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...]

New Stadia’s Impact on Attendances in the RFPL

Low attendances in the RFPL have been the subject of much debate and despair. People have put forth many different reasons for the poor league attendance, which has hovered around 11,000 per match for the last few years. In comparison, the Bundesliga averages 41,000 per match, and the English Premier League averages 35,000 per match. Some say that the quality of the league is too low, while others, including then-Sbornaya coach Leonid Slutsky, claim that Russia is simply not a footballing … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 6 Review

  The Anzhi Arena in DagestanA superb late turnaround gave CSKA, who defeated Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday, a 2-1 win and bragging rights over Spartak in the Moscow derby. The league champions’ defeat means that they sit eight points behind Zenit St Petersburg, who fired four unanswered goals past Akhmat Grozny. Amkar remain winless but have gone two games undefeated after a credible draw with Krasnodar. Anzhi manager Aleksandr Grigoryan stepped down following his … [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...]

Problems with the Trans-Siberian Football League

The Russian Football National League (FNL) has been in place since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, unchanged from 1994 and remains one of the toughest logistical and fiscal challenges in world football. The Soviet Top Division and First Division were combined into the Russian Top Division in 1992, with the new Second Tier regionalised into a Centre, East and West. However, this model was scrapped in 1994 in favour of a 20-team single-region division we see today. The Russian Top Division … [Read more...]

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...]