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The Russians are coming: and thoughts on the intellectually challenged gym teacher.

By Bulldog Drummond

We have risen dramatically up the injury table since I last reported on it…

# TEAM How many down Last man to fall What he done
1 Crystal Palace 9 C Wickham Groin Strain
2 West Ham United 8 J Hernandez Illness
3 Watford 7 M Britos Illness
4 Everton 6 I Gueye Hamstring Injury
5 Chelsea 6 D Zappacosta Muscular Injury
6 Bournemouth 5 J Stanislas Knee Injury
7 Manchester City 5 A Laporte Foot
8 West Bromwich 5 S Field Calf Strain
9 Burnley 5 J Gudmundsson Calf Strain
10 Swansea City 5 S Clucas Knee Injury
11 Liverpool 5 R Klavan Fitness
12 Huddersfield Town 4 E Kachunga Ankle Injury
13 Brighton and Hove 4 D Stephens Hamstring Injury
14 Newcastle United 4 M Diame Knock
15 Stoke City 4 K Zouma Knee Injury
16 Arsenal 3 D Welbeck Back Injury

Our three are Santi Caz of course, Cech and Danny as listed above.  Given that Aubameyang can’t play that leaves us short of forwards.

But… it ain’t quite that bad because Mr Wenger said otherwise in his press conference…

“We’re in the quarter-finals and have to be very realistic.  We don’t live in dreamland. We have to go step by step and give absolutely everything to go through. It’s about how well we play together, the quality of our game and how we want to play football.

“There is some extra pressure to do extremely well in this competition, but that is part of being where we are. We have to see it as an opportunity we want to take and keep our priorities right.”

And then he confirmed that both Alexander Lacazette and Peter Cech would be fit for selection for tomorrow’s game. He continued…

“Ideally you want the away leg first, but in Europe you don’t get to choose. You have to accept the problems, solve them and sort them out. No one has the ideal way. If we want to go far we have to accept playing first at home.

“Before the match both teams have a chance to win. Russian teams always have a good technical level. They have a good culture and a long history in the game. Personally I have always had difficult games against Russian teams and CSKA are a strong side. I watched the match they played in Lyon and they played extremely well and created many chances. For me this tie is 50/50.”

So, that is one vision.  But through this series of articles I have been considering the views of the Calvert Journal, and this is what they have to say about Russian football.

“The Russian championship is a unique spectacle, at once intriguing and mind-numbingly dull….

“Nonetheless, the league does hold its own in terms of quality — the overall standard is about the same level as the French or Portuguese league. The main difference is the absence of ever-present big-hitters: in the Russian league, any team really can beat any other.

“The club with the most overall silverware in the cupboard is Spartak Moscow: they won nine championships in the 1990s, but are now going through an extended drought, with the 2003 Russian Cup their last trophy.

“In their wake, Gazprom-fuelled Zenit St Petersburg have emerged as high-achieving high-rollers. Nevertheless, despite the presence of Brazilian super-striker Hulk in attack, and one-time managerial wunderkind Andre Villas-Boas calling the shots, the petrochemical-powered Petersburgers have failed to take the title from CSKA, a team known for their fiscal good sense and the smarts of their coach, Leonid Slutsky — the only Russian manager not reminiscent of a hard-bitten, intellectually challenged gym teacher.”

As for the team, even if Cech is fit I’d still expect Ospina to start, with Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Wilshere doing the forward running stuff behind Lacazette.

 

What will the Moscow fans be like, where are the fans, and what counts as success

How have CSKA Moscow been doing of late? And “Give us a P”

Media suddenly confirms that finishing fourth was a trophy after all and everything is fine.

 

2 comments to The Russians are coming: and thoughts on the intellectually challenged gym teacher.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    OT.
    In the Champions League quarterfinal first leg match at Anfield tonight, Liverpool leads Man City 3-0 at halftime. But if it stayed like that to the end, Man City who have very top quality players who can score goals themselves could come back at the Etihad in the return leg to qualify for the semifinals. Therefore, to give themselves the chance to qualify for the semifinals, Liverpool MUST first stop Man City scoring any away goal or goals at Anfield tonight. And add one more goal to the three they scored in the first half to give themselves a 4-0 cushion going into the return leg match at the Etihad which Man City may not be able to overturn.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Nevertheless and irrespective of the said CSKA recent dominant strength in the Russian League, but they must be behind Arsenal FC in overall game playing quality for it being a Premier League top 6th club side that has been competing in European club football competitions for over 2 unbroken decades. And that’s quiet some experience Arsenal will count on when they host CSKA Moscow in the Europa League quarterfinal 1st leg match at the Ems tomorrow night. A match I believe Arsenal will comfortably win by 4 goals to nil to take a huge lead to the return leg match at CSKA in 9 days time which CSKA won’t be able to overturn to knockout Arsenal but will eventually got knockout by Arsenal as the Gunners will beat them in their backyard in Moscow to finish the two leg tie on a high.