The fate of the championship in the Russian football will be decided on March 4

All, friends-fans, football is over. Following the European battles went into the winter break and the football championship of Russia. Two-thirds of the tournament in the disproportionately divided into two unequal parts, the championship was left behind and it’s time to remember all the fun and sum up the intermediate results. And help us in this permanent expert “MK” head of the Association of domestic coaches Mikhail HERSHKOWITZ.

photo: Evgeny Semenov

Manuel Fernandes in the 31st year under the direction of Semin spends his best season.

A PLEASANT SURPRISE: the leadership of “Locomotive”

MK: If someone before the start of the championship suggested that a winter break in the rank of having a comfortable 8 points from the nearest pursuer of the leader will leave “the locomotive” it would undoubtedly have laughed rated. In the coaching talent of Yuri Semin doubt special, no one was, but the composition was more like a tattered blanket, not ready for the title race team. It seemed that after breaking up with Shishkin and Yanbaev most problematic position will become the right flank of defence, but it very adequately took the place of Vladislav Ignatyev, quickly learned in the style of Alexander Samedova, if necessary, to turn from the left attacking card is at right-back. Trauma is indispensable in recent years, Vitaliy Denisov? Discover young talent — Michael Lysov! How to play three Central defenders after that knocked for a long time over Vedran Corluka injured? We will play two of Oborona in the center! Each of the seemingly intractable issues Pavlovich found a decent answer.

And what about the progress that demonstrate the Miranchuk brothers, gradually propisyvayutsya and the team! And the brilliant revival of Fernandes, where many managed to put a cross? And the game is “problematic” Igor Denisov, which in football circles is not the burial service? Goals of the elderly by football standards farfán, on whose invitation was laughing the entire world, from the same Cherkizovsky Opera.

Football “Loco” to love and to hate, but not give a proper done by a team of Semin”s work in these 20 rounds would be zhlobstvom. This distance “railwaymen” have gone smoother and confident than any of the competitors — and absolutely deservedly won the unofficial title of winter champion. Any objections?

Since March of Premier League clubs will be able to cast doubt on the championship ambitions of “Loco”. On the football field. In the meantime, we can only guess whether it will be possible competitors in the spring closer to “Loco” or their advantage to 8 points will turn into infinity.

Hershkowitz: Not surprised that the railwaymen went on a break by the leaders of the championship. Separation from “Zenith” is already 8 points, but if you think about the home defeat “Loko” from “Tosno” and “Amkar” and to imagine that these games have been at least a draw, the gap could be more solid. The team is headed by one of our experienced specialists — Yuriy Semin. He managed to create efficient collective tactically to organize players. Please note that all of the guys he has added growing by leaps and bounds and young players, and experienced. Optimistic about the prospects of the championship “Locomotive”, but the important thing is for the team not to stand on the spot, and to spend winter break. First and foremost we need to strengthen — at least one great performer in every line. After all, if we compare the composition of “Loco” with the same “Zenith”, it becomes obvious which components to Muscovites it is necessary to add.

Will be back Ari, the quantity will intensify the attack. “Railroad” will not only continue fighting for the championship, but the performance in the Europa League, where I hope Lokomotiv will be pretty far away. The opponent got quite acceptable: the French “nice” are not insurmountable barrier. The only problem with all of our clubs — that in February they will only leave leave, while rivals, whose national Championships will not be interrupted for such a long period in winter, should remain in good playing form.

photo: Evgeny Semenov
Quincy promes (right) — most valuable player of the Premier League.

SLIP AT the START: the generosity of “Spartacus”

MK: On the question of what happened to the red-and-white at the start of the season, there is still no clear answer. Whether it prolonged the championship hangover, heavily involved in the now famous Miller moonshine, or the coaching staff too much emphasis in trying to bring the team to peak form for the Champions League — sure we’ll never know. But the epidemic of injuries, coupled with the inexplicable tendency to fill up the endings of the matches, led to the fact that “Spartak” has lost points at least in 5 games, conceding decisive goals in the last minute.

But the League of Champions “Spartak” really began to significantly improve, and the home meeting with Liverpool could be called a turning point, after which the trend is to pass shortly before the final whistle had gone. The amplitude of the results of Muscovites in the main Eurocup tournament shakes red-and-white in the group stage managed and the largest for Russian clubs win in Champions League to win and lose with the indecent account. And home Was a solid defeat of Sevilla (5:1) and shame in Liverpool (0:7), but the team is clearly gathering momentum, which is clearly demonstrated in the last before the winter break rounds, which was on the road defeated the “Krasnodar” (4:1), surely replayed “Zenit”, and finally Spartak with big score defeated CSKA. Beautiful victory over CSKA has allowed “Spartaku” for the first time in the season to be in the top three and in a good mood to go on a holiday.

Hershkowitz: “Spartak” has a great, balanced attack capable of courage and in the presence of free zones create serious trouble for any opponent. And this is confirmed by not only in the domestic championship but also in European competitions. But defensively not so good. Yes, CSKA played well in defense, but agree that Pontus Wernbloom was not the striker, which can be called the expendables. Occasionally a Swede can be used at the point of attack, but on an ongoing basis to transfer him to the position of centre forward is not the answer.

In this season, the defense of “Spartacus” has made too many unforgivable mistakes. Essential two or three good players based. By and large, serious claims deserve not only Georgy Jikia, but it is necessary to add those three defenders, you need to purchase which I have referred. Especially that red-white spring have to fight on three fronts — because in addition to the Premier League and Europa League team Massimo Carrera still the Cup to continue the fight.

For the championship “Spartak” will compete, but it is extremely important to improve the defensive line. The most important qualities of defense remain the reliability and stability, and their lack. Without this it is impossible to talk about stability positive results.

photo: Evgeny Semenov
In Zenit”s Artem Dzyuba is freezing more often on the bench than playing.

WE have YOUR PROBLEM: Zenit can’t choose the best of the good

“MK”: If at the start of the season “the locomotive” nobody as a serious contender for the championship did not consider, “Zenith” many were ready to award the title even before the first round. After another shopping fair in the football team, Roberto Mancini”s players would be enough, not even two, but three squads, and each of them individually could put in the Premier League. But the best, as you know, the enemy of the good, and the blue-white-blue was not able to neatly put all their eggs in one basket. No, sometimes “Zenit” pleased daring game in attack, showed quite good football, but to Shine on a regular basis did not come out. And the players, most of whom did not receive adequate playing time, gradually fading away.

Definitely take the first part of the championship in the asset may Daler Kuzyaev, quickly made a name for himself and earned a call up to the national team Stanislav Cherchesov. Domenico criscito and Branislav Ivanovic on the lack of match practice no right to complain, and the quality of their football, with a few exceptions was at a high level. Solid place had Alexander Kokorin and Leandro Paredes, but more… do Not dwell on the playing time deprived of Zenit players. Only note that the presence on the bench did not add positive emotions, which negatively affects the atmosphere within the team. Let’s talk about our. Know what General Oleg Shatov and Artem Dzyuba, Dmitry Poloz and Yuri Zhirkov? First, they often have left or not been in the squad for a match than playing. And secondly, they are all candidates for a national team who do not have a stable gaming practices.

If forced to carry out mass rotation of Mancini thereby deprives the confidence of the players, “Zenith”, it is only internal club business. But when this approach suffers from the team, the problem becomes public. Choosing the best of the best, the coaching staff has not yet been able to find the optimal formula, which was reflected on the results and on the quality of the game (first game in attack, where to build coherence in constantly changing combinations of players is almost impossible).

Surely any coach would say: I have such problems! But with our fans ‘ side, everything looks different. Solid clip collections for six months prior to the world Championships in Turkey sits on the bench. If the majority of Russian football fans do not care about the feelings of the players themselves made the choice in favor of the successful “Zenith” the risk of losing a practice game, their playing and functional condition, however pompous it may sound, before the world Cup becomes almost a national treasure. An asset that is squandered.

Gershkovich: If in the defense of the Petrograd still somehow manage through a high level of skill of the defenders, the attack has no coherence. Shy with the composition does not benefit the team. For example, I did not understand what happened in the match with “Ahmad” and Oleg Shatov, who in Grozny came on as a substitute in the second half, and after 30 minutes was replaced. It is felt that within the team there is no rod, no person who could associate. You need to create a strong team work cooperation, coordination of actions. Enough to buy players — and they are so in abundance. Zabolotny bought? I don’t know why. If I bought the star level Paulo Dibala, there were no issues. And so do not see consistency in approach.

FAILURE: “ruby” will not play

“MK”: Major disappointment the first part of the championship was undoubtedly “the ruby”. The team is the most experienced tactician Kurban Berdyev, the aggregate value of players of the Kazan inferior except that teams from the leading group, ahead of, by the way, according to this indicator, even the “locomotive”. But the team was not, and there are no games, no baggage points, lets not think about the struggle for the preservation of places in the Premier League. Believe that “the ruby” in the championship will be in a dangerous area, difficult, but also to find advantages over competitors from the lower half of the table is not so simple. And then there’s the message of the team that the delay on wages is more than three months…

However, a strong Foundation in the form of an experienced trainer and qualitative composition among the residents there. It is only necessary to strengthen the supporting structure, which in this case is funding. Kurban Berdyev usually able to find a common language with the heads of the clubs in which it operates. It is hoped that it will be possible it to him this time.

Hershkowitz: Kazantsev Have a decent squad, and if there are no problems with financing, the team will hardly struggle for survival.

Premier League. 20-th round

Tosno (Tosno) — “the locomotive” (Moscow) — 1:3, “Ahmad” (Grozny) — “Zenith” (St.-Petersburg) — 0:0, “Rostov” (Rostov-on-don) — Ufa (Ufa) — 1:0, “Spartak” (Moscow) — CSKA (Moscow) — 3:0, “Amkar” (Perm) — “Krasnodar” (Krasnodar) — 1:3, “Rubin” (Kazan) — “SKA-Khabarovsk” (Khabarovsk) — 3:1, “Dynamo” (Moscow) — “Anzhi” (Makhachkala) — 2:0, “Ural” (Ekaterinburg) — “the Arsenal” (Tula) — 1:1


Alexander Kokorin (“Zenith”) — 10 goals (0 penalty). Fedor Smolov (FC Krasnodar) — 10 (1), Quincy Promes (Spartak) — 10 (2). Eugene Markov (Tosno), Jefferson farfán (“Lokomotiv”), both for 8 (0)

Scorers (goal+assist)

Quincy Promes (Spartak) — 10+6. Fedor Smolov (FC Krasnodar), Alexander Kokorin (“Zenit”) — both at 10+3. Luiz Adriano (“Spartak”) — 7+6. Victor Cool (“Krasnodar”) — 6+6

In the 21st round (March 4) meet

“The locomotive” — “Spartak” “Anzhi” — “Rubin”, “SKA-Minsk” — “Tosno” CSKA — “Ural”, “Arsenal” — “Ahmad”, “Zenit” — “Amkar” “Krasnodar” — “Rostov”, “Ufa” — “Dinamo”

The symbolic team of the first part of the Premier League-2017/2018

Goalkeeper: Artur Nigmatullin (“Amkar”)

Protection: Solomon Kverkvelia (Lokomotiv Moscow), Georgy Jikia (“Spartak”), Alexander Kerzhakov (“Zenith”)

Midfield: Pontus wernbloom (CSKA Moscow), Quincy promes (“Spartak”), Dmitry stocki (“Ufa”), Alexey miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Attack: Aleksandr Kokorin (“Zenith”), Fedor Smolov (FC Krasnodar)

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