Friday, December 24, 2010

Marenich signs for Lokomotiv

Lokomotiv Moscow have signed under-21 Russian International Aleksandr Marenich on a two-year-and-a half contract. Marenich, who left Alania Vladikavkaz shortly after they were relegated, joined on a free transfer; good move! As the other newcomers, the former Alania and FC Moscow striker will be given his playing number later.

When interviewed by, Marenich stated that he is very looking forward to work with Yury Krasnozhan. He added that although at Vladikavkaz he often played behind the strikers, he will be more than happy to lead the line as that is his natural position.

Aleksandr Marenich, who is 21 years old, started his career with Rostov. After making a single appearance for the Rostov-on-don outfit, in 2007, the Zernograd-born moved on to FC Moscow. In his first two years at the Citizens, Aleksandr failed chances difficult to come by and thus he had to settle for a place in the youth squads of the same of FC Moscow. His official debut for FC Moscow in the Premier League finally came in May 2009, ironically against Lokomotiv. Nevertheless prior to the 2010 season and after making in total 9 appearances and scoring 1 goal in the process, Marenich left FC Moscow for Alania Vladikavkaz. There he managed to cement a place in the first team and coming the end of the season he made in total 26 appearances and scored 4 goals in quite a disappointing season for Alania where at the last day they had to suffer the agony of relegation. Nevertheless, the agony was shortlived for Aleksandr as soon he triggered the contract clause to leave the club and eventually he was snapped up by Lokomotiv.

Considering the lack of options upfront coupled with the departure of Traore and the zero cost of the transfer, I must say that the signing of Marenich was a good move. Apart of the striker's undoubted talent and potential, Marenich is versatile enough to play in various positions and this will suit Krasnozhan really well in a season which will last 18 months such as the next one.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Amelchenko joins Lokomotiv

With Marek Cech and Aleksandr Krivoruchko leaving Lokomotiv at the end of the season, the Railwaymen wasted no time to make for such loss and after days of rumours, they finally made the capture of Anton Amelchenko official. The Belarussian international keeper, who passed last year turning out for Rostov joined Lokomotiv, on a free transfer and signed a contract of 3 years. Anton has yet to be given a number.

The Belarussian keeper, who had a year (2010) to remember after being voted as Rostov's Player of the Season by Rostov fans started his career at Gomel. After impressing at a tender age for Gomel, FC Moscow or better Yury Belous (current Lokomotic technical director) brought him to Russia. This happened in 2006. Anton stayed at the Moscow club till the disbandment of the club in 2009 and during his 3 year stay with the Citizens he found limited playing time as for much of the time he was deputy to international teammate Yury Zhevnov. Nevertheless, the Gomel-born still managed to make 15 appearances for FC Moscow. As aforementioned, soon after breaking free from FC Moscow Amelchenko moved on to Rostov and in Rostov he managed to showcase his talents and become a key player in the process. Nevertheless, despite signing a three year contract and making 23 appearances for Rostov, his contract was terminated after just one year for infringement and Lokomotiv immediately pounced on the 6 times capped Belarussian international keeper and made Anton the second signing of the offseason.

When interviewed, Anton Amelchenko commented that this move was a big step for his career. He added that although he is aware that he will make deputy to Guilherme, he does not fear competition and he will compete with the Brazilian keeper for the goalkeeping spot.


Quintet leave Lokomotiv

Today Lokomotiv communicated that they have decided against extending the expiring contracts of five players and as a result they will all leave the capital outfit at the end of the year. The 5 players in question are goalies Marek Cech and Aleksandr Krivoruchko, long serving defenders Malkhaz Asatiani and Dmitry Sennikov and Dramane Traore.

Starting from the goalies, the latter, that is Aleksandr Krivoruchko will leave the club after just one year. The former SOYUZ-Gazprom Ishveshk and Gazovik Orenburg joined Lokomotiv from Lokomotiv-2 Moscow and despite making 23 appearances for the youth squad he failed to make a single appearance this season. Much alike Aleksandr, Marek Cech passed the 2010 season playing deputy to Guilherme and eventually ended the season without making a single league appearance. Actually his only appearance during the whole 2010 came at the cup tie versus Gornyak. The Czech keeper, who joined Lokomotiv from Luch Vladivostock at the summer of 2008, went on to make 26 appearances for Lokomotiv Moscow in his 2 and half years stop at Lokomotiv.

Another player who will leave Lokomotiv after failing to play a major role at the 2010 season is Dramane Traore. Much was expected from the Malian striker after his exploits at Kuban Krasnodar and his good preseason form but eventually his play had left much to desire and despite doing his best Traore failed to impress and eventually he ended the season with no goals to his account. Surely a season to forget for the player who was brought by Slavoljub Muslin from Club Africain of Tunisia back in 2006. Over the years Dramane played 86 matches and scored 13 goals in the process.

Finally, as aforementioned the other two who will leave the club are Malkhaz Asatiani and Dmitry Sennikov. For sure neither of the two need any introduction as for years the duo were pillars of the red-green defence and surely their experience and commitment towards the club will be sorely missed. Dmitry Sennikov, who together with Loskov were the only players remaining from the squads who won the 2002 and 2004 Russian Premier League joined Lokomotiv back in 2000 from Rubin Kazan. In addition to the two leagues, during his stay at Lokomotiv Dmitry also won the Russian Cup and Russian Super Cup twice. Over those ten memorable years the player made 266 appearances and scored 7 goals and also Sennikov represented the Russian National Time on 26 occasions.

Much alike Sennikov, Malkhaz Asatiani had been at Lokomotiv for long time - to be exact 7 years. The versatile midfielder, who in the period 2006-2007 was surely one of the best defenders in the Russian Premier Liga, joined Lokomotiv from Torpedo Kutaisi at the beginning of 2003. Since moving to Russia the defender never looked back and went on rack up 157 appearances and bag the Russian Premier League, Russian Cup and two Russian Super Cup medals. During his stay at the red-green capital of Moscow, the international Georgian defender managed to score 7 goals, with the most memorable two coming against Spartak, especially the one scored in the 2007 derby where Lokomotiv managed to win the derby at practically the last kick of the ball. Sorely, the departure of these two will continue to bring to an end the most succesful era of the history of Lokomotiv.

Nevertheless, as everything in life we have to move on and while I sincerely thank the quintet for their contribution to the club, especially Malkhaz Asatiani and Dmitry Sennikov, I would like to wish them the biggest of luck for their future!! No one will ever forget what you (Malkhaz & Dmitry) did to our beloved Lokomotiv!! Goodluck and sincerely, ALL THE BEST!! You will remain in our hearts forever!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Volchek takes over Bilyaletdinov

After 6 years at the helm, Rinat Bilyaletdinov's tenure as Lokomotiv Youth Squad manager came to an end. Bilyaletdinov senior, who as you know is the father of former Loko captain Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, now at Everton, declared that he is not ready to work with the new hierarchy and the agreement the leave the club at the end of the year was already in place. He continued by stating that he had already received from other clubs and he will make this decision during the coming days.

On the other hand Lokomotiv wasted no time to appoint a replacement and soon promoted Vladimir Volchek to the Youth Squad. Prior to such promotion, Volchek, who joined Lokomotiv back in 2008 from rivals Torpedo Moscow, held a coaching position within at the Lokomotiv Centre of Sport and Education. Other men who made part of the overhaul were Sarkis Oganesyan and Dmitry Gorkov, who both were brought from Lokomotiv-2 Moscow to assist our recently appointed manager.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lokomotiv appoint Krasnozhan - OFFICIAL

At long last, the appointment was made official. Yury Krasnozhan is our new head coach. The former Spartak Nalchik head coach, who will start his Loko adventure on December 20, signed a two year contract.

Moments later, the new head coach was presented to the media and Yury Krasnozhan had the opportunity to answer several questions posed by the journalists present at the press conference. First and foremost, Yury Krasnozhan made it clear that he is not afraid of his new (bigger) responsibilites and at the end it wasn't difficult to him to accept the post offered by Olga Smorodskaya. He also stated that his main task will be that of bringing some stability to the club. Krasnozhan continued by outlining the fact that in the upcoming days he will determine those positions at which Lokomotiv needs reinforcement.

He added that Semin disciples Vladimir Maminov, Oleg Pashinin and Igor Cherevchenko will be part of coaching staff. In addition to those, Eugene Stukalov and Vladimir Kulaev are exptected to join the aforementioned from Spartak Nalchik. The 47-year old ended the conference by talking about his relationship with the players currently present at the club. He stated that no one ever played under his leadership and thus he is looking forward to get acquainted with each player in person, rather than by phone. Not a bad cameo at all!!

Yury Krasnozhan was born on June 2007, in Nalchik. Yury, a defensive minded player by trade started his football playing career with Spartak Nalchik and over a period of 4 years he managed to rack up 66 appearances and scoring 1 goal in the process. Following his stint at Spartak, Yury graduated at the Faculty of Physical Education and for the next 5 years he worked as a physical educator at a secondary school in Nalchik. In 1991 he returned to footall and signed for FC Avtozapchast Baksan. After making 88 appearances and scoring 6 goals, Yury retired and soon after Yury made way into management and was appointed assistant manager of the same Baksan outfit. After two years, Yury returned back home and after managing Spartak Nalchik reserves and acting as assistant manager, Yury was finally appointed Spartak's Nalchik manager at the begininning of 2004. Despite limited funds, Yury managed to lead the modest club to the Premier League and beat suffecient drops. This year, Yury went a step further and managed to lead Spartak Nalchik to a record 6th place.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lokomotiv looking to Belarussian quintet

Apparently, our new head coach Yury Krasnozhan has chosen the Belarussian National Team to look out for reinforcements. This is because according to reports emanating from Russia, Lokomotiv may approach 5 players who this year appeared for the Belarussian national team. The players in question are Anton Amelchenko of Rostov, Sergey Omelyanchuk of Terek, Dmitry Molosh of recently relegated Sibir Novosibirsk and forwards Sergey Kornilenko and Vitaly Kutuzov, who currently are on the books of Zenit St. Petersburg and AS Bari Calcio respectively. Recall that one of them, that is Sergey Omelyanchuk, already pulled off the shirt of Lokomotiv Moscow back in 2005.

Although the arrival of Amelchenko may fuel rumours that Guilherme may leave Lokomotiv, the real reason for Amelchenko's potential arrival is to replace the outgoing Marek Cech and challenge Guilherme for the no. 1 position. The Belarussian keeper is expected to command a fee of around 0.5 million euros. On the other hand, with regards to Kornilenko, the striker have long been linked with Lokomotiv and so it wasn't surprising at all to see his name linked with Lokomotiv once again. Actually, I believe that coming next year Kornilenko will be wearing the red-green shirt.

In addition to Cech, another player who is almost certain of leaving Lokomotiv is long-time serving Malkhaz Asatiani. According to the media, the Georgian international wasn't offered a contract by the Lokomotiv management and with the contract expiring, Asatiani is expected to move on and leave Lokomotiv in the same way as Cech, that is as a free agent. Moreover, another potential departures are Rodolfo, Wagner and much-maligned midfielder Dmitry Torbinsky. While the latter was linked with Spanish outfit Real Zaragoza, the Brazlian duo were linked with a move back home. This is because the Brazlian media reported that recently crowned champions Fluminense and their rivals Flamengo made Rodolfo and Wagner their respective top targets. Although no transfer was made official yet, I expect that two or even three players aforementioned may really leave the Russian capital in the upcoming weeks.

Meanwhile Zaur Khapov, who have been at Lokomotiv since 2000, will bring his stay at the red-green part of Moscow to an end. It was rumoured that although Yury Krasnozhan wanted the exprienced coach to be part of his coaching regime, the former Spartak Nalchik and Alania Vladikavkaz rejected a new contract and opted to leave Lokomotiv. Ironically Yury Krasnozhan's former side Spartak Nalchik, which for the chronicle is now being led by former Lokomotiv Moscow assitant manager Vladimir Estrekhov, is his most likely destination.

Last but not least, the media also reported that Roman Shishkin finally agreed an extension with Lokomotiv. Although the contract wasn't yet signed due to the fact that the former Spartak Moscow is currently on holiday, everything was mutually agreed and thus the only remaining thing is Shishkin's signature. In addition, Vladislav Ignatiev, who passed the last six months at Kuban Krasnodar, is expected to come back to Moscow and try his luck once again.

Let's wait and see if any the aforementioned rumours materialise!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lokomotiv make Sarkisov their first signing

Today, Lokomotiv Moscow officially announced the signature of Artur Sarkisov from Lokomotiv-2 Moscow, Lokomotiv's farm club. The player, who is just 23 years old penned a year-and-a-half contract with the capital club. Obviously given that Loko-2 is part of the Lokomotiv football society, there was no transfer fee involved. Artur is yet to be given a shirt number.

Sarkisov, who was born in Grozny and is of Armenian descent started his professional career with FC Reutov, a small club hailing from Reutov, Moscow Oblast. After making 74 appearances and scoring 15 goals in 3 seasons for the Western Second Division club, Artur swapped the Moscow Oblast outfit with FC Lokomotiv Moscow and in two seasons he managed to develop into a key player. Actually during his two-year stay with out farm club, Sarkisov managed to top the scoring charts in as many years. Last season, despite playing just 17 games due to injury, he still managed to top Loko-2's scoring charts with 10 goals. This year, he managed to raise his game even further and coming the end of the season he banged in a tally of 21 goals from 25 appearances. Eventually such tally allowed him to top not only the Russian Second Division Western Section scoring charts but also those of all the 5 Sections put altogether - not bad at all!! At the end, and rightly so, Lokomotiv came down knocking and eventually made the striker their first signing for the forthcoming season.

When asked about his feelings following his move to the main squad, the striker replied that the trasnfer was a dream come true for him. He added that although he knew that the CEO of Lokomotiv-2 Igor Zelepukin recommended him to Lokomotiv, he didn't expected such invitation, something which eventually made the move more pleasing.

Although for sure Sarkisov's name is far from synonymous with Russian football followers, I confess that I am very pleased to finally see a youngster getting through our ranks. The reason is that I believe that in the past years Lokomotiv Moscow have relied too much on foreigners and thus many prospective youngsters failed to make the cut to the main squad and eventually sought pastures elsewhere. Actually, although Gatagov is not that bad, I am of the belief that Lokomotiv haven't produced a talented player since Diniyar Bilyaletdinov took the Russian Premier Liga by storm, that is 7 whole years. So, although the new Olga Smorodskaya regime had more lows than highs in the past months, I must applaud their decision to sign the youngster, because apart of the fact that the transfer will give Sarkisov a deserving chance, such move may eventually spur our youngsters to do their best and give them the needed believe thay they can make it to the main squad. Well Done!!


Guilherme voted as Loko's best

Alvim Marinato Guilherme or simply Guilherme has won the Lokomotiv Moscow Player of the Season 2008 award, as voted for by the red-green fans on the forum. Guilherme, who was the only player who appeared in all the 30 matches of the Russian Premier Liga, won an amazing 59% of the votes casted by the Loko faithful. Olexandr Aliev, who scored a great tally of 14 goals throughout the whole season could only come second with just 18%. On the other hand, Dmitry Sychev and Dmitry Loskov shared the last place of the podium with 10% each.

To say the truth I am quite surprised with the outcome of the result. Don't get me wrong, Guilherme for sure deserved such award as he was the most consistent of all, but if you asked me on whom I would have put the money, without any hesitance I would have picked Aliev. The reason is simple. Aliev scored 14 goals this season and for much of the time he was our star performer. Nevertheless, I think that it is imperative to say that although Aliev had a great first round, his performances in the second suffered and thus at the end the former CA Paranaense keeper fully deserved such award. Actually, if at one end there was Aliev scoring goals for fun (in the first period), at the other we had a keeper who in certain occasion single handedly kept Lokomotiv in game, and that was Guilherme. In his 30 appearances, the Brazilian keeper let only 29 goals and recorded an impressive tally of 11 clean sheets - something which hadn't happened since Ovchinnikov left for Dynamo Moscow.

Upon being nominated as Loko's best player, Guilherme showed his surprise to the result, especially with regards to the margin obtained. Guilherme added that this sensation is not new to him as last year, despite playing just half of the matches, the keeper managed to come 3rd in last year's poll. Finally, Guilherme thanked the fans, who for the whole season, despite various setbacks never stopped to support the team - and that's the reason why in his opinion, the fans were Loko's best player of the season.

Glad to say that it's pleasant to witness such bond between a player and the fans. Just brilliant!

Anyways, well done Guilherme and keep it up!! I am of the utter belief that should Guilherme mantain the progress he had shown in recent months, he can go far and maybe even reach the level of Igor Akinfeev - and I'm not joking! All the best Alvim!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Semin 's contract mutually terminated, Krasnozhan expected to be sworn in

What we've feared had happened. On Tuesday night, Lokomotiv Moscow, via their website, communicated that they have partied ways with Yury Semin. Although obviously the news came of now surprise, the fans were still hoping that their recent protests and plights would have changed the mind of the Board of Directors. Unfortunately, all the contestations fell on deaf ears as those in charge stood firm to their decision and thus opted to terminate their relationship with Yury Semin. This means that as from 01 December 2010 the People's coach will no longer "drive the train which he successfully drove for 18 years." A pity.

Although Loko communicated that Semin's contract was terminated early due to poor performance in the Russian Premier Liga, it is believed that the main reason for his dismissal was the frosty relationship between him and Olga Smorodskaya. All this emanated from the difference between the President's vision and that of our coach. While our father wants the team to improve by signing top notch players, on the other hand, the President, pressured by those at the top, is looking to reduce costs, meaning that Lokomotiv won't sign top notch players which Semin and Naumov tried to lure to the red-green part of Moscow.

Unfortunately now Semin is history and Lokomotiv have to move on. Although it's not official yet it is expected that Yury Krasnozhan, the mentor behind Spartak Nalchik's amazing campaign, will be the one to replace Semin at the helm. On the other hand, Yury Semin will be joining Dinamo Kiev and it is almost certain that Aleksandr Aliev will follow him to the Ukranian capital. Thanks Semin & Aliev and Good Luck at your second adventure at Dynamo Kiev. Meanwhile and even Bigger luck goes to our new coach Yury Krasnozhan!!!