Gatoch Panom to Anzhi – An Ethiopian Trailblazer

Earlier this summer, Anzhi Makhachkala made a surprise transfer when after a succesful trial period, they signed Ethiopian international midfielder Gatoch Panom from Ethiopian Coffee in the nation's top flight. In moving to Russia, Panom became the 45th player to move directly from an African club to Russia since 1998, and it's the 4th time Anzhi have made such a move. And while the transfer might not be huge news in Russia, it means a great deal to Ethiopia, a nation not famed for it's … [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...]

A Look at the Current State of the RFPL

As the winter break neared, the main story in the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) was the exit of Leonid Slutsky from CSKA Moscow. Slutsky’s departure comes while his side is third in the league table, eight points off the leaders Spartak Moscow and struggling for form. He however leaves as the longest serving manager of the club and one of their most significant. Will Viktor Goncharenko be able to turn the CSKA around? Slutsky has managed the club for seven years since 2009, with 167 … [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...]

Betting Advice for RFPL Week 13

Andrew Flint (@AndrewMijFlint): Bet One: €5 Lokomotiv - Anzhi: Anzhi to win with +1 handicap @1.68 at bet365 Lokomotiv are a side bereft of imagination going forward and offer very little serious threat other than to weak sides with problems of their own. Granted, their defensive record is impressive at home with just four goals conceded, but Petar Skuletic, Igor Portnyagin and Ezekiel Henty are hardly the most fearsome strikeforce in the Premier League, and they aren’t even guaranteed a … [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...]