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About Koetzer

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    Russia Assistant Researcher
  1. Pre-season 2027/28 Transfers out Losing Ricardo was a huge disappointment, but I had no other choice. Also decided to sell Oien as found a good replacement on free transfer. Transfers in Juan Carlos Oetling – this Mexican wonderkid will replace Ricardo as our first choice right-back. Jeet Padaruth – was released by Man Utd. Our scouts were impressed with his mental abilities, so decided to sign as a rotation option. Andrejs Stols – not the highest potential, but professional and determined, so should develop well. International tournaments Copa America – Mexico B (Oetling) defeated Argentina in the final. Brazil (Ricardo) stopped in quarter-final, losing to Argentina on penalties. Gold Cup – Jamaica won the final against Honduras, USA (Smith) defeated Mexico for the bronze. That seems ridiculous, but none of those big teams lifted the Gold Cup in this game. Six tournaments were held, and Costa Rica, Canada and Jamaica each won two of them. Super Cup Coped without own goals this time. Petrenko scored the only one, heading the ball in after a corner.
  2. Yes, been world class since our Champions League win. Awards Best Player: Frolov (Rostov) Players’ Select: Kabiru (Rostov), Frolov (Rostov), Pinamonti (Zenit) Top Goalscorer: Frolov (Rostov) – 18, Tyurin (Rubin) – 18, Pinamonti (Zenit) – 16 Goalkeeper of the Year: Mitryushkin (Rostov) Young Player of the Year: Smirnov (CSKA/Dinamo SPb) Team of the Year - nice to see Ndiaye there along with five our current players. Fakel won the FNL season with a huge margin, promoting with Volgar and Orenburg (through playoffs against Arsenal). European Review Champions League – so close again… Europa League – Inter replaced their manager after unsuccessful start of season, and Joachim Low guided them to the cup and next season’s Champions League place. What’s really good, Spartak and Krasnodar reached late stages, and that allowed Russia to overtake Portugal in the coefficient table, so a season later we’ll have one more European spot. England – Chelsea (Jardim), Man City (Pep), Man Utd (Prandelli). The same as year before. Leicester (Rui Vitoria) return to Champions League, finishing 4th. Spain – Real Madrid (Emery), Atletico (Simeone), Villarreal (Ramon Diaz). First time since 2012 some other team reached top 3. As for Barcelona (Conte/Allegri), they at one moment were in relegation zone, but recovered to finish 7th. Germany – Wolfsburg (Stendel), Dortmund (Eduard Graf), Leverkusen (Hannes Wolf) Italy – Roma (Ancelotti), Milan (Schmidt), Juventus (Zidane) France – PSG (Mourinho), Bordeaux (Vieira), Monaco (Guegan) Netherlands – PSV (Fitzel), Feyenoord (van Bronckhorst), Ajax (Fonseca)
  3. May 2027 Rested all the key players before the Champions League semi-final but that squad coped with their task well. All our previous visits to Etihad ended with 0-0 draws, but this time the goalless run was broken. Two great passes from Diawara, and our strikers made it 2-0 at half-time. Tah scored one back soon after the game resumed, but then we held that advantage. Still unbeaten against City and have a good chance to reach the final once more. Another win with the backup squad, only two points remained from officially claiming the title. Our counters proved to be a deadly force once again, Kabiru ran one on one with goalkeeper and scored an early goal. Iheanacho had a chance to equalize soon, but his penalty was saved by Aoki. Shortly after half-time Diawara finished another counter after opponents’ corner, and in second half Kabiru set the final score. Our third final in four years! Chelsea knocked out Atletico in the other pair. Last year we had epic battle with them in first playoffs round, with the decisive away goal from Mangena on 121st minute put us through. Only one rest day for first team, while backup also wasn’t fresh enough. Quite disappointing result, but the situation didn’t change much, still one win will bring us the title. That was the last home game for us this season, and we did exactly what was needed. Comfortable win and 9th consecutive league title. I didn’t expect two away wins against Zenit and Spartak, as gave chances to impress for some young players, but the quality of our squad was enough. First ever goal from our Sri Lankan defender is also worth mentioning. Spartak lost 3rd place with the last matchday defeat. Krylja Sovetov will play in Europa League next season, while Lokomotiv again need to take part in relegation playoffs. Frolov added another club record to his name, scoring on 23rd second of the cup final. Spartak managed to equalize when Lystsov headed the ball into the own net, but that was the only time they threatened our defense. Frolov and Kabiru later made our advantage obvious. Third trophy during the season, can we add the fourth? No. The main disappointment actually came just a day before the final. Luiz Ricardo, our first choice right-back, requested to sell him to the better division, and then most of the squad supported him. Massive morale drop before the most important game in season… maybe that had influence in the penalty shootout, where two of our players simply shot to the standing keeper’s hands. Kabiru finished the season as Champions League top goalscorer, and was included into team of the season along with Aoki. Small consolation anyway.
  4. My scouts are constantly browsing most important regions and have assignments for all major international tournaments. Also I manually check all national team squads once in a year, usually if a 17-18 years old player is in senior squad (even of a weak team like Sri Lanka), he may be worth scouting. April 2027 Boring and disappointing. Our advantage was converted to the only goal few seconds before half-time, Frolov scored after Antonio’s cross. We’ll face Spartak in the final. Another 1-0 win after Kabiru’s early goal, and we’re improving our lead. Liverpool got an early lead after a corner and protected it well, but closer to the end Frolov, who came as a substitute, managed to equalize. Still not the best result for a first game at home. We got a lead in the end of first half, Sergeev took a long shot and the ball went in after a deflection. Liverpool equalized even before half-time though with a shot from Will Hughes. As the extra time was becoming more realistic, both teams started to push more, creating some chances… and we were more successful in it. Diawara made a through pass to the box, Kabiru was first on the ball and scored! 2-1, we’re going to the semi-final! We have never lost to Man City before, twice knocking them out in quarter-finals. The score suggests an easy game for us, but actually it was quite tough before we scored second goal. We were close to the disappointing draw, but in the last attack Frolov headed the ball in after a cross from Kabiru. 6 points and a game in hand. Quite tough schedule awaits us in May, but I’m confident we can hold it.
  5. Mid-season 2026/27 Transfers out Transfers in Can’t stop signing free youngsters They all have 3-3,5 star potentials, so I predict all of them will end up in Mordovia or similar teams in 2-3 years but who knows, maybe someone will be useful for us. Finally we got a player from Partizan in the youth intake, along with a surprising Mexican, both useless though. This year lacks top prospects, though Gerasimov and Nazarov look quite promising. International tournaments Asian Cup – Australia (Muldoon, Davidson, Guida) lost the final to Iran. Japan (Aoki, Ogasawara, Oda) only reached quarter-final, losing to Saudi Arabia. African Cup – South Africa (Mangena) couldn’t defeat the title and finished fourth, sending out Nigeria (Kabiru) in quarter-final. Mali (Diawara) and Benin (Radji) didn’t advance from the groups. U-20 Copa America – Argentina (Bonanno) claimed the trophy, winning all 5 games in the final round. February-March 2027 Frolov missed a penalty, and soon after this we conceded. Poor start of the year, leaving us with a tough task for home game. First time I see opponents use the same formation with us, and we completely failed. That becomes really concerning. We had a man advantage since 8th minute, so the result was almost determined then but quality of our finishing was far from satisfactory, and our win was secured only in the end. Anyway it should encourage the team after two losses at start. That was much better, three goals before half-time made our win obvious. Another confident win, looks like the team regained form before the return leg against Napoli. Hope that will be enough to advance. We took control of the game just after a start whistle, and after some missed chances finally managed to score. Mangena was tripped in the box, and this time Grujic converted it to a goal. Second half started the same way, and very soon Ogasawara gave us an overall advantage with a long shot. 2-0, and Napoli actually had no chances till the end. We got Liverpool in quarter-final. They are only 11th in the Premier League currently, but don’t know if it would do us any favours. Champions League remains the only way for them to qualify for next season. Our U19 team lost to Sochaux on penalties. Very unfortunate, as this squad could certainly go further. We simply can’t play in domestic matches after Champions League. The team was fit and actually played with the strongest squad available, but couldn’t match opponents mentally. Anyway even those drops of form didn’t influence our position, 7 points clear from Zenit so another title is only a matter of time.
  6. Still would need it for Japan, Brazil and Jan Jansen (unless other good news appear )
  7. Yes, that's him just after the youth intake.
  8. @john1 that's from end of previous season, he has about the same stats now:
  9. November-December 2026 Marseille actually looked better in first half, but the only moment when they allowed Kabiru to shoot from the box ended with our goal. Closer to the final whistle our Nigerian striker scored again from a free kick, sealing our win and the place in knockout rounds. That’s ridiculous how our offense completely disappears in some games. Shinnik defended well of course, but we should have played much better. Zenit caught us after last game, so we needed a win to restore our lead and got it quite easily. Frolov was tired after playing for national team, Yamlikhanov replaced him in the starting squad and eventually became the best player of this match, scoring a hat-trick. Diawara saved us in the first game against Anderlecht, and here his goal helped to break their solid defense once again. In the other group game Marseille destroyed Man Utd 4-1, and that means our 1st place is now secure and a trip to Old Trafford wil be actually an exhibition game for us. Mangena scored only twice in the season before this game, but against Spartak he finally unveiled that power we used to see from him. 3+1, and the game was done very soon. CSKA managed to equalize after our first goal but we then responded with five. Frolov is unlikely to repeat his last season’s records, though he still can score a lot and proved it once more. Managed to return a gap ahead of Zenit. Krylja Sovetov and Rubin are in contention of European places, while Lokomotiv seem to be in trouble. With top spot in group already secured I rested some key players, so the result wasn’t a big disappointment. Almost got Liverpool from unseeded teams, Napoli surely looks like a better option. They are 10th in Serie A so far, though managed to beat Barcelona in the group. Good performance from the U19 team as well, nice to see that after disappointing last season which ended on the group stage. And the last news item of the year, Frolov wins another award. Totally deserved, that goalscoring form was hard to ignore.
  10. October 2026 Krasnodar’s form was awful at start of season, but as always that means nothing when AI team plays against you. Frolov had a chance to bring another win for us though, but missed a penalty. Frolov suffered a light injury in national team, but even without him our attacking force was unstoppable for Lokomotiv. Two from Yamlikhanov, two from Kabiru and two more from others. Incredible finishing from Kabiru guided us to the second group win. Meanwhile Man Utd drew with Anderlecht, so we became sole leaders after half of group games. All that attacking power simply disappeared against Mordovia. 0-0 and only two points remaining. Same problems against Shinnik, but in the end Frolov finally found the way to goal. We’re through to quarter-final and will face Anji there. A goal scored from the first shot is always useful when you play against a team of lower stature that will most likely park the bus. Yamlikhanov once again proved to be a useful backup. Only two points ahead of Zenit, but all other teams are already far away.
  11. They finished 9th last season but won the Europa League. September 2026 Last minutes of first half seem to be our best time this season. Mitchell recorded his first ever goal for us, and the winning one. That was close to a big disappointment but ended with an impressive comeback. Anderlecht scored from a free kick in the first half and almost held us till the final whistle. Diawara finally was able to equalize on 90th minute, and just few seconds before the end we won a corner, Diawara crossed and Kabiru scored the winner! Good start with Frolov’s goal, and actually everything was clear before half-time. Ndiaye became another player who scored for us after being sold The most experienced player in that experimental squad made the difference. Two goals and assist from Grujic, and we’re through. Two early goals and another easy win before a very important European game. Both teams had enough chances to score, but goalkeepers were not going to concede at all. A draw that makes United chances for top spot a bit higher. Still haven’t dropped points in the league and leading with a visible gap from all others. Krasnodar and Lokomotiv disappoint their fans at start, going in the dangerous zone so far.
  12. August 2026 Two minutes into the game, and last season’s best player scores again! Second goal from Grujic effectively ended this match. A bit similar game with the Super Cup, CSKA were in the lead at half-time, but we managed to overturn it, Frolov and Kabiru assisted each other to give us 3 points. Larsson scored an early goal from a corner, and then we were in full control. First half was going to finish 0-0 despite our advantage, but on the last seconds of injury time Frolov scored with a long shot. And just after the half-time Ogasawara extended our lead. Quite the same, we were far better but could score only once before half-time. Mangena returned after his injury with the winning goal. Confidently leading with 100% result so far. All familiar opponents in the group, should be able to contest the top spot with Man Utd. BATE were the last team drawn into group H. We continue to raid FFA COE academy, signing their keeper Frank Millar. And here are outgoing transfers in August. Yes, you read it right, Zenit paid 35M for Drannikov. He’s surely a high potential player, but isn’t worth that and actually didn’t fit to our tactics (tried to retrain him as wing-back, but his defending skills are still too low).
  13. Pre-season 2026/27 Transfers out Decided to sell Ivanov, 18M is really a good deal for a backup player. Surprised that Marseille signed Gavrilov, he didn’t seem to have a high potential (if our reports were wrong, we still have 50% from next sale clause). Transfers in Nikolay Petrenko – replacement for Ivanov, and actually a better alternative for aging Lystsov too. Raymond Quinn – ex-Cliftonvillle striker impressed during his trial, so I decided to sign him on full contract. Jay Stewart and Jakob Larsen – usual youngster signings. Some more money earned as Gomez was signed by PSG for 137M, seems to be a new world record. World Cup 2026 – Mexico Groups A-D | E-H After 60 years of waiting England finally got their second trophy. Brazil with two our wing-backs in the squad couldn’t even advance from the group (even though it contained eventual champions and hosts, that was a huge disappointment). Extra place for North America made it possible for Guatemala and Curacao to qualify, both were outclassed but still a good experience for these nations. U-19 Euro: France won the cup, Russia (with 5 our players in the squad) finished third in their group and lost to Germany in 5th place playoff. Super Cup We suffered a lot from injuries during pre-season, Oien is out until winter, Kabiru, Mangena and Sergeev will miss start of the season (though should be fit before September), so our lineup was far from ideal. Zenit scored from a penalty shortly before half-time and tried to hold the lead, but in the end our advantage was converted into goals. With a bit of luck surely, two own goals within a minute – that’s not something usual to see in that kind of match. And first of them was scored by Gyuracz, who played his first game after leaving us
  14. Awards Best Player: Frolov (Rostov) Players’ Select: Frolov (Rostov), Yoskov (Krasnodar), Larsson (Rostov) Top Goalscorer: Frolov (Rostov) – 38, Hruby (Zenit) – 22, Yoskov (Krasnodar) – 19 Goalkeeper of the Year: Mitryushkin (Rostov) Young Player of the Year: Frolov (Rostov) Team of the Year Incredible season for Frolov, 43 goals in 44 games and totally deserved awards. Including one more: Arsenal Tula and Ufa returned from FNL directly, and Shinnik defeated Orenburg in play-offs. Their first appearance at top flight since 2008, earlier they even played in European cups several times (that legendary highlight against Valencia from 1998 ) European Review Champions League – deserved title for Atletico, nothing to add. Europa League – Real, Bayern, Arsenal, Liverpool, Dortmund, Milan… strong lineup this year, but West Ham (Mancini) managed to win. None of Russian teams could even advance from groups. England – Chelsea (Jardim), Man City (Pep), Man Utd (Prandelli). Swansea (Heckingbottom) and Wolves (Pellegrini) finished in Europa League zone, ahead of Arsenal (Rui Vitoria/Lopetegui) and eventual EL winner West Ham. Everton (Alex Neil) relegated, second time in last three seasons. Spain – Atletico (Simeone), Barcelona (Conte), Real Madrid (Emery) Germany – Leverkusen (Klopp), Bayern (Tuchel), Wolfsburg (Stendel) Italy – Roma (Ancelotti), Juventus (Zidane), Napoli (Fonseca) France – PSG (Mourinho), Monaco (Guegan), Lyon (F.de Boer) Netherlands – AZ (Kooistra), Feyenoord (van Bronckhorst), Heerenveen (Klompe). Only 5th place for Ajax (Langeler), their continental performance was far better.
  15. 2025/26 Champions League final Simeone had something to think about with all these injury problems (including their highest valuable player Andre Horta), but they are still rated as a better team. Not a surprise actually, winning both La Liga (with 12 points gap from Barcelona) and Spanish cup means they were really good this season. They won 16 of the last 17 games, losing only to Leverkusen in the first semi-final leg (though overturning it at home). Atletico: Oblak – Fernandez, Mateus, Bergmann, Gallina – Bergwijn, Coronado, Saul, Castillejo – Audren, Dembele Rostov: Aoki – Duarte, Larsson, Smith – Antonio, Sergeev, Ricardo – Diawara, Ogasawara – Mangena, Kabiru Only two changes in our squad from the final two years before, Schennikov is old and out on loan now, and Grujic misses the end of season due to injury. As for Atletico squad, three players from their starting 11 had slight injuries and were doubtful for the final. 3’ Audren takes the first shot in the game, far away from target. 4’ Saul gets yellow for a foul on Mangena. 14’ Another yellow for Atletico, Fernandez tripped Kabiru. 21’ Third yellow card, for Bergwijn that time. 23’ Ricardo loses the ball after free kick, Bergwijn and Dembele run against sole Larsson who seems to slow down the attack forcing Dembele to the right wing, but he crosses to the box, and Audren scores. 0-1 36’ Yellow card for Antonio, Fernandez tries his luck after a free kick, far off target. 42’ Yellow for Mangena. One shot on target for both teams, would be hard to overturn this game. 49’ Ogasawara finally takes our first shot on target, but it’s blocked by defender and Oblak claims the ball easily. 51’ Yellow card for Ricardo. 56’ Bilbao comes for Saul, first substitution in this game. 61’ Garcia replaces Castilejo, we respond with two subs – Mangena and Diawara out, Oien and Frolov in. Diawara managed to get yellow with his last action on the pitch 71’ Free kick close to the area, Kabiru shoots but over the bar. 72’ Bonazzoli for Audren, the only goalscorer currently. 75’ Another yellow for Larsson, and I make the last substitution. Yamlikhanov replaces Sergeev, three up front, formation that worked in semi-final. 76’ Free kick taken by Fernandez, Aoki claims the ball. 77’ Kabiru finds Yamlikhanov in the area, but it’s offside. 78’ Garcia passes through to Dembele, cross from right wing and Bonazzoli scores a header. 0-2, seems to be the end. 79’ Kabiru delivers a corner, and there’s a penalty! Mateus pushed Oien, Frolov steps up and confidently fires it past Oblak! 1-2, can it be our way back to the game? 90’ Bergwijn is sent off for two yellow cards! Only two minutes for us to save this game though… 90+2’ No, Atletico played too solid defensively. Fifth final became lucky for them. Jose Antonio was selected into the dream team.