EvilDave

Soviet Sensation or Russian Write-off?

61 posts in this topic

"Just got to keep it going now. More of the same, exactly what we've been doing all season. Ticking over, and we'll be there. Eight to go."

Valeri's largely meaningless mantras were becoming a fixture of his Anzhi office as the season drew to a close, but the intent was clear - keep going. Four wins and two draws since Christmas put his side in a strong position, with promotion a real possibility.

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"Just the 10 points clear of the play-off places - and we showed Torpedo what we're made of. Look at Dinamo too - just look at them, skulking back down the table where they belong.

"Kids look good though, and another badge won't hurt - how many of these things are there? Eight games left, that's all. Eight to go."

Was our man feeling the pressure?

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Edited by EvilDave

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Ouch, tough run to finish the season.

Love seeing Torpedo Moscow do well, though. Not sure I've ever seen them threaten to get back into the RPL.

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30 minutes ago, Bigpapa42 said:

Ouch, tough run to finish the season.

Love seeing Torpedo Moscow do well, though. Not sure I've ever seen them threaten to get back into the RPL.

Still four games to go, but yeah, not the best time to hit a slump.

Torpedo are doing very well, and have had a bit of a strange end to the season - their manager was poached by Rostov just before the run-in, and they then pinched Mashuk's boss (current Spartak GK Artem Rebrov), who only replaced me in the summer. Not sure if they're PL material though...

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Well even if you finish 2nd you're going to go up anyway. That looks very comfortable.

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Excellent work here, and the delivery is class. :applause:

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On 3/25/2017 at 02:05, noikeee said:

Well even if you finish 2nd you're going to go up anyway. That looks very comfortable.

It certainly looks that way - frustrating to lose it now after being on top for so long though!

On 3/25/2017 at 02:30, ManUtd1 said:

Excellent work here, and the delivery is class. :applause:

Thanks - hopefully Valeri will remain entertaining for some time yet!

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"Four games to go in a title fight, only one at home. Khimki, Dinamo, Volgar, Krylya - two lots of midtable fodder, a play-off hopeful and one side doomed for the drop. Eight goals, no reply - that's how you bounce back!"

Anzhi had hit a slump in the previous four games, but Valeri's boys made no mistake in the run-in. Arsenal Tula were the team to chase, and Anzhi did their best, grabbing 12 points from 12 to pile on the pressure. But was it enough?

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"Champions, baby! Poor little Arsenal couldn't cope, couldn't stand the pressure of the Anzhi juggernaut, couldn't handle us breathing down their necks so moved out of the way. The whiny little sods bottled it, and the trophy is rightfully ours!

"And to think at the start of the year all the board wanted was a top half finish. Show a little faith, man!"

It was indeed enough - Arsenal crumbled, losing two of their last four and handing the title to Valeri's side before they even had to play their last game in Samara. Promotion had been sown up for three matches by that point, so this was all about the title, and Soldatkin adds a second league trophy to his mantelpiece after just three seasons in management. It seems his own hype might just have something in it...

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"So, time to take on the big boys - Zenit, Spartak, Rubin, we're coming for you. The current squad has earned a shot, but there'll be improvements for sure. With Medvedev, Mkrtchyan and Zuev we're strong at the back, in midfield and in attack, but we'll need depth, youth, and a few upgrades if we're going to compete.

"Oh yes, we're going to compete. I'm not bothered what the board think, if anybody reckons we're going up just to scrap our way into a relegation play-off, they've got another thing coming. Anzhi are back in the big time, and we're going to put Dagestan back on the footballing map!"

Whether or not Valeri actually had a plan, only time would tell, but part of it would surely be to improve his team's discipline. A whopping 87 yellows and six reds was a league record by some distance, and playing short-handed against the best in the country would surely lead to relegation.

That said, Valeri Soldatkin was not the most orthodox of football managers - perhaps more cards was the answer? A new formation? Entirely new first team? We'd have to wait and see.

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 Alright, lads! Anzhi is on the march to Moscow! 

Eh, gaffer...I think you should find a better way to phrase that, yeah?

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