Valery Karpin and that infamous day in the summer of 1990

“When I arrived there, the team was… they had escaped relegation in the last match of the previous season. It was unthinkable what we had done in five years. It was Celta’s golden era…” - Valery Karpin (2015) Valery Karpin joined Celta de Vigo back in 1997, three years after landing in Spain to play for Real Sociedad. An excellent second season at San Sebastian with Javier Irureta’s Sociedad side worked as a stepping stone for a somewhat unconvincing one-year adventure at Valencia before … [Read more...]

Moscow Madness – Two Clubs, One Problem

If Bill Murray were alive today and wanted to update his classic "Groundhog Day", he'd most likely set it in Moscow and be a sports reporter. Thankfully he didn't die in that Thelma & Louise style crash and both he, and the groundhog, continue their acting careers. Yet the fact remains, we are living through Groundhog Day in the latest outbreak of Moscow Madness. Comedy Clubs A popular show on Russian TV is Comedy Club, which is about as funny as having a prostate check from Captain Hook. … [Read more...]

Oh Serder, I’m Still in Shock (How Karpin Lost His Job)

I'm not a great sports journalist. As soon as Serderov broke loose from just outside the box and slotted the game-tying goal past Mitryushkin, smack in front of the Spartak crazies, I nearly lost it in the press box. Ashraff can attest to whole body bouncing and squirming and "#$%! Spartak" slipping out of a couple of times, I have to wonder what the rows of correspondents behind me thought. At halftime, I ran into someone I met back in the fall, a Spartak fan, who works for one of … [Read more...]

Spartak Snatch Narrow Victory against Krasnodar

Starting Line-up Spartak Moscow: Pesyakov, Makeev, Suchy, D. Kombarov, Parshivlyuk, Glushakov, Carioca, Kallstrom, Jurado, McGeady (Yakovlev 56'), Movsisyan (Waris 73' Insaurralde 90'). FC Krasnodar: Filtsov, Granqvist, Jedrzejczyk, Martinovich, Gazinsky, Kaleshin, Mamaev, Marciu (Pizzelli 76'), Pereyra (Isael 64'), Joaozinho, Wanderson (Gohou 64'). Goals: 1:0 Jurado 4'  1:1 16' Pereyra 2:1 Movsisyan 27'  3:1 Jurado 30'  3:2 Isael 69' Spartak continued the rejuvenation with their … [Read more...]

Red-White Resurrection

Location: Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow. Time: 1:30 PM. Attendance: 27,000. Score: Spartak 3-0 CSKA (Ozbiliz 40'; Kombarov 53'; Parshivlyuk 59'). Bookings: Glushakov 45'; Ozbiliz 47'; Nababkin 65'; Movsisyan 65'. Spartak XI: Pesyakov, Makeev, Parshivlyuk, D. Kombarov, Carlos  (Suchy 75'), Costa (Yakovlev 63'), Ozbiliz (McGeady 85'), Carioca, Jurado, Glushakov, Movsisyan. CSKA XI: Akinfeev, Wernbloom, Ignashevich, Honda, Zuber (Vitinho 61'), Nababkin, Musa, Cauna (Milanov 69'), Tosic … [Read more...]

Uninspiring Spartak Squeak Past Tom

Spartak survived a poor start to grab a 2-1 win against lowly Tom in Cherkizovo yesterday. Spartak's goals were scored by Yura Movsisyan and Pavel Yakovlev, after Vladimir Rykov put the visitors ahead on seventh minute. Spartak made three changes from the side that lost 2-4 to St. Gallen on Thursday. Glushakov shook off his injury to return, while Yakovlev, Movsisyan, and Joao Carlos were also brought into the line up today. Valery Karpin, who's under increased pressure from the fans, picked … [Read more...]

Spartak Grind Out Scoreless Draw with Rubin

A scoreless draw in Moscow saw both Rubin and Spartak maintain an unbeaten start to the season, the visitors on 7 points and Spartak with 11. 25,000-plus cheered on the Red and White at Lokomotiv Stadium, who were making their first home appearance of the season, in the facility where they’re scheduled to play until Otkritie Arena opens next summer. Top of the table on goal differential over crosstown rival CSKA, it’s been an excellent start for Valery Karpin’s men. Even today, exposed at … [Read more...]

Round Table: Week Two

Pavel (@russianpotter) - Nizhny Novgorod-based young journalist and Spartak supporter, Volga attendee Manuel (@homosovieticus) - PhD Student with focus on Soviet history and football, as well as blogger at (@futbolgradlive) Xavier (@AxeMurderer60) - French Russian football fan and CSKA supporter Ashraff (@serapdesengal) - A Loko supporter and student in Moscow Rob (@RobDillonMTA) - Journalist who specializes in Russian football, Editor of More Than Arshavin John … [Read more...]

Spartak Moscow Season Preview

INTRO: 10 years without a single trophy. For some, that's nothing special. But the sad jubilee arrived for Spartak in June, while their greatest rivals were celebrating "the golden double". The level of misunderstanding between the fans and the club keeps growing (the last was the new club emblem, which is not accepted by some fans), the team, and, personally, Valery Karpin, who's urged to win a trophy this season as there's just one year left on his contract. He has to prove fans wrong and, … [Read more...]