RFPL Mid-Season Review – Part One

As we are at the halfway stage of the 2017/18 season, it is now time to look at the season so far and how it has transpired for each RFPL member club. This mid-season review will look at the pre-season expectations for each club based on their squad and summer signings, cross-referencing with last season's performance and reputation. Then deducing whether or not each club is achieving its pre-season goals so far this season, the comparative high and low points so far for each club, expectations … [Read more...]

Anzhi, are you OK?

Down in Dagestan, Anzhi Makachkala have been subjected to somewhat of a rough ride. It's been hard to gauge what the problems have been, and why on the whole, their largely decent performances see them sitting rock bottom of the table by the October international break with nine points from a possible 36. On their second manager of the season already, the campaign thus far can be split quite comfortably into the Aleksandr Grigoryan and Vadim Skripchenko sessions. The former lasted just six … [Read more...]

RFPL 2017/2018 – Who Has the Best Kit?

SKA-Khabarovsk Premier Liga newcomers, like some other teams, decided not to bother and use last year's kits. They probably figured that nobody saw it last season anyway, as the coverage of the FNL is almost criminally low. The kit itself is nothing special, but there is nothing to criticize either. I personally like their massive badge, which looks appropriate on this empty T-shirt. FC Tosno The club from the Leningrad Oblast, founded in 2013, still hasn't built its own identity. … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Anzhi Makhachkala

In the winter transfer window last season, Anzhi Makhachkala signed 25 players and swapped experienced Czech manager Pavel Vrba for SKA Khabarovsk boss Aleksandr Grigoryan. Most people expected Anzhi to be relegated after this, but surprisingly the squad and manager gelled quite quickly and put together some decent performances, including a relegation six pointer win against Orenburg, and resilient 0-0 draws against FC Krasnodar and Lokomotiv Moscow, which ultimately saw them avoid the … [Read more...]

The threat from China on the RFPL

It’s January, and the start of a new transfer window is here. This usually creates a little buzz of excitement, in anticipation of the talent that potentially could be drafted in, however in Russia as is the case across the whole of Europe at the moment, the mood is that much more cautionary over players being tempted out, to China. The impact of the Chinese Super League’s rapid spending continues into yet another transfer window. Last year’s marquee signing of Hulk to Shanghai SIPG for £45m … [Read more...]

Another Anzhi Firesale, and a New Controversial Owner

After finishing for the break in eleventh place, eight points clear of relegation, Anzhi Makhachkala’s players could go on their winter holiday with a clean conscience and maybe even a bit of optimism. Unfortunately, the holiday peace wasn’t going to last, as the club sold Kosovan winger Bernard Berisha to Caucasian rivals Terek Grozny a few days before New Year’s Eve, hinting that something was wrong in the Anzhi-house. Since joining Anzhi a year ago, Berisha has been one of the club’s best … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast New Year Edition – Another Anzhi Firesale & 2016 Review

Host Thomas Giles is joined by regular guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to discuss the recent takeover and potential firesale set to take place at Anzhi Makhachkala (recorded before manager Pavel Vrba's departure) before reviewing 2016 in Russian football. https://soundcloud.com/russian-football-news/rfn-podcast-another-anzhi-firesale-2016-review Do not forget to submit your questions to the panel on the comments section on here, via Twitter, E-mail … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Anzhi Makhachkala

Introduction Anzhi have so far had a one of the most predictably realistic seasons a team could have. Despite some notable transfers – Croatian international Ivo Ilicevic, ex Man Utd winger Gabriel Obertan and versatile Frenchman Cedric Yambere on loan from Bordeaux. As a mid to bottom half team, they have picked up wins against their lower half rivals, had draws against the mid table teams, and lost to most of the top teams. They did start the season with an impressive draw against CSKA … [Read more...]

Ones To Watch – Georgiy Tigiev

Biography Name: Georgiy Tigiev DOB/Age: 26/05/1995 – 21 years old Club: Anzhi Makhachkala Position: Left Back Nationality: Russia Career to Date Having come through the ranks at Kuban Krasnodar, Tigiev made his senior breakthrough at Torpedo Moscow in 2015 as a 19 year old. At the tail end of the season, as Torpedo were fighting for their Premier League survival, Tigiev started the last five games, making his debut in a 2-2 draw vs Rubin Kazan, and his impressive performances earned him a … [Read more...]

5 Things We Learned About Russian Football in October

1: Slutsky’s seat is heating up Last month I wrote that Leonid Slutsky had lost his aura of invincibility, now things have got even worse for the CSKA Moscow head coach. September saw the Army Men lose both Alan Dzagoev and Roman Eremenko, both key players, and Slutsky has obviously struggled to find a plan B without his two midfielders. The former Sbornaya boss has tried to rotate between Bibras Natcho, Astemir Gordyushenko and Aleksandr Golovin, but with no success. In October, CSKA fell … [Read more...]