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Football News: Review Of The Day 21st March 2018

Review Of The Day 21st March 2018
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Review of the Day


Blackpool Saga Takes Another Twist

Latvian businessman Valeri Belokon, a former director of the North-West club, has rejected an offer from Owen Oyston to take ownership of the club, which Oyston has used to hit out at his former business partner. While it is believed that the £25m valuation of the League One side was behind his refusal, it would also be difficult for Belokon to do as Football League rules currently disqualify him from owning any club in the EFL after he failed the EFL's 'Owners & Directors Test' in September due to a 20 year jail term he as given in Kygyzstan for 'money laundering, tax evasion and dishonesty'. Oyston, however, believes that Belokon's claims that he has the football club's best interest at heart are 'fake news'. An Oyston statement read: "Mr Belokon has no intention of coming back to the football club or protecting it as he has publically claimed and he has successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of those fans who believed he was their salvation. At the moment the football club is using money to keep it afloat that was borrowed by Owen Oyston. The simple truth is that he is refusing to engage in discussions to save the football club from further damage and to avoid at all costs its administration and the deduction of 12 points which will relegate it." The statement also claimed that Belokon was offered the club's stadium, hotel next to the Bloomfield Road stadium and the training ground.


Smith Tells Former Club Rangers To Make A Call On Their Manager

Walter Smith has spoken out about his belief that the managerial situation at his former club is hindering their attempts to move forward. Graeme Murty has been placed in charge, on an interim basis, until the end of the season, but Smith feels the short-term nature of the appointment is hindering Murty too. Smith said: "I think it is an important factor for everyone at the club, Graeme Murty as well. The lad has been sitting in the job now for quite a while and you've got that in the back of your head that results one week [means] you can be the manager of Rangers, and everyone says that is a great thing for him, the next they are saying he is not the man for the job. So it is not an easy circumstance for him either. He has handled it well. There is no doubt that one of the major things that will help is the settling down of the managerial situation and the next thing is the rise in the level of player that comes into the club, and that is still required. If that can happen, they can get back to a circumstance where, first of all they challenge Celtic and then hopefully, if they can go on from there, get back into a winning position on a more regular basis."


Reading Midfielder Kelly Rejects Ireland Call-Up

Championship side Reading's young midfielder Liam Kelly has rejected a place in Republic of Ireland's squad for a friendly against Turkey on Friday, as the England-born 22 year old harbours hopes of an England future. Kelly has played for Ireland at under-18 and under-21 level. Kelly was named in a 30-man squad for the game, the 3rd time he had been picked for the initial squad, though this is the first time he had been included in the final travelling squad as well. Republic boss Martin O'Neill said: "He's born in England and wants to keep those options open and that's fine. I've always said here it's the player's choice, it's exactly what it is and if he wants to think that England might come in, that's entirely his decision. I did actually leave a message or two and he got back to me by text." Quite a damning statement by O'Neill, to say 'if he wants to think that England might come in', sounds very like a putdown and hardly conducive to good relations with a player! In fact he just sounds bitter that the lad made a different choice.
Republic of Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Kieran O'Hara (Manchester United), Aaron McCarey (Ross County)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (both Blackburn Rovers), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), David Meyler (Hull City), Eunan O'Kane (Leeds United), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (both Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End)


Toon Hit With FA Charge

Newcastle United have been charged by the FA after their under-18 side wore kits with the logo of a Chinese betting company on the front. FA rules state "services and related activities such as alcohol and gambling" cannot be worn by U18 teams. Newcastle have yet to respond to the charge.


Lippi Tells Giggs To Copy Ferguson

As Marcello Lippi's China side prepares to face Ryan Giggs' Wales side, Lippi has advised Giggs to look to his past and learn from the example of Alex Ferguson, who managed Giggs for so many years at Manchester United. Lippi said, when asked about Giggs at a pre-match press conference: "I don't feel I need to give him any advice. He had the best coach in Sir Alex Ferguson [at Manchester United]. He just needs to do what he learned from him."


Bertrand Ruled Out

Southampton left back Ryan Bertrand has withdrawn from the England squad for upcoming friendlies with Italy and Netherlands with a back injury. Bertrand has returned to his club for treatment and leaves England manager Gareth Southgate with the option of Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose or Man Utd's Ashley Young.


Southgate Never Made An Effort To Convince McTominay

Brian McClair has revealed that Man Utd's young starlet Scott McTominay, when considering his international options, was not exactly pursued by one of those options. McTominay had the choice between England, where he was born and lives, or Scotland, the land of his father, when he emerged as a regular with United earlier this season. In the end McTominay made the choice to play for Scotland, partly because of the effort Scotland manager Alex McLeish made to get him to pledge his allegiance. McClair said: "I'm looking forward to seeing how he deals with the national game and hopefully he'll play in the two games that are coming up. If he continues to do what he's doing for Manchester United, if he keeps playing well, pleasing the manager that he's got, his coach or manager at Manchester United, he'll do well. [Scotland head coach] Alex McLeish made a huge effort getting to [Manchester United's training ground] Carrington to meet up with him, because it was in the middle of the bad weather that we had. He made it, put a case, [England manager] Gareth Southgate sent him a text." Will England live to regret Southgate's lack of pursuit in the future?


Raiola Slams Di Biagio

Super agent Mino Raiola, who counts Mario Balotelli amongst his clients, has hit out at Italy manager Luigi di Biagio for not picking Balotelli in his Italy squad. Balotelli has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup, despite his recent renaissance with French club Nice. Raiola said: "We're disappointed with the failure to call-up Balotelli. We're even more disappointed with the explanation we received publicly, because we haven't spoken to anyone. If Di Biagio says that numbers don't count for a striker then the national team is closed for players like him."


Yaya Still Not Reported For International Duty

Ivory Coast have confirmed that they are still awaiting the appearance of Yaya Toure for the weekend friendlies. Toure was given a recall after changing his mind over his international retirement. "The Ivory Coast coaching staff is without news of the Elephants' winning captain of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations," a report read on the Ivorian Football Federation's official website.


The Real Ronaldo Admits That 'The Haircut' Was A Ruse

Brazil's legendary former striker Ronaldo has finally opened up and talked about his hair cut from the 2002 World Cup. That haircut is iconic and often considered the worst footballers 'do ever, which takes some doing in a sport that features the likes of David Luiz's Sideshow Bob special. O Fenomeno has revealed that it was deliberately bad to take the focus of the world's media away from his struggles, which makes you wonder about Paul Pogba's current 'Pokemon' cut. Ronaldo said: "I had an injury in my leg and everybody was talking about that. I decided to cut my hair and leave the small thing there. I come to training and everybody saw me with bad hair. Everybody was talking about the hair and forgot about the injury. I could stay more calm and relaxed and focused on my training. I'm not proud about the hair itself because it was pretty strange. But it was a good way to change the subject."


Kante Says He Feels At Home With Chelsea

France midfielder N'Golo Kante has been heavily linked with a move to PSG, unsurprisingly with his stand out performances for Chelsea, but the energetic dynamo has said he is happy and at home with Chelsea. Kante said: "I am at home. It is my club, I am a Chelsea player. This is my second year at Chelsea. After what happened last season, it was a very good one for us because we got to celebrate winning the title. In the second season, I have got to play in the Champions League ... We will fight until the end to finish in the top four and to get in a Champions League position."


Essien Released

Just when you thought things could not get any worse for Ghana legend Michael Essien following the unveiling of possibly the ugliest statue ever made, which pictured the midfielder, he has been released by Indonesian club Persib Bandung. Essien was only with the club for one year, and has now been replaced as the club have reached their maximum quota of foreign players.


Team-mates Fight Each Other In France

Auxerre are a long way from the days of the mid-1990s when they won the Ligue 1 title, sitting in Ligue 2 at the moment. Trailing 3-1 to struggling Quevilly-Rouen in a Ligue 2 game when Auxerre team-mates Pierre Polomat and Mickael Barreto began fighting each other in the second half. Both were sent off as their team went on to lose 4-1, leaving them in 11th in the league. An official Auxerre statement read: "The club feels horrified and ashamed after the inadmissible behaviour of Pierre-Yves Polomat and Michael Barreto on the pitch at Quevilly-Rouen. The two players have made a mockery of the image of an institution that has made education and its youth academy priorities."


US Coach Extends Deal

Interim USA national team manager Dave Sarachan has extended his contract to see him through June friendlies for the country. "It was something I wanted to do. I knew what the games coming up were in May and June. They are important and, for me personally, to keep this thing going with the group would be important. And I think the federation realized that as well."


Walace Dropped To Under-21s

Hamburg have made their Brazilian international midfielder Walace train with their under-21s as a punishment. Walace has shown a lack of discipline in recent weeks, including refusing to play in the defence and not showing up to support team-mates in their relegation battle when left out of the team. Hamburg director of sport Bernhard Peters said: "Walace failed to fulfil his contractual obligations last week. It was a matter of course for the player to act in a team-oriented manner, to follow the new coach's ideas and to play in the position as he sees most fit. We do not tolerate that, while his colleagues were fighting for relegation, he was not present at the stadium and did not support the team. If he takes some time to reflect [on] his misconduct, he can return to the coach for talks."


Dortmund Miss Out On Lautaro

Borussia Dortmund's offer was too late to clinch the signature of Lautaro Martinez as he has agreed to sign for Inter Milan according to Racing Club's president Victor Blanco. Blanco said: "Lautaro Martinez will play for Inter. Unfortunately for us, Borussia Dortmund arrived too late with their offer. The move to Inter is 99 per cent done and it'll be very difficult for Lautaro to remain with us after June. As far as Racing are concerned, Lautaro Martinez is an Inter player. I think there are a few details missing between the player and Inter, including a medical, but the player has already signed paperwork with Inter. The only one who can change his mind is the player, because Racing has concluded negotiations with Inter and the deal is done. Borussia Dortmund arrived too late and they have no chance."


Blomqvist Opens Pizzeria

Following on from Lukas Podolski's kebab shop in Germany, another former footballer has chosen to go into the food & beverage trade, as Jesper Blomqvist has opened his own pizza restaurant in Sweden. Blomqvist spent some time in Italy playing for Parma and AC Milan, which he says inspired him to enter the pizza business. Blomqvist said: "I have taken over a pizzeria on Lidingo. It's been around for a few years, but we'll move to new premises and open in a month. I've been looking for a food and beverage project for a long time. I have always thought it would be fun since my time in Italy. Neapolitan pizza is really happening. We've had a wood-burning stove shipped from Naples, and we will use the best Italian ingredients. We won't strive to make pure Neapolitan pizza - we are in Sweden after all - but we won't make it with curry or bananas. I am learning how to bake pizza. In six months' time I'll be there making pizzas even on Saturdays."


Davies Wipes Off £200m Bolton Debt

For a few years now Bolton Wanderers accounts have revealed an eyewatering and worrying debt burden of £200m, though fans were being assured that they had no need to worry as the money wasll all owed to one man: Eddie Davies. Davies is a local Bolton man made good and now living on the Isle of Man. The latest accounts have revealed that Davies has now written off £197.7m, the former owner of the Wanderers putting the club back onto a sound financial footing in one step. Current owner Ken Anderson, when commenting on the accounts, said: "I would also like to thank Eddie Davies and his family for their unwavering support since I arrived at the club. Ed has always had, and continues to have, the best interests of the club at heart, the incredible amount of money written off by him reflected in these accounts pays testament to his generosity. I am aware of some criticism he has faced in the media and by a small section of our supporters in the past, this is most unfair and I certainly hope that I can continue to count on his support and wise counsel throughout my Chairmanship."


Man City Player Admits Turning Down Messi Shirt Swap

On-loan Manchester City youngster Pablo Maffeo has admitted to doing the unthinkable, turning down a shirt swap with Lionel Messi to get the shirt of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen instead! Maffeo is currently on-loan from City to the club part-owned by Pep Guardiola's brother, Girona, and spent Saturday night man-marking Messi. However, at the end of the game he chose to turn down Messi's shirt: "A friend of mine wanted Ter Stegen's shirt so I asked the goalkeeper. Messi is the best footballer in the world, but friends come first." You have to wonder if the friend only said Ter Stegen because he did not think Maffeo would have a chance of getting Messi's and is probably cursing in his head while saying thanks for the shirt!

Written by Tris Burke March 21 2018 06:12:34