CSKA Moscow v Arsenal: a warm welcome awaits

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…

Date Game Res Score Competition
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.




6 Replies to “CSKA Moscow v Arsenal: a warm welcome awaits”

  1. Notwithstanding if the playing of this ELC match between CSKA and Arsenal will eclipse into the next day i.e. Friday’s night early morning hours, and despite the said hospitality of CSKA at giving away fur hats in their numbers for free to the perceived would be 100 Gooners at VEB Stadium there in Moscow to cheer Arsenal in the game, the onus is on Arsenal to beat CSKA in tonight’s ELC 2nd leg match in Moscow. And that exactly what the Gunners will do to thereafter advance into the semi finals of the competition with cigars in their mouths.

  2. I think we should have a replica of our gold premier league trophy as the skyscraper at The Grove. As noted this season, the rarest of all trophies.

  3. I thiink its good for the team to play in some of the more noisy, packed, hostile stadiums, it would give them an insight into what the Emirates could be like if the so called fans made some noise.

  4. Mali – that’s what it was like when the Cologne fans attended at the Emirates. They chanted throughout and gave the match great atmosphere. I wouldn’t call it hostile, just loud.

Comments are closed.