by Bulldog Drummond
The Sun has reported that the small number of valiant Arsenal away fans will each be given a fur hat at the stadium tonight with the words “Russian Warm Welcome” on them. Since the game kicks off ludicrously at 2305 local time I think they might be needed.
And why have a game running into the next day? Oh, its a TV demand. Ok.
The blog, The Short Fuse, compares the nice offer of the fur hats with the Daily Express’ piece this week which had the headline, “World Cup 2018 BLOODBATH: Russian hooligans warn England fans ‘Prepare to DIE’”. (I do wish the Excess would learn a little about punctuation! It’s their error not mine.)
Apparently, the site continues, Man U fans were given raincoats earlier this season when their side played CSKA. Spartak Moscow gave everyone a t-shirt.
The VEB Arena where CSKA play has, in one corner of the ground, a 142 metre high skyscraper in the shape of the UEFA Cup, that CSKA won in 2005. A nice touch. Maybe the Ems could be surrounded by 13 FA Cups.
The Independent recently had a look at how Russian football has been doing, and they conclude that over the past ten years “even with the World Cup two months away, much of the vision (of the past) has faded. Russian oligarchs have been overtaken by the sovereign wealth of the Middle East. Chelsea cannot financially compete with Manchester City, Monaco cannot financially compete with Paris Saint-Germain.”
They also make the point that wealthy Russians are not investing in the Premier League any more – most newcomers are from China these days although whether the Chinese who have plonked money into West Brom, Aston Villa and Birmingham City think it was all worthwhile is another matter.
CSKA seems to be a club that is these days trying to live within its means – and that is tough since it is reported that not all of the offices in the Uefa Cup Tower have ever been let since it was built. Word is there isn’t even enough money to buy lots of new players – they are living on actual income rather than donations from an outside investor. A bit like Arsenal.
Viktor Goncharenko, the coach has come up through the clubs in the region. He was assistant manager then the main man at BATE and took them into the Champions League for the first time during their endless period of winning the title every year. From there he moved to the Russian side Kuban Krasnodar, and after that Ural Sverdlosk Oblast – although that one only lasted a matter of weeks. He went to Ufa for six months and then finally in December 2016 joined CSKA.
The club now finds new talent by running an academy and dealing in the regional transfer market. No big names come in from the rest of Europe.
In their last ten games they have had three defeats (including the last two matches) and one draw. The other seven games were victories. Their defence is normally tight – but they have let in four goals in two games. Once to us, of course, and once to Manchester United in their time in the Champions League.
You’ll know our last ten of course, but I’m still going to run it again…
|22 Feb 2018||Arsenal v Östersunds FK||L||1-2||Europa League|
|25 Feb 2018||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3||League Cup|
|01 Mar 2018||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3||Premier League|
|04 Mar 2018||Brighton and Hove v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|08 Mar 2018||AC Milan v Arsenal||W||0-2||Europa League|
|11 Mar 2018||Arsenal v Watford||W||3-0||Premier League|
|15 Mar 2018||Arsenal v AC Milan||W||3-1||Europa League|
|01 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Stoke City||W||3-0||Premier League|
|05 Apr 2018||Arsenal v CSKA Moscow||W||4-1||Europa League|
|08 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Southampton||W||3-2||Premier League|
In the last round of the Europa League CSKA lost at home to Olympique Lyonnais 0-1 but then turned that around by winning 2-3 in France to go through on the away goals. Given that they do tend to do a bit better away from home that at home, they might be feeling just a bit under pressure.
The teams are up next.
- CSKA v Arsenal. The background of unexpected results, strange refereeing and moves towards a proxy war
- Arsenal this summer, and who is on the plane to 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?