Aleksandr Samedov – From Spartak to Spartak

Although the confirmation of Aleksandr Samedov's signing for Spartak Moscow dragged out, the transfer has been an open secret for more than a month now. The transfer means the winger will once again play in the famous red and white colours after leaving the club in 2005. Samedov, who was one of Lokomotiv Moscow's most important players before joining Spartak, fell out with the Railroader's iconic Head Coach Yuri Semin after he took over the team following the club's presidential change in … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: FC Rostov

After finishing second last season, and focusing everything on qualifying for the Champions League group stage, it was natural that Rostov would struggle domestically this season. The extra European fixtures have clearly taken their toll on the small squad, explaining why they have lost games they probably wouldn’t have lost last season. Furthermore, listeners of the RFN Podcast will know that Rostov’s summer wasn’t quiet. Talismanic Head Coach Kurban Berdyev left the club to pursue a … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Spartak Moscow

Introduction Despite finishing 5th last season, Spartak Moscow’s board decided to trust Dmitry Alenichev this summer as he was allowed to keep his job. In the transfer market, they reinforced their wing options with Roman Zobnin, the central midfield with Fernando, the defence with Andrey Eschenko and Mauricio, and, most importantly, the coaching staff with assistant Massimo Carrera. However, after the Europa League exit to Cypriot minors AEK Larnaca, Alenichev was sacked, and Carrera was … [Read more...]

VVS MVO Moscow, Vasily Stalin’s toy

VVS MVO Moscow is not a club name that many will recognize, and the acronym doesn’t reveal much about the club either. Nevertheless, it is a club with a short but interesting history. VVS MVO Moscow, a sports society VVS MVO Moscow was a sports club based in Moscow. The name was short for Voenno Vozdushnye Sily Moskovskogo Voïennogo Okrouga (Военно-воздушные Силы Московского военного округа), which means 'Club of the Air Force of the Military Region of Moscow'. It was founded in 1944 on … [Read more...]

Spartak’s Museum: Glory to the Past

What is a football club? A club is obviously a team with players and a staff around it. It has leaders, on and off the pitch, and the most fortunate clubs also have people working for them. But a club is also a name, and values to which fans identify themselves. The brand of the club has to be developed, either by winning trophies today, or by remembering remarkable achievements from the past. This is the DNA of the club. It allows the supporters to recall moments like derby victories, trophies, … [Read more...]

The Berdyev Saga at Otkritie Arena

All football clubs have their ups and downs, whether they are from a sporting point of view or from a strategic one. To minimize the problems on the latter, the club needs to develop a general sporting strategy by asking the right questions. What are our goals long-term and short term, and how does these fit together with the budget? How much should you allocate to transfers, and what kind of salary policy should you implement? Furthermore, how big a chunk of the overall budget should be … [Read more...]

Berdyev, the Savior of Spartak?

It is safe to say that it is never boring to follow Spartak Moscow. Being a supporter of the Red-Whites means you’ll have to face unexpected events almost every week, and last week was no surprise. Spartak were knocked out of the Europa League qualification against unseeded AEK Larnaca from Cyprus, after a goal in the 87th minute at Otkritie Arena in the second leg. The home side were unable to take advantage of their countless opportunities during the game, and the Cypriots took their chance in … [Read more...]

Renaissance, Hope and Europa League for Spartak Moscow

On April 16, Spartak Moscow lost 5-2 in St. Petersburg against Zenit after an absolutely pathetic performance. Following the defeat, the Red-Whites were in dire trouble and found themselves in seventh place, far away from the European football the club had publicly announced as the goal for the season. At this time, goalkeeper Artem Rebrov was captain of the team and an undisputed first team player. The central defense was composed of Vladimir Granat and Salvatore Bocchetti, while Aleksandr … [Read more...]

Football in USSR During the Great Patriotic War

On May 9, the whole of Russia commemorated the victory against Nazi Germany in World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as it was also known in the Soviet Union. The day was celebrated with a big military parade in Red Square, and all over the country, in honour of the veterans and 26 million people who died during the war. During the war, it was difficult to imagine people being entertained by football matches, but despite the human sacrifice, the need for fighting and working in factories, … [Read more...]

Spartak, What’s Next?

As I wrote after Spartak’s defeat to Rostov, the Red-Whites are going through a difficult time. Spartak have had to restart its project every summer in recent seasons because of coach changes, which means new players, structural reorganization and in the end Spartak haven’t moved forward but sideways. Since the 2011/2012 season when Spartak finished second, Spartak have finished fourth once and sixth twice. The club with the famous diamond logo is currently ranked seventh, and it is therefore … [Read more...]