Maxime Lestienne and Alex Song Face Disciplinary Action in Kazan

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The leading players from Rubin Kazan are prepared to send their expensive newcomers to the reserve team. The patience of the leaders is over.

After the first defeat of 2017 away to Ural, the situation in Rubin has heated up. The clubs veteran leaders, Sergey Ryzhikov, Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Oleg Kuzmin on Wednesday arranged a squad meeting arranged to discuss the behaviour of Maxime Lestienne and Alex Song. The situation heated up so much, that manager Javi Gracia had to cancel morning training so that the situation could be thrashed out.

A tough conversation took place, with raised voices from the veterans, lasting almost two hours, and discussing the expensive newboys who have recently only sat on the bench. Among those who accused the stars were Ruslan Kambolov, Taras Burlak and even the normally quiet Elmir Nabiullin, although there were other members of the team also present at the meeting behind closed doors, as well as coaches and other staff.

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According to Sport BO, the veterans proposed to move Song and Lestienne to the reserve team as an educational measure if they do not improve their attitude. The conversation ended with the decision that the relaxed foreigners are on their last warning, and if they do not change their attitude, they will be made to train and play with the youth team. Also in the targets of the leaders was Yann M’Vila, who reportedly turned up to training with a smell of alcohol on his breath, along with Maxime Lestienne – even more so – however they are happy that M’Vila trains at full strength, is playing for the team and tries his best to help the squad. Perhaps, M’Vila is being influenced by those who he shares a language with, it would not be out of character to see this from him, but he seems to have turned a corner.

Let’s recall that Letienne and Song began the second half of the season on the bench due to alleged injuries received in pre-season in Spain. While both did not take part in the first two matches after the break, Lestienne did come on against Ural, but in total has less than 300 minutes this season. The last time Alex Song played an official match was almost five months ago, after which he almost became another supporter, missing many games with injury and sitting on the bench with a contented look. The life of the Cameroonian isn’t bad, with a reported annual salary of €4m, and will make this no matter how well or often he plays, and what attitude he shows.

Of course, at the start of his career for Rubin, Song tried and did show his class and desire, but by winter he seemingly lost interest in football, filling his time with pointless posts on Instagram and Snapchat. In the transfer window, Rubin considered selling the player to China or Turkey, but nothing came to fruition. With such a large salary and a club willing to sell, even a player with Arsenal and Barcelona on his CV attracted no buyers. It’s amazing how in a couple of years he has gone to playing for some of the world’s best clubs, to sitting on the bench for the 9th placed club in the RFPL.

Lestienne also acted like a fool before his arrival in Kazan. In the Belgian’s record there was an arrest by the police in Holland, and dispelling from the national team for having sex on the evening before a game. However, this did not stop Rubin from paying €10m for the talented player. It’s known that Lestienne lost both his parents to illness in the last year, so it’s rare for photographers to catch him with a smile on his face. The Belgian is a closed and quiet guy, who regularly uploads photos of his parents on social media, still suffering from such a heavy personal loss. During this season, Maxime also lost his grandfather, and Rubin allowed him time to attend the funeral. Events in the life of the Belgian appear to explain his rebellious attitude and sheltered demeanour.

However, apparently the last straw for Lestienne was his appearance against Ural. Gracia brought the Belgian on with 20 minutes to play in order to try and save the game, and to prove his worth to the team. In the end, Maxime barely touched the ball and when he did, not much was created. Weak performances are a result of his attitude in training, where it is rumoured that Lestienne, like Song, is only half hearted with his effort. The most shocking thing that Lestienne was caught out for was arriving to training with a familiar smell on him – alcohol. The player now faces a serious penalty of up to 3 months wages (€375k).

However, with this current situation does the blame fall to Gracia, who could not find the keys to unlock the talent of two classy players? Why are two expensive legionnaires who were supposed to strengthen the team, after six months, sitting on the bench, getting a lot of money and come to training after drinking? This question, should be asked of the head coach.

It is significant that the veterans were the ones to take the initiative. They, and not the head coach, raised the issue. The Spaniard, accustomed in Spain to making battle-worthy teams of players of average ability in Osasuna and Malaga, cannot yet find a common language with the stars in Russia.

This article originally featured at Kazan based website Sport BO in Russian. Author Vladislav Zimagulov and Sport BO allowed us to translate it.

David Sansun

Author: David Sansun

Arsenal and Rubin Kazan fan. Possibly too optimistic for Russian football which means I’m left disappointed a lot.

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