“I have no reasons for reproaches on the Russian squad, everyone did its best. Probably, professional level of our team is not yet sufficient enough to achieve success at the World Cup.” President of the Russian Football Union Vyacheslav Koloskov has not yet accepted resignation of chief coach of the Russian squad Oleg Romantsev. Executive council of the Union will consider results of the Russian team at the World Cup at its session at beginning of July. The council will determine then fate of the squad’s coaches.
RIA Novosti informs, Vyacheslav Koloskov held a short meeting with the squad, thanked the players for the work done within two past years, for the victory in the elimination matches and reaching the World Cup’s final stage. In Koloskov’s words, it is not necessary to change the actual composition of the squad. Majority of players who participated in the World Cup should start training for the 2004 Europe Championship elimination matches (first matches with Ireland are scheduled for September 2002).
Yesterday Russian ORT television televised disappointed Russian fans who are currently in Japan. It was said at the program, the squad revealed no patriotism, the players started each game being doomed to defeats. One of fans says: “A 18-year-old player (he meant Dmitry Sychev) somehow or other scored all goals of the squad. He was leading the whole team!”
Dmitry Sychev did not conceal his tears after the game with Belgium. It looks as though the way Sychev performed at the World Cup is to remain the only happy memory of the event.
It is evident that the generation of Onopko, Karpin, Nikiforov has exhausted itself. They failed to use their “last chance” about which so much was said before the World Cup. It means, it is necessary to completely renew the squad. Football experts suggest that coach of the youth team of Russia Valery Gazzayev or coach of Moscow’s Locomotiv Yury Semin may become coach of the Russian squad.
Another Russian TV program, “24” on Ren-TV, suggested that failure of the Russian squad at the World Cup was “a personal tragedy of Oleg Romantsev.” The coach so much believed in the players and relied on them. He staked mostly on experienced legionaries, those who played in Spartak under his command or play nowadays.
When Russia’s squad failed to participate in the European championship, kind of psychological crisis occurred among the players, of which they probably can not recover even now. Oleg Romantsev was strictly criticized for the careful defensive tactic chosen for the match with Japan that resulted in a defeat. Once again, at the match with Belgium’s squad Russians played only with one forward and staked on defense mostly. And this is despite the fact that experienced Beschastnykh played the game.
It was a mistake to suppose that starting with the first minutes of the game wonderful and young Dmitry Sychev would appear on the football ground. Before the matches Dmitry performed wonderfully together with Alexander Kerzhakov. According to the opinion poll held by SE-Internet, majority of Russian fans agreed that the talented pair Sychev – Kerzhakov should be forwards at the match with Belgium.
I also ask myself a question, why Dmitry Sychev was not allowed to play whole of the game. And Dmitry Sennikov, who is also a very talented player, was allowed to the field only after Nikiforov was injured. Why?
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/15/42696.html