Everything you need to know about: PFC CSKA Moscow

PFC CSKA Moscow is rooted in the Russian military. Formed as the Soviet Army’s official football club in 1911, the transliteration of their name from Russian - Central Sporting Klub of the Army - lends itself to the clubs initials and begets the club its nickname - ‘The Army Men’. It's other moniker - ‘Koni’ (horses) - is more widely used in Russia, and is a nod to their first stadium, built on an old Moscow racecourse. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the club became privately … [Read more...]

How will CSKA evolve in Europe post-Slutsky?

When CSKA Moscow lineup to play AEK Athens in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie, it will be a familiar sight, yet the manner of performance to come will hopefully be very different. European audiences have grown accustomed to the Army Men taking part at the highest level of club competition, featuring in 6 of the last 8 editions, however the key difference this time will be in the dugout; a first European season to assess the merits of Viktor Goncharenko, after 7 … [Read more...]

Vitinho and Olanare – The Lost Sons are Back to Save CSKA’s Season

CSKA Moscow has been known for having great strikers this millennium. From Vagner Love to Ivica Olic, from Jo to Seydou Doumbia, the Army Men have been blessed up front with some of the strongest legionnaires in the history of the Russian Football Premier League, but this season has been different. After selling Ahmed Musa to Leicester in the summer, the Red-Blues went into the season with Lacina Traoré, Carlos Strandberg and Fyodor Chalov as the striking options, and the results have … [Read more...]

Sergey Semak and the Bashkortostan Challenge

Going into the winter break in 8th place in the RFPL, just three points behind Terek Grozny in 4th, FC Ufa could be very satisfied with the first half of the season. The team from Bashkortostan managed to defeat both Spartak and Lokomotiv in Moscow, while also holding Zenit St. Petersburg to a 0-0 draw at the beginning of the season, and they are no longer the pushovers we have seen in the previous two seasons, where they finished just above the relegation line. A fact that becomes even more … [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...]

Mid-Season Review: CSKA Moscow

Introduction: “They are who we thought they were.” It's a phrase used jokingly by some American sports fans but there isn’t a phrase more apt to describing the first half of the Russian Premier league season for the Central Sport Club of the Army. As it became apparent that CSKA Moscow was going to be quite conservative with its finances this year, fans recognized that a “ticket seller” Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa would be gone for this season. Because of this fans wondered from where the … [Read more...]

Big Challenges Awaits Goncharenko at CSKA

After seven years in charge of CSKA Moscow, Leonid Slutsky left the Army Men following last week's 3-1 defeat at Wembley to Tottenham Hotspurs, and he’ll be replaced by his former assistant, the current FC Ufa head coach Viktor Goncharenko. With Slutsky on the sideline, CSKA experienced an almost unprecedented spell of stability in Russian standards, and it paid off on the pitch as the Red-Blues won three championships, the last coming last season, two cup titles and two Super Cups during … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: FC Ufa

Introduction After claiming their RFPL status on the final day of last season with a win against Spartak Moscow, Ufa went into this season with a new manager, young Belarussian Viktor Goncharenko. They had also lost bright talent Oleksandr Zinchenko to Manchester City, and the money from that did allow for some re-investment in the squad. After a dodgy start, it looked as though the new adjustments to the squad were not going to help too much, however a run of games against the top 6 clubs … [Read more...]

Vadim Skripchenko’s Controversial Ural Split Leaves a Siberian Snowstorm

Ural v Terek is fast becoming a cursed fixture for Ekaterinburg’s Premier League outfit. Last year it precipitated the acrimonious departure of Viktor Goncharenko amid highly suspicious betting patterns and an apparent clash of philosophies between the coach and the combustible club President Grigoriy Ivanov, with the Belarussian manager going AWOL in his homeland before the split was confirmed. A year on, and after Sunday's humiliating 4-1 capitulation questions have again been asked about the … [Read more...]

RPL Week 8: Around the Match Day

Even a week of international football couldn’t keep Zenit and their manager André Villas-Boas out of the media spotlight. There was plenty of speculation before the international break about his future but the Portuguese cleared the mist and confirmed that he would be leaving the club next summer when his contract expires. It has been well-known that Villas-Boas has been unhappy in Russia, from the clubs transfer policy to league regulations. Basically, everything. At first, it seemed like … [Read more...]