Football Ashes. Is RPL absolutely necessary now?

In general, it’s unpleasant to see something wither. Whether it’s a flower on the windowsill, which was left by my grandmother, or domestic football, which was cut off from the world. It can be said that the roots have been severed, because football cannot develop outside the global context. But instead of putting it in a jar of water to keep it until better times and planting it back in the dirt, we also broke off the stem.

There is only one small escape that is developing and that is the Cup of Russia. With a strange draw system, but the fans don’t care anymore. They go to matches because they don’t need a fan ID, so, in fact, now you can see some moments of great football in the stadium, and not on TV. As a result, there were 49,537 spectators in eight matches in the last round of the RPL and 60,743 people in five cup matches from Tuesday to Wednesday, i.e. on weekdays.

Photo source: Vyacheslav Evdokimov / FC Zenit

And all the players, including one of the heroes of the week, Dinamo goalkeeper Igor Leshchuk, said that playing with such participation is much more pleasant than in empty stadiums, when it feels like driving a freight train. Naturally, spectators also increase the quality of football. Therefore, fans are now discussing wonderful goalkeeper saves, beautiful goals and unrealized chances. In addition, the Cup is seen on TV, judging by social networks, more than the RPL, despite the fact that again some matches start during business hours.

But it’s not just about the passports of the fans, even if after the winter break it was they who dealt a blow to the RPL, simply by pushing it into the frozen ground of the Khimki stadium, where 207 spectators arrived on Saturday.

Let’s take a look at the ranking. It is clear that Zenit can only miraculously lose the lead and not become a champion. It is also clear that Spartak is apparently the second. But Russia does not participate in European competitions, so any place other than first place is just one line in the football roster. Thus, the main events take place at the bottom of the table, where the relegation issue is decided. Actually, which teams have attracted attention in the first two rounds of 2023? Lokomotiv with Dziuba, Fakel, who almost took points from Spartak, Torpedo, who took a point in Krasnodar, and Khimki, who jumped over their heads in St. Petersburg. Everything else, if anything, was remembered, then by judicial scandals.

Photo source: FC Spartak

See two completely different dynamos in Krasnodar and St. Petersburg. It’s all the same, but there’s motivation in the Cup, chances aren’t lost, but they’re no longer in the league. The maximum is third place in the club’s centenary year. This hardly contributes to the fact that players will grow wings.

Speaking of Krylia… Two games against CSKA – 0:4 in Moscow with 2,600 spectators and 2:2 in Samara with 10,000 fans. And the team couldn’t, for some reason other than psychology, change like that in three days. Also, the Samarans were much closer to victory than the Army team on Wednesday.

But, unfortunately, the quality of football is declining, and a lot. We don’t notice it, because we don’t play in European competitions and we have nothing to compare ourselves with. But how can Quincy Promes be one of the best in the RPL, who didn’t make it through the preseason with Spartak? Or the second hero of the first two rounds, Artem Dzyuba, who almost passed him. That is, they are enough for the current RPL with the legionnaires of the Bulgarian championship and the Algerian French of futsal. Other legionnaires can now go to big clubs for just a lot of money, but why is such a wasteful expense necessary if fighting in the home arena does not require it at all?

Photo source: FC Lokomotiv

I have also called attention to two rather revealing circumstances. First, many goalkeeper mistakes. And there is nothing to be surprised at, in the current RPL Soslan Dzhanaev, who plays in Sochi, that is, as part of the current RPL silver medalist, looks no worse. Secondly, a lot of heads. Neither 4:0 nor 3:2 surprises. On the one hand it’s nice, but then you remember that we scored even more in the courtyard. The problem here is defense. There is a long-standing problem with defenders in Russia, but before that it was solved at the expense of high-quality legionnaires, and veterans Berezutsky and Ignashevich were brought into the national team. Now there is neither one nor the other. And now Dynamo is fighting for third place with the indispensable central defender Saba Sazonov, who, if he went anywhere to Zenit, was only in the third team.

If we talk about the attention of the press and fans, only the judiciary competes with Promes and Dzyuba. Now the sensation is not a match with an umpiring scandal, but a match without it. And this is also the result of the isolation of Russian football. Today referees don’t have to strain themselves to referee in Europe, the RPL is the high point of a career. Here is the result… If these are mistakes, then for lack of desire to grow and improve skills, take on OPTION and generally learn from the best representatives of the profession in the world. If this is a bias, then again, it will all stay in and affect nothing. They might be kicked out, then returned, they might not be kicked out at all. In the end, no one but a small group of stadium fans and devoted TV viewers will know all this. It is not surprising that the situation has come to the point that if Russia had not been isolated, the question would have arisen of replacing not individual RPL judges, but most of them, because what they are doing, excuse me, is ashamed to show to people .

And all this is crowned with bright little things. It’s already difficult to keep track of which player has how many yellow cards. They wrote that Kuzyaev had two in the cup match with Dynamo, but it turns out that he had one. Though maybe two, no one can tell you for sure.

Photo source: Vyacheslav Evdokimov / FC Zenit

Vladimir Pisarsky – in case you don’t know, he’s still Vladimir Sychev from his passport, but not from his shirt. And here I have a question. And if Dzyuba decides to write “Lukaku” on a shirt, will he be allowed to? Or will we get “Messi”? We played in the yard like this. I had a shirt with the number 7, for example. Especially now it is easy to put any surname.

So now I often think that the real disaster will not be further suspension from European competitions, but a quick return to them. This will become a very bitter truth for many. Although soon the national team will play against Iran and Iraq. You can rest assured that you will also see an abundance of bitter truths there, I think even more than we expect. Therefore, many supporters of the departure of Russian football to Asia will think about whether it is worth it?


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