sports blog by andy shenk

FC Krasnodar Season Preview

In Russian Football on July 11, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Posted at Russian Football News, my thoughts on FC Krasnodar’s upcoming Premier League campaign. The young Russian club has made significant strides – can it maintain the momentum? Click here or at the end of this excerpt to read the entire article.

INTRO: Krasnodar enter their third season in the Premier League in good shape. Despite dropping one place to 10th in their second campaign, the Bulls slightly improved their point/match ratio and remained in contention for a Europa League place until early May. Led by owner Sergey Galitsky, the richest man in Russian football, and Serbian manager Slavoljub Muslin, Krasnodar have enjoyed remarkable stability for such a young, ambitious club. Muslin, in fact, is entering his 4th season in Krasnodar and received a contract extension this spring.

Krasnodar boast one of Russia’s most active youth academies, which could begin to pay off in the near future. In the meantime, the club has been astute at finding cheap international talent, such as Brazilians Wanderson and Joaozinho. Muslin’s primary objective for the coming season will be to improve on defence (Krasnodar finished 5th in goals scored, but 9th in goals allowed in 2012/13). Ownership will also be watching attendance, which has improved slowly but steadily since the club was founded in 2008, surpassing 11,000 per match last season.

GREATEST STRENGTH: Sergey Galitsky. The 45-year-old businessman is an unusual man. He’s worth $8.2 billion according to the latest Forbes rankings and one of the few Russian billionaires who doesn’t live in Moscow. A lifelong Krasnodar Krai resident, he’s frequently shared that his greatest dream is for the Krasnodar starting lineup to be composed entirely of players from his academy.

Most strikingly, Galitsky has shown he’s willing to wait patiently for that to happen and allow Krasnodar to improve organically. Despite the team failing to improve on its 9th-place finish in 2012, Muslin was given a contract extension and nearly the entire team is back. The places appear to be fitting in place for Krasnodar to duplicate the success of another provincial club in Rubin – a long-term coach in Muslin and a cohesive, if not star-studded, squad that consistently punches above its weight.

GREATEST WEAKNESS: Defence. Despite some general similarities with Rubin, Krasnodar is a much more offensive-minded team. With a little more consistency at the back – Krasnodar conceded 39 goals to 45 scored – they would have a good chance at European qualification. Anzhi, for instance, finished 3rd with a 45-34 statistic. Veteran right-back Vitali Kaleshin and Legia centre-back Artur Jedrzejczyk have arrived this summer to help beef up Muslin’s back line. Krasnodar will also hope that promising young goalie Aleksandr Filtsov, recently signed from Lokomotiv, can continue to improve after earning the starting position in March.

Continue reading at Russian Football News.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: