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Russian To The Top?

An average footballers attempt to be an above average manager.
Started on 25 April 2016 by C.J.Lippo
Latest Reply on 30 June 2016 by mgriffin2012
Justice - Yeah, we're still in it. Just gotta keep plugging away & hope to pick up some points in a hurry.

Griffo - TBH, I'm not sure how they get to games irl. I imagine they must have access to an aircraft of some sorts, private or not. There are times when we could copver 20,000 km's in a week so a team bus is out of the question :P

Mg - Yeah, its going to go right down to the wire either way. That's for sure.

Cheers all

Match of the Month

Despite the final score-line reading 2-1 to CSKA, this was without a doubt the most pleasing performance in what has been a disasterous lead up to the winter window.

When CSKA went 2-0 up after just 15 minutes, I genuinely feared yet another thrashing at the hands of one of the big guns. To their credit though, the boys showed the kind of fight that has been sorely missing this year, hitting straight back from the kick off & making a real game of it.

In the end, it still reads as a loss but it is one that gives us at least a glimmer of hope that we can still salvage something from our first campaign in the top flight.

As a side note, this game also marked my 100th in management. Not the best way to mark the occasion but not the worst either.

November Results

So, we head into the winter break on the back of a club record 7 straight losses & the only reason its not 8 is probably because our match against Kuban was post pones due to heavy snow at Trud. Its going to be a massive time for us. The squad needs to be improved just about everywhere & we've no money to do it, thus I decided to call a board meeting.

I took a risky strategy after my initial request was turned down but I'm afraid I was left with little choice. Handing the board an ultimatum like this rarely works out well but I was confident the board would be keen to keep hold of me. Score one for bravery over judgement!


Here's why I was so willing to throw my job away. I don't imagine many sides have escaped after being in our position at this time of year. Even fewer with a goal difference as horrible as our own. Stone motherless at the break with a -25 goal difference, its not looking good.


Our leading goal scorer has scored 3 times! In over half a season. 3 times! That's the best we can offer! Enough said.


April Preview

So, 5 matches await our return to competition thanks to our rescheduled match with Kuban. We'll definitely need to improve, otherwise April could be the month that seals our return to the first division.

Poor results, but hopefully you can make use of the extra budge tthat you risked so much for
Oh brutal month and bottom of the table... I am enjoying watching you try and fight this though much better than those save and loaders :)

The Winter Break

So, I had a plan in my head that involved playing some real light weights, banging a heap of goals past them & regaining a bit of confidence. As you can see, it went quite well.

An aggregate of 20 goals for, 0 conceded in our first 3 games the perfect recipe for a team who had struggled for goals.

My one concern was how quickly they dried up when faced with a proper challenge, in the form of Korean side Suwon, but for now we'll just call that game unlucky.


Here is the complete overview of our dealings for the year. I skipped over a few late ones in the summer window as I didn't really see them having much of an impact & that's proved to be fairly accurate.

As far as our winter deals went, there was just the one departure with 18 year old Gabonese striker, Mario Mandrault departing having made very little impact here.

I held high hopes for Mario but always had concerns over asking such a young player to lead the line of a club that would clearly be fighting against relegation. Again I was right to doubt. The youngster spent 2 thirds of the time injured, the other third complaining of homesickness & the closest he ever come to scoring a goal for us was hitting the post in a pre season match. Goodbye Mario.

As far as incoming transfers are concerned, there are 3 new faces, all of whom I have high hopes for. As always, lets meet them shall we?

My direct replacement for the underwhelming Mandrault is 28 year old Nathaniel Asamoah.

I had actually been watching him since the beginning of the year before deciding on the young guy with the big upside. Lets hope Nathaniel can have a slightly bigger impact then he did.

Actually surprised we got this guy so cheaply. he was listed for loan in the lead up to the break but, fearing competition for his signature, I advised my DoF to have a go at signing him permanentely & what do you know, he got him. Quite cheaply too. Gotta be happy with that!

Our third & final signing of the window was defender, Nikita Chernov. I cant tell you much about Nikita. I wasn't watching him, I wasn't aware of his availability.

My staff though seem to think he's a great addition & I trust their judgement. That & he does actually look quite good & couldn't be much worse then what we already have.


No surprises here as Hulk takes home the player of the year award. My sights are more closly on the young players though, especially that guy with the unpronounceable name who finished second & is playing for a team flirting with relegation.....

Youth Intake

Well, for once, we have more then one decent looking prospect! Unfortunately they both play the same position but a little competition never hurt anyone. Here they are in the flesh!

It seems I didn't SS the second left winger so just use your imagination & imagine the first guy but less talented. Got it? Good. :P

April Preview

We've already been over this but it is quite important so I might as well show it again. 5 games in April which could very well decide our fate. With the exception of Lokomotive & Kuban, I think we can win some points, hell we could even upset the bigger sides! No, that's probably a stretch, lets just see what happens.

Natkho and Chernov look like some decent additions, great preseason as well :D
Some very good signings, let's hope they can help catapult your team away from relegation!

Match of the Month

I think the stats give a clearer indication of how this match went rather then the final score-line of 3-2 Loco.

We took the lead early with Deniss Rakels converting from the spot, following a foul on Nathaniel Asamoah, but then had to withstand heavy pressure for the remainder of the half, eventually conceding twice to go to the break 2-1 down.

Again, we started the second half brightly with Asamoah getting on the end of a cross to make it 2-2 but once again found ourselves pinned to our line for long periods of time before conceding again to give us the final score, 3-2 loco.

A close game on the scoreboard but one we were never in danger of winning.

March Results

Despite a couple of loses, March was a vast improvement on what we had previously offered. Loses against Loco & Kuban were to be expected but hard fought, nerve wracking victories over sides more at our level were definitely most welcome & proves that we wont be going down without a fight!


So, 3 wins is not only enough to move us out of the auto drop spots, they actually move us out of the drop zone altogether! Albeit on head to head records alone. Have to say Rostov would feel quite hard done by if the season finished now. Half our goal difference, yet they'd still go into a playoff!


Deniss Rakels manages to double his goal scoring tally for the year in March, although that just means he's scored 3 goals in 5 matches. Nathaniel Asamoah has also began his Baikal career well, getting a goal on debut, whilst Natkho has also added an extra threat with his runs out of midfield.


I believe this is the first time this year a Zenit player wasn't named PotM!

April Preview

I have a sneaking suspicion that Ive had a bit of a brain fart & been calling the p[revious month fixtures April, surprised no-ones called me on it if that's true. Maybe no-one pays that much attention :P

Anyway, this is the real deal & there are some massive matches to come. With the exception of Krasnodar at the end, all our games will be against sides in & around the relegation battle, which means we MUST pick up points if we are to survive. Failure to do so would almost certainly seal our fate. A huge month!

Good luck in the actual April then :P

Match of the Month

This is pretty much the shortest road trip of the year for us. A mere 1,600 km's up the highway to take on Tom in Tomsk. Its practically a local derby!

Unfortunately, after a fast start that saw us take the lead through an own goal, it was another bad day at the office. Long periods of defending, bought on by our our own ineptitude with the ball, & when we did eventually work the ball into any kind of promiosing position, we were extremely wasteful.

No surprise then that this one finishes 2-1 in favour of Tom. A disappointing performance all round.

April Results

Not a great month if I'm honest. April was a real chance for us to put together a run & really distance ourselves from that relegation race. We didn't do that. Not at all. We did at least beat Volgar however, a loss in that one would have been a real disaster.


So we slide back into the playoff spots, 2 points ahead of Auto relegation. Just 4 points separate Rostov in 16th with Terek who are currently safe in 12th. Its incredibly tight is what I'm trying to say!


I think its worth pointing out that I plunged the clubs wage budget into the red in an effort to keep us over winter. Whether that was the right call will largely depend on our final 3 games.


May Preview

So here they are, our final 3 games. With just 2 points between us & relegation, our trip to Ural is pretty much a must win. Even then, that may not be enough. To secure our safety we may need to upset the odds & take some points from Zenit or Rubin, which would be a very big ask indeed. Real shame we couldn't have done a little better in April. :/

It's crazy to look at how big Russia is in far of getting to games! Hope you can get out of those dangerous play-off spots mate

Match of the Month

As I said at the end of last month, this game was most definitely a must win if we were any chance of avoiding the drop. It didn't start well though with Ural taking the lead inside 5 minutes.

Indeed, for the opening 20 minutes we were very much on the back foot & I was already beginning to contemplate life in the First Division next year. Turns out Nathaniel Asamoah had other plans.

The striker went on to score 5 goals in one of the most dominate performances I have ever witnessed. Everything he touched flew into the back of the net, every run he made was timed to perfection. It was a thing of beauty &, more importantly, he did it when we needed it the most. A truly inspired performance from what has to be the buy of the year!

May Results

So, as expected, our final 2 matches proved to be very tough & we failed to take any points from them. We did however manage to beat Ural but was that enough to avoid the dreaded drop?


Short answer, for the moment. We avoid automatic relegation by finishing 14th, just one point in front of Volgar. That 5 goal haul from Nathaniel Asamoah proved to be very important, not to mention a new club record.


All our winter signings did remarkably well in the run home & our form was much better as a result. Amir Natkho finishes with our highest average rating, while Nathaniel Asamoah scored 8 goals in 13 appearances to finish second on our goal scoring charts, 2 behind Deniss Rakels.


So Amir Natkho takes home the young player of the year, what a buy he turned out to be! elsewhere, it seems Spartak made the right call hiring Slaven Bilic over myself with Croat leading the club to the title & winning the manager of the year as a result.

Playoff Draw

So its Torpedo Armivir that stands between us & Premier Division survival. No doubt it is going to be a tough tie but our record against them has been quite good, so I'm quietly confident. The first game will be played at Trud, hopefully we can put some goals past them & take some of the pressure off of the away leg. As always, wish me luck!

Less than a day's drive to a game, blink and you'll miss it trip :P

Asamaoh was a good signing and if he can score 5 in a game again then you should be fine

After a cagey first 20 minutes, in which both sides looked a little nervous & obviously didn't want to concede early, it was Torpedo who created the first chance, a chance that Jean-Jacques Bougouhi duly buried with a spectacular volley to put us a goal down in the 22nd minute.

The next 16 minutes became the Deniss Rakels show as the Latvian first had a goal ruled out for off side, then missed a penalty, following a foul on Nathaniel Asamoah, before finally finding the back of the net to draw us level by getting on the end of a Artem Molodtsov cross in the 41st minute.

Having eventually gotten on the scoreboard, after several attempts, Deniss doubled his tally just 2 minutes later, finishing off a great team movement, that began with the keeper, once again the final ball delivered by right back Artem Molodtsov & from 1-0 down we went to the break leading 2-1.

At the half I reminded the guys to stay focused, Torpedo weren't beaten just yet. My plea's were to fall on deaf ears however as just 3 minutes after the resumption, Alexandr Strapvets snuck in at the far post to cap a wonderful team move & draw the visitors level, 2-2.

With the score once again level, the match become a nervy arm wrestle with neither side wanting to leave the match trailing.

Finally, in the 83rd minute, it was that man again, Deniss Rakels, got his hat-trick after Nathaniel Asamoah sold a dummy to the Armavir defence, got to the bye line & whipped a cross past the keeper to the far post where the Latvian couldn't miss.

From there I shouted at the boys to focus & switched to a more conservative approach, just happy to leave the game with the slenderest of leads. The closing stages saw us hold out with few issues & we'll take a 1 goal lead into the second leg. Its not the tie killlin lead I'd hoped for but it will have to do. 90 minutes left to Premier Division survival!

Tight, good luck for the second leg. Also what a hoof pass to get the penalty, Pulis would be proud of that

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