Evaluating the performance of Rubin’s €40m summer signings

Last summer Rubin Kazan spent €40m, according to Transfermarkt, on a whole host of big name signings from Europe, but it was to no avail as under the management of Spaniard Javi Gracia, Rubin struggled to finish in 9th place, with many of their signings -  though not all of them - failing to make an impact during the season. So just how well spent was that €40m? Alex Song - Free transfer from FC Barcelona Perhaps the most high profile of all the players who joined, with experience at … [Read more...]

Naturalisation and Foreign Player Limits in Russian Football

In the last couple of years, Russian football has seen a huge increase of naturalised players in the country’s top division, as well as the first ever naturalised players in the national team. Although this was a controversial decision by the Russian Football Union (RFU), what really caught many people's eye was how these players were able to obtain citizenship. Lokomotiv Moscow goalkeeper Marinato Guilherme was the first non-Russian to play for the national team, and although many Russian … [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 The disappointing results in the Russian Football Premier League cost head coach Mircea Lucescu his job, and he has been replaced by Roberto Mancini.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...]

Does Russian Football Make Average Foreigners Look Good?

When Zenit St. Petersburg signed Yoann Mollo from Krylia Sovetov earlier this year, both Zenit fans and observers from Mollo's home nation France raised their eyebrows. The fans of Zenit thought that Mollo was not at the level of their club, only shining at Krylia as he was the focal point in their counter attacking style of play, and therefore took the lead in most of their attacking play. French observers, fans of his former club Saint Etienne, for example, struggled to believe that a player … [Read more...]

Irish solution for a Russian problem – Russian League Realignment

I'll be slaughtered by friends at home over this, though I happen to think the 10 team Irish Premier Division is a decent idea. Stay with me. I think it's a good idea as we don't have enough talent or money to go around. We don't have enough fans to go around. I don't want to see a closed off League, though what happens with the First Division is equally as important to me. Yet in order to get football moving in Ireland, bringing in crowds, sponsors and players, a 10 team division is the best … [Read more...]

Calling Time on Cherchesov’s Reign

Stop all the clocks. Call time at the bar. The final whistle has sounded after another lacklustre performance by the Russian national side and this time no one should be covering their ears. The alarm has finally rung for Stanislav Cherchesov and it should signal his imminent departure. Patience has been exhausted. Hope has been abandoned. Not even the most ardent fans of Sbornaya can dismiss what took place on Friday evening. When disgrace gave way to disgust as the most listless, … [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...]

RFPL Winter Transfer Window – Team by Team Summary Part 1

The Russian transfer window closed at the end of February, and as we have finally gathered the full overview over a long and hectic winter, it is time to evaluate how the 16 Russian Football Premier League clubs did in the transfer market. In the span of three articles, which will be published in the following days, we'll evaluate all the clubs and grade their dealings. Amkar Perm Amkar started the window in the worst possible fashion, losing Russian prospects Aleksandr Selikhov and Georgy … [Read more...]

Denis Davydov: The Russian Messi, or just another False Dawn?

Denis Davydov made his debut for Spartak almost four years ago at the tender age of eighteen after a string of impressive performances for Yevgeni Bushmanov's Spartak-2 side. However, whether operating in his preferred position as a centre-forward or on the wing for the first team, the Moscow-born striker has not managed to live up to his early hype, and the "Russian Messi" tag attributed to him by Spartak Moscow owner Leonid Fedun has slowly diminished. Prior to this season, fans of Spartak … [Read more...]