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“I don’t agree that club football has passed”: Nepomniachtchih - about the failure of Lokomotiv and Zenit in the Champions League


Russian football players are not used to the season ending in December. This was stated in an interview with RT by the famous coach Valery Nepomnyashchy. In his opinion, fatigue and problems with rotation led to an unsuccessful performance of Zenit and Lokomotiv in the Champions League. In addition, the expert explained why players such as Dmitry Barinov and the Miranchuk brothers should not go to Europe, and also refuted the allegation that club football in the country was in decline.

- Two Russian teams for the second year in a row took the last places in their groups in the Champions League. Can this be called a regularity?

- To put it bluntly, when the same results are demonstrated for two consecutive years, this is a trend, almost a regularity. On the other hand, this time Zenit only in the last game missed a chance to make it to the Champions League playoffs, because in the event of a victory or even a draw in the match against Benfica, Petersburgers would leave the group. There are several factors that have influenced this particular game. Firstly, in December our teams always do not look very good, and secondly, Zenit did not have a full and optimal squad. Finally, we are not accustomed to playing on three fronts, and Petersburgers had to tear even into four, given the matches for the national teams - many players were called into their national teams. We need to get used to not only playing twice a week, but also to the fact that leading performers regularly perform at the international level.

- What can you say about the performance in the main European Cup of the vice-champion of the country Lokomotiv?

- As for Lokomotiv, he played at his own level. It seems to me that the team lacked the depth of the roster, the injury of Anton Miranchuk, the absence of Dmitry Barinov affected. Recently Marinato Guillerme is not very healthy. The problem also lies in the fact that Russian teams are not always able to carry out a full rotation, as European clubs do, which often have two equal teams.

- Is the fact that they got a pretty strong group an excuse for the wards of Yuri Semin?

- Yes, but I repeat once again, our resources are not enough to compete on equal terms with teams of this level. Of course, initially “Locomotive” fell into the “death group”, and the railroad fought very worthy. The match with Juventus in Moscow showed that we can play almost on an equal footing, but several factors must coincide for this.

- Sergei Semak, after losing to Benfica in a decisive match, said that the tragedy did not happen. Do you agree with him?

- Of course, what a tragedy it can be when he plays in the RPL with ten separation points ... The team-leader of the Russian championship cannot compete on equal footing with Benfica, which lost almost all the chances.

- The Zenit players could have relaxed in the second half after learning that Lyon were losing to Leipzig in the group’s parallel match?

- No, I don’t think that there was any kind of relaxation, because usually the players are not told about the results of parallel meetings. On the contrary, at this moment, the coaches try to further motivate the wards. But the quick first ball was the main catalyst for the fact that the team fell apart. After the Petersburgers, in addition, remained in the minority and received a penalty in their own goal. Everything went downhill ...

- You did not have the feeling that Leipzig and Lyon at the end of their match were not particularly eager to score the winning goal?

- I don’t know, I didn’t watch this game, but perhaps there is some truth in these words.

- You mentioned that one of the reasons for the defeats of the Russian teams may be December fatigue. Coaches often say that at this time the players are already on vacation with their heads. But what about pride?

- “Zenith” looked quite worthy a few days ago in the Russian championship, then their head was in place, but something was not enough in the game against “Benfica”. But there is no such thing as a head on vacation, and legs on the field. You just need to get used to the fact that the season does not end in October or early November, but in December. Football players and coaches are not used to this in terms of preparation.

- Does it not seem to you that Russian club football, in principle, has passed and is experiencing problems with coaching staff, fresh ideas?

“I would not say that.” Russian football is adding in quality. It seems to me that now we simply do not have teams that absolutely do not correspond to the level of the Premier League, we have a fairly serious struggle on all the “floors” of the tournament table. According to the players who come to Russia from the same Bundesliga or Examples, our championship is very difficult. Yes, in Russia, players are forced to fly a lot, we may not have the best quality stadiums and hotels, but playing is also not easy. Zenit matches show that we are competitive against any rivals. The game with Juventus has demonstrated that Lokomotiv is also ready, moreover, Krasnodar has not lost its chances of getting into the playoffs of the Europa League. Of course, there is a young CSKA, which this season is not very successful in European competition, but we know the reason for this. Therefore, in no case do I disagree with those who say that our club football has passed a lot.

- Semin, even before the match with Bayer, hinted that the team was in a disassembled state. How could this happen?

- He said that the wards did not show a fighting character, those qualities that “Lokomotiv has always been famous for. Yes, it really can be. But a similar psychological embarrassment can happen to any team.

- Barinov grew up as a player in the national team and generally looked pretty good in the Champions League. In your opinion, if there are proposals, should he leave for Europe?

- I generally think that in order for the Russian championship to remain competitive, there is no need to motivate football players to leave for Europe. It seems to me that both Barinov, and the Miranchuk brothers, and Fedor Chalov should play with us, in Russia, to achieve something as part of their teams, and then leave. In the meantime, neither the club, nor the players themselves have yet proved their worth, it’s very dangerous and anxious to go to Europe.

- Rumors about the transfer of Alexei Miranchuk to Juventus do not seem partly frivolous?

- He is very worthy, like the whole Lokomotiv, played with Juventus. At the same time, all conversations about moving somewhere are not initiated by the players themselves. This is mainly the work of, on the one hand, agents, and on the other hand, the media. The press really believes in rumors that do not even have any soil. Therefore, I think that both Anton and Aleksey Miranchuki are internally ready to play abroad, but they have little understanding of what can await them there.

- How long can Lokomotiv live in the current squad, solving serious problems, or is perestroika brewing in the team?

- Any team requires constant updating, you can not play too long with one squad. Yes, Lokomotiv has a fairly stable roster, but if you ask Yuri Palych if he needs to strengthen two or three positions, he will certainly say yes, and that’s normal, it should be so. But the railway workers do not need a radical restructuring. It so happened that CSKA at one point had to change 90% of the composition, but it did not bring much success. We play even more or less in the Russian championship, but not so much in European competitions.

- Should Grzegorz Krychowiak be kept at all costs, or is he a player who can theoretically be replaced?

- The fact that he is the leader of Lokomotiv is undeniable. Theoretically, you can talk about anything, but today he is the number one footballer in his club.

Source: russiart

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Sports 2019-12-16T11:40:15.217Z

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