Editorial: Structural Problems are the Reasons for Russia’s Early Exit

Three games, one victory and a quick exit. That was the result of Russia’s first major tournament on home soil, the Confederations Cup. The quick exit naturally let to discussions about who was to blame for the failure of once again not making it out the group stage, but head coach of Sbornaya, Stanislav Cherchesov, was quick to end these discussions. “This is my mistake,” he said in the press conference after the final game against Mexico, which was lost 2-1, and continued: “I will take it upon … [Read more...]

Which Players Have a Future at Mancini’s Zenit?

For the second season in a row, Zenit St. Petersburg missed out on qualification to Europe’s finest club tournament, the Champions League. The disappointing results in the Russian Football Premier League cost head coach Mircea Lucescu his job, and he has been replaced by Roberto Mancini. The ambitious Italian has a history of being aggressive in the transfer market, proved by the fact that he during his time with Inter brought in players such as Luis Figo, Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel and … [Read more...]

Cherchesov’s Old Grudges Hinders Russia’s Chances at the Confederations Cup

When head coach of the Russian national team Stanislav Cherchesov announced his preliminary squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup on May 15, it surprised many that Lokomotiv Moscow's Igor Denisov had been overlooked. The 33-year-old UEFA Cup winner just finished one of his personal best seasons in a long time, and at the beginning of this month, he even scored the winning goal in the cup final against FC Ural. Nevertheless, Cherchesov overlooked him, instead opting for his teammate Dmitry … [Read more...]

Editorial: Tom Tomsk Hurts the Sporting Integrity of the RFPL

Here are some numbers for you: Eight. That’s the number of months Tom Tomsk’s players have gone without being paid. 18. That’s the number of players who left the club this winter because of the unpaid salaries. 11. This was the number of academy players that were registered for the first team in the winter to replace those that left. 10. That’s the number of goals Tom have conceded in the first two Russian Football Premier League games this year. Zero. That’s the number of goals they have scored … [Read more...]

Editorial: Dzyuba’s Captaincy Shows Departure from Zenit Traditions

”I’m disappointed as hell,” a mate of mine who is a lifelong Zenit St. Petersburg supporter texted me after the club had appointed Artyom Dzyuba captain. “Those people who run the club now,” he continued, “they pay no respect to fans and to fans’ opinion. Dzyuba as captain is the lowest point we could reach.” The fact that a Muscovite and former Spartak Moscow star had taken over the most honorable job in his football club was clearly more than my friend could take. Dzyuba joined Spartak when … [Read more...]

Editorial: Hesitation Can Ruin Lokomotiv’s Season Before it Starts

Coming off the back of a terrible season Lokomotiv Moscow were expected to undergo some changes this summer, both on and off the field. The Railroaders finished in 6th place, thus missing out on European football, and won just two of their last eight games. More often than not, the Red-Greens looked clueless and without the creative spark needed to open up their opponents' defences. Off the field, the problems were just as big as the club faced Financial Fair Play problems while the … [Read more...]

Editorial: Russia’s Failures Fall Back on Slutsky

I have for a long time praised CSKA Moscow and especially Leonid Slutsky for his trust in his players and his continuity, which has been the Army Men’s biggest strength in the fight against the financial superior opponents from Zenit St. Petersburg. Since Slutsky took over CSKA in 2009, he has guided the Army Men to three league titles and two Russian cup titles, which is indeed impressive. It was also impressive when Slutsky took over the Russian national team last summer after the … [Read more...]

Editorial: Santana Signing Shows Kuban’s Disrespect towards Own Players

Kuban Krasnodar’s signing of Brazilian defender Felipe Santana from Schalke 04 came as a bolt from the blue. The Toads from Krasnodar have been in dire financial problems for a long time now, and the amount of unpaid wages keeps on growing despite oligarch Oleg Mkrtchyan reportedly promising to invest in the club again once half the debt is gone. In September last year, Kuban’s debt reached €4 million, and since then it has only grown much larger. The players and staff of the club have gone … [Read more...]

Editorial: Legends Deserve Respect

Close your eyes and imagine a reality, where instead of moving to Los Angeles and the MLS Steven Gerrard had chosen to extend his stay with Liverpool because of his love for the club and city. Now keep this thought, and let me set up a small scenario for you. Unfortunately for ‘Captain Fantastic’ Brendan Rodgers didn’t have any plans on using him despite his previous accomplishments for the club, and to fill out his spot in the roster he signed Ross Barkley from the arch rivals Everton. To … [Read more...]