If before the character of the railways could be summed up in the sense of “power”, now “recklessness” suits them better. This team is not interested in defense at all – only attack.
Remember this motto of Seminskiy Lokomotiv: “The ball should reach our goalkeeper only when it is torn”? That was it, it was finally dissolved. In today’s Lokomotiv it seems that the goalkeeper himself is destined to be torn.
The prosperity of the Cherkizovsky team has always, as long as memory lasts, stood in the strength of the defense. It was Yuri Palych who managed to give his students a unique credibility for the Russian championship: in 31 games of the 2002 season, they conceded only 14 times, averaging less than one goal in two games. And the best of Semin’s replacements did not change the club’s tradition: Leonid Kuchuk, Igor Cherevchenko or Marko Nikolic also tried not to miss the first thing. But now everything is different.
What exactly should Rangnik football look like (let’s name the lesson after the author of the play: let him leave our lands, his comrades are left), it was hard to understand in the fall: rebuilding the game during the season is a thankless project. But now, after the winter training camp, where there were weeks, if not months, to set up, the picture is already pretty clear. And even the departure of the head coach in this sense had little effect, as the team was transferred to the members of the former headquarters, which seems a very logical step, because the arrival of a specialist from abroad would inevitably lead to another collapse.
The new Loko proved to be really new, not in terms of a set of names, but in terms of the essence of the game. If the character of the former could be summed up in the sense of “power”, then the present is more suited to “recklessness”. Today this is the most fun team in the league – such a language could not be said about the railway even in the most prosperous times.
Happy – means one who is not at all interested in defense – only in attack. In four games in March this year, Lokomotiv only once surpassed the opponent in number of shots and three times remained such an advantage in the opponent. Yenisei was allowed to shoot 13 times, CSKA – 17 times, Akhmat – 22 times.
For understanding. When the railroad went 6-1 in St. Petersburg last May, the golden Zenith scored 18 shots. And now the eighth “Akhmat” – 22. These figures show the entire course of Cherkizovsky’s defense in less than a year.
Or some other comparison. CSKA Igor Akinfeev this spring never had to repel more than three hits in a game and most of the time the case was generally limited to one and only. But the railwayman Daniil Khudyakov against the same CSKA repulsed six blows. Same – against “Genisei”. Against Ahmat – seven. Good difference? The partners do not regret their 18-year-old keeper at all and it will not be surprising if it is revealed that the holes in his elbows open after the games literally and not only figuratively.
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As for the reasons for the catastrophic decline in credibility, I would like to mention two. First, people have changed. Second, the style has changed.
The current rules require the red and greens to defend high and aggressively. That is, if it is very simple, the defender should not wait for the attacker to hit him, as he hit Tsorlukas, but to play in front, to jump from behind to return the ball as fast as possible. Maybe, in terms of speed, a pair of 26-year-old Tina Yedvaya and 19-year-old Mark Mampassi are suitable for such football, but in terms of experience, reading the game, coherence, so far no. That’s why the goalkeeper’s sweater is tested every time for strength.
For the sake of clarity, here is an episode from the last match in Grozny. Mabasi pulls a lot forward, but does not have time to overtake the opponent – and the ball is immediately delivered to the area he left. The result is a lost ball.
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Or get a goal from the previous match with CSKA. It was reported that Jedvay made 10 cuts in that game, which was a season record. But no matter how good a defender is, the style itself carries an extremely high degree of risk. And as soon as Barely failed to stop only once, his record of ten gained signs of fiery victory.
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Of course, the new Lokomotiv has something to praise. For offensive enthusiasm, for example: 7 goals scored in three league games is a pretty decent number. For voluntary resilience: every time the team concedes first – and everyone wins back. For selective hits: Isidor Wilson and Jan Kukhta score and give with enviable regularity.
But all this is not enough to understand how the new Lokomotiv intends to win titles. The old strategy of the tournament was clear, the new one is not yet. And for the title of the most entertaining team, trophies have not been invented yet.