning Bale in the same breath as @Cristiano + Messi really don’t know football! Bale been 1 of best 2 in PL this year but….

'Don't know football!' Rio Ferdinand has slammed those comparing Gareth Bale (below) to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, saying the last two are on a different planet

'Don't know football!' Rio Ferdinand has slammed those comparing Gareth Bale (below) to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, saying the last two are on a different planet

Best in the world Gareth Bale's spectacular strike for Spurs against West Ham on Monday led to comparisons with the greatest players in the world

Best in the world Gareth Bale's spectacular strike for Spurs against West Ham on Monday led to comparisons with the greatest players in the world

‘He is not on CR7 + Messi’s level yet…he carries on doing what he is doing for 2/3yrs then there can be a debate.

‘Bale showed me a clean pair of heals once this year so I’m in good position to judge! CR7 + Messi have been on another planet for 4-5yrs #consistent #KeepItClean’

Bale has already scored 15 goals in the Premier League this season — earning Tottenham an astonishing 15 points on his own.

Number one: Cristiano Ronaldo reminded us of his quality by scoring two goals for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona last night

Number one: Cristiano Ronaldo reminded us of his quality by scoring two goals for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona last night

Hot property: Lionel Messi has scored 49 goals for Barcelona already this season

Hot property: Lionel Messi has scored 49 goals for Barcelona already this season

Without him Spurs would be way off their quest for fourth place, languishing down in ninth position in the table. Statistics show manager Andre Villas-Boas has been given Bale free rein to roam the park and be selfish — he is making fewer passes and creating fewer goals than last season but scoring far more.

When Cristiano Ronaldo was Bale’s age at 23, he won the Ballon d’Or after scoring scored 31 goals for Manchester United at a rate of one goal every 89 minutes, with a shooting accuracy of 59 per cent.

So far this season Bale has scored 15 goals at a rate of one goal every 135 minutes, with a shooting accuracy of 57 per cent.

Ospreys grant Ryan Jones testimonial year

Ospreys grant triple Grand Slam winner Jones testimonial year

, skippering the 2008 side.

In November, Jones also established a new record for most games as captain of Wales, surpassing Ieuan Evans' previous mark of 28.

Honoured: Ryan Jones, the Wales and Ospreys forward seen here being tackled by two Scarlets players, has been granted a testimonial year

Honoured: Ryan Jones, the Wales and Ospreys forward seen here being tackled by two Scarlets players, has been granted a testimonial year

At club level Jones has won four RaboDirect Pro12 titles with the Ospreys, as well as the 2008 Anglo-Welsh Cup, making 135 appearances since joining them in 2004.

Jones, who featured in all three Tests of the 2005 Lions tour of New Zealand, will officially launch his testimonial year at the Ospreys v Zebre RaboDirect Pro12 game on Friday.

Jones, who has chosen the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal as the official charity of his testimonial year, said: 'I am honoured and extremely humbled to have been handed a testimonial by the Ospreys.

'It promises to be a wonderful and memorable year for not just me but for my family as well, who have been a big inspiration for me and have shared the highs and lows of my career.'

Triple Grand Slam: Jones has helped Wales to Six Nations clean sweeps in 2005, 2008 and 2012 (pictured)

Triple Grand Slam: Jones has helped Wales to Six Nations clean sweeps in 2005, 2008 and 2012 (pictured)

The first major event of Jones' testimonial year will take place on January 31 with a dinner at Cardiff Arms Park featuring guests from the Ireland and Wales teams ahead of their RBS 6 Nations opener the following weekend.

Ospreys chief operating officer, Andrew Hore added: 'Ryan is a wonderful servant to the Ospreys and his country, and to rugby in general.

'His record speaks for itself, his achievements in the game are testament to the hard work and effort he puts in every day, constantly striving to improve.

'He remains one of our most reliable performers, someone who leads by example on the field, and we are delighted to honour that commitment by granting a testimonial year to Ryan in recognition of his service.'

Alex Pearce says clean sheets are breeding confidence at Reading

Pearce says clean sheets are breeding confidence at Reading

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 30 December 2012

Reading defender Alex Pearce believes that clean sheets are helping to grow confidence at the club.

The Royals kept back-to-back clean sheets in their previous two matches picking up a point against Swansea on Boxing Day and three against West Ham on Saturday.

It halted a run of seven defeats in a row, has stopped them slipping nine points from safety and lifted them off the foot of the table.

Optimistic mood: Reading's Alex Pearce (centre) says back-to-back clean sheets over the festive period have helped build confidence in the camp

Optimistic mood: Reading's Alex Pearce (centre) says back-to-back clean sheets over the festive period have helped build confidence in the camp

Pearce claims keeping out the league Champions Manchester City for 92 minutes – before Gareth Barry's controversial winner that looked like a foul on Nicky Shorey – helped Reading turn a corner defensively.

The 24-year-old said: 'I certainly think so. We were very good against Man City defensively, very good against Swansea defensively and very good against West Ham defensively and we had that little bit more going forward.

'But we had to get it right at the back first, build from the back and we are doing that and now we are grinding out the wins.'

Decisive strike: Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the winning goal after five minutes to sink West Ham

Decisive strike: Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the winning goal after five minutes to sink West Ham

He added: 'Players and staff want to keep clean sheets and we are happy with the last three games we played. We deserved a clean sheet at Man City, we then got two clean sheets and we are building on that.

'We got a win and we are building on that. We fully believe we can get out of this, everyone has written us off, everyone is saying we are down but inside that dressing room we have a firm belief we will do it.'

Michael Laudrup would lead my Premier League special XI – Martin Keown

Premier League Bootroom: Laudrup's the leader of my surprise packages

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Christmas is a time for good things so I’ve picked an XI who have played exceptionally well this season. Some have received more plaudits than others but all have surprised in one way or another. And all have done something a bit special this season.

Christmas Crackers XI

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

It was a surprise that Guzan was selected ahead of the very experienced Shay Given at the start of the season but Paul Lambert should be commended for his choice. Guzan has dealt well with the pressure of Given lurking in the background and played with real self-belief. Five clean sheets for a team that has struggled is no mean feat.

Right back Pablo Zabaleta (Man City)

He has seen off Maicon and Micah Richards to become the champions’ No 1 right back. Zabaleta is Mr Dependable. Close behind him as a surprise package is Carl Jenkinson, whose improvement for Arsenal has been amazing. His performances are not apologetic anymore and he deserves to be in the Arsenal starting XI.

Left back: Leighton Baines (Everton)

Only one candidate in this position. Everything has come together for Baines, who gets better and better each year. The precision of his decision making when he goes forward has improved. The weight and timing of his passes are excellent. Add to that his crossing and free kicks and he has to be in my side.

Must have: Leighton Baines has been superb as usual, from his crossing to his decision making

Must have: Leighton Baines has been superb as usual, from his crossing to his decision making

Centre backs: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Sebastien Bassong (Norwich)

Vertonghen
has become the leader in Spurs’ defence. He dictates the line and has
shown great leadership to help Andre Villas-Boas implement his
high-pressing system. He is good on the ball too and has proved to be a
very good signing.

Bassong
left Spurs in the summer for Norwich and has been the key to their
improved defensive performances. He was caught ball-watching too often
at Tottenham but has been dominating as Chris Hughton’s side have kept
five clean sheets. He has also chipped in with three goals.

Midfield: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Oscar (Chelsea), Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

Cazorla has arrived in English football and been a joy to watch. You have to admire his ambidexterity. It’s impossible to distinguish which foot is his strongest. Defences are fearful of his through passes and are now standing off him, which has seen him shoot more.

Oscar is another summer import and is a lovely footballer. He seems unperturbed by anyone around him — people try to dispossess him but they can’t. He has an effortless style, is always looking for the ball and is going to be a phenomenal player. He, more than anyone, has brought a change in Chelsea’s style of play.

Fellaini has benefited from Tim Cahill’s departure as the Belgian is now playing further forward. He brings the ball down on his chest like Niall Quinn used to — he plucks it out the air with such great control. He then uses his huge frame to protect the ball. He’s playing with extra inspiration this season and is scoring crucial goals.

Liquid: Santi Cazorla can play with either foot, is creative, clever and something special

Liquid: Santi Cazorla can play with either foot, is creative, clever and something special

Front three: Michu (Swansea), Christian Benteke (A Villa), Robin van Persie (Man Utd)

The transition Michu has made since arriving from Spain has been incredible. He keeps performing and is very cool in front of goal. Quality players find time on the pitch and he does that in the box. He has given a boost to Swansea’s attacking threat.

Benteke is so fast and powerful and has justifiably kept Darren Bent out the side. I haven’t yet seen a defender who knows how to handle him.

Van Persie was under pressure after a big-money move to United from Arsenal but he has been excellent and there seems to be a real hunger in him. He wants trophies and that motivation is helping drive the rest of the United squad.

Magic Michu: The attacker is cool as a cucumber in front of goal

Magic Michu: The attacker is cool as a cucumber in front of goal

Coach: Michael Laudrup (Swansea)

Following Brendan Rodgers was not going to be easy at the Liberty Stadium. Yes, it took the players some time to get used to his ways, but Laudrup has taken them on to another level, particularly going forward. That is no mean feat.

Another level: Michael Laudrup has driven the players forward at the Liberty Stadium

Another level: Michael Laudrup has driven the players forward at the Liberty Stadium

What's the score

Fixtures

Fixtures

Thibaut Courtois is likely to stay at Chelsea next season

Chelsea set to keep Courtois at Stamford Bridge next season… but Barca are sniffing around

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UPDATED:

13:37 GMT, 23 December 2012

Chelsea are intending to keep goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge after his loan spell with Atletico Madrid ends, but they will have to wrestle him away from the lure of Barcelona.

The 20-year old remains in Madrid until the summer and, although his current deal with the Blues expires in 2016, he could earn a big pay rise if he agrees new terms.

He was snapped up for just six million euros (4.9m) from Genk in August 2011 and is now in his second loan spell with Atletico, succeeding David de Gea after his transfer to Manchester United.

Highly rated: Thibaut Courtois has impressed in his displays for Atletico Madrid

Highly rated: Thibaut Courtois has impressed in his displays for Atletico Madrid

The Belgian stopper kept 15 clean sheets over 38 appearances last year and helped Los Rojiblancos to finish fifth in La Liga.

After his impressive year, Courtois requested an extended loan period, which Chelsea agreed to, but his performances have sparked interest from Barcelona.

Chelsea regard him as a long-term successor to Petr Cech and him staying with the club next season could mean both deputies Ross Turnbull and Hilario are off-loaded.

Alan Shearer: Sunderland boss Martin O"Neill has one game to save his job

Lose to Reading and it could be the end for Sunderland boss O'Neill, says Toon hero Shearer

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UPDATED:

12:11 GMT, 10 December 2012

Alan Shearer believes Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has one last game to save his job.

The former Newcastle legend turned BBC pundit says the visit of Reading on Tuesday night in the Barclays Premier League will be crucial to O’Neill’s survival.

Sunderland have lost five of their last seven Premier League matches while O’Neill’s side have won only one of their last 11 league fixtures at the Stadium of Light.

Under pressure: Martin O'Neill watched his Sunderland side slump to defeat at home to Chelsea at the weekend

Under pressure: Martin O'Neill watched his Sunderland side slump to defeat at home to Chelsea at the weekend (below)

Spot of bother: Two goals from Chelsea's Fernando Torres helped see-off Sunderland at the Stadium of Light

Writing in his column in The Sun, Shearer said: ‘Martin O’Neill has faced some mighty games as a player and manager in his career. None, however, in his 12 months in charge at the Stadium of Light will be bigger than tomorrow night’s visit of Reading.

‘The fans have not turned but they are on the brink. If they don’t beat Reading at home tomorrow their patience will snap.

‘I hate to suggest people are facing the sack. But his next two games after tomorrow are Manchester United away then Southampton away.’

Making his point: Newcastle legend Alan Shearer believes O'Neill has one game to save his job at Sunderland

Making his point: Newcastle legend Alan Shearer believes O'Neill has one game to save his job at Sunderland

Sunderland have attempted only 46 shots on target in the Premier League this season; the fewest of all sides.

But there is hope — No side have kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Reading.

Wales must learn lessons from autumn internationals

Harsh lessons from autumn agony for Wales as Australia complete clean sweep

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 2 December 2012

For 79 minutes and 33 seconds it looked like Wales would finish a rotten autumn in some style, then Kurtley Beale changed everything with a final try to snatch a 14-12 victory for Australia.

The players stood apart on their own tryline, heads hanging and lungs burning, as Leigh Halfpenny lay sprawled on the floor receiving treatment after his courageous attempt to stop the attack.

It was a brutal, ugly metaphor for where Welsh rugby is right now.

Fortunately, Halfpenny’s neck injury was not serious and he was released from hospital on Sunday. But the team itself does need treatment because some harsh truths have been exposed this autumn.

Dejected: Wales slumped to four defeats in the autumn internationals

Dejected: Wales slumped to four defeats in the autumn internationals

BREAK THE PATTERN

The best game Wales played this year was their first: a blistering start to their Grand Slam Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Dublin. Back in February, they were still on a high from the World Cup and had yet to start choking on the suffocating pressure of the Cardiff bubble.

Against Australia, they recaptured the intensity and precision of that form but the pattern of the year still reads five straight victories, a jolly against the Barbarians and then seven straight defeats.

Scrum-half Mike Phillips described Welsh rugby as a soap opera and for a decade there has been an extraordinary pattern of peaks and troughs — 10 defeats in a row (2002-03), eight wins (2004-05), five defeats (2006-07), five wins (2008), five defeats (2010), then this bizarre year.

DON’T BE A FIT FLOP

There is no point being the fitter side if you are not playing at a pace and intensity that is pushing your opponents beyond their physical limits. The backs lost on average four per cent of their body fat and put on 5kg of muscle during 30 training sessions in 10 days before the autumn, but they failed to exploit that superior fitness.

Late show: Kurtley Beale of Australia scores a last minute against Wales

Late show: Kurtley Beale of Australia scores a last minute against Wales

Until Saturday, in every meeting with a southern hemisphere side this year Wales had been ambushed by the early pace of the game. It is like setting a treadmill to sprint in the gym and then trying to jump on.

This time, despite Australia having 74 per cent possession in the opening quarter, Wales were very aggressive defensively and it put them straight in the game.

BE SMARTER AT THE DEATH

Wales have developed a wicked habit of clutching defeat from the jaws of victory. Three times this year they have lost to the Wallabies in the dying seconds — the total deficit is 13 points in their last four meetings — and it comes down to performing basic skills under pressure.

Warren Gatland talked about closing out the tightest Test matches. ‘It was obvious to us in the stands that they were going to use the ball,’ he said. ‘A couple of players weren’t in the front line defensively at the end. They’ve exposed us.’ Time and time again Wales contrive to lose from winning situations.

THE GATLAND EFFECT

The players have made every effort to play down his absence but the stark results tell their own story. Even though Gatland has overseen two defeats at the end of the autumn since returning, the spike in performance says Wales are back to their best with him at the helm.

Main man: Wales improved with Warren Gatland back at the helm

Main man: Wales improved with Warren Gatland back at the helm

The problem now is that he is gone again until after the Lions tour. He brings an X factor as a coach, coming up with ideas like a 13-man lineout against the All Blacks.

He has never done a huge amount of hands-on coaching — he has assembled a fine group of coaches to do precisely that — but his presence as head honcho undeniably gives the players a psychological edge. It becomes a weakness when he walks away.

VITAL STATISTICS

You cannot slip off one-on-one tackling against the southern hemisphere sides. Wales missed 22 against the All Blacks and 15 against Australia. Only Fiji, Scotland and Argentina had worse tackling statistics this autumn. It is uncharacteristic of a team that prides itself on defence.

Sorely missed: Dan Lydiate

Sorely missed: Dan Lydiate

Dan Lydiate, a maniac when it comes to tackling, was sorely missed and his absence affected the balance of the back row. In attack, Wales made three clean breaks per match, but their opponents made seven.

At times the match resembled a really impressive tennis rally without anybody actually hitting a winner. Wales have to find a killer instinct from somewhere. They have to make line breaks count.

MONEY MATTERS

While the regional game is on a financial precipice, even the national team have not been able to fill the Millennium Stadium all autumn. The visit of the All Blacks was a few thousand short, while 25,000 and 30,000 empty seats stagnated the atmosphere of the Argentina and Samoa matches.

Meanwhile, the players have saved the Welsh Rugby Union at least 500,000 in win bonuses over the past six months. As for absentees, the side run 80 to 90 per cent of their training drills in first-team combinations, but with so many players injured or flying off to France for club duty, preparations have been severely disrupted.

FLYING SOLO

It tells you everything about Rhys Priestland’s year that he has slipped from the No 1 sexiest man in Wales to seventh. He lost his way and his swagger during the Six Nations and has been under relentless pressure since.

But two weeks ago he started seeing the team psychologist and that may just be the secret. Against Australia he showed glimmers of his old self. He has been picked out as the fly-half to take Wales to the 2015 World Cup and has a bespoke coaching regime to harness his talent including individual sessions with a running specialist.

In the playmaker role his form determines the team’s success: when he plays well, Wales play well.

Stuart Pearce: England U21s contract extension is uncertain

Pearce admits he could face England U21s axe despite record-breaking year

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UPDATED:

15:36 GMT, 15 November 2012

Stuart Pearce has cast doubt on his long-term role as England Under 21 head coach after admitting he does not know if he will be offered a new contract.

The young Lions ended their most successful calendar year since 1991 with a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Tuesday. It was their sixth consecutive win, five were achieved with clean sheets, and It came after they qualified for Euro 2013 with success in Serbia.

England will warm up for the tournament in Israel with friendlies next year against Sweden and Austria at home, plus a trip to France, but whether Pearce will be in charge for the next qualification campaign, which begins next September, remains to be seen.

Uncertain future: Stuart Pearce does not know if he will be handed a new deal

Uncertain future: Stuart Pearce does not know if he will be handed a new deal

His current deal expires after Euro 2013 and The FA have not approached him over new terms. Pearce has been in the role since 2006 and remains relaxed that the discussions have not yet started.

Young Lions' year to remember…

Feb 29 – England 4 Belgium 0

Sept 06 – Azerbaijan 0 England 2

Sept 10 – England 1 Norway 0

Oct 12 – England 1 Serbia 0

Oct 16 – Serbia 0 England 1

Nov 13 – England 2 Northern Ireland 0

‘I enjoy the job I do’ said Pearce. ‘I have been reasonably successful but not as successful as I would have liked to have been. Who knows what is in the future

‘I am contracted until next summer and that has been the case every time I have gone into a major tournament. We will see (what happens).

‘Everything has got a plus to it and that is what you have to draw out of it. Yes, I would like more contact with players at times on a daily basis and more games to test myself.

Annus mirabilis: The young Lions have won six matches in a row under Pearce

Annus mirabilis: The young Lions have won six matches in a row under Pearce

‘The other side of that I have is the environment I am working in. It gives me great pride to work for the FA; working with the best players in the country is a fantastic option.

‘There are pluses and minuses in both options. I am enjoying what I am doing and we will see where it takes us over the next few months.’

England have set a record in qualifying for four consecutive tournaments but they have not been crowned European Champions at this level since 1984. Pearce, however, says success in Israel will have no influence over whether he stays on as head coach.

‘It would be irrelevant,’ he said. ‘I would like to win the tournament but I have been trying to do that for the last five years. We have had a final, a semi-final and a group stage.

‘We will try and prepare the team as well as we can and give them as many options going into the summer.’

Not bad for a rugby player! Care pockets 2,000 with a 10 Champions League bet

Not bad for a rugby player! Care pockets 2,000 with a 10 Champions League bet

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UPDATED:

16:39 GMT, 7 November 2012

A lot of professional sportsmen enjoy the occasional flutter, but rarely do they come off quite as spectacularly as Danny Care’s latest gamble.

The England scrum-half put 10 on a four-match accumulator involving Tuesday’s night’s Champions League action and, lo and behold, all four matches — Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City v Ajax, Dynamo Kiev v Porto and Schalke v Arsenal — ended in draws to win 2,011.10.

The Harlequins No 9 tweeted ‘Ladbrokes just took a hammering….. #cheers boiii!!’ and included a picture of his betting slip.

Jackpot: Danny Care shows off his accumulator betting slip

Jackpot: Danny Care shows off his accumulator betting slip

It looked as if a surprise Real Madrid defeat would cost him his jackpot, but a late free kick from Mesut Ozil completed the clean sweep, cueing Care to tweet: ‘Ozil…..what a legend!’

‘Haven’t won an accumulator in ages so can’t claim to be any good at them! 4 draws always fun to have a dabble on! Me and @roryclegg happy boys!’

Training hard: Danny Care passes the ball during an England training session at Pennyhill Park

Training hard: Danny Care passes the ball during an England training session at Pennyhill Park

England face Fiji, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in consecutive Tests at Twickenham starting on Saturday with head coach Stuart Lancaster naming his team on Thursday morning.