The race through 2013 continues, as we crash into March just as we were getting used to the previous month. Is it Spring yet? Judging by the temperature here in Manchester it's not, but one look at any football league table and the pressure building around almost every game tells us that we're definitely heading towards the 'end game' very soon.
One place that's also heading towards its end is the San Mamés stadium, the magnificent ground that has housed Athetlic Bilbao for many years - that's the ground pictured at the top of the page. With the club set to move into a brand new stadium in their centenary year, UEFA have looked back at some of the greatest games that 'La Catedral' has hosted, including a couple from that mesmerising European run last season.
Many leagues might be heading to a conclusion soon, but one very close to us is only kicking off at this time of year. The League Of Ireland has seen a few financial struggles over the past few years, but there's a cautious optimism as the teams look forward to their latest campaign, as explained in this excellent preview over at Back Page Football. There's also plenty of other meaty articles there on what looks to be an excellent site for straight-faced football reportage.
The scrutiny of referees is something that's been debated for a long time, and its long been said that learning just what it takes to do the job is probably the best way to understand just how difficult it can be. Since completing a Basic Refereeing course, I can certainly appreciate the job more, and it's something that The Guardian have gone through as well in this article. It gives a great insight into what it's like to be a ref, and also allows you to see what the journos look like in the flesh!
Art and football seems to a world that's constantly expanding at the moment, with people finding inspiration in all aspects of the game. One of the best examples we've seen recently is a collection of portraits of iconic playmakers by the artist Daniel Nyari, brought to our attention by KCKRS. You can see the whole collection here, and there's also a link to buy them if you're feeling flush.
Talking of pictures, there's not really much to add to these pictures of Europe's highest football pitch from Wired apart from a) what a view and b) what do they do if the ball goes over the fence? That's a long walk to get it back.