Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Duo leave Lokomotiv on loan

Dynamo Bryansk came into an agreement with Lokomotiv for the 6-month loan transfer of Aleksandr Minchenkov and Sergey Efimov. Thus in poor words, the two Lokomotiv graduates will spend the next 6 months under the guidance of The Boss, Sergey Ovchinnikov - Lokomotiv's former goalkeeper. Both players are looking to use the transfer for different reasons.

Sergey Efimov, 22, is eager to put the injuries past him and gain some match fitness. He conceeded that he doesn't want to play for the junior and thus jumped for the chance to play for Bryansk in the second division. He made his intent to help his new club and eventually gain some much needed playing time.

On the other hand, Aleksandr Minchenkov, 21, is looking to gain invaluable first team experience from the 6th month stint at Dynamo. Minchenkov made it clear that his intention is to gain some experience and playing time so next year he return back to Lokomotiv and try to force his way onto the first team. Minchenkov made it clear that he was always favourable towards a short-term move as he doesn't want to leave Lokomotiv.

Best of luck to both of you!!

Loskov is officially back

Dmitry Loskov is back. Loskov is back. The talismanic captain is back. The legendary midfielder is back. The number 10 is back. Potentially the best Lokomotiv player of all time is back. In poor words, it is official, after three years away from home, Dmitry Loskov came back and signed for Lokomotiv. FINALLY!! I never believed that I would be writing this post anytime as I believed that with his age at the wrong side of the 30s, Loskov would have never came back to Lokomotiv. But as Yury Semin did, Loskov came back to his stadium, his club, his fans!!

Despite being 36 years old and most of football critics may argue that his days are well over, I believe that Loskov may prove to be an amazing capture. Apart of his undisputed talent, Dmitry Loskov commands a lot of respect from the red-green people and undoubtedly they are in the seventh heaven for having their cult hero back!! Recall that this is the man who holds the record of both appearances and goals for Lokomotiv in the Russian Premier Liga. The former Saturn midfielder signed a till the end of the year. Thereafter, each party will have the option to discuss the possibility of extending their agreement. Loskov will wear the number 10 - the number he wore during his previous stint.

When interviewed by http://www.fclm.ru/, it was evident that Loskov was ecstatic for returning back to Lokomotiv, a club where he lived the most glittering moments of his career. He continued by saying that he is relishing the prospect to play under the man which helped him a lot throughout his career, that is Semin. He conceeded that when he phoned the club and Naumov proposed him a possible return to Lokomotiv, Dmitry didn't thought twice and accepted the proposal. Ultimately Loskov conceeded that he was very surprised to find out that his number 10 was free and thus was pleasantly able to take it. Loskov also wanted to thank those Loko fans who greeted him whenever he returned to Lokomotiv stadium or either played against Lokomotiv. He also showed gratitude towards those fans who disclosed a banner saying "Bring back Loskov to Loko" last Sunday.
The presentation of Loskov to the media and fans will take place tomorrow at noon, at Bakovka.

You were, are and will remain the best forever!!
Give him the armband back - he is our captain!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lokomotiv fortunate to escape with a draw.

An epic match for a neutral match. A wonderful comeback for any Sibir fan and a disapointing result for a red-green fan like me. It's true that it's not something easy to win at Siberia but going two-nil up and letting their lead slip away and even going close to lose the match was unacceptable for us. Actually the match was a story of two tales. In the first half Lokomotiv well controlled the opponent and scored two goals in the process while in the second Sibir completly outplayed their more illustrious opponents. Actually Loko should be thankful to Guilherme as if it wasn't for him, Lokomotiv would have surely lost the match - by quite a large margin. Single-handedly he saved us on numerous times. Another bright point was Aliev's freekick brace. The first one was an amazing, breathtaking 40metre freekick. The swerve was simply beautiful. With regards to the second, Aliev was a bit lucky but nevertheless the goal stood. At the other end, Aliev's goal beauty was potentially cancelled out by yet another beauty. Molosh, a left back by trade picked up the ball and from 40 metre hammered the ball onto the net for the potential goal of the season. Amazing stuff in an amazing match. Pity that we weren't able to win the match. Still I cannot figure out how we drew this one. I mean, in the first half we were in total control and with two nil up Semin did the logic and replaced an attaking midfielder with a defensive midfielder to shore up the midfield. In his 45 minutes on pitch Dujmovic did anything else shoring up the midfield. A horror show!

Moreover, once again Lokomotiv were impotent in attack and actually after Sibir drew the match, Lokomotiv were unable to switch up a gear and threaten Kowalewski. I'm fearing that should we fail to sign a capable striker we would be an embarassment in the Europa League. Please wake up board!!

As from the initial minutes, both teams came out looking to pressurize their opponent -the middle of the park seemed inexistent. On the 12 minute mark, Loko came close to open the score through Smolnikov. Three minutes later Lokomotiv were awarded a freekick 40 metres out for a foul on Maicon. Obviously the usual Aliev stepped up and despite the huge distance, Aliev let off a perfect freekick which gave experienced Kowalewski no chance at all. The goal seemed to hit Sibir cold as they were unable to respond and Lokomotiv were by commanding the match. Sibir were locked down into their own half and Guilherme was never threatened. On the half hour mark, Lokomotiv or better Aliev, made them two. Another freekick - same position - same taker. The difference this time was Kowalewski as at first sight Aliev's freekick was going to be a routine save. Nevertheless Kowalewski made a mess of it and eventually let the ball jump infront of him and onto the net. Sibir were shocked while Lokomotiv thought that the match was all but over - and they were heavily wrong!

Looking to add more steel at the middle of the park, Semin replaced Torbinsky with Dujmovic. Unfortunately, Dujmovic added anything but steel. From the first seconds, it wasn't clear that this wasn't the Sibir of the first half. It was simply clear but inexplicably the red-green players didn't noticed such change in their opponents and they remained passive, even when Sibir clawed one back just minutes in the second half through their talismanic striker Medvedev. From then on, apart of Wagner's shot which hit the upright it was all Sibir. The hole at the middle of Lokomotiv's midfield and defence was absurd. With all respect to Sibir but come on, with the superiority that Lokomotiv enjoy in their squad, Lokomotiv should have been able either to close down match or to at least respond. With 20 minutes to go, unsurprisingly Sibir tied the match - and what a goal! Molosh picked up a ball some 40 metres from goal and unleased a left footed shot which gave Guilherme absolutely no chance. Sibir took courage and launched an attack after an attack - only to find a remarkable Guilherme in their way, who for sure together with Aliev should be the only two to be credited with the 2-2 draw. Credit must go to Sibir who for sure deserve a better position that they are currently at. All the best for the Europa League!

Player Ratings
Guilherme - 9

Single-handedly saved a point for Lokomotiv. Was let down by his defenders.
Smolnikov - 5.5
Strong going forward but suspicious when coming to defend.
Asatiani - 5.5
Played his side out of trouble on various times. Nevertheless should have won the header which eventually led to Sibir's goal
Rodolfo - 5.5
Couldn't deal with the second half Sibir's fury.
Yanbaev - 5.5
Not concise as usual.
Tarasov - 5
Strong in the first, very poor in the second.
Torbisnky - 6.5
Was a useful outlet in the first half. Replaced at half time due to injury.
Wagner -5.5
Quite anonymous. Should have scored
Aliev - 8.5
His first freekick was an absolute class - Pity that his teammates ruined his match with the abmyssal performance.
Maicon - 6
The only one who was able to pick himself and try to invent something when Loko starting to chase the game.
Sychev - 5.5
Same as Wagner.

Dujmovic - 4

Failed miserably in his mission.
Glushakov - N/A
No time to impress
Traore - N/A
No time to impress

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"I want to go home"

As you may have read in the previous post, former Lokomotiv captain & legend Dmitry Loskov was released from Saturn, thus meaning that the current holder of the most appearances in the Premier League is currently without a club. Being one of the best playmakers in Russia for the recent 10 years, it's obvious that the number of suitors aint lacking. A host of clubs, in particular Sergey Ovchinnikov's Dynamo Bryansk are toughted that are or were leading the race for the signature of Dmitry. Another rumour was that Loskov may join Lokomotiv-2 Moscow as a player-coach in order to attain the necessary qualifications and experience to join the management of the main squad. To date nothing materialised.

However, despite the whole circus surrounding Loskov, apparently the former number 10 has only one thing, one desire on his mind - that is to go back home. Actually this was his reply when Dmitry was asked about his future. In poor words Loskov wants to go back to Lokomotiv that is his home. Although he is 36 years old, Loskov believes that he has the strength and will to play at the highest level and gives a much needed helping hand to Lokomotiv in the second half of the season. Moreover, the Semin factor is for sure another factor which incline Loskov towards the red-green part of Moscow. But, on top of all, the real factor behind Loskov's wish to return to Lokomotiv is obviously Lokomotiv, its fans and everything which surround the club, that is his home. Actually his desire is so huge that he doesn't care about the financial issues, which is something abnormal given that the majority of players who turn into their 30s start to look at the financial aspects (a fat paycheck) before signing any contract.

Obviously, this shows his love for Lokomotiv, a love which never passed away, even when he wore the blue-white-black colours of Saturn Ramenskoye. Actually, Dmitry conceeded that even thou he was professional in his approach at Saturn, he still rooted for Lokomotiv. Anyways, I dont want to bore you by writing word to word all what Loskov said, but I believe that at least its a must that in addition to the above I disclose the following words, words which he used to end the interview. These were -"The letter 'L' (Lokomotiv) on my chest means a lot for me." You're the best ever man. If only all the players who wear the red-green shirt give their all as you have always did!

Dmitry, your dream is to return to Lokomotiv and our's, or at least mine is that you realise your dream - the number 10 is vacant! Bring him back!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Month Overview

First of all, I would like to excuse myself for lagging behind and failing to post any posts at all in recent days/weeks. The reasons are that first I had to sit for the exams, then there was the World Cup and ultimately started to work. Nevertheless, I should be able to move back to normal ways and post anything which I deem significant. My apologies once again.

In order to make up for it, I would like to dedicate the following paragraphs to summarize everything that happened in the last couple of days...


....back to Premier League action....

On Saturday 10 July 2010 Lokomotiv were called back to action following a 5 week World Cup break. Lokomotiv, who played at home, faced promoted Anzhi Makhackala. Surviving a scare at the death end, Lokomotiv managed to hold on and record a 2-1 victory over last year Division 1 champions. Tomislav Dujmovic & Aleksandr Aliev scored for the home side while Rasim Tagirbekov put Anzhi momentarily back onto the match. A milestone to point out was Magomed Ozdoev's entrance as a substitute which actually was his first ever appearance for the Railwaymen.

According to the fan poll produced by lokomotiv.info, the best players on pitch were Aleksandr Aliev, Renat Yanbaev and Dmitry Torbinsky. The goals of the match can be viewed by clicking here.


....dumped out by Gornyak Uchaly....

No man in the world would have put the money on the third division club to dump out Lokomotiv Moscow out of the Russian Cup. Nevertheless, by showing producing a sound display they did the impossible and won the tie with the score of 1-0. The all important goal was scored by midfielder Maksim Tokarev, following a classical counter attack. For sure, Gornyak's win was the highest point in their three year history - without any doubt not the same can be said for a Lokomotiv side which practically included most of the first team players. Sadly enough, I feel that it's a necessary to point out Dramane Traore's horror show. This because I won't be exagerating if he missed two-three clear chances - with all respect to Gornyak, but if you can't score against a team of such level, I doubt it if he can score against a top-level club. The match highlights can be viewed by clicking here.


....where are you going Renat?

According to various reports, Arsene Wenger was looking at Renat Yanbaev as a potential replacement for Spain bounded Gael Clichy. Actually the reports say that Yanbaev was recommended to Wenger by his scouts, who allegedly were totally impressed by Yanbaev's speed down the left. A potential stumbling block for the move is that Renat fails to meet the criteria to obtain the working permit due to the fact that he is behind Yury Zhirkov in the pecking order for the Russian left back spot.

Nevertheless the transfer rumour have recently cooled down. This is because the two who were leading to sign Clichy, that is Barca & Real, have reportedly shifted their interest towards other players than Clichy. Actually Barca official signature of Adriano means that Clichy's move to Barca is all but over. On the other hand Real Madrid, Clichy's other contender, have reportedly shifted their interest towards Ashley Cole thus meaning that potentially Clichy will stay in London. This will mean that Renat Yanbaev will stay in Moscow.


....Lokomotiv officially sign Roman Shishkin....

Following days and days of rumours, Lokomotiv finally officially announced the signature of Roman Shishkin from Spartak Moscow. The transfer fee involved is believed to be around 500 million euros. The contract is designed for 3.5 years. Nevertheless should Roman Shishkin fail to prove himself in the first 6 months, Lokomotiv hold the option to terminate at zero cost Shishkin contract's. This also means that Roman have to option to leave the club after these 6 months and join any other club without any transfer fee. Should Shishkin impress and show his interest to stay at Lokomotiv, the 3 years extension will enter into play. Roman Shishkin chose the number he wore at Spartak, that is the 49. The right back will join his new team mates on August 1.

Unfortunately, the transfer didn't went down well with the majority of Loko fans. To me this is quite perplexing. It's true that Shiskin played for the Meat, but so did Loko legend Vadim Yevseev! Ironically Vadim was pratically as old as Roman when he decided to cross the city from Spartak to Lokomotiv. My point is that the transfer of Roman Shishkin would result to be a very big deal. Here, we are not talking about an ordinary player. Here we are talking about a player who played for Russia, have European experience and even being named amongst Europe's eight most prospective footballers back in 2006. Although he failed to live up the promise, I believe that with the right guidance, Shishkin can regain his confidence and finally fulfill his potential. And let's set the record straight, there is no one better than Semin to inspire any player.

Roman Shishkin, 23, is able to play both at right back and defensive midfielder and started his career with FC Fakel Voronezh. After some time, Roman moved to Moscow and signed for Spartak. In 2009, Shishkin fell out of favour at Spartak and was shipped to Krylya Sovetov Samara on loan and making 25 appearances in the process. On the other hand, Roman racked up 54 appearances for Spartak and scored a solitary goal. Shishkin's first and eventually only appearance for Russia came in March 2007, when he played the whole match against Estonia. Leaving his Spartak past aside, I really wish all the best to Roman and wholeheartedly hope that he prove himself to the extent that the number 49 will stay at Loko for years to come. Good luck Roman!!!


....and Loskov released.

The title speaks for itself. Loskov was officially released by Saturn Ramenskoye. This means that currently our Legend is a free agent....SO WHAT IF....?

What do you think? Do you want to see Loskov back at Lokomotiv?

Odem 4 Milev? ANYTIME!

According to several reports emanating from Russia, Lokomotiv are considering the option of offering Nigerian international Peter Odemwingie and 5 million euros for Dynamo Kiev forward Artem Milevskiy. Given that Dynamo Kiev are holding out for a fee of 20 million euros and Lokomotiv value Odemwingie 15 million, the board is adamant that they can lure King Milev to Moscow by offering Odemwingie plus the 5 million difference between the valuations of the respective players.

An important factor to point out is that it is believed that Zenit are no longer interested to sign Artem Milevskiy giventhat they got their new man - that is Aleksandr Bukharov of Rubin. This means that Dynamo and Lokomotiv were left alone to bid for the services of the Dynamo Kiev captain.

Interestingly enough, according the same report the agent of Milevsky, Denis Lachter, is spending a lot of time in Moscow in order to fork out a transfer for his client. Recall that Lachter was the man behind Andrey Arshavin's move from Zenit to Arsenal.

Fingers crossed and let's hope that Milevskiy comes to Moscow and Odemwingie moves to any other direction. To say the truth I don't care how as long as the two transfers take place. The fact that Loko badly needs a striker and there is no place of Odemwingie is something definite by now.

Loko record a steaming win

Following the midweek shock, Lokomotiv did very well to bounce back and eventually record a rare convincing win. Playing in quite harsh conditions, with the temperature reaching 35'C in Moscow (that is + 5/10 in the stadium), Lokomotiv brought some joy to the home attendance by producing a solid performance, and eventually attaining some high points in the process - such as the clean sheet, continously overlapping fullbacks and a Wagner/Aliev impressive showing. Nevertheless, the icing on the cake was Sychev's two goals - which actually were his first goals in 12 matches!! Finally!! Nonetheless Sychev's return shall not mean that Lokomotiv abandon their search for a top-class striker - a striker whose different to Sychev, Odemwingie and Maicon, who surprisingly developed into a key player for Lokomotiv in just 3 months.

As from the first minute of the match, Lokomotiv came out searching for an important goal, a goal which will give them some much needed breath. 15 minutes in and Lokomotiv went ahead through...Aliev - anyways who else if not him. Lokomotiv were awarded a freekick some 25 yards out and as we became accustomed to, upstepped Aliev, who despite all the way out smashed the ball onto the bottom right corner - giving young keeper Mikhail Kerzhakov no chance at all. Alania were shocked and couldn't find a way out of defence and actually it took them 15 minutes to threaten Guilherme. Soon afterwards, at the other end Maicon gave the illusion of the goal as his crashing shot went just centimetres away of the upleft. Sychev was the next one to threaten but again was luckless. Finally, lady luck smiled on Sychev's face as with only seconds remaning to the half time, Sychev headed Aliev's corner home without even jumping. Sychev was ecstatic - who can blame him anyways. That was all as for the first period.

The second one continued the same way the first ended as Lokomotiv found the net yet again and made them 3. Again, Aliev delivered a low corner towards Tarasov, who shot straight onto Kerzhakov. Nevertheless the keeper wasn't able to handle the ball and the ball fell into the path of Sychev, who from quite an acute angle bundled home. Match over - nevertheless this was what Loko players thought as the level of concentration fell down significantly. First Tarasov nearly gave away a goal with a short pass and subsequently, on the hour mark, Smolnikov hacked down Chochiyev in the penalty area and gave Alania the opportunity to claw one back. Fortunately for Loko, Guilherme was equal to former Loko player Georgi Gabulov penalty. This was an alarming bell for Loko, as even thou with 3 up, Lokomotiv didnt stayed back and see out the last minutes but twice went close to make them 4 through Sychev and Maicon. The latter was the most ill-fated of the two as his effort from just 3 yards out smashed onto the crossbar. There was no room for more action and eventually the 3-0 was the final score - a score which enabled the railwaymen to climb to the 5th place.
The match highlights can be viewed by clicking here.

Player Ratings
Guilherme - 7.5
A one-on-one and a penalty save. What more could you ask for?
Smolnikov - 6
Hacked Chochiyev down and gave Alania a potential way back to the match. Otherwise he was strong and was a good outlet in attack.
Asatiani - 6.5
Strong as usual
Rodolfo - 6.5
Same as his defensive partner
Yanbaev - 7
Terrorised Alania's right back whenever went forward. Defensively strong too.
Tarasov - 6.5
Marshalled the back four really well. Nevertheless his mishit pass could had worse consequences.
Torbinsky - 6.5
An all around performance from the aggresive midfielder
Aliev - 8
A goal and and an assist. Our new leader.
Wagner - 7
Partnered Aliev very well. In some moments his passing was eye catching.
Maicon - 7
His running was a constant menace for Alania's backfour.
Sychev - 8.5
Took his two goals very well. An amazing reply from a player who was constantly criticized in recent days.

- N/A
Ozdoev - N/A
Burlak - N/A

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lokomotiv pitted against Gornyak Uchaly

Today Lokomotiv learned the opposition which they have to face in the 6th round of the Rambler Russian Cup. This was decided after today 32 teams confronted each other in a bid for the next round. Actually the one-legged knock-out determined the 16 teams which will be added to the 16 Premier League clubs which will make up the 6th round in a bid for a place in the 7th round, the round preceeding the quarter-finals of the Russian Cup.

Actually, Lokomotiv will face second-division club (third tier of the Russian football system), FC Gornyak Uchaly, who amazingly today eliminated first division outfit Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast with the score of 3-2. It's important to recall that Ural were the club which Lokomotiv succumbed to in the last edition of the national cup.

The encounter will be held in Uchaly on the 14 of July.