Tag Archives: dustbin

England purple rugby kit set for the dustbin as RFU ponder banning change strips

England's controversial purple kit set for the dustbin as RFU ponder banning change strips

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UPDATED:

10:52 GMT, 5 December 2012

The RFU are considering banning the controversial change strips worn by England for the autumn internationals including the garish purple shirts in which the side were beaten by Australia at Twickenham.

From the charcoal grey anthracite to the divisive black shirt at the World Cup, for each one of the past five seasons England have released a coloured ‘change’ shirt and worn it for at least one Test match to exploit commercial opportunities.

Although the kits are on sale at Twickenham on the day they are worn, and throughout the autumn, many of the change designs haven’t sold as expected. A red-and-white version – a design apparently inspired by the St George’s flag- was first introduced in 2008, then it was that horrible purple shirt against Argentina a year later, in which England played terribly.

What were they thinking England lost to Australia in this purple kit last month

What were they thinking England lost to Australia in this purple kit last month

Chris Ashton’s brilliant ‘try of the century’ against the Wallabies two years ago was marred only by the sight of his famous Swan dive in a dank grey ‘anthracite’ shirt.

Last month they played Australia again in a bright purple that supposedly harked back to the anthem jackets worn by England in the Seventies and Eighties. The team were defeated and the shirt – which looked just like an Arsenal away shirt from a few season ago – took the brunt of the blame, adding to the condemnation.

The only team in Test rugby against whom England would have to wear anything but their all-white home shirt is against Fiji. But absurdly, on November 10 it was Fiji who switched to blue.

Asked about the controversial change strips, RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie told the Times: ‘You always look at it. I’m quite happy to say one was surprised by the strength of feeling (about the purple shirt worn against Australia) and that it was correlated to the performance.

‘I don’t remember reading huge criticism for the last five years about a change of shirt. All of us look at these things and review it. How do we deal with the atmosphere Of course we look at all those things and it’s right to do that.’

And who remembers these horror kits

England v Argentina, 2009

Purple patch: Ugo Monye is sent flying in another England horror kit in 2009

Purple patch: Ugo Monye is sent flying in another England horror kit in 2009

England v Australia, 2010

Tryu of the century: But Chris Ashton's effort was scored in this grey monstrosity

Tryu of the century: But Chris Ashton's effort was scored in this grey monstrosity

England v Argentina, World Cup 2011

Black Saturday: Jonny Wilkinson wears this dark number against Argentina

Black Saturday: Jonny Wilkinson wears this dark number against Argentina

Football Lab of Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid REVEALED

REVEALED: The Football Lab that Arsenal hope will create a new generation of stars

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 15 November 2012

There was a time when wannabe footballers honed their technique and reactions by kicking a tennis ball against a coal shed or a dustbin.

Today, things have moved on leaps and bounds, with the top clubs investing in the latest technology to gauge their proteges’ potential to within a fraction of an inch or second.

There’s the hi-tech ‘Footbonaut’ at Borussia Dortmund which is fine-tuning Jurgen Klopp’s almost unplayable passing game to perfection.

Secret weapon: Many of Europe's elite clubs are using a new Football Lab training device

Secret weapon: Many of Europe's elite clubs are using a new Football Lab training device

Secret weapon: Many of Europe's elite clubs are using a new Football Lab training device

And Sportsmail can reveal another top-secret weapon used by the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Real Madrid to keep their stars at the top of their game.

The Football Lab, developed by Danish company Munin Sports, is the world’s first fully interactive training pitch. It is an enclosed patch of Astroturf fitting with the company’s unique m-station PRO rebound boards on each wall and laden with LED tracker lights, loudspeakers and motion sensors.

Jamie Redknapp tests the 'Footbonaut'

Sportsmail sent an expert to check out Borussia Dortmund's revolutionary training device – click here to read what Jamie Redknapp made of the Footbonaut

The player stands in the centre and must pass the ball off whichever rebound board is flashing in the quickest amount of time. It’s a real test of reactions, agility and passing accuracy.

And to add to the space age feel, every movement of player and ball is mapped by the sensors, with the data instantly available to download to an iPhone app.

While the top clubs use the Lab to sharpen the skills of their youth players, it is open to anyone and so the tracking software adds a competitive element between friends and teammates.

Club coaches can, of course, monitor the stats to see which areas can be worked on.

VIDEO: Inside the Football Lab

The rebounders can also be used anywhere on the pitch and replicate the random movements of a ball on the field of play. They might be positioned, for example, on the edge of the penalty box in shooting drills to mimic the knock-downs from a tall target man. Or a goalkeeper might throw the ball at the board to test his reflexes.

The m-station PRO is used by Arsenal’s academy players at the club’s Hale End and London Colney training grounds.

Arsenal coach Carl Laraman said: ‘It’s a marvellous piece of equipment. I can use it for different elevations and you can use it as a rebound facility for passing and both defensive and attacking heading.

‘The players can also use it on their own for practice before and after training.’

VIDEO: m-station demonstration

It is also used at Manchester United for individual practice by first team coaches, and at AC Milan and Real Madrid for academy development.

Gianluca Angelucci, coach at the AC Milan Youth Camp, added: ‘This is a very important step forward and all Italian clubs will definitely benefit from it.

‘It allows you to work with very specific elements, especially when it comes to goalkeeping practice where you need to dive, catch the ball in the air or react on rebounds.’

Bumble in the desert: time for tee

Bumble in the desert: There's been plenty of time for tee out in the UAE

We’ve been really spoilt here. We’ve played golf at the Montgomerie, Faldo, Els and Yas Links courses and they are all sensational.

The powers-that-be want me to design a course now – no fairway will be longer than a hundred yards, there will be no sand and every hole will be as big as a dustbin. That would give me half a chance…

Time for tee: Bumble and his colleagues have played plenty of golf out in the desert

Time for tee: Bumble and his colleagues have played plenty of golf out in the desert

IN THE ROUGH

I thought that myself and Hussain were a golfing team but so far we’ve played two and lost two, which means we’re in the drop zone and staring relegation in the face. For some reason Nasser hasn’t spoken to me for two days and is once again confined to his hotel room.

FLAT CHANCE

What are England’s second Test options They can leave it as it is, which they do regularly, or bring spinner Monty Panesar in for a quick bowler, especially with DRS in mind, because this pitch will be very flat.

If they go that way then they could give themselves another bowling option in picking Ravi Bopara instead of Eoin Morgan.

Spin option: England could pick Monty Panesar in their XI

Spin option: England could pick Monty Panesar in their XI

DRIVING TEST

Done
the hour’s drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi for the first time and now I
can see where the creator of Wacky Races got his inspiration. Dastardly
and Muttley and Penelope Pitstop have got nothing on the drivers here.
They overtake on the inside, outside and over the top.

TALK TACTICS

My own preference would be to bring Panesar in for Chris Tremlett and I think cricket needs to think tactically more often, like they do in football.

There’s nothing wrong with picking a particular team for a certain occasion, as they especially do in the Champions League, and then going back to one spinner in Dubai