Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Board of Directors give Semin a vote of confidence

In a board meeting later this evening, Loko's Board of Directors discussed several issues such as the recent dismal results, selection issues and plans for the future, including the future of head coach Yury Semin. Ultimately, the directors decided against considering the question of sacking Semin and thus decided that he will stay at the helm. Hooray!! What a good news for us fans!! After the several rumours that emerged last weekend I was resigned that Semin will no longer manage Lokomotiv - Good job directors!!

Moreover, the Board of Directors moved on to discuss the potential transfer of Marko Basha to Paris Saint Germain. However, fortunately for us the board decided against and thus for the time being the Montenegrin defender will stay with Lokomotiv.

In addition it is thought that the directors also the disussed the potential appointment of Yury Belous as Sporting Director, who was proposed by no one else Olga Smorodskaya. However following some discussions decided against such appointment and thus the former FC Moscow Sporting Director won't be joining Lokomotiv.

Well done Board!! Brilliant decisions!!

Consequently Yury Semin moved on to publically thank the Board of Directors and the fans for the amout of support they gave him in the last days.

Vladislav Ignatiev leaves for Kuban

Following some negotiations between Lokomotiv and Kuban, the two parties agreed for the transfer of Lokomotiv outcast Vladislav Ignatyev. Thus the youngster, who didn't made a single appearance for Lokomotiv will spend the rest of the season on loan. Moreover the first division outfit will have the option to make the transfer permanent at the end of the loan deal.

Recall that Vladislav Ignatyev joined Lokomotiv only 6 months ago. As aforementioned he failed to make his debut for the main squad and for most of the time he turned out in the youngsters championship where he managed to score two goals in 8 appearances.

Good luck Ignatiev!! Nevertheless I just hope that he doesn't come back to haunt us next season given that Kuban are leading the first division! I've saw too much of such thing!

Monday, August 30, 2010

3 and easy for Zenit

Lokomotiv 0 Zenit 3. Not much to say about the match. Lokomotiv started well, Zenit scored a debatable goal, Torbinsky got himself sent off and then Zenit cruised to a comfortable win, which actually could have been by an even bigger margin. What's happening to Lokomotiv, a club which not only did wonders in Russia but made a name for Russia in European competitions by being more than a worthy opponents for the likes of Real Madrid, Inter, Milan and Barcelona amongst others? While it's clear that the players are unmotivated and Semin look resigned, personally the blame is solely of those in the boardroom. While Rubin, Zenit, Spartak and CSKA strenghten the squad with expensive players, Lokomotiv have only been busy to sell a player or two. Apparently, this have infuriated Semin who for the first time, yesterday he publically criticized Olga Smorodskaya way of doing. This is because according to the legendary manager, both Odemwingie and Ignatiev were sold without his knowledge. So Mrs/Ms (truly I don't care), is this your way of managing? Is this your way of treating someone who knows the club more than anyone else? Is this the manner of treating someone who actually it is thanks to him that you have your position? Do you know that if it wasn't for Semin the club WOULD HAVE NEVER reached these heights? Anyways, do you know that the football is round in the first place? I have my doubts.

The icing on the cake of all this circus was that that according to the old lady the reason why Lokomotiv haven't signed anyone is because in winter 11 players joined the club. While it's true that 11 players joind the club, this figure includes young players such as Mirzaev and Ozdoev, who although they are undoubted talents it is obvious that they still have much to learn before playing for the main team. This is absurd. In poor words according to her, Semin must make use of those inexperienced duo against the like of starstudded Zenit, Rubin and CSKA. Outrageuos! In addition, her handling of the media, the club matters and everything else are appaling to say the least. Saying that Semin has health problems is something that can only come out from cowards. What's she's trying to do? To picture herself as caring for our trainer's health? Oh give me a break. It's utterly depressing to see such a disgraceful and shameless figure at the helm of our beloved club. What's her real mission? Few have suggested that her goal is to find some investors who are willing to invest in the club as the Russian Railways are looking to reduce funds as early as from next season. What does this may mean? Another FC Moscow? God forbid. Moreover, should our beloved club change owners, may does this mean that the name of the club will be changed? I mean such as when SV Austria Salzburg was bought by Red Bull? We can only hope otherwise.

Although for sure off-field concerns should concern us as they are negatively effecting Lokomotiv, I believe that the main current concern should be to steady a sinking ship. Given that now the registration period of the Russian Premier League is closed, I believe that it's useless to sack Semin and appoint a new coach. Anyone who watched the match yesterday would agree with me that virtually Lokomotiv played with no strikers as for the most of the time both Sychev and Maicon were on the flanks (and Semin played a 4-4-2 formation!). So what Semin can do if that cunt did her best to do anything but satisfy Semin? Can Semin bring Aleksandr Minchenkov back? Can be a good option. Although he is no Milevskiy I am adamant that he can't do worse than Traore. Moreover the youngster is a striker and not an out-and-out forward such as Sychev. What about Poloz? To say the truth, as Semin himself conceeded I will be expecting that a youngster or two make it to the initial line-up, and rightly so.

With regards to yesterday's match, as already said Lokomotiv started brightly - but unfortunately soon as Zenit opened the score Lokomotiv somewhat faded. Although the result won't change it's a must to that Zenit's goal came from a debatable circumstance, with the referee being the main culprit. Basha fouled Bukharov just outside of the box and as the referee went on to explain to the Loko defenders, Zenit took the freekick quickly and Danny delivered home. While Zenit did well to exploit Loko's lack of concentration, the blame was all on the referee as he should have pointed to his whistle, that is that Zenit can't take the freekick before the same judge whistles. Luck has truly deserted us! Lokomotiv tried to respond but couldn't manage to severily trouble Malafeev and co and thus the half-time score was 1-0 for the visitors. For the second half, Semin tried to inject some creativity and thus sent Wagner on pitch. The move seemed to have paid dividents immediately as Loko started to link up a little better than before. Nevertheless, in yet another strike of misfortune, when Loko seemed to have found some rythym Torbinsky foolishly lunged onto a Zenit player and rightly was given his marching orders. From then on it was all Zenit and eventually the St. Peterburgers cruised to a three-nil victory.

Something mandatory to report is the support Yury Semin received from the home supporters throughout the whole match. The support reached it's high point when Zenit scored the third goal as the fans started to chant against Olga Smorodskaya and in favour of the legendary coach. Don't know how come the Board of Directors are going to let such detail escape. Do they know that if they sack Semin the crowds will fall more than they have fell? Pathetic.

Player Ratings:
Whole Team - 5
It's useless to rate the players as practically they all failed to perform yesterday. While Torbinsky was the worse as he directly conditioned the match, I believe that the best performer yesterday was Basha. It's true that Loko shipped in 3 goals but in my opinion yesterday the big Montenegrin had the best performance of the season as on various occations his timing and tackling were near perfection. On the other hand, apart of Torbinsky the other disastrous performers were Yanbaev and Sychev.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

....because football isn't just a game and Lokomotiv isn't just a club....

....because football isn't just a game and Lokomotiv isn't just a club....

No words can describe my sadness right now. What is happening to our club? Have not won from mid-July and to make matters worse we are out from the Europa League, a competition which we have been craving for from the day we made it to it. It's obvious that the magical Champions League nights are all but a distant memory by now, but how the hell we can't make it past a Swiss second division club? Some blame Semin, others the players while there are other who suggest that the roots of this crisis is new president Olga Smorodskya -my opinion, blame our new president. While the fans feel lost and the players and coaches wondering what's happening, the old lady is busy striking out deals with Puma so as from next season we will be wearing Puma shirts instead of the adidas one. The only good news from this is that at least Lokomotiv will be there next season. This is because with such dismal peformances I'am starting to fearing that in a couple of years we may end like FC Moscow. Solely the thought bring shivers down my spine. Well, to say the truth the fans already started to decrease from the stands and coupled with the president's insistence that no new acquisitions will be made, I will be expecting Lokomotiv to make even worse and as a result more empty seats at the stadium. I read that she have a degree in economics but in no means this is a wise economic move. It's true that by abstaining from signing a player from the funds made available by the sale of two players may improve Loko's economic situation, but did the old lady took into the account the money that will be lost from gate revenue, merchandising, etc etc? Yeah, a degree in economics - give me a break.

Moreover I believe that it would be somewhat a crime to blame all the players for bowing out from the Europa League. This is because last Thursday apart of a player or two, the guys did their best and the improvement in their performance was more than evident. Apart of the fact that up front they were linking up quite well, at the back following the withdrawal of Asatiani, Lausanne rarely threatened. Credit must be given to Tarasov who after some dismal performances today he gave a huge performance as he won several balls, some of them difficult ones. Credit must also go to Torbinsky who in his familiar position on the left linked up well with Yanbaev to severely trouble the Swiss outfit right flank. Aliev was his usual self while Gatagov gave Lokomotiv the drive which they were sorely missing for the past weeks. Shishkin exchanged his defensive and attacking duties very well while Guilherme for sure cannot be blamed for the Swiss' goal. Traore and Sychev also moved particularly well but it's evident that they cannot finish anymore, especially the Malian striker who lost 2 clear chances. Moreover after Aliev drew the match for Lokomotiv, the Malian's first touch was often horrible as he started to give away the ball continuosly. So the question is, if Lokomotiv have signed a decent striker, would we have made it past Lausanne? Definatively yes. So in poor words, this is the reason why Olga is the one to blame. Personally she did all the calculations wrong. By not powering a move for a striker, Lokomotiv may have lost a fortune of 5 million euros between gate receipts, prize money, television revenue and others. Well done, very well done Olga. In addition Lokomotiv will continue to do badly for the rest of the season and should the situation doesn't improve, I am fearing that Semin may end up to loose his position. That would be catasthropic as everyone know that 50% of Loko's fans wouldn't come to the stadium if the "people's coach" will be sacked. Well, i'm starting to believe that this Olga doesn't know nothing about football. Shame on the board of directors who replaced the terrific Naumov with this joke.

With regards to the match, well there's not alot to be said. Practically Lokomotiv dominated from start to finish. Their goal came from Asatiani's lack of concentration as he let Silvio to power home with the minimum of efforts. From then on, taking into account Loko's difficult moment the match was always going to be an uphill. Although they managed to launch in an attack after another Loko's cutting edge was evident missing for once again. Eventually it took 85 mins for Loko to score - and well who else if not Aliev. Alhtough this encouraged a bit Lokomotiv, they failed to score in the next 35 minutes and thus the match proceeded to the lottery of penalties, which Lokomotiv unfortunately lost. Aliev, Sychev and Loskov all scored for Lokomotiv while Shishkin and Maicon missed for the home side. Lausanne managed to score 4 out of and thus the final P.K. result was 4-3. Congratulations to Lausanne and good luck. An even bigger good luck goes to our players who tomorrow will face Zenit. Good luck - you need it.

(I don't take penalties into account as they are just a lottery)
Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 6
A spectator all match. Nothing to do with the goal.
Shishkin - 7
Exchanged his attaking and defensive duties very well.
Basha - 6
Secure at the back
Rodolfo - 6
More or like as his college
Yanbaev - 7
Gave Lausanne's right back a torrid time today
Asatiani - 4
The main culprit - enough said.
Gatagov - 7.5
Drove Lokomotiv as a captain. Pity that his performance was marred by some poor decisions.
Torbinsky - 8
Showed some touches which delighted the crowd. I just hope that Semin take note and make sure to employ him on the left for the foreseeable future.
Aliev - 8.5
Scored the freekick and looked to inspire. Failed to but credit must go to a player who love his new club and fans more than half of the players which have been around for much lot than him.
Sychev - 6.5
Tried hard but all was in vain
Traore - 6
Did his best but clearly at this level his best iss not enough. Should have scored a goal or two.

Tarasov - 7.5
If only he started the match.....
Loskov - 7
Linked up well with Aliev. Sprayed the ball around very well
Maicon - 5.5
Tried but didn't managed anything notable. Headed over when he should have left the ball to Tarasov who was ready to poke home.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lokomotiv register Jan Durica

Today, Lokomotiv Moscow officially confirmed that the club have registered Jan Durica for the remainder of the season. Jan Durica, who passed the last six months at Hannover 96 chose the number 28 as his previous number, the 20 is currently assigned to Slovenian defender Branko Ilic.

Jan Durica affirmed that although he hoped to move permanently to Hannover 96, the player is raring to go and stated that he will be looking to use the experience he gained by playing in the World Cup in order to win a place in the red-green line-up. Jan Durica played 9 matches for the German-based team.

Well, to say the truth I am quite please with the registration of Jan. Apart of the fact that he will give us much more options at the back I believe that the former Saturn Ramenskoye defender have enough skill to power himself straightaway into the starting line-up, especially with the recent disastrous performances shown by the Lokomotiv defence.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Milevskiy dream is over

A pity. While the fans are in despair and rightly calling for the new management to sign a new player or two, the same management is busy finalising contract with Puma, which as of next season will be our shirt providers. Although I must say that I'm glad with such change as Puma's shirts are second to none, I believe that there are more serious matters than shirts that the management have to address.

The first one is obviously to sign a striker. As Milevskiy was dropped from Dynamo's encounter, the media were rife to declare that Milevskiy is almost a Lokomotiv player. Rumours reached high peak point when yesterday a particular website portal declared that Milevskiy signed a 2.5mln a year contract with the red-green. Suddenly only one thing was left - the official announcement. Spare your breath mate! This because according to emerging reports Milevskiy did signed a contract but with Dynamo Kiev and not Lokomotiv!! In poor words the Ukrainian ace renewed his expiring contract with Dynamo Kiev and haven't and will not sign for Lokomotiv!

Thus the million question mark is, who, if any will Lokomotiv sign? I don't know. The only think I know is that with Lokomotiv focusing solely Milevskiy and with the transfer window closing in few days, the situation looks rather bleak for Lokomotiv. Pavlyuchenko? Impossible.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lokomotiv trashed by the Police

I never saw this coming. All the high expectations prior to the start of the season are all in vain. By luring players of calibre such as Aliev, Tarasov and Maicon amongst others I was adamant that his year could have been our year. I was wrong, literally. We're barely in the second part of the season and the season is all but over for us. Not only we weren't capable to compete for a Champions League, let alone for the league but now we are risking that next season European football will be missing once again from Lokomotiv Stadium. Outrageous.

While it's obvious that we are struggling because we don't have a recognised striker, this cannot excuse such sub-par performances such as the one today against today Dynamo. How on earth can one striker in the form of Kuranyi get the best of all our three defenders? How on earth the man who banged in a goal after goal in the pre-season isn't no longer to control a ball let alone score a goal? How on earth Tarasov is doing so badly after his fantastic start? These are some of the questions which I believe that this squad have to answer. Apart of Aliev, Guilherme, Yanbaev and the recently arrived Shishkin, all the other have been too way inconsistent. This may mean that there can be other players like Odemwinky; that is they are happy to receive the paycheck and give no effort at all on pitch - and this hurts me lot.

Nevertheless, it hurts me even more when following what Semin have done for us, some of the fans publically call for him to resign. For me, Semin is faultless. Although it's true that he has to take up some responsibiliy, I don't believe that it is his fault that the players aren't following him. First, for example, following the disastrous performances by the two centrebacks in recent weeks, Semin tried to address the system by playing with three central defenders. Nevertheless this failed to yield any dividends as twice Dynamo capitalised on errors from defenders. Can Semin be blamed for this? No! Second, Haminu Dramani was given his first ever start and to tell the truth he did particularly well in the first period. His link up play with the rest of the midfield was what Lokomotiv have been missing for the recent weeks. However, with little luck Lokomotiv lost possibly their best player of the first 45 minutes due to injury which according to emergng results will leave him out for the best of 30 days. While I agure the best for the Ghanian international I ask again the question - is Semin to blame for the impotency in attack in the second period? No! It's not his fault that the attacking options at his disposal includes only the clumsy Draman Traore! How about the fact that Lokomotiv haven't signed a recognized striker yet? Well if I want I can outline another few reasons why I don't find Semin culpable, but truly there's no need to. Moreover if there is someone who can help us out from this situation, it is Semin.

With regards to today's match there is not a lot to write about. Lokomotiv threatened only twice through some Aliev-Dramani link-up play, while practically eveything else was all Dynamo Moscow. Although the three at the back managed to defend well, it was evident that they were a tragedy looking to happen and eventually on 40 minutes Kuranyi pounced on Basha's error to break the deadlock. Semshov played a beautiful ball to Kuranyi, who being left onside by Basha ran to Guilherme and clipped the ball over Guilherme and home. Lokomotiv failed to respond, even in the second half when Semin introduced Tarasov, Traore and Loskov for Kambolov, Haminu Dramani and Torbinsky respectively. As soon as Loskov was on pitch Lokomotiv seemed of having found the courage to try to snatch a draw but unfortunately, Basha assisted Kuranyi for his second as his short back pass to Guilherme was anticipated by the German, who then done the rest of the job. To add salt to injury Tarasov was shown his marching orders for a high boot on Semshov - however this wasn't the last kick in the teeth for Lokomotiv as in a perfect counter ttack Cesnauskis made them three. Dynamo 3, Lokomotiv 0.

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 6
Did nothing wrong but partly culpable for the third. Nevertheless the match was won and lost by then.
Shishkin - 6
Did well but misplaced some passes
Basha - 3
Horror show. Undid Lokomotiv
Asatiani - 5
Defensively suscepible
Rodolfo - 5.5
Slight improvement from last week
Yanbaev - 5.5
Has yet to hit top form following the World Cup break
Kambolov - 5
Anonymous in the first half
Aliev - 7
The only positive one. Was comprehensively frustated as his teammates started to spill simple passes.
Torbinsky - 6
Slight improvement. Linked pretty well with Haminu and Aliev in attack.
Dramani - 6.5
Bright performance from the Ghanian international. Should have scored thou.
Sychev - 5
Missed a glorious chance and largely disappointing. Scored but was rightly ruled offside.

Tarasov - 4
Did nothing but getting himself off and putting his teammates in an impossible situation
Traore - 5
Clumsy, enough said.
Loskov - 6
Failed to steady an already sinking ship, but at least tried.

Hands off Semin

It's outrageous! The man who couldn't score a single goal in don't know how many appearances in the Russian Premier League, managed to score on his debut in the English Premier League. Obvisouly I was left perplexed and less than glad but was really left me disgusted was the reaction of the some suppose Lokomotiv fans. It's true that Lokomotiv have been playing poorly lately but how can you blame Yury Semin for Odemwingie's poor performances? That's utterly disgraceful!!

Have you watched West Brom's yesterday's encounter versus Sunderland? Odemwingie was practically all over the pitch! His work rate was amazing while the way he was moving and linking up with his teammates were a far cry from what we have seen of the last months! Moreover his finishing for the goal was branded "magnificent finishing" by the commentator. Can now someone tell if Peter scored any such goal in the recent year and a half? The answer is a big fat no! His work rate have been inexistent for much of the period while his finishing touch was clearly all but vanished as on every occasion whenever he played as a striker the player has largely disappointed. So how can you blame Semin? It is known to everyone that Semin is a master when he comes to motivate players and bring the best of them.

So if Semin failed with his approach with Odemwingie, the problem was Odemwingie and not Semin. Thus although I respect your opinions please refrain from blaming Semin. In the last year and a half Peter did nothing but lacing respect towards you fans while on the other hand Yury Semin left a comfortable position within Dynamo Kiev to turn to his and our beloved Lokomotiv and do his best to bring some smiles on our faces as he has done some years ago!! Being a true fan the idea to blame Semin would never ever cross my mind. The problem was Odemwingie's attitude. In the last year and a half he never really wanted to play for Lokomotiv. He was happy to receive the paycheck and walk on the pitch. Hope you understood my point - Blame Odemwingie and not Semin!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Odemwingie move made official

Finally, Odemwingie is an official West Bromwich Albion. After five days of rumours, the English club finally communicated the move through their official website. The article, which includes a photo of Odemwingie holding WBA's shirt, says that Odemwingie signed a contract of 2 years with an option of another and that subject to international clearance, the Nigerian ace can make his debut as soon as tomorrow. The transfer fee involved was left undisclosed.

Peter Odemwingie was given the number 24. All the best Peter!!

Loskov inspires Lokomotiv revival

I felt it coming and I was right. As from the first minute to the minute Loskov was introduced, Lokomotiv was second to Lausanne-Sports in all departments. Although player-to-player Lokomotiv are much better, Lokomotiv for once again failed to play as a team and actually could or even should consider themselves lucky that they managed to return to Russia on the upper hand. Although Lokomotiv are still in pole position to qualify, with this current form and morale I believe that the tie is far from won for Lokomotiv.

Should they play the way they did in the first period, Lokomotiv would never score. Loko's midfield was utterly disastrous as before Loskov entrance Lokomotiv were totally incapable of constructing a notable attack and even to defend against a side who are technically limited. The worse of them all were Maicon, Glushakov and on top of them Tarasov, who was literally poor. Clumsy in possesion and nearly gave away a ball for every one he won. Nevertheless, although they were really poor, I think that now it's time for Semin to scrap his 4-5-1 system. Sad to say but it's true. Loko's players doesn't suit the system. If you watched closely the match yesterday, the squad was divided into two parts, the attacking department and the defending department. The midfield department was inexistent. The huge gap in between was absurd. When Lokomotiv were in attack, the defence often stayed too back while practically all the midfielders apart Tarasov were too close to our opponents gate while when Lokomotiv were recalled back to defend, the most of the times Lokomotiv were on the wrong foot.

Moreover Burlak and Rodolfo were all but secure - they must be thankful to Guilherme as on several times singlehandedly saved Lokomotiv. Actually all the team must thank the Brazilian keeper as without his help Lokomotiv would have surely lost. Moreover, I believe that this tactic doesn't take out the best from Aliev, who personally is more suited in a central position were he could spray around balls and possibly pounce on lost balls. By playing on the wings or rooming around Sychev, yesterday Aliev was largely anonymous. Torbinsky tried to do a trick or two, but as the whole team failed. As soon as Loskov went onfield, Loko's problem was immediately exposed. With a formation where Aliev was too far up and Tarasov too far down, Lokomotiv were lacking a player who pull the strings in the midfield. Thus it wasn't a surprise that when Loskov was introduced right at the middle of the park, Lokomotiv started to function. The way he sprayed the ball around was breathtaking and eventually instilled confidence in the team. A true leader.

Back to the chronicle, the match started a lot of play at the middle of park as both parts failed to construct anything notable. Lokomotiv went close from long range through Aliev. Lausanne tried to respond and they nearly did with high colours as Ridge Munsy nearly opened the score for homeside, but Guilherme replied well. Guilherme was once again on his toes as some minutes later Lausanne-Sport threatened again. Nevertheless, soon after Lausanne went deservedly ahead. An inswinging corner was dealt poorly by Lokomotiv and the ball felt to Traore who without thinking twice let off a screamer which not even 4 goalkeepers would have saved it. Beautiful goal and the home fans erupted. On the other hand Lokomotiv were shell-shocked while other players shocked their heads in disbelief. Aliev and Sychev tried to take the iniative themselves and the former went as close as hitting the upright from a practically zero angle. Unlucky. That was all for the first period and Loko went to the break one-nil down.

Semin tried to inject some much need firepower and introduced much-maligned Traore in the place of the very poor Maicon. Although clumsy as much as you want, the Malian striker gave Lokomotiv a new dimension as at least Lokomotiv started to construct some credit worthy moves. Actually it was the Malian who went close as at full stretch he failed to connect with Aliev's powerful cross shot. Soon afterwards Glushakov managed to make the impossible and shot out from an ideal position. That was his last contribution as Loskov replaced Glushakov and finally Lokomotiv started to function. Nevertheless, it was the Swiss outfit who threatened as Ridge Munsy header bounced onto both the crossbar and the upleft before bouncing out. Guilherme breath a sigh of relief. Seconds later Guilherme ran out and saved Lokomotiv once again. This was Lausanne's last attack as from then on it was all Lokomotiv and eventually managed to draw the match. Loskov played a perfect ball to Traore, who in turn headed down to Sychev who volleyed home through the keepers legs. Buoyed by the goal, Lokomotiv picked up themselves and minutes later Loskov rattled the crossbar from a long range out. Lokomotiv continued to construct some good moves but unfortunately time ran out for Lokomotiv and had to content with a one-one draw.

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 8.5
Saved Lokomotiv on several times by producing two world class saves in the process. No chance with the goal.
Shishkin - 7
Held his own. The best of the bunch at the back.
Burlak - 5
His lack of experience was exposed time and time again.
Rodolfo - 5
Should have helped his younger college but not only failed to do so but also let Lausanne's strikers to get the best of him
Yanbaev - 5.5
Left his trademark runs in Moscow
Tarasov - 4
Poor. Lost a ball for every one he won. Clumsy in possesion too.
Maicon - 4.5
Didn't managed to get past one defender let alone threaten
Glushakov - 5
Ran like a headless chicken.
Aliev - 6
Tried his best but failed to rally his troops
Torbinsky - 5.5
Failed to impress
Sychev - 7
Screwed a header but took his goal very well.

Traore - 7
Failed to score but gave Lokomotiv a new dimension. Assisted Sychev for the goal.
Loskov - 8.5
A heroic cameo. Showed his teammates how the ball should be passed around. Amazing vision. Creative and inspiring.
Gatagov - 5
Faded out after 5 minutes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lokomotiv back into European action

After missing European football for two years, finally, Lokomotiv is back on European stage. Tonight, Lokomotiv will take on Swiss second tier outfit Lausanne-Sport and although they are huge favourites to win comfortably, European matches are never ever easy. For example, no one on earth would have bet that Sibir would manage to hold PSV Eindhoven to a draw, let alone came out as winners. Eventually, with the match finishing just minutes ago, Sibir managed to defie the odds and record a historic one-nil victory over their much more illustrious opponents. Although the tie is far from over as Sibir still have to travel to Holland, this result should serve as a caution to Lokomotiv. Although on paper it's an easy match, matches aren't won on paper. As Semin outlined, Lausanne have nothing to loose and thus they could be a real difficult opponent should Lokomotiv fail to respect their opponents and think that the match is over before it even started.

According to http://www.fclokomotiv.com/ and other reports, Semin is expected ring some changes from last Sunday. While Guilherme is an undisputed starter, one from Asatiani and Rodolfo can be droppoed to make place for young prospect Taras Burlak. Yanbaev should start on the left while one from either Shishkin or Smolnikov should get the nod for the right back slot. Tarasov should anchor the midfield, while Torbinsky is expected to be recalled back to the initial line-up following that he had to sit out last encounter due to suspension. Gatagov will be expected to make a rare start while Ignatiev could be in place to make his debut for Lokomotiv as according to emerging reports Wagner is out from the encounter due to injury. Ultimately Aliev will assist Sychev in attack.

Let's just hope that Lokomotiv come back home with a comfortable victory!!

The match will start at 20.30 and the referee will be Mr. Gediminas, from Lithuania.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dujmovic officially swaps Lokomotiv for Dynamo

Following that last week several reports emerged about Dujmovic's switch from Lokomotiv to Dynamo, today the move was finally made official. Although no fee wasn't mentioned it is believed that Dynamo will pay 3million euros for the 29 year old Croatian international midfielder. The former Amkar anchorman will be presented to the media tomorrow.

Although lately Dujmovic was below par, I must concede that we lost a great gentleman in Tomislav Dujmovic. Actually, differently to others, Tomislav Dujmovic thanked the fans for their constant support and went even as far as excusing himself for not reaching the fans expectations. Great words from a great man!! As a Loko fan who appreciate players alike you, I wholeheartedly wish you all the best in the blue-white colours of Dynamo - except when Dynamo play us!!

Tomislav Dujmovic joined Lokomotiv on a free transfer from Amkar Perm at the beginning of 2009. During his one and a half year stint with Lokomotiv, Dujmovic made 41 league appearances and scored a total of 5 goals.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bye Bye Peter Osaze Odemwingie

The moment most of Lokomotiv fans have been waiting for has finally arrived!! It's all but official. Odemwingie is no longer a Lokomotiv player. According to the latest and reliable sources, Peter Osaze Odemwingie, 29, signed a three year contract with Premier League "powerhouse" West Bromwich Albion. According to the same sources, the paperwork between the two clubs and the issue of the work permit are holding out the move from being made official. The transfer fee involved is thought to be 2.5million sterlings, that is somewhere near 3 million euros.

Although as already said the move is yet to be official, in an interview published on http://www.lokomotiv.info/, Peter Odemwingie confirmed that he was in England to sign a contract with West Brom and undergo a medical test. The report continues by stating that the "Super Eagle" signed a three year deal and will be unveiled by The Hawthorns later this week. By joining West Brom, Peter Odemwingie will be realising his and our dream -as anyone know his dream has been always to play in the English Premiership while on the other hand in the last year or so ours has been always to see him out of Lokomotiv.

Peter Osaze Odemwingie joined Lokomotiv exactly 3 years ago and went up to make 75 league appearances with a return of 21 goals. Although his year and a half at Lokomotiv were a success, his last year and a half were a constant disappointment and eventually ended by being hated by much of the home crowd. The worst point of his red-greenish career was for sure some 2 months ago when he was put on sale by his own fans.

Prior to joining Lokomotiv, Peter Odemwingie played for KAMAZ, Bendel Insurance, Pandurii Târgu Jiu, La Louvière and Lille. He debuted for the Super Eagles back in 2004 and to date is three matches short from the 50-cap milestone.

Although for my reasons I ended up lacking respect towards Peter, still I would like to thank him for his service he gave to Lokomotiv. Although we fans started to dislike him when he declared that he derserves better than turning out for Lokomotiv, no one can deny that Peter Odemwingie was outstanding in his first year and a half or so at the club. Pity that it couldn't last longer than that. Anyways, all the best in your new adventure at West Brom!!

Lokomotiv succumb in derby

Today, the Lokomotiv Stadium was the stage for the much anticipated encounter between Lokomotiv and Spartak. Although the match was scheduled to take place at 16.00 Moscow time, the authorities decided to move the match to 21.20 Moscow time in order to safeguard players and spectators alike from the recent heatwave which hit the Russian capital. However if the heat badly hit Moscow, certainly it didn't had any effect on Spartak as the visitors produced a resolute display and took home an invaluable three points. Welliton, who as you may remember was signed by Spartak because they failed to sign our Odemwingie, together with captain Alex proved to be the big difference between the two rivals as their link up play was unstoppable at most times. Although Lokomotiv never gave up, and clawed one back with 5 minutes to go, the end was already written on the wall when Spartak scored the third goal. This is because Lokomotiv needed something special to recover from such setback and let's set the record straight, Lokomotiv apart of Aliev are unable to provide something special. By now it's needless to say that we need a striker. Moreover I believe that the time is rife for Semin to scrap the 4-2-3-1 formation as the players we have at out disposal doesn't suit such formation.

Sadly to say, Lokomotiv's weakest link today was the hole at the back. Although Asatiani wasn't that bad, Rodolfo was quite shocking as twice he lost Welliton for goal. Talking about the backline, Lokomotiv stroke a good deal when we've signed Shishkin as yesterday he was the best of the back four. Another bright point was Aliev, who although wasn't at his total best was and is obviously Lokomotiv's best player. While his freekick was breathtaking, his assist for Sychev was Loskov-like. Actually, for the book records Sychev's goal was his 105th, that is the same number of goals scored by former Zenit hero Andrey Arshavin. Another one for the records was Loskov's return to Lokomotiv, which was amazingly cheered by Loko's faithful - and rightly so anyways, he's the man who holds the record appearances and goals for Lokomotiv. Moreover, something important to higlight was Dujmovic and Odemwingie's omissions from the squad which surely mark the end of their adventure in the red-green part of Moscow.

The derby started in a frantic manner, with both clubs showing some decisive and aggressive play. Wagner and Aliev took the initiative for Lokomotiv but eventually it was the visitors who drew first blood as Alex drove well down the left and crossed the ball pinpointly to Welliton, who with his studs bundled home. Spartak fans erupted in joy, joy which eventually lasted just 2 minutes as Aliev let off yet another freekick which gave Pesyakov absolutely few chance. 1 all and game on! The goal seemed to have encouraged Lokomotiv as they started to play some good football and threaten Pesyakov on several times. Nevertheless it was Spartak again who took the lead again. Some good link up play put Welliton through on goal and finding himself one on one with Guilherme Welliton did what he's best at, scoring! Guilherme was furious with Rodolfo as for sure the former captain must have to take some responsibility for letting Welliton escape. With Lokomotiv looking vulnerable in defence, Yury Semin ordered his troops to lock down themselves and limit any potential further damage till the break. Lokomotiv managed to close down well and went to the break trailing by 1 to 2.

For once again, Semin made a substitution at half time as he replaced the tiring Wagner with the energetic Gatagov. The move seemed to pay dividends immediately as Gatagov looked eager to impress. Nevertheless, all was in vain as Lokomotiv massively failed to produce anything of note. Soon afterwards, the Lokomotiv faithful witnessed the moment they were expecting for months - the return of Loskov. Nonetheless, unfortunately this couldn't stop rampant Spartak from making them three and put the match to bed. Once again the main culprit for Loko were the centre halves as they've allowed too much space to Welliton to deliver home for the third time. The whole Loko players looked devastated while Semin looked resigned. With relatively no futher reliable options on the bench the match was all but over. Semin tried to inject something by introducing unpopular Traore but unsurprisingly this failed to yield any results. Although Lokomotiv did managed to claw one back through Sychev it was all to late and Spartak were left to celebrate an important and deserving victory. The goals can be viewed here.

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 5
3 shots 3 goals. No chance with anyone of them.
Shishkin - 6
The best of the 4 at the back.
Asatiani - 5
Allowed Welliton to slip in and seal the derby
Rodolfo - 4
Horror show. Twice lost Welliton and twice Welliton bundled home.
Yanbaev - 5.5
Few good runs. Partly culpable for the preceedings of the third goal.
Tarasov - 5
Misplaced some passes but couldn't really do nothing against a rampant Spartak side.
Glushakov - 5.5
Tried to inject some aggressiveness Lokomotiv have been sorely missing lately.
Aliev - 7.5
Lokomotiv's key player. Scored a freekick and assisted Sychev for the second. The only one who never wanted to give up.
Maicon - 5.5
Largely anonymous for the second consecutive time
Wagner - 5.5
Need to up his game
Sychev - 6.5
Took his chance very well, but anyone will tell you that he is no longer a striker.

Gatagov - 6
Injected some energy
Loskov - 6
Tried his best to steady what was a sinking ship.
Traore - N/A
No time to impress for the clumsy striker.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Branko Ilic courted by Blackpool

According to various reports, Premier League newcomers Blackpool have handed a trial to Lokomotiv's Slovenian defender Branko Ilic. Sky Sports claim that Blackpool are keen on the versatile defender and actually is currently on a trial at the English outfit. The decision about his future is expected to be made within few days

It is believed that Ilic, 27 yrs, is very eager to leave Russia for England.

Recall that Ilic joined Lokomotiv just some 4 months ago. With Kuzmin ahead in the pecking order, the Slovenian found it difficult to force his way into the first team and in the end made only a single appearance. Moreover, recently Branko was left out from Lokomotiv's squad list submitted for the Europa League.

With Ilic joining at a zero cost, any transfer fee more than 1 million euro will be more than welcomed. So given that we are in a dire need of money, I believe that should Blackpool table a reasonable offer Lokomotiv should accept it right away. Recall that moreover Lokomotiv recently signed Roman Shishkin and thus we aren't certainly lacking right full back.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lokomotiv renew their interest in Milevskiy

Following the departure of Naumov and the appointment of Olga Smorodsky, many including myself thought that the list of possible recruitments will depart with Nikolay Naumov. However, apparently this wasn't the case as according to various sources Semin have managed to convince Smorodsky that signing Artem Milevskiy is a must and thus it is believed that Lokomotiv have entered into negotiations with Dynamo Kiev over the signature of Artem Milevskiy.

Lokomotiv Moscow are expected to offer a sum of 9million euros for the former Dynamo captain. The sum will be funded by the sale of Kuzmin to Rubin for 3 million euros and the imminent departure of Dujmovic to Dynamo Moscow for 6 million euros.

Although Semin made it crystal clear that Milevskiy is badly needed in order to strengthen the squad, it is believed that the board of directors are still have to discuss the issue. On the other hand Igor Surkis, president of Dynamo Kiev, and Artem Milevskiy rebuffed some claims and claimed that there was no contact from any Lokomotiv official.

Will this saga ever end? We can only hope that it positively does!

Dujmovic on the move

According to various reports emanating from Russia, Lokomotiv Moscow's Croatian defensive midfielder Tomislav Dujmovic is very close towards a move to Dynamo Moscow. The transfer fee involved is toughted to be between 3million euros. It is anticipated that Dynamo Moscow will make use of the funds generated from the sale of the twins Kombarov to Spartak in order to lure Tomislav Dujmovic to the blue-white side of Moscow.

Although last year Tomislav Dujmovic developed into a key player for Lokomotiv, this term the Croation largely failed to impress and actually, lately, the Croatian midfielder ended up dividing playing time with Dmitry Tarasov. So, with Tarasov, Glushakov and the recovering Charles together with some promosing youth such as Kambolov coupled with Lokomotiv's need to raise some funds to bring in a striker, I believe that the new management should really consider selling the big defensive midfielder. Nevertheless, with the current market circumstances, I deem the 3million quite a poor offer. Actually, I believe that Lokomotiv should hold for a fee between 5-6 million.

Tomislav, 29, joined Lokomotiv in March 2009 and to date racked up 39 league appearances and scored 5 goals in the process.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lokomotiv submit their Europa League application

Today, Lokomotiv Moscow submitted their application for the participation at the Europa League. The 29 players chosen by Semin were the following:

Goalkeepers: Guilherme, Marek Cech, Aleksandr Krivoruchko
Defenders: Roman Shishkin, Rodolfo, Marko Basha, Renat Yanbaev, Malkhaz Asatiani, Igor Smolnikov, Maxim Belyaev, Taras Burlak, Ruslan Kambolov, Milan Milanovic
Midfielders: Aleksandr Aliev, Tomislav Dujmovic, Dmitry Torbinsky, Roman Tarasov, Denis Glushakov, Dmitry Loskov, Charles, Wagner, Vladislav Ignatiev, Alan Gatagov
Strikers: Peter Odemwingie, Dmitry Poloz, Dmitry Sychev, Maicon, Georgi Nurov, Dramane Traore

Recall that Lokomotiv will play against Lausanne-Sport on the 19th August. The first leg will be held in Switzerland.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

9 men Lokomotiv escape with a draw

What a frustating night!! Missing a penalty, getting 2 players sent-off, missing two glorious chances at the end, could have been worser? Perhaps. This is because at least Lokomotiv were lucky enough to hold Krylya Sovetov at bay and record a blank draw. Although Lokomotiv came with the intent to take home the whole three points, given the circumstances I think that the draw should be considered a positive result. Although Lokomotiv looked toothless even when being 11 against 11, at least, Lokomotiv were capable of showing some resolute defending and protect Guilherme from any genuine chances. Actually, throughtout the whole 90 minutes Guilherme made only one genuine chance. Credit to the whole defence, including the debutant Roman Shishkin who had quite an impressing debut. As the attack, today Loko's midfield was really poor. Tomislav Dujmovic was all over the park and put his teammates in a precarious position, Torbinsky made his confidence no favours by missing a penalty and subsequently getting himself off, while Dmitry Tarasov seemed to be a shadow of the Tarasov of the first part of the season. With regards to Odemwingie, I just hope that today's match was his final one. Although he did won the penalty for us, he literally contributed nothing to the visitors and helped little at the back, even when Lokomotiv ended one man down. Disappointing to say the least.

As from the first minute, both clubs came out aggressively looking for a fast opening goal in order to settle the nerves. While Lokomotiv need such goal in order to raise some much needed confidence, the home side, bouyed by their home support were looking to raise their spirits and possibly out of the relegation zone for the first this season. Eventually this led to a lot of midfield play and particularly few shots at goal. Actually it took a while before a side managed to threat the opposing keeper - this after Budylin's shot hit Shishkin and took a very unpredictable trajectory. Fortunately the ball went out for a corner. Minutes passed by, and as Lokomotiv were looking to taking the upperhand, Lokomotiv were rightly awarded a penalty for an irregular blockage on Odemwingie. Upstepped Torbinsky, who looking bereft on confidence shot poorly and softly towards Lobos. This penalty miss looked to have shot Loko's confidence in the head as instantely Lokomotiv started to loose ground. Minutes later, matters went from bad to worse as Dujmovic was rightly given his second car for bruishing an opponent in the head with his elbow.

With Torbinsky playing literally with zero confidence I was expecting that it would be prudent to replace him. Nonetheless he came on for the second half and it was the Poor Odemwingie and the crocked Basha who were eventually replaced by Denis Glushakov and slightly injured Rodolfo respectively. Things didn't improved as within just 10 minutes of play Lokomotiv were left with 9 men on field as the frustated Torbinsky was like Dujmovic showed his second yellow card for what it seemed a normal tackle on the ball. Torbinsky went berserk. Enjoying a two-men advantage Krylya threw everything in attack, but fortunately to us at no avail as Loko's backline produced potentially their best defensive performance of the season. Particular credit goes to Rodolfo who did eveything in his power to preserve an important draw. At death, Lokomotiv could have scored a sensational winner through either Asatiani or a counter attack which failed to materialise. Ultimately, Lokomotiv were left with mixed emotions with a nil-nil draw, while Krylya will be hoping that they wouldn't regret their failure to turn their numerical advantage onto goals coming the end of November.

Player Ratings:
Guilherme - 7
Started in a shaky way as twice gifted the ball to the opponents. Grew in stature as minutes went by.
Sishkin - 7.5
Looked the only of having some sort of confidence as he closed down very well and provided a more than reasonable attacking option. Great first touch too. Encouraging debut.
Asatiani - 7
Led the line very well - could have scored the winner
Basha - 5.5
Replaced in the second half
Yanbaev - 7.5
Put behind the bad match last week and his ommision from the national squad by producing an energetic display. Never stopped running.
Dujmovic - 4
Put his teammates in a very difficult position. Expect better from a man with such experience.
Tarasov - 5.5
All over the park in the first period - Strong in the second.
Torbinsky - 4
Missed a penalty and was shown his marching orders. A very bad day for the former Spartak man.
Maicon - 6
Anonymous, especially when Loko ended with 9 players. No one can blame him thou as at least he tracked back a lot.
Odemwingie - 5.5
And I was generous.
Sychev - 6
Troubled Krylya's left back on a couple of occasions. Looked unusually exhausted and was eventually replaced.

Glushakov - 6.5
Protected the back four very well
Rodolfo - 7
Gave his all in the 45 minutes he played.
Smolnikov - N/A
No time to impress

Artem Milevskiy close to Lokomotiv?

According to Ukranian portal URA Inform and apparently other reliable sources Dynamo Kiev president Igor Surkis have agreed to sell their star player Artem Milevskiy to Lokomotiv Moscow. Although nothing was made official by other part, the report continues by stating that the transfer fee involved in the deal is that of 10 million euros and that the Dynamo no. 10 should sign with Lokomotiv within this weekened. According to the same report, the reason behind this transfer is Dynamo's failure to agree with CSKA for the transfer of Guilherme. Recall that Igor Surkis have always stated that their talisman striker won't move if the asking price of 20million euro wasn't met.

As either part failed to confirm or reject the rumour, one can conclude nothing at this time. Although Lokomotiv have long been courting the Ukranian ace, it is unknown whether or not Dynamo want to sell, especially with the Champions League play-off looming.

It's important to point out that should Milevskiy join Lokomotiv, he would be unable to take part in the Europa League due his appearances at the third qualifying round of the Champions League. Although this is a con, I believe that there are too much pro to scrap any potential for such detail, so let's just hope that the transfer go finally through. We have been craving for a decent striker for far too long!! Moreover, it is important to move quickly as there are some crunching matches coming up - matches which would eventually determine our league and potentially also the Champions League spot. Fingers crossed and let's hope that Lokomotiv win tonight against Krylya Sovetov, but top of all finally bring a decent striker!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Athens calling for Odemwingie

According to Sport Express, Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos are interested in signing Peter Osaze Odemwingie. The rumour reports that the Greek capital club are ready to table an offer of 5 million, that is 3 million short of the fee Lokomotiv are holding out to. The report ends by outlining the fact that to date there was nothing formal but just initial contacts through agents. Keeping in mind Odemwingie's past and his present form, and given all the circumstances, I deem the 5 million fee more than reasonable.

I just hope that the move materialise as soon as possible - as long as Odemwingie doesn't change his attitude and finally start to give his 100% for the red-green shirt. I am adamant that if he wants to he can be one of the best strikers in Russia. Recall that now that the World Cup is over, Odemwingie will not or will not be expected to do what he did in the first part of the season, that is holding himself back in order to safeguard himself from any injury which would have put his participation at the World Cup into jeopardy. So, wake up and give your all mate - if not, pack up and just leave!!

Lokomotiv Moscow pitted against Lausanne

Today, the UEFA Headquarters at Nyon were the stage for both the Champions League and Europa League draw. Being drew in group 7, Lokomotiv had to face one of Timisoara (Romania), PAOK (Greece), Motherwell (Scotland), Gyor (Hungary), Dnepr Mogilev (Belarus) and Lausanne-Sports (Swizterland). Eventually, Lokomotiv were drawn against Lausanne-Sports.

The first leg will be played in Switzerland, at their 16-000 all seater Stade Olympique de la Pontaise on the 19th of August while the return will take place in Moscow on the 26th of August.

Something about Lausanne-Sports....
Lausenne-Sports were established in 1896 and they are based based at Lausanne, Switzerland. To date, Lausanne-Sports has won the Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup on seven and nine times respectively. Despite this rich history, Lausanne-Sports currently plies it's trade in the Swiss Challenge League, that is the second tier of the Swiss League system. Actually, they only qualified to the Europa League only through their appearance in the Swiss Cup Final, which they lost 6-0 to Basel FC. Their star players are Silvio, who scored 3 goals in 4 appearances in the Europa League and their captain Fabio Celestini, who made 35 appearances for the Swiss National Team.

In order to make it to here, Lausanne-Sports eliminated Bosnian Borac Banja Luka and Danish Randers FC with an aggregate of 2-1 and 4-3 respectively.

Although on paper it seems an easy tie, there are no easy games at such stage of such competition. Although we should be optimistic, it is important that Lokomotiv be cautious in their approach. Recall that Lausanne-Sports are on the same level of Zulte Waregem, the club which eliminated us in our last European appearance. Let's hope for the best anyways and let's hope that by then we would have added a decent striker in our ranks!!

Goodluck Lokomotiv!!

*For the record, Sibir Novosibirsk and CSKA Moscow will face PSV Eindhoven and Anorthisis Famagusta respectively*

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oleg Kuzmin joins Rubin Kazan

Today Lokomotiv came into agreement with Rubin Kazan for the transfer of right back Oleg Kuzmin. According to http://www.fclm.ru/ the former FC Moscow 29 year old defender signed a 3 year contract with the Russian champions. On the other hand the transfer fee involved is believed to be that of 3 million euro. It is believed that the main reason behind this transfer is the prospect of playing in the Champions League.

During his year and a half stint at Lokomotiv, Oleg Kuzmin racked up 36 appearances and scored 2 goals in the process. Prior to joining Lokomotiv, Oleg played for Spartak Moscow, Uralan Elista and Chornomorets and as aforementiond FC Moscow. He has yet to make his first appearance for the Russian National Team.

On behalf of the readers of the blog I would like to thank Oleg for his contribution to Lokomotiv and wish him all the best for his new experience at the Tatar capital. Good luck mate.

Rostov conquer Lokomotiv

Last Sunday, Lokomotiv Stadium was the stage for the showpiece between two teams who are vying for an Europa League place, that is Lokomotiv and Rostov. Although only three points seperated the two sides before the encounter, everyone was betting on the homeside to record a victory - actually Lokomotiv never lost against Rostov since the inception of the Russian Premier League. Although Lokomotiv were the better side, especially in the second period, Lokomotiv lacked the cutting edge for once again and were unable to severely trouble Rostov's Belarussian keeper. To make matters worse Lokomotiv lost their talisman Aliev midway in the second half as the Ukranian ace was shown his second yellow card for diving. Thus, Aliev will be suspended for the upcoming match against Krylya Sovetov Samara. While Sychev did his best and went close with a chipped shot from outside, the only real positive of the match was Maicon, who never gave up and showed his affection towards the club by hurrying Rostov's player out of the field when the latter was substituted. The home fans seemed to appreciate the gesture as they cheered the Brazilian instantly. On the other hand, sadly, Renat Yanbaev was the worst player on pitch as undoubtedly he produced the worst performance ever in the red-green shirt - but anyways, every player will have a bad day someday, and today it was Renat's turn. Moreover, in a surprising move Semin relegated Asatiani to the bench for the first time in this season - his place was taken by Montenegrin Marko Basha.

The first half practically produced nothing. Rostov's keeper Amelchenko was never severily troubled as Lokomotiv could only come close through long range shots from Glushakov and Maicon. Eventually Lokomotiv paid the price as Rostov went ahead through Valikaev's header. Lokomotiv seemed to be hit cold by the goal as they couldn't produce something of note for the remaining ten minutes of the first half. 1-0 was the score at half-time.

With Lokomotiv looking uninspiring in the first half, Semin tried to inject some life in the second period by withdrawing Tarasov and Glushakov for Wagner and Traore respectively. Although Lokomotiv were looked better than they were in the first half time, they couldn't trouble Rostov's backline as Rostov dealt with Lokomotiv's attacking moves very comfortably. The only time Lokomotiv troubled Rostov in the opening minutes was when Sychev went close by lobbing the ball over the onrushing Amelchenko from long range out. Minutes later Adamov was booked for diving and soon later Aliev was booked for the same offence. Unlike Adamov however, Aliev was already booked and thus was given his marching orders. Semin refused to gave and thus tried to induce some power by introducing in place of the tired Torbinsky - unfortunately the move failed to yield any dividends as Lokomotiv were unable to claw one back. Thus at the end of the day, it was Rostov who celebrated a famous victory. The highlights can be viewed by clicking here.

Player Ratings
Guilherme - 5.5
Rarely troubled. His only contribution was to pick the ball out of the net.
Smolnikov - 6
Was Loko's most consistent attaking threat throughout the whole match. Growing match by match.
Basha - 5
Never truly tested
Rodolfo - 5
Mixed performance from the Brazilian defender. Did some important interceptions but spilled some balls too.
Yanbaev - 3.5
Everything went bad for him today. A pity - let's hope that he has the mental strength to put his performance behind as arguably he was on the best players this season - personally only second to Aliev.
Tarasov - 5
Too much passive. Tried his luck too on several times but had no luck at all.
Torbinsky - 6
Provided some much needed aggressiveness in Loko's midfield.
Maicon - 6.5
Never gave up - even when things went from bad to worse.
Aliev - 5
Left his teammates in an awkward position. Given that Aliev was Loko's best attacking outlet, everything was over for Lokomotiv when he let frustration take over and get himself sent off.
Glushakov - 5
Replaced in the half time as practically he produced nothing in the first period.
Sychev - 6.5
Huffed and puffed but couldn't break his duck.

Traore - 5.5
Lokomotiv were a little bit better in attack once he was sent on field.
Wagner - 5
Apart one solo run, the Brazilian was anonymous.
Gatagov - N/A
No time to impress

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Apologies

I am writing this post in order to notify you readers that due to unforeseen circumstances I wont be able to write the match report of Lokomotiv versus Rostov until tomorrow evening.

By the way, Lokomotiv lost the match with the score of 1-0 and Aliev was shown his marching orders midway in the second half.

My apologies