Europa League Preview: Rosenborg BK – Zenit St. Petersburg

Until recently Roberto Mancini had been totting up the wins in a relatively care-free fashion. His team sat happily atop of the Russian Football Premier League and boasted a perfect 100% win record in the Europa League group stage. Now, something no longer appears to add up; Zenit have failed to win in their last four domestic outings, and the latest 3-0 defeat saw the victors Lokomotiv Moscow emphatically dislodge Zenit from first place. The first game against Rosenborg BK came in the middle … [Read more...]

Exploring Lokomotiv Moscow’s Auspicious Start To The Season

Lokomotiv Moscow has been through a tunnel of despair, now a small glimmer of light teases the hopeful. At the time of writing they occupy second place in the RFPL table - an auspicious start with some laudable victories, a drastic improvement over last season - but where can this journey realistically finish?   Lokomotiv’s (P)Resident Bogeymen   Yuri Semin the team’s current manager is renowned for his early achievements at Lokomotiv. After he no longer saw eye-to-eye with the club’s … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Lokomotiv Moscow – FC Fastav Zlín

Yuri Semin is a club legend and this is now his fourth go at managing Lokomotiv Moscow. Fans long for a return to the days when he and the club were challenging brands like Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League; in the meantime, they will have to overcome FC Fastav Zlín. READ MORE: Yuri Semin - The Holy Man of Russian Football Lokomotiv, who finished eighth in the Premier League last season, appears to have enjoyed an unexpectedly successful start to their domestic campaign. … [Read more...]

Giuliano: Zenit St Petersburg’s Ephemeral Star

Giuliano Victor de Paula’s presence came to grace St Petersburg briefly; after only one full season with Zenit, he has now been sold to Fenerbahçe in Turkey. Despite a highly successful year in Russia which saw the Brazilian’s market value increase almost twofold, he appears to have left for the same modest €7m he arrived for. Mircea Lucescu’s star player found himself not especially needed under Roberto Mancini, and the fact, not least the manner of his departure, undoubtedly leaves some fans … [Read more...]

Lucescu – Failure or Scapegoat?

After a third-place finish last season, which meant Zenit St. Petersburg missed out on Champions League football for the second season in a row, they sacked Romanian head coach Mircea Lucescu after just one season at the club. The baggage left behind by his predecessor André Villas-Boas was no gift. If from a distance, say in Lucescu’s previous home Donetsk for example, it looked attractive and manageable, then only when you get closer could you begin to see the clear signs of aging and where … [Read more...]