By Bulldog Drummond
Undoubtedly the best place to start any preview of this game is with the wonderful Calvert Journal which opens its review of Russian football thus:
Despite breakneck “Europeanisation”, Russian football hasn’t lost its trademark authenticity: managers still struggle to string words together at press conferences; no one knows any foreign languages, even though half the players are highly-paid South Americans; fans still charge on to the pitches, which still look like vegetable patches. If online protest group “Stand Against Modern Football” knew a bit more about the Russian game, they’d be sure to move their headquarters here.
The weather in Moscow has been pretty reasonable of late – between 6 and 11 degrees most days, so the CSKA players will feel at home in London I’m sure and we won’t suffer in Moscow if it stays this way.
CSKA as I am sure you are only too aware stands for Центральный спортивный клуб Армии which roughly transmutes into Centralnyi Sportivnyi Klub Armyi (which quite clearly translates as Central Sports Club of the Army).
They were formed in 1901, so before the revolution and so its soldiers would have fought on the eastern front against Germany until 1917. (You can read the history of this period alongside the history of Arsenal from the time on the “Norris at the Arsenal” series on the Arsenal History Society site).
According to the internet their particularly prominent supporters include the likes of Alexander Porokhovshchikov and Sergei Yastrzhembsky and I am sure everyone in the stadium on Thursday will welcome these prominent men by calling them out in chants. “Give us a P…” might be a good start.
Because of the association with the army the club has sometimes been known as Red Army causing much drollness at Arsenal with such a chant appearing to support both teams. In 1973 the CSKA sports society was awarded the Order of Lenin.
Here’s a quick run down of recent matches involving CSKA Moscow
- Arsenal the most penalised by refs among the current top four teams
- Mykhaylo Mudryk now listed in 17 different articles as coming to Arsenal!
- Arsenal attacking problems… what attacking problems?
- Men’s football returns at last: Arsenal in action this afternoon
- Is the injury to Gabriel Jesus equivalent to the assault on Eduardo in 2008?