Russian Football Federation Blog
Here is the kit for (probably) glorious season of 2010. Year ago CSKA turned from Umbro to Reebok, and the 2009 kit was really amazing. But for 2010 Reebok went retro – and, let me notice, retro in a bad way. Let’s see.
The red and blue stripes on the first kit (pictured right) remind of classic CSKA jersey from the beginning of the past decade. CSKA hadn’t played in stripes since 2003, and this revival is actually a good idea. But there never were any stripes on the second kit! These gray and white seem little out of place, especially with the Reebok logo right on the shoulders, which is just weird. The last time I recall same placement was for Russia at the World Cup 1994. It was awful, too.
Well, this one isn’t good but we can always dig up some history. Here are some remarkable CSKA kits.
The classic (2003)
Deep blue and brick red. Pure hit. By the way, this is Ivica Olic.
The golden (2005)
This kit comes with success. In no-stripes jersey and almost black shorts CSKA won the UEFA Cup. And some titles in Russia, too.
The modern (2009)
The first Reebok tryout was about bright colors.
The worst (1992)
Soviet Union fell down and the designers let loose (pictured right). These blue spikes on the jersey remind me of some stupid arcade game.
The best (1991)
Horizontal stripes, no sponsor, great Rodchenko-style font. If Reebok wants to go retro, that’s the way.
Luciano Spalletti was welcomed in Saint Petersburg with painting, silver tea glass holder and valenki (pictured) – my dictionary says it’s ‘felt boots’. He was kind and gentle, and even tried to joke:
‘I’ve heard there are 5 million coaches in Russia. Well, I’m ready to learn from them’.
And that’s what he got back from one of the journalists:
‘Did you know that no bald coach has ever won Russian Premier League’?
It must be love, no doubt.
‘The match will be played in any weather’, we say. Take a look at these pictures – la crème de la crème of Russian football.
The slightest taste of winter in October.
That’s March. See any fans?
The famous Snow Derby between Spartak and CSKA in November 2002. Mmm, snow banks.
And I haven’t mentioned the summer fun yet.
Here’s the first big deal of Russian winter – Andriy Voronin left Liverpool for Dynamo Moscow.
Personally, I’m a fan of Andriy Voronin. He’s smart and he’s a real team player. He made a great performance in three Bundesliga clubs and I’ve never heard a bad word about him from fans and journalists. But I seriously doubt that he would make an impression at Dynamo. Here are some reasons why.
First. With the departure of Alexander Kerzhakov, who soon will be back at Zenit Saint Petersburg, Dynamo is looking for a goal poacher, an ultimate striker. And Voronin obviously isn’t one. He’s good as dropped forward, using space and speed, and he has excellent passing ability. But who he will be passing to? Dynamo’s latest signings were all midfielders and defenders and I’m afraid their transfer campaign is finished.
Second. Andrey Kobelev, Dynamo’s coach, is hard to deal with. Though he’s 41, he has kind of Soviet mentality, straightforward and limited. So Voronin could relive the same problems as with Oleg Blokhin and Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko at Ukraine national. Let me remind you that as a result Voronin was dropped out of the squad and didn’t score a single goal for Ukraine since November 2007.
Third. Voronin, who left Ukraine at 16, has always said that he likes Germany and Western style of life. He’s very independent and sometimes even selfish, so the reactive Russian football society – managers, fans, media – could be hard for him to adapt to.
But despite all this I wish him best.
Andrey Arshavin’s four goals at Anfield
Four goals in one game at this level is great achievement in any case. But this was much more about credibility of a Russian player abroad – in my opinion, no Russian has been so important to his team since Mostovoi. And, in England, since Kanchelskis. Plus, Arshavin is still the only one from the marvelous Euro’08 team who made a big fuss in Europe afterwards.
Miserable end of World Cup campaign
Now see how four fingers became one. World Cup 2010 qualification led Russia to play-off games against Slovenia. Unfortunately, half the team was extremely unfit for crucial match in Maribor. Alexander Borodyuk, Hiddink’s assistant, was concerned about poor form before the game, but was told by Arshavin to ‘shut the fuck up’. That was witnessed by reporters and multiplied the disappointment of weak 0-1 defeat with two red cards.
Vladimir Bystrov’s controversial transfer
Luis Figo? Mo Johnston? Roberto Baggio? Sol Campbell? Forget about all this. The most controversial transfer in the history of football – and I mean it – was made this summer in Russia. Vladimir Bystrov, winger from Zenit Saint-Petersburg youth system, moved to Spartak Moscow, the ultimate rival club, in 2004. Zenit vs Spartak is like Marseille vs PSG – clash of two major cities, with lot of police-fan brawls included, so Bystrov was, in common way, claimed ‘Judas’. In summer 2009 he was in top form with Spartak and Zenit’s board decided to buy him back for release fee of 9 million euro. Fans went mad and arranged series of protest against this decision, despite the fact that Bystrov scored 6 goals in 6 consecutive games for Zenit and made a key contribution to the final 3rd place.
Rubin Kazan on the top of the league
No one can still believe that the title went outside of Moscow for a third year in a row. First Zenit in 2007, now Rubin Kazan for the second time proved that provincial clubs found their way to glory. Rubin’s success is all up to coach Kurban Berdyev, who made a solid team out of no-stars lineup and astonished Europe with away win in Barcelona.
CSKA Moscow in the Champions League play-off
The most stable Russian club of past decade came to kind of disorder this year. They hired Brazilian coach Zico and fired him this summer, then hired even more famous Juande Ramos and sacked him after 8 games. Then came Leonid Slutsky, once named ‘Russian Mourinho’, and helped the disbalanced team to advance from CL group stage despite the incident with failed drug tests of Berezutskiy and Ignashevich. This achievement was made by Russian club for the first time since Lokomotiv Moscow lost to Monaco in CL round of 16 of season 2002/03.
Fix-up game between Terek and Krylya Sovetov
That’s what I call nationwide shame. A game with 5 goals and 5 times more unforced errors was recognized as a fix-up live by the match commentator and was followed by plenty much comments in press, including the article by Jonathan Wilson in Guardian. Even Vitaliy Mutko, head of Russian Football Union, claimed that he ‘didn’t like the game’. But then… nothing happened. Krylya sacked coach Leonid Slutsky, who later led CSKA to UCL play-off (see above) and obviously was made a scapegoat in this story. No one else was harmed.
Russian Premier League in FIFA 2010
So what do you think – was this year good or bad for Russian football?
If you read all this through then you obviously realized that Russian Offside is back. I’ll try to keep you informed on the most important and funny news from this side of the world.
Barely two weeks into Yury Semin’s return to Lokomotiv Moskva, the excitement is virtually uncontainable. Whether it be the masters midas touch or not, following Lokomotiv’s 2-1 victory over Spartak this past weekend talk of top finish and the European stage is running rampant. With the short break for international competition, Lokomotiv presented Pavel Aleshin’s new book book on Yury Semin titled “The People’s coach of Russia” (available here).
After considerable thought this will serve as my final post. If you care to apply for this blog please contact Daryl with The Offside (click here) after reviewing the guidelines at www.theoffside.com/bloggers.
With CSKA Moskva’s Yuri Zhirkov quickly emerging as one of Russia’s brightest young stars, the faithful around Luzhniki fret whether they’ll be chanting “Zhirkov” for much longer. The play-maker extraordinaire has been linked to Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea and most recently, Barcelona.
Hopeful that he’ll continue to grace CSKA’s lineup but the Russian international might not be so inclined to make the move unless he is confident of a spot in the starting eleven. Speaking to Russian media giant “Sports Express” he noted that with regards to a possible move to London, “I know no more about it that any other people.” Equally young Mr Zhirkov is very focused on CSKA’s Champions League efforts, noting that his side will be in the Champions League this year.
However at present his focus is squarely on Russia’s World Cup qualifying match against Finland next Wednesday stating, “now I am preparing for the coming match in Finland and try not filling my head with other things.”
In an absolutely stunning move, Dick Advocaat has resigned from Zenit Saint Petersburg and will now manage the Belgian national team. While the sixty-two year old leader had recently noted the in the media that, “Zenit will by my last club. I will be 62 by the end of the year, so it is time to change my life a little bit”, it is certainly a surprise for the clubs loyal supporters.
Mr. Advocaat leaves Saint Petersburg after three years of loyal service that includes the winning the Rosgosstrakh Russian Football Championship, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.
Despite playing much of the match a man-down, CSKA Moskva defeated Rubin Kazan to win their second consecutive Russian Cup.
The match was a cagey affair with the Army-Men painted into a tactical corner when Pavel Mamaev was sent off with a straight red-card at the thirteenth minute when he pulled down Alejandro Domínguez. Playing a man down, CSKA showed great patience, controlling the final third and rarely allowing Rubin a solid opportunity to strike at Igor Akinfeev. However in a shocking conclusion, with the match seemingly headed towards extra-time Evgeni Aldonin found the winning mark a minute into added-time. Accepting a simple pass by Daniel Carvalho, the Russian international took advantage of Rubin defenders asleep at the wheel, pushing the ball forward before lashing it to the bottom left corner of the net for the incredible victory.
For fans of Russian Football the old adage of the “more things change, the more they stay the same” is never more apropos as this weekend Oleg Romantsev and Yuri Semin will match wits as their sides, Lokomotiv Moskva and Spartak Moskva will battle. The meeting seemed near impossible to imagine a few months ago but through a remarkable turn of events these two grand masters have returned to the collective sides.
As Valery Karpin took control of Spartak Moskva their was one man he turned to and with Oleg Romantsev hand in directing the club мясо is playing brilliant attacking football, reminding fans of his genius he lead the club during the 1990’s.
In continuation of great leaders to the Russian game, as rumoured, Yuri Semin has agreed to join Lokomotiv Moskva after leading Dynamo Kyiv to the Ukrainian Premier League championship. Mr Semin signed a contract through 2011 and Lokomotiv fans can expect his tell-tale fluid attacking style and commitment to younger players development.
While there is much work to be done with both sides, the return of their great derby, with both at the heights of the sport is assured. In a remarkable turn of fate, this two great leaders go face to face this weekend as Spartak visits Lokomotiv.