It’s officially April which means that we are drawing to the close of most domestic seasons and preparing for a summer of no football. Before we can get April underway however we need to take a quick look back at what happened last month in the March Roundup. And what a month it was. Last month was all about strikers as we looked at a variety of them going through different stages of their career. Young Daniel Carr is burning up the lower leagues in an attempt to get recognition and a lucrative contract from a bigger club. His plan is working with both Liverpool and Chelsea tracking his progress. Powerhouse Diego Forlan continues to impress both for club and country, scoring spectacular goals along the way, one of which was highlighted in February. And finally two stories emerging out of Newcastle with the release of the once promising Nile Ranger and the announced retirement of former striker and England legend Michael Owen. Both players will be going through a transition period(for different reasons) as they decide what to do next in their careers.
Also going through a transition will be Glasgow Rangers. The club, which secured the Third Division title last month, has followed German and US teams by selling the naming rights to its current stadium, Ibrox. Sports Direct have bought the rights but no name has yet been released to the waiting Rangers fans. Wolves and Blackburn fans would only wish that the renaming of their stadium was their only concern but both face difficult periods in their history due to bad management and self-indulgent owners. Their respective fans will be hoping that their clubs can be turned around and climb the leagues once more but before that can happen, they will need to sort out the mess that existing in their respective boardrooms. One club on the up is Portuguese side Paços de Ferreira who are performing well in the Portuguese League, above expectations. They are hoping to secure third spot and a place in Europe which will be a great reward for a fantastic season.
Controversy also flared up in February starting with the horrendous challenge on St. Etienne’s Jeremy Clement who will now be out for several months with a broken leg. We took a look back at some other unsavoury moments and challenges through the years and look at what could be done. Similarly we looked at the away goal rule and examined its true worth in the modern game. Introduced by FIFA in the 60’s to encourage away teams to attack, it has actually had the opposite effect as home teams now look to sit back and defend, making games tedious and boring in the process for the fans. FIFA was also in the news last month as they were brought in to investigate what compelled an up and coming Greek player to celebrate with a Nazi salute. The player has now been suspended by club and country and is pending further punishment by FIFA.
We also covered international football looking at Scotland’s failure to qualify for another tournament and Rio Ferdinand’s decision to not play for England due to back issues and then proceeded to fly to Dubai to comment on the games. Ferdinand may have given up his last chance at more international caps as Hodgson now fears that Rio might not be ready or able to play back to back games in Brazil. Also hitting the news was a bust up in the PSV tunnel between PSV and Feyenoord players after their intense game, some amazing trick shots from Finnish sensation Lassi Hurskainen and a stunning 70 yard shot by Mor Diouf, all of which was covered in last months blog. April should proved to be as exciting and as always BOTN will cover the biggest stories throughout the month.
Check out all these stories and more in the previous posts section to the right.