GENERICO.ruSportNew leader, old problems: RPL goes on winter break

New leader, old problems: RPL goes on winter break

MOSCOW, December 11, Sergey Fuks The last round of the Russian Football Championship before the pause ended on Sunday. The Russian Premier League (RPL) went on vacation, which will last until March.
“Krasnodar” became the “winter” leader of the championship. The team led by Serbian Vladimir Ivic abandoned reckless attacking football, shifting the emphasis from effectiveness and beauty of combinations to pragmatism and line balance. The result of the stylistic restructuring was 11 victories in 18 meetings and 38 points, which is two more than the current champion, Zenit St. Petersburg. The intermediate success of the Krasnodar team lies in several factors: the most reliable defense in the RPL (14 goals conceded) led by goalkeeper Matvey Safonov (8 clean sheets), the absence of defeats at the home stadium, as well as the brilliant play of the leaders in the person of midfielder Eduard Spertsyan and striker John Cordoba .

The statistics are adamant: over the past 10 seasons, the “winter” champion has only once failed to win gold medals at the end of the tournament. Therefore, the permanent leader of recent years, Zenit, should tense up a little. Sergei Semak's team cannot boast of stability this season, because the St. Petersburgers lost four times: this is already twice as many as a year ago. We can say that Zenit has not yet fully recovered from the losses of Malkom and Daler Kuzyaev, but for a club with such enormous opportunities there can be no excuses. In the meantime, the Blue-White-Blues are being dragged along by Colombian forward Mateo Cassierra, who is in first place in the scorers race with 14 goals. He spent most of last season on the bench.

The top three are completed by Dynamo Moscow, which has a nine-match unbeaten streak in the RPL. At the beginning of the championship, Marcel Licka spent a long time searching for balance. The team under his leadership more than once lost points in matches that they were obliged to win. After an unsuccessful streak at the end of September and beginning of October, the “blue and white” found the game and began to steadily gain points. The depth of the squad and its quality allow us to count on great achievements – the effective actions of the Brazilian midfielder Bitello and forward Konstantin Tyukavin have already made us forget about Arsen Zakharyan’s departure to Spain.

Mazhich can't cope? Almost all matches of the last part of the RPL season were held without an offside line system, as the league waited a long time for the certification of the Chinese equipment supplier. And it’s even a little strange that clubs rarely complained about controversial offside calls. This does not change the fact that dissatisfaction with the work of judges has not diminished. It even got to the point that RPL President Alexander Alaev openly criticized the Serbian Milorad Mazic, who took over the post of head of the refereeing department of the Russian Football Union (RFU) in the summer.

In response to the statement, RFU General Secretary Maxim Mitrofanov said that there was no talk of Mazhich leaving, the credit of trust was preserved. RFU President Alexander Dyukov also noted the positive dynamics in the work of the referees. On Mazhich’s initiative, referees from Belarus and Saudi Arabia will soon be involved in working at Russian championship matches.
““If necessary, at the request of the RFU, we are ready to send our leading referees to serve those matches where we are needed. We will send FIFA referees and those who are about to become them,” said the first deputy chairman of the Belarusian Federation football Andrey Vasilevich.

Coaches go wild Everyone has long been accustomed to the emotional behavior of football players; it is an integral part of the game. But in the last part of the RPL season, coaches showed bright and controversial actions.

So, at the end of September, the head coach of the Yekaterinburg “Ural” Viktor Gancharenko, after the 10th round game with “Rostov” (2:2), came to the flush -an interview and a press conference, where he remained silent in response to all questions from journalists. He later noted that the “performance” was associated with disagreement with the decisions of the judges in a particular match.
“I can remain silent, I can say something about refereeing, but, probably, there are people who understand this better. Moreover, we often perceive such moments emotionally, it seems to us that the judges are strangling us somewhere, then you look and you think, this is probably not true,” the specialist emphasized.

But the head coach of “Lokomotiv” Mikhail Galaktionov, after the missed victory in the 16th round match against the Samara “Wings of the Soviets” (3:3), did not remain silent and used obscene language when speaking about the work of the refereeing team. For this he received a two-match suspension. By the way, without him, Loko won two victories – over Zenit (3:1) and Ural (2:0).

Later in the round, two coaches lost their nerves at once. First, Valery Karpin, commenting on the results of the 17th round match against CSKA (0:2), called the person who decided to play the game in conditions of heavy snow a moron, adding that it was “the murder of football.” In such harsh assessments of the coach, Rostov sports director Alexey Ryskin supported him.
“”Today (December 3) is the heaviest snowfall in Moscow in 70 years, and no one understands the logic of why the match was not postponed. And Valery Georgievich does not understand, hence his emotions. Thank God that no one was injured today, this is the only positive emotion after the game,” he said then.
As a result of the proceedings, Karpin was disqualified for two matches.

There was no snow in Grozny during the match between the local Akhmat and Spartak. But there were regular skirmishes and showdowns between players, coaches and staff of both teams.
In the first half, after Akhmat scored a goal, Grozny leader Bernard Berisha celebrated too emotionally and aggressively jumped towards the opposing coach Guillermo Abascal. The Spaniard could not stand this and threw the Kosovar onto the lawn with a wrestling move. The result was removal, defeat with a score of 1:2 and three matches of disqualification. Although Abaskal had already managed to repent:
“I think that any normal person would react in some way to protect himself. This is a common reaction. But I understand perfectly well that I am the head coach of the Spartak football club and should, of course, be above this. And not allow myself such moments “Nevertheless, I apologize to Russian football for what happened. Because, of course, this should not be allowed. And in general, this situation does not look good on football.”

Winter came “suddenly” Karpin's verbal tirade, as well as a number of matches in frosty Moscow, revived the discussion about the adequacy of the “autumn-spring” system. Does the league need conditional synchronization with the European calendar during sanctions or should it think about returning to the spring-autumn system? According to Alaev, such a discussion is not worth starting now.
“We will not go back again: “spring-autumn”, “autumn-spring”. We must proceed from the fact that we have a championship today and such conditions. Thank God “that we have the opportunity to postpone individual matches to the spring part. We will be guided by the specific situation at each stadium,” he said.
However, there are more and more voices for a more flexible approach, the essence of which is to shorten matches during the cold period and shift the start of the championship to the beginning of July.
“”The question is not in the “autumn-spring” system itself, but in how our calendar is compiled “Ideally, we need to minimize the number of matches in such weather conditions,” said Spartak General Director Oleg Malyshev.
General Director of the Voronezh “Fakel” Roman Askhabadze supported his colleague:
““For me, there is no need to arrange any transitions in the opposite direction to the “spring-autumn” system. You just need to start playing in the summer a little earlier, for which in general “We voted at the RPL meeting before the start of the season. If memory serves, there were three or four clubs in favor of starting earlier in July. At the vote, the decision was made to start later.”
Thus, despite the wide resonance, one should not expect dramatic changes in any systems or approach to calendar formation.
The RPL season will resume with matches of the 19th round in early March.

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