Over the past seven days, Moscow "Spartak" suffered two painful defeats, in both cases, conceding in the end of the meetings.
First, the red and white lost to the Polish Legia in the Europa League, and then lost to CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League.
It is not surprising that a flurry of criticism fell on the team, and in the football community again started talking about the possible resignation of Rui Vitoria.
At the end of the meeting of the eighth round of the Russian championship, the association of fans of the red and white - "Fratria", expressed their opinion on the incident.
In a statement on the organization's official Twitter page, it is said that Spartak lost in “the match of the year that had to win,” and the players “once again disgraced the great name of the club”.
But if the fans did not name the culprits of the defeat, then some famous athletes in the past focused their attention on the figure of the head coach.
So, Evgeny Lovchev spoke negatively about Vitoria's performance at the post-match press conference and called for the Portuguese to be fired.
“The coach of Spartak says that we played great.
And I, a fool, watched this football.
Says he created moments.
And I saw how Chalov did not score from the nine-meter mark when Edzhuke rolled the ball back to him.
One hundred percent goal!
And I have not seen such moments at Spartak.
While this coach will say that we played great ... We need to drive, Christmas trees, sticks!
Does that cover the players?
Yes, he covers himself!
They played great, and we are fools here, we watch! "
- said Lovchev on the air of "Match TV".
It is expected that in the course of communication with the press, the coach of Spartak had to answer questions concerning not only the meeting with CSKA, but also his possible resignation. The Portuguese was asked about this before, and after two offensive defeats in a row, his possible departure from the club was doomed to become one of the most discussed topics in Russian football.
“We were out of luck today. We appreciate our fans, we heard them - many thanks to them for their support. Regarding my position in the club, it was not easy for me from the very beginning, but I have been coaching for a long time. Therefore, there is no need to talk about rumors about my dismissal, we need to stay focused and work. Rumors are the costs of the profession. Of course, this is a difficult moment, the players feel the situation - it's incredible what happened with Legia and CSKA, we did everything to win. CSKA got their luck by the tail, but this is football. The only way out is not to talk about it, but to work, to focus on work. Maybe we need to shut down somehow. I speak to you because it is my responsibility, ”said Vitoria.
In general, one can understand the dissatisfaction of the fans and those who are not indifferent to Spartak. Under the leadership of a new mentor, the team has already managed to resignedly miss the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League, lose to the main outsider of the group in the Europa League at home, and also suffer four defeats in the RPL and take ninth place in the standings. And this is especially hard to perceive due to the fact that a few months ago, the red and white playfully dealt with CSKA in the derby, smashed Krasnodar with a score of 6: 1 and celebrated winning the silver medals in the championship. From that moment on, the roster remained practically the same, and the main changes took place precisely on the coaching bridge. So it comes as no surprise that many see Vitoria as a problem.
And Ruya has something to blame. In fact, he came to an already built and well-balanced team. He could use the ideas of Domenico Tedesco and develop what the German created, but he took a revolutionary path. The Portuguese switched to a system with two central defenders, changed the model of building a game in attack, but the innovations did not have a positive effect. In seven games "Spartak" scored only 10 points, and the specialist had to return to the proven 3-4-1-2.
Of course, it is foolish to blame Vitoria for wanting to instill in the team his favorite style of play. After all, this is precisely the task of the coach - to use his own experience and best practices to make the team stronger. Few will agree to relentlessly follow the ideas of their predecessor, even if it helps to win. But while some specialists carry out reforms slowly and in stages, others try to do it as quickly as possible. And this does not always lead to positive results.
Suffice it to draw your attention to the example of Bayern Munich and Inter, which changed their mentors in the summer.
Instead of Hans-Dieter Flick and Antonio Conte, the equally ideological Julian Nagelsmann and Simone Inzaghi took the helm.
However, even they did not begin to cut from the shoulder and in a hurry to engage in reorganization.
On the contrary, we tried to make the process as painless as possible and so far have achieved good results.
Although the Munich side drew in the first round of the Bundesliga in Mönchengladbach, they won the next seven meetings with a total score of 37: 4, including a major victory over Barcelona, while the Milanese took the upper hand in three out of four matches and settled on the second line of the Serie A. They lost only to Real Madrid in the Champions League in the last minutes.
In the case of Vitoria, questions are raised by the very fact of his appointment as head coach of Spartak, because this decision seemed extremely illogical. If the leadership was satisfied with the team's game under Tedesco, then it was worth finding an adherent of such a philosophy, a kind of continuer of traditions. And not to put in this position someone who is guaranteed to want to change course and thus can provoke a crisis.
But the situation with Spartak is in many ways paradoxical in that even obvious problems do not prevent the team from demonstrating a fairly good level of play. And this was even before Vitoria acknowledged the haste of his decisions and returned the formation with three central defenders, so beloved by Tedesco. In most matches, Muscovites played from a position of strength and dominated the field, and this was especially evident in the last three meetings. But if we managed to achieve an encouraging victory with Khimki, then everything turned out badly with Legia and CSKA.
And it was not difficulties in organizing the game in attack or defense that prevented me from gaining six points in the last matches. The red and white had many opportunities to excel in both of them, but did not use them. Ezequiel Ponce missed the right chances to score, Viktor Moses 'shot lacked precision, and Quincy Promes' goal was canceled due to an offside position. At the same time, the goals conceded were the result of either the individual mistakes of the players, or a coincidence of circumstances. But Vitoria is hardly to blame for this.
If you look at the extended statistics, then Spartak is one of the leaders of the RPL in terms of created moments and at the same time is very reliable in defense. The indicator of expected goals in the opponent's goal (xG) is 11.08 (fourth place), and in his own (xGA) - only 4.24 (first place). If the red and white were careful about their chances, and their rivals were not so lucky, they would have shared the first line in the table, having an equal number of points with Dynamo, Krasnodar and Zenit.
What does this mean? The presence of problems with implementation, coupled with bad luck. Spartak still regularly creates danger at the gates of the enemy and adequately defends against their own, but the attackers do their job poorly, while not the most logical balls regularly fly into the gates of the red and whites. Suffice it to recall the miracle hit of Rubin's defender Ilya Samoshnikov in the first round, or the same goal from CSKA striker Anton Zabolotny in the derby. For the entire match, the army team only threatened the goal of Alexander Maksimenko eight times, and in the second half they looked dull at all, but a successful rebound and an irresistible finishing move turned everything upside down.
At the moment, only one Spartak footballer is in the top ten RPL scorers. Ponce is tied for eighth on the list with three goals - five less than leading Ufa's Hamid Agalarov. At the same time, his closest pursuer among teammates is the central midfielder Roman Zobnin (two). Alexander Sobolev managed to upset the opponent only once, and Jordan Larsson never scored at all. And this despite the fact that last season both distinguished themselves 15 times in all tournaments.
It is noteworthy that a year ago, the red and white showed similar performance after the first eight rounds. Then xG was 13.38, while xGA was 7.4. Consequently, although Tedesco's wards created a little more at other people's gates, they also more often allowed moments at their own. However, then Muscovites had a more complicated calendar. By September 21, they had already managed to meet with Sochi, Lokomotiv, CSKA and Rubin (now there were no railroad workers on this list).
At the start of the current championship, Vitoria's wards were waiting for less strong opponents, which may be due to the decrease in the number of dangerous episodes at the gate of Maksimenko. The only problem is that if a year ago the opponents of the red and whites converted about as much as they should have, this time - much more. The same cannot be said about the Spartacists themselves. As a result, the difference between goals scored and conceded worsened - 8: 8 instead of 13: 8.
Therefore, the main question is why the players who took almost every opportunity to upset an opponent a year ago stopped doing it. And it is impossible to answer this question unequivocally. Perhaps the reason was disappointment with Tedesco's departure or a rejection of Vitoria's methods of work. According to ex-footballer of "Spartak" Soslan Gatagov, a number of representatives of the team called the training camp under the leadership of the Portuguese "the easiest in their life." And if Rui himself considered it a compliment, then in reality everything may not be so rosy. It should not be ruled out that incorrectly selected loads provoked a hitch at the start.
Perhaps the matter is in the unhealthy atmosphere around the club, the emergence of which was largely provoked by the appearance of the scandalous channel of Zarema Salikhova, the wife of the owner of "Spartak" Leonid Fedun. Suffice it to recall how harshly Vitoria's invitation was criticized in it, and how important and confidential information was published. All this could not go unnoticed by the fans, but also by the coach and his charges. And it is very difficult to imagine how difficult it was for them to abstract from this on the field.
Thus, one cannot completely deny Vitoria's guilt in Spartak's problems. The Portuguese clearly could have structured the process of reforming the team differently and made it as comfortable as possible for all players - especially before the Champions League qualification. But at the same time, one cannot blame him for the colossal difficulties with the implementation of his players, nor for the creation of a non-working environment within the club. He is not responsible for these things, and therefore should not be punished.
In this regard, dismissing Vitoria right now seems like an illogical step that can only provoke the emergence of new difficulties.
Only Tedesco could painlessly replace him, but the return of the German still seems unlikely.
Therefore, it is logical to give Ruy some time and wait until the level of realization of his wards rises at least to average values, and the rivals cease to be at least a little lucky.
As for Vitoria's departure, at the moment this step can only be justified if he lost control of the team.
However, there is no evidence of the latter yet.
And this is taking into account the fact that in Spartak, dissatisfaction with the mentor quickly becomes public knowledge.
Suffice it to recall how Artyom Dziuba called Unai Emery's "coach", or about the unfolded campaign against Massimo Carrera.Keywords: