RFPL Winter Transfer Window – Team by Team Summary Part 3

Terek Grozny Terek had perhaps one of the quietest windows in the whole league. However, they did some business, and the first move raised eyebrows everywhere, as they struck early to sign Kosovan winger Bernard Berisha from Anzhi. While it was thought he would be leaving Anzhi in the window, many, including us at RFN, think very highly of Berisha, and to see Terek seal his signing was a huge shock, as a move to one of the larger sides would not have been a surprise considering his clear … [Read more...]

Sergey Semak and the Bashkortostan Challenge

Going into the winter break in 8th place in the RFPL, just three points behind Terek Grozny in 4th, FC Ufa could be very satisfied with the first half of the season. The team from Bashkortostan managed to defeat both Spartak and Lokomotiv in Moscow, while also holding Zenit St. Petersburg to a 0-0 draw at the beginning of the season, and they are no longer the pushovers we have seen in the previous two seasons, where they finished just above the relegation line. A fact that becomes even more … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: FC Ufa

Introduction After claiming their RFPL status on the final day of last season with a win against Spartak Moscow, Ufa went into this season with a new manager, young Belarussian Viktor Goncharenko. They had also lost bright talent Oleksandr Zinchenko to Manchester City, and the money from that did allow for some re-investment in the squad. After a dodgy start, it looked as though the new adjustments to the squad were not going to help too much, however a run of games against the top 6 clubs … [Read more...]

Ones To Watch – Igor Bezdenezhnykh

Biography Name: Igor Bezdenezhnykh DOB/Age: 08/08/1996 – 20 years old Club: FC Ufa Position: Central midfield Nationality: Russia Career so far Igor Bezdenezhnykh has spent his entire career in his home city of Ufa, graduating through several youth teams before joining his cities biggest club, FC Ufa. As a 17 year old, Bezdenezhnykh made Ufa’s match day squad numerous times in their promotion season from the FNL, although he failed to make an appearance. His reward for impressive … [Read more...]

The Evolution of the 5 Man Defence in Russian Football

One of the most common opinions about the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) – rightly or wrongly – is that the style of football and tactical approach applied to the games is somewhat straggling behind the rest of Europe. Common observations from pundits and football fans alike include that the RFPL is one dimensional, the football in Russia is slow, the football is old fashioned and the players are thugs. Many of these opinions will be drawn from the showing of Russian clubs in European … [Read more...]

The Return of Emmanuel Frimpong

Before the international break Russian football welcomed back one of its more colourful characters as Emmanuel Frimpong made his debut for Arsenal Tula in the closing stages of their 1-1 draw away to Ural. Although his late cameo was brief as the predominantly direct style mostly bypassed him, he wasted no time in making headlines upon his return to the Russian Premier League, although thankfully this time is was not at the centre of a disgusting case of racist chanting from opposition … [Read more...]

RFPL 2016/2017 – Who Has the Best Kit?

With the kick off to the 2016/2017 season, Russian clubs have all showed off their brand new kits. Some were nice, and some were downright ugly. In this article, we'll guide you through them all, and let you vote about which ones you like and which you don't like. Tom Tomsk The newly promoted Siberian side never hold an official presentation of their new kit, but they have already used them in a friendly game against Spartak Subotica. This light green shirt with black elements looks … [Read more...]

Three Rounds Left – The fight to escape the RFPL drop

With three matches left to play, tension at the wrong end of the Russian Premier League has reached breaking point. If no team’s fate is sealed this mid-week, this coming weekend promises to be the most nerve wrenching affair with the bottom six all due to play one another. Five seasons back when the league underwent their restructuring to fall into line with the European season schedule (Autumn-Spring), the relegation playoffs were introduced to add an extra dimension to the domestic end of … [Read more...]

Oleksandr Zinchenko – Guardiola’s First Man City Signing?

As Konstantin Evgrafov wrote on Russian Football News in February, you rarely see players from small Russian clubs exchange the RFPL for fashionable destinations in Europe, but that could change soon, as Ufa’s 19-year-old midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko is linked with several major European clubs after an impressive season in Ufa’s red and white kit. The Ukrainian midfielder is a product of Shakhtar Donetsk’s youth academy, but joined Ufa on a free transfer in February last year. However, as … [Read more...]

The Russian Adventures of Emmanuel Frimpong, Aged 24 1/4

Last night it was confirmed that Ufa's Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has had his contract cancelled after only playing eight matches this season for the Russian Premier League's youngest club. Discussions aimed at finding a compromise between him and the club failed to reach a mutually beneficial conclusion, and it has been clear for some time that the relationship between Frimpong and his club has become fractious at best. After nearly two seasons in Bashkiria - his longest period with … [Read more...]