My name is Mikhail Ivanov, and I'm 35 years old, and born in Krasnodar in the former Soviet Union. I used to play football professionally, but my career was cut short due to a lack of ability, and my tactical mind wasn't able to compensate any more. The good news is, though, I've been hired to manage FC Krasnodar!
A New Era at Krasnodar FC
I've been a supporter of FC Krasnodar since their inception on February 22, 2008* (Wikipedia says this date, but FM says they were founded in 2007.) Quite literally, they are a club with no history, although they've managed to climb up the Russian football ranks very quickly, as their first season in the Russian Premier League was in 2011. The board wants a manager who can cultivate our excellent youth resources and take that next step into becoming a title contender and continental football challenger, and I know I am that man.
The first thing I did when I met with the players was give my expectations for a decent season, results wise, although we'd be battling for as many wins as we could get. I also showed my tactics on the chalkboard, a mix of 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 possession. Since we were high pressing all game, I drilled fitness into my charges, and made one signing, Aaron Mokoena, a well-traveled defender. There were a few players I wanted to sell for money, but no one was biting.
Our friendlies were decent, we started with a 2-0 win against Rubin Kazan-2, but lost 0-2 to Shakhtar Donetsk. We followed that up with a 2-0 win against Swansea, but stumbled to a 1-1 draw against Bulgarian side Pirin. Still, I figured we were ready for the season, and I was excited just to be managing Krasnodar!
(*If the February 22, 2008 date is accurate, then the club was formed exactly 20 years after my birthday.)