Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lokomotiv insisting on Maicon

According to Italian web portal Lokomotiv Moscow are pressing for the transfer of Maicon, currently in the ranks for Fluminense, former club of club captain Rodolfo. The website reported that Lokomotiv made an official offer of about €5 million. However it is reported that one potential hurdle in the transfer is Fluminense's reluctance to let the striker leave before the end of the current season.

Neverthless with Fluminense reported to be in the market for a striker, this may mean that Fluminense may accept Loko's bid subject to finding the subsitute for their prized asset. In addition it is toughted that Maicon (Maicon Marques Bitencourt) is also interesting Italian Serie A duo Cagliari and Palermo.

To date, Maicon, 20 years, has made 59 appearances for the Fluzão and scored 6 goals in the process. He was also part of the Brazil U20 squad in last year's World Cup in Egypt. In Brazil, due to his speed Maicon is also known as Maicon Bolt - with respect to Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. Recently, the young striker formed a lethal partnership with former Lyon striker Fred.

Wagner out again

It's a pity. Brazilian wizard Wagner suffered another injury. Actually the midfielder was sent to Italy again to be diagnosed in order to determine the extent of the hip injury he suffered in training. Till now it is still unknown for how much the attacking midfielder will be sidelined - let's hope it's just a minor injury. As he showed in the few matches he played for us, Wagner is an indespensable part of our squad and for sure losing him will result in a huge blow for Lokomotiv.

Also, given that the Brazilian was rather unlucky with injuries during his time in Moscow, I am of the idea that Wagner should scrap the maligned number 13 for the vacant number 10. Apart of the fact that the no. 13 brought bad luck to Wagner in terms of injury, I believe that given Wagner's technichal and creative abilities the no. 10 would be by far more suited for him. Recall that Wagner wore the no. 10 before joining Lokomotiv. Let's hope he follows the footsteps of Dmitry Torbinsky.
According to Wagner will be sidelined for 6 weeks. Get Well Soon Wagner!!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rodolfo #4

I was bored so I decided to do a video about our captain Rodolfo.

Hope you enjoy it!!

Izmailov staying at Sporting

Although lately the transfer looked as almost a deal done, in a sudden twist of events, Sporting officially announced that they are no longer interested in letting their prized asset Marat Izmailov leave the Portugese capital club. Although the Portugese press service didn't gave any details for their withdrawal, I bet that the sole reason is the qualification they achieved at the expense of Everton last Thursday, which actually entailed them for a passage to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Although the official announcement was made only on yesterday's evening, the move was already in jeopardise as early as Sporting secured the qualification. Actually, this was personally confirmed during the day by Izmailov himself, who when interviewed by Sport Express claimed that he will stay at Sporting until the end of the Portugese season. Unfortunately this gives the idea that given the related parties were already concluded an agreement, it was Izmailov himself who rejected the move to Lokomotiv. Undoubtedly the main reason behind such decision is the chance to win the Europa League. Anyways Goodluck!!

Although I have to admit that I am disappointed that we failed to lure Izmailov back to Moscow, I believe that we have enough players in the ranks to play in his roles. Torbinsky, Wagner, Odemwingie, Glushakov, Gatagov and Ignatiev are all able to play on the wings. Thus I am of the opinion that Loko could still challenge for the top honours without Izmailov. I add that we should better focus to lure a right-back as we are littile thin there. What about Shishkin, who is rumoured of leaving Spartak Moscow yet again? The guy got potential and is one of the few Spartak players who I like to be at Lokomotiv. Yevseev was of the same age when he crossed Moscow from Spartak to Lokomotiv! Who knows....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Squad Analysis: Attack

As soon as the last Russian Premier came to an end, Lokomotiv were linked to a host of strikers such as Wellington Paulista, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Maicon, Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Maksim Skavysh and Eugeny Savin amongst others. To date, no new forward was registered apart of the return of Malian striker Dramane Traore who passed last in season in Krasnodar at Kuban.

Although recently Semin have been employing just one striker, and there are 3 strikers available together with the versatile Odemwingie, it is undeniable that Lokomotiv are in the market for a striker, possibly Russian. The current three options available to our father are Dmitry Sychev, Dramane Traore and the young Aleksandr Minchenkov, who when last season was given the chance he showed some good performances. To remember is his well taken goal which paved the way for Loko's victory over Spartak.

Talking about Spartak, the player which Lokomotiv have been heavily linked with throughout the transfer window is no one else former Spartak striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who was literally frozen out by the questionable Harry Redknapp - who is the man who is always promising Roman with first team football but then never deliver. To add insult to injury, Mr. Harry was happy to let Keane leave and let the Russian striker riot on the bench. Just shameful!! Although if Roman join Lokomotiv he will for sure bolster our front line, I concede that I am a little bit against the transfer. This is due to Pavlyuchenko's past at Spartak. Actually the finger infront the month (as the pic) was a familiar celebration from Pav whenever he scored against at Lokomotiv Stadium. Moreover I am sceptical over the high transfer fee required from the Londoners. Not because he is not worth them, but we are talking about a 29 year old who is not a starter and undoubtedly this means that his value should be a little bit lower. Anyways Lokomotiv tried to lure the Russian hot shot back to Russia but didn't received any answers from Tottenham - unprofessional to say the least. It is reported that Dirty Harry wants to keep the striker at least until the end of their season. Pity!!

Another striker which Lokomotiv are reported to be highly interested is the young Brazilian striker Maicon, who currently plays for Fluminense. Although he was one of the hero's of the Brazilian bid for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt, I don't believe that he is up to the level of Lokomotiv. Statistics show that he scored just 6 goals in 59 appearances. His record with the Brazilian Under-20 squad is much better as he scored 3 goals in as many appearances. The fee required is thought to be 5 million dollars. Another drawback is that as Pavlyuchenko, Fluminense are holding out for their 19 year old prized asset till summer, this according to ItaSportPress. An even further cons is that he is not Russian, and with the amount of "legionnaires" already a little bit worrying, I believe that the management should go for a Russian player.
This is actually the main reason why today I was happy to read the report which linked Lokomotiv to Spartak striker Dzyuba. Although as Pavlyuchenko he is a Spartak striker, and thus using the same aforementioned reasoning I should not welcome Artem, I believe that his status is for sure not as much high as that of Pav, and thus I believe, that in this case Semin should pounce on Dzyuba. Actually unlike Pav, he never wore the captain band. Correct me if I'm wrong. Besides that he is Russian, I don't believe that Spartak will hold out for a huge sum for the transfer of the player. This because of the rumours of the past summer which reported that he robbed then team mate Vladimir Bystrov. Although the young striker denied such claims, he was dismissed with immediate effect from Spartak first team and eventually shipped on loan to Tom Tomsk.

Artem Dzyuba, born in Moscow, is 21 years and despite his tenure age, Artem has already amassed over 50 Premier League appearances. Moreover should he join Lokomotiv, the striker will bring in some much needed European experience, as of the current crop only Sychev have some European experience. Another pros is the fact the striker will bring some much needed cms with his 1.93m height. Despite this, Dzyuba is considered to be a fairly technical player.

Strictly speaking, although I would welcome any of those mentioned above, I believe that more chance should be given Dramane Traore and even more to Aleksandr Minchenkov. This because the latter, nicknamed "the Sword", have joined Lokomotiv at a relatively tender age and what's better than having a player who is a "home grown"?

Anyways, regardless of who arrive, if any, I just hope that Sychev will show the game he showed in the second half of the season and thus cement his place in the first eleven. It would be an unimaginable scenario seeing my idol on the bench! Let's hope for the best!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kontsedalov swaps Lokomotiv for Spartak

Today Lokomotiv came into agreement with Spartak Nalchik for the transfer of midfielder Roman Kontsedalov. Recall that the 23 year old midfielder passed last season on loan at the same Spartak Nalchik. Actually he appeared 22 times for the team from the capital of Kabardino-Balkar Republic.

Kontsedalov joined Lokomotiv Moscow in 2004. Previously he played for Titan Moscow. After finding it difficult to break into Loko's first team, Kontsedalov was loaned out for two years to Spartak Nalchik. In 2007 he returned to Lokomotiv and managed to appear 12 times for Lokomotiv. He also was part of the squad who won the Russian Cup. In 2008 Roman was on the move again as he left on loan again, this time to Tom Tomsk. In 2009, as aformentioned Kontsedalov played for Nalchik. Thanks for your service and all the best Roman!

What's happening in Russia?

With just over 20 days left for the beginning of the Russian Premier League 2010, all the clubs are weighing the last options available in order to bolster their respective squad. With the European transfer market closed, Russian clubs have the advantage to bring some talent at a relative cheaper price due to a reduction in competition. Apart of troubled Krylya Sovetov Samara, all the other 14 clubs ringed the changes in their squad. Only "other 14 clubs" is due to the fact that FC Moscow will not be taking part in the upcoming season. This all thanks to the cease of funding by their main shareholder MMC Norilsk Nickel. Although I admit that I never was a big fan of them due to the low attendaces they often attracted to the stadium, I can't but feel sorry for their fans, who some of them even went on hunger striker in protest against the decision of their owners. To add insult to injury no body knows where their future lies; the only certainty is that they won't be competing in the upcoming season.

Their place will be taken by Russian Top Division 1995 champions Alania Vladikazkaz, who last season ended in the third place in the Russian First Division. This means that our nemesis Torpedo Moscow won't be competing in the Premier as many have hoped, including me. It's true that we Loko fans don't see an eye with them, but's what better than beating your nemesis on pitch? Right? Anyways Torpedo will stay in the Second Division while Alania will head to the Premier with a squad which until now is that of First Division. Time is ticking and everyone will be wondering if they will be able to build a competive squad. Actually, last week it was reported that Alania approached FC Moscow for the transfer of nine of their players including established players such as Zhevnov, Jakubko, Rebko and Sheshukov. Their only "notable" arrival to date was that Aslan Mashukov from Spartak Nalchik. One positive thing that can be taken from this tragedy is that the low crowds ofhe Eduard Streltsov stadium will be replaced by one of the most dedicated fans in Russia who will undoubtedly crowd their 32,000-capacity Republican Spartak Stadium.

Another team which faced financial problems were Krylya Sovetov Samara. Ironically their sitaution was more precaurious than that of FC Moscow. While FC Moscow have paid all the wages due, Krylya not only didn't found any notable sponsors but haven't paid their player's wages for weeks. To compound their misery their leaders like Jan Koller, Jiri Jarosik, Timofei Kalachev and Vladislav Ignatiev left the club while players who were on loan like Roman Adamov, Stanislav Ivanov and Roman Shishkin followed the others - thus this is case of mass exodus. To compensate for those losses Krylya brought in only Aleksei Kozlov (!) from KaMAZ. Although they have good individuals in their squad such as Budylin, Taranov, Savin and Bober to present a competitive line-up, their substitute bench is worringly thin. Actually this because Krylya will have to rely on unproven youths. A sad story for the only Non-Moscow club who have been in the top flight since its inception and a nightmare for their fans, who are by far one of the best and loyal in the country (their average attendences is one of the highest). Unlike the Citizens and Krylya, the remaining 14 clubs found few difficulties in order to obtain their license for the season. Of the 14, I believe that 6 will be able to challenge for the top positions. Personally the 6 horses are Rubin, Spartak, Zenit, Lokomotiv, CSKA and Dynamo.

I listed also Dynamo because while Lokomotiv and CSKA made the headlines with their respective signings of Aliev and Honda, they by now along with Lokomotiv were the most active in the transfer market. With players like Voronin, Epureanu, Semshov, Cesnauskis, Samedov and the young Kurilov, I believe that Dynamo can even challenge for the top honour in Russia. Although they lost two important players such as Tanasijevic and Kerzhakov, I believe that they made excellent work to replace the departed two. Moreover according to several reports Dynamo are still in the market for a midfielder. After they have made the headlines for the courting of Liverpool ace Benayoun, recent reports have reported that Dynamo have moved their sights onto Romanian intenational midfielder Cristian Tănase who currently wears the red and blue of Steaua.

As aforementioned, CSKA made the headlines with a 9million move of Japanese free-goalscoring midfielder Keisuke Honda. Their squad was also boosted by the arrival of Kirill Nabadkin and Sekou Oliseh from FC Moscow and FC Midtylland respectively. CSKA also managed to sign keeper Sergey Chepchugov from promoted Sibir. This move obviously suggested that CSKA will lose Akinfeev following his heroics in the Champions League in the winter window. However this lucky for them this never occured. CSKA also let Brazilian duo Daniel Carvalho and Vagner Love to leave on loan. Striking trio Ricardo Jesus, Dawid Janczyk and Ouwo Mazzou soon followed. On the other hand their arch-rivals Spartak made only three notable additions to their strong squad. These are Marek Suchy, Nikola Drincic and Ari who joined from Slavia Praha, Amkar Perm and AZ Alkmaar respectively. Spartak also brought early Prudnikov from Sparta Praha while on the other they didn't offered contract to Dedura and Kovalciuc. Zenit hero Boyarintsev swapped the Red-White for the blue of Saturn while Quicny, Rafael Carioca and Malik Fathi were loaned out. Moreover Spartak didn't made Eldar Nizmatudinov's stay permanent.

Moving northwards to Saint Petersburg, to date Zenit had only made two acquisitions being defender Michael Lumb and their fans hero Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who returned to Zenit after 3 years away from St. Petersburg. In addition to those two, Zenit brought also Italian specialist Luciano Spalletti who for sure should be considered something as a coup for them. As expected Zenit were linked with various Italian players such as Rocci and Perotta, to date no Italian swept Italy for the cold Russia. On the hand Zenit let loyal servat Kamil Contofalsky leave while Kim Dong-Jin and as aforementioned Semshov also left the club. Another player who left is Turkish striker Tekke Fatih, who I believe that at Zenit was never given the chance to show his true potential. Tekke Fatih will join Champions Rubin Kazan. He will join along Rubin's two other arrivals Ilie Cebanu and Vitali Kaleshin, who's loan deal was made permanent. Unfortunately Rubin was the Russian club who suffered the heaviest loss, as their wizard Alejandro Dominguez left the Tatarstan capital for the capital of the Valencian Community. Although Tekke can fill his void I don't think so that he is the player of the Argentinian calibre. Moreover Tekke is not a playmaker. Actually recent reports have reported that Rubin are close to sign Bibras Natkho, an Israelit playmaker who plays for Hapoel Tel-Aviv, ironically Rubin's opponents in the Europa League. Recently Rubin were also linked with a possible move of Cetin Servet. Apparently Mr. Kurban is looking to build a Muslim community at Kazan as Natkho is also believed to be a Muslim. Along the Argentine, Stejpan Tomas and Fabio Felicio moved on to Gaziantepspor and Vitoria respectively. Sergey Kozko was released.

With regards to dark-horses, my vote goes to Saturn Moscow Region. Although their squad haven't changed that much from last season as their only signings to date have been Boyarintsev and Kudryashov, I believe that their squad have enough potential to trouble the top six. Moreover Saturn didn't had to deal with players' losses ad they were able to keep practically the whole squad. The same story cannot be said for Chechens Terek Grozny who transfered out practically half the squad. Although I agree with their management's view decision to bring more local talent than foreigners I believe that losing important elements such as Zabavnik, Petre and Pancu could result catastrophic for them. This because these players are international players with huge bags of experience which to day is essential for every club to be successful. Other notable leavers were Valentin Iliev, Fabricio, Ilion Lika, Cleber and Andrei Margaritescu. To compensate, Terek brought in Antonio Ferreira, Dmitri Yatchenko and Shamil Asildarov (all from Spartak Nalchik), Hugo Baez on loan from CSKA Sofia and Brazilian midfielder Mauricio from Fluminense. They also welcomed back Dmitry Smirnov who spent last season on loan at Tom. As the line above suggests, another team which had to deal with some departures were Spartak Nalchik. Actually they had to deal with a lot of departures. Apart of the aforementiond trio, Spartak lost the services of Artem Kontsevoy, Dmitry Khomich (end of loan), Aslan Mashukov, Dejan Radic (to Rostov), David Loria (Irtysh Pavladar [Kazakhstan]) and Oleg Samsonov, Serhiy Plypchuk, Rustem Kalimulin and Ricardo Santos Lago, who all of them were on loan. On the other hand, the arrivals were Gogito Gagua, Stefan Deak, Otto Fredrikson, Aleksandr Shchanitsyn and Nikita Malyarov. Veniamin Mandrykin and Vladimir Dyadyun joined on loan from CSKA and Rubin respectively. Moreover today they signed Roman Kontsedalov from Lokomotiv Moscow. In addition they are expected to sign striker Sylvano Comvalius from my country's club Birkirkara.

The other three clubs who last year were in a struggle against relegation, that is Tom Tomsk, Rostov and Amkar Perm also made some changes. While the middle club were heavily involved in the market and brought in some notable players, Tom made the headlines by signing experienced Korean international defensive midfielder Kim Nam-Il. Obviously he will act as a direct replacement of Aleksandar Radoslavljevic who left for Larissa. Tom also brought Georgi Dzhioyev and yet another Korean Shin Young-Rok from Kuban Krasnodar and Bursaspor respectively. Their other notable departures were keepers Solosin and Gorodov (who last season were on loan at Ural and Chita), and Dmitri Smirnov, Vladimir Dyadyun, Andrei Ivanov and Artem Dzyuba who returned to their respective clubs after their loan period came to an end. Meanwhile Amkar brought in Josip Knezevic, Andrei Topchu and Nikita Burmistrov to make for the lost of Dimitar Telkiskyi, Jean Carlos, Nikola Drincic, Nikolai Zhilyaev, William, Stjepan Babic and Aleksey Yepifanov. Although Knezevic could do well for Amkar's cause, Amkar should better bring in further talent if they don't want to endure a disappointing season.

On the other hand, as aformentioned Rostov had one hack of a busy transfer season. Comparing their arrivals with the departures I believe that Rostov are very stronger than they have been last season and they have all the credentials to be dark horses as Saturn. While it is true that they may feel the loss of the talismanic captain Mikhail Osinov, I believe that the players they brought in can take them up to the next level as some of them are of international material. Timofei Kalachek, Gia Grigalava, Roman Adamov, Anri Khagush, Dejan Radic, Sorin Ghionea, Maksim Kabanov, Andriy Proshyn and Stanislav Ivanov all will be plying their trade at Olimp-2 Vek next season. Meanwhile the list of departures contain the names of Roman Gerus, Maksim Astafjev, Sergey Kuznetsov, Stanislav Khoteyev, Mikhail Rozhkov and Nenad Šljivić along with that of Osinov.

Ultimately, the promoted duo Anzhi Makhackala and Sibir Novosibirsk, as every promoted side with a limited budget tried to lure experience and skill at the best possible dealings. The most active of these two to date were for sure Sibir who signed not less than eleven players. The number of players who left the club was even more staggering as 13 were players who left the Siberian club. These are Nenad Erić, Nikolay Samoilov, Kirill Akilov, Goran Stankovski, the Korean neutralised Denis Laktionov, Semion Semenenko, Kirill Orlov, Sergey Chepchugov, Aleksandr Dovbnya and Sergey Shimulin whose loan deal expired. On the other hand three players who passed last season away from Novosibirsk were also shown the door. Conversly Aleksey Vasiljev, Aleksandr Antipenko, Nikola Valentic, Arūnas Klimavičius, Andrey Kolesnikov, Ivan Nagibin, Aleksey Solosin, Igor Shevchenko, former Rubin and FC Moscow Tomáš Čížek, former Spartak keeper Wojciech Kowalewski and Maxim Astafjev joined Sibir. Interestingly the majority of players came from clubs of the first division or who last year battled relegation in the Premier. As Sibir, Anzhi let a staggering number of player to leave the club. Oleg Malyukov left for Kuban while once prominent Sandro Iashvili returned to his homeland. One capped Alan Kusov was released while Artur Maloyan, Konstantin Sovetkin and Anton Vlasov returned to their respective clubs. Georgian duo Otar Martsaladze and Edik Sadzhaya left for Volga while Shamil Alimagomayev and Daniil Gridnev were both released. Giorgi Navalovski left on loan while former Spartak hot prospect Aleksandr Danishevskiy swapped Makhackala for rich FC Zhemchuzhina-Sochi. With respect to arrivals, Anzhi made their signings gradually. Personally their additions are quite interesting as 5 of the 6 signings are foreign imports. Defenders Mitar Pekovic, Mahir Shukurov and trouble-maker Youssef Rabeh joined from Vojvodina, Inter Baku and Levski Sofia respectively while Todor Timonov and Jan Holenda were brought from CSKA Sofia and Sparta Praha respectively. Their Russian signing was Andrei Streltsov from relegated Khimki.

Personally I believe that we have a very interesting championship on our hands. While I expect the mentioned 6 clubs to challenge for the top honours, I expect Rostov, Saturn and possibly even Terek to trouble the top clubs. On the other side of the table I expect a strong relegation battle as the three promoted clubs could join Spartak Nalchik and Amkar Perm for a season struggle. But anyways nobody knows the future and as past have shown, unpredictability is one of the main elements of the Russian Premier Liga. Let's hope this year doesn't change - mmm, will it be a surprise if Lokomotiv claim the championship? HOPE SO!!! :D

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guilherme given the No.1

In yet another change concerning the goalkeeping department, today Lokomotiv announced that Brazilian keeper Guilherme won't deputise under the number 85 any more. Actually for the upcoming season, the 1.95m goalkeeper will play under the number one, formerly worn by Levenets and Lokomotiv legend Sergey Ovchinnikov.

Krivoruchko presented to the media

Today Lokomotiv officially announced the signature of goalkeeper Aleksandr Krivoruchko, who last year deputised for Lokomotiv-2 Moscow. The 25 year old Moscow born signed a one year contract. Aleksandr, who graduated from the youths of Lokomotiv, was sent on several loan transfers including Vityaz Podolsk, Spartak Nalchik, SOYUZ-Gazprom Izhevsk and Gazovik Orenburg.

Krivoruchko choose the number 22. Recall that when interviewed, Krivoruchko showed his happiness for being transfered to the main squad. He added that such step was the first important step of his career. He disclosed that his dream is now to first become Lokomotiv back-up keeper and subsequently the first keeper and maybe in the future represent the Russian national team.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Talks about Izmailov's proposed transfer to Lokomotiv resurface.

According to Portugese website Record, Lokomotiv have re-opened negotiations with Sporting Lisbon for the transfer of Marat Izmailov. Recall that Lokomotiv tried to bring back the Red-Green fans hero back in January.

The report continues by stating that although nothing concrete has been reached so far, it is thought that transfer is a high possibility. The fee involved is expected to be that of 6 million dollars. Lokomotiv are believed to tabled a three-year contract worth 2 million dollar a year. It is expected that given Izmailov's desire to return to Lokomotiv contract talks should be a formality.

The two parties are expected to finalize the transfer of the player within the next days. One of the major issues concerning the transfer to Lokomotiv is the timing of the transfer; that is Sporting Lisbon would like to have the player available for their 1/16 Europa League encounter against Bilyaletdinov's Everton. Fingers crossed!!!
Semon Fomin joins Loko-2
On the other hand, Fomin officially joined Lokomotiv-2 Moscow. The 21 year old midfielder joined Lokomotiv-2 for a one year loan.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Krivoruchko back in the main fold

One man's loss is another man's gain. Following Levenets' departure at the end of last season, Krivoruchko was recalled back to the main squad by boss Yury Semin to compete with Guilherme and Marek Cech. Aleksandr spent last season playing for Lokomotiv-2 Moscow.

The keeper, who last year was voted by Lokomotiv-2 fans as the best player of the season, showed his happiness to be back into the main Lokomotiv, the club which he holds close to his heart. Aleksandr added that this "promotion" is an important step in order to further his career.

Krivoruchko, who started his career with Lokomotiv, spent the majority of his playing time on loan at several clubs. Actually he turned out for FC Vityaz Podolsk, Spartak Nalchik, FC SOYUZ-Gazprom Izhevsk, FC Gazovik Orenburg and as aforementioned Lokomotiv-2 Moscow. Apparently Aleksandr, who kept 8 clean sheets in 24 appearances for the Loko-2 did enough to impress Yury Semin and earn a deserved recall to the main squad. Krivoruchko has yet to make his first appearance for Lokomotiv. From this blog I would like to wish him luck and who knows, maybe this year he realise his dream and make his first appearance for the club. All the best Aleksandr!!!

Lokomotiv cut-off ties with Jakupovic.

Yesterday, Lokomotiv came into an agreement with "Black Sea" Eldin Jakupovic to terminate his contract with immediate effect.

Jakupovic, who joined Lokomotiv from Swiss outift FC Thun at the beginning of 2006 racked up 20 league appearances for the railwaymen during his time in Moscow. The Swiss international, who defended Loko's goal in Loko's Russian Cup triumph over the troubled FC Moscow spent the majority of the last two years (August 2007-August 2009) on loan at Swiss club Grasshoppers. He returned to Lokomotiv on August 2009 to replace the then-parting Ivan Pelizzoli.

Thanks for your service and all the best for the future Eldin!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Aliev officially a Railwayman

At long last!! When Aliev's transfer to Lokomotiv was all but a dream never materialising for us Lokomotiv fans, in 24 hours the management did what they weren't be able to do in 2 months. Six in the evening was the Moscow time when the most anticipated move of the Lokomotiv off-season was finally made official. Finally, Aliev was presented as a Lokomotiv player. Evident from various internet portals such as, red-green fans response to the move was nothing other then enthusiastic! Having waited for his signing since the end of the last season, such reaction was for sure understandable!!

According to, Aleksandr signed a contract of 3 years. The fee involved is thoughted to be around 8 million, which should be paid in two installements. The 24 year old Ukrainian international will be playing with the number 88.

Immediately after the presentation to the media, the player was interviewed the following questions:
Does Yury Semin played an important role in your transfer to Lokomotiv?
Yes, it did. He wanted me in his team for all costs, something which actually I wasn't opposed. Semin is my coach. Another reason for moving to Moscow was the fact that I want to return to weat the national shirt of Ukraine, something which was difficult to get in Ukraine as I had few chances to get into the line-up of Dynamo Kiev.
Under which number will you play?
My favourite number is 8 but due to the fact that it was unavailable, I choose the number 88.
At Dynamo you played in the centre of the park. Where are expecting to play at Lokomotiv?
To tell you the truth we didn't spoke in this topic but anyways it's down to Semin. At Dynamo I featured both on the right and the left but strictly speaking my favourite position is that of a central midfielder.
Do you know any Lokomotiv player?
Yes I know Dmitry Torbinsky from the time we passed together at the football school of Spartak Moscow. Moreover I know also Malkhaz Asatiani and Rodolfo as like me they played at Dynamo Kiev. In general I should't have any language barriers. I am sure that my time at Lokomotiv will be a success.
Did you and your family already transfered to Moscow?
We did not have yet decided to live - that is if in Moscow or the countryside. Moreover we have a small baby - a daughter Alina which is just 4 months old. I think we will deal with this question in the near future.

On 6 October of 2009 I wrote a post on this same blog regarding the possible transfer of Aliev; and I ended the article writing the following:

"It would be another dream coming true seeing the man (Aliev) in a red & green shirt
with the number 10 printed on it's back. . . "

Although Aliev won't be carrying the number Loskov carried, tonight I am one heck of a happy man. Can't wait to see Aliev wearing the red-green shirt in the upcoming championship!! Personally this transfer will result on one hack of a transfer coup. We had been lacking a cultured playermaker such as Aleksandr since the departure of Loskov. Actually I believe that he will be our new Loskov - our new leader.