Dr. Berdyev, or Why I Keep Worrying and Hate Rubin

You know, I’m in doubt today. Rubin play Chelsea (and I think I’ll watch only the 1st half) and I have no idea who to support. It’s not a problem of love; it’s a problem of hate.

I hate Chelsea because of Abramovich’s money and Russian gloryhunters. They are so lame. But I don’t want to stand with Rubin. I hate them too, probably even stronger. Even though they’re not my team rivals.

Anyway, I think I do have some reasons for it. And I’ll try to explain it here.


The first one is the provincial reason. Kazan is only 400 km away from Nizhny Novgorod. When they first won the championship, the main thought in my head was: “Why not us? How is Kazan better than Nizhny Novgorod? Don’t we deserve it?” Now I consider this thought stupid; my city didn’t even have a team in the First Division (Volga was promoted that year); Kazan receives much more government support. In the end, Champions League at Lokomotiv Stadium is a very funny thought. Nevertheless, I kept that in mind.

The second reason is the way Rubin plays football. Yup, it’s too defensive. It’s so defensive I can hardly watch it. While writing this, I think that the last time I saw a full Rubin game was a home fixture against Barcelona in 2010. Kind of a long time ago, isn’t it? I think so too. Sure, we can’t judge the winners, but the championship was won in a way we’ve never seen before (and, hopefully, we’ll never see again). It was annoying.

The third reason is their second Premier League win. Not the victory itself, though (still better than CSKA winning the league), but the fact that Spartak lost the race again. It wasn’t so much a Rubin victory – they should say thanks to an unbelievable Soslan Dzhanaev – as a good Spartak season spoiled by seeing Kazan celebrate its second title, while its rivals had a laugh again.

The third reason is what’s currently happening at the club. Have you heard about the Gokhan Tore story? He escaped from the club because his agent was forced to share his fee with Berdyev and “a man who rules the club”. So, what the…? If it’s true (it looks like it is true and the story is believable given this is Russia; moreover, it’s not the first scandal associated with Rubin), then this is not a club I could ever support. And it’s not a club that deserves playing in the Europa League quarterfinals.

The fourth and the final reason is Kurban Berdyev himself. Not his likely affairs, nor his suspicious reclusive nature. He is a professional and a brilliant coach, but he’s too strange. If your neighbour was a maniac or a rapist, I think he’d be a lot like Berdyev. He does not evoke sympathy. At all. I can deal with people thinking Karpin will become a Russian Mourinho; I understand those who think Spalletti can successfully manage any Serie A team (bear in mind he was disgracefully fired from Roma); I agree with CSKA fans saying that Leonid Stutsky has his own charm (as for me, he’s just smart). But why does anyone think the same about Berdyev? No, there’s nothing of that.

Anyway, today I’ll want both teams to lose. But Rubin has a chance to win the Europa League (Chelsea just don’t need it in my opinion, they’ve got to defend their 3rd place in the league), and that’s something that shouldn’t happen. For sake of Justice, Chelsea, do it!

Author: Pavel Borisov

Born and raised in Nizhny Novgorod, but live in Vancouver most of the time. Supported CSKA as a youngster, lost interest in football, and started supporting Spartak when I found it again. Hate the national team, however it sounds like. More about the surrounding stuff than football itself.

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