Other Domestic Leagues 18/19

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by maclean, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. maclean

    maclean Registered User

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    Czech league started today, first year with a new format with a playoff system after the regular season, top teams playing for league victory, mid-table teams playing for one EL spot, bottom teams playing to decide relegation (but also with a new playoff against the top second league teams). The idea is to avoid a situation whereby teams don't have anything to play for towards the end of the season, but personally I'm not a big fan of the move. What do posters of leagues that already do a play-off system (e.g. Belgium) think of it?
     
  2. Savi

    Savi Registered User

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    Not a huge fan of playoffs myself but at least that's a better system than ours.

    In Belgium the Top 6 teams advance to the championship playoff, the bottom team are relegated (so their season ends in March.. followed by 4 months of doing nothing) and all teams in between are divided into 2 groups with both group winners play eachother at the end and "advance" to a game vs the 5th placed team in the championship playoff. Winner of that game gets an EL spot.

    Everybody watches the championship playoffs, it's always exciting (also thanks to a rule where at the end of the regular season the point totals get cut in half (I hate that rule)) and literally nobody watches the other playoff with the midtable teams. Those teams themselves don't really take it seriously either, a lot of them bench players who are probably going to leave and they basically view it as an early preseason to see who can contribute and make the roster the next season.
     
  3. Acallabeth

    Acallabeth Days of glory

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    [​IMG]

    Still not sure about how I feel about abolishing the "football" word from the title and that epilepsy bear^. Russian season starts on friday, and it's going to be great.

    The champions, my boys Lokomotiv, will play mostly the same squad that won the last season, the only notable losses being Pejcinovic and Ari. Rumours link Loko to Polish midfielder Krychowiak, but it's not official yet, so the coaching staff is counting on the players they have now, like Anton Miranchuk:

    [​IMG]

    The challenges the team will face when defending the title are numerous. First, Lokomotiv is the oldest team in the league, with the core of Guilherme-Corluka-Denisov-Fernandes-Farfan all being 32 or older. It's hard to say if they are as motivated as they were last season, having just won the championship and (for many guys) performed well in the World Cup. There's a question mark about the strikers: Farfan had no offseason because of the World Cup and his concussion, Ari is gone, Eder hasn't shown to be a high volume scorer, and all other forwards aren't anywhere near RPL championship contention, let alone Champions' League (it will be Loko's first group stage appearance since 2003!). Finally, the fan favorite coach Yuri Semin is rumoured to have somewhat strained relatioship with the team boss Ilya Gerkus. However, I have faith in Loko. The squad will also feature Timofey Margasov with his unique achievement: last year he formally won the Russian title with Loko, actually won the Cup on a loan with Tosno, and got demoted with Tosno as well.

    [​IMG]

    Also, Tosno doesn't exist anymore. Which is good, nobody cared for them at all. With the Cup winnier folded, it will be CSKA who'll oppose Loko in the Supercup on Friday, and it will be almost entirely a new team. Berezutsky twins and Sergei Ignashevich, the iconic trio who had been the cornerstone of the team since before the beginning of time and totalled for more than 1500 games for CSKA, decided to relieve the league of their reign of terror and retire.

    [​IMG]

    Other major losses are Wernbloom, Musa and most likely Golovin (even team owner Evgeny Giner said he wants the player to develop and looks to sell him). The days of CSKA being the wealthiest club in Russia are long gone, they are in some serious debt, and playing with barely any transfers for years will likely start to take its toll. CSKA will count on a breakthrough season from young striker Fedor Chalov and strong performance from the youngest team in the league, but the amazing series of 7 straight years of taking gold or silver will likely see its end. Though Viktor Goncharenko has been praised for his skills in developing players and succeeding with limited rosters.

    [​IMG]

    Spartak (the Maple Leafs of the RPL), who had some pretty poor luck last year, will surely be a strong championship contender again, having reinforced the defense wth Gigot and having added the promising left winger Tashaev to their already intriguing squad. I don't know if there's a lot to add about them, but after the poor start last year cost "the people's team" not only the championship, but a guaranteed CL spot as well, so I'd expect them to prepare for a blitz early in the season. If Spartak can't get to the Champions' league, Massimo Carerra's future in the club will be in serious jeopardy (though it shouldn't be IMO).

    [​IMG]

    Krasnodar FC, the only true privately owned club among the top Russian teams and neutral fan's first choice, and its wonderful stadium will likely continue to hunt their first CL's appearance. The owner Galitzky has made it clear that the team is "business first" and the actual team's results are secondary to butts in the seats, but there's no doubt the lucrative prize millions and the players' ambitions will lead the team to improve from the 4th place of last year. The team underwent a retool, replacing Granqvist, Laborde and Joaosinho with Spaich, Cueva and returning Ari, but the biggest question is undoubtly whether Fedor "Jordan" Smolov can rebound after his horrible performance in the World Cup and the criticism avalanche afterwards. Whether he returns as an improved and harder working player or crumbles decides what Krasnodar will be able to do.

    [​IMG]

    Zenit predictably sacked Mancini after he literally turned the club into a laughing stock of the league, replacing him with one of the most respected Russian players ever and a very promising coach, Sergey Semak, who led Ufa to the hard fought 6th place last year.

    [​IMG]

    With a competent coach and a stadium that looks like a parked spaceship, boasting the deepest roster in the league (after returning 6 players from their loans) and being possibly the most powerful team behind the scenes, I will be surprised if Zenit is out of the championship race once again.

    Teams outside the top 5 will likely fight for the 6th place and the last Europa league slot like the last year. It's hard to pick a favorite as the middle ground is wildly unpredictable. Anzhi avoided demotion after Amkar Perm folded because of no funding, but have admitted that they are going to face the same problem themselves.

    Last season broke the Russian championship attendance record, and the coming one is likely to do the same. 2 least attended teams (Amkar and Tosno) folded, and the replacements aren't great: Orenburg has a very small stadium and Yenisey is still waiting for their Central Stadium renovation being finished - it's expected to be done by September. Until then, the team will either play in a tiny indoors arena or Tyumen, because Tyumen is the closest city to Krasnoyarsk (less than 2100 km) and also the warmest place in the country. Live broadcast:

    [​IMG]

    However, with Samara and their new 45k-seater returning to the top league, Zenit will have a rival in the top attendance, Ural will play the full season in the new YeKB Arena, Dynamo will likely move to their Lev Yashin stadium later on the season (gaining a chance to actually play in Moscow), and Lokomotiv will likely have a champion's influx of viewers, and the championship will be awesome, so I expect the great things ;)
     
    sabremike and RoyIsALegend like this.
  4. Savi

    Savi Registered User

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    It does! :laugh:

    Nice preview. Are all the Russian NT players already back from their vacation?
    I expect big things from Zenit with that roster and finally a decent coach.
    I guess everyone is happy Khabarovsk has been relegated as well?

    I might do a preview of the Belgian league next week as well. Actually the season starts tonight with the Supercup between champions Club Brugge and Cup winners Standard Liege. But since both teams are still missing a lot of players this will probably be a glorified friendly game.
     
  5. Acallabeth

    Acallabeth Days of glory

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    Zhirkov and Yerokhin didn't join Zenit at their camp, going to Petersburg instead; similarly, Kutepov, Zonbin and Samedov will join Spartak when the team returns to Russia; Smolov and Gazinsky aren't with Krasnodar right now too. The rest of the players are preparing to start the season.

    Not only was Khabarovsk really far, the team also played a crazy anti-football, and 3 straight home games in late November/December didn't help too. Don't worry, Yenisey will also play home games on November 11th, December 2nd and March 3rd. Nothing points at those days being really cold.
     
  6. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Tashaev in Spartak is an interesting situation. He is undoubtedly one of Russia’s most talented young players (as a matter of fact, I thought he should have been on WC roster), but Spartak has been a terrible team at developing young players in the past. Maybe things are changing, as Zobnin, Dzhikia, Kutepov are showing improvement.
     
  7. maclean

    maclean Registered User

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  8. Acallabeth

    Acallabeth Days of glory

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    ^ This is why Torpedo is still in the PFL (Purification Football League). Their fans (all six of them or so, lol) represent all the worst and repulsive parts of the fanatism, which is why they are ideologic antithesis for Lokomotiv's (who have always prided themselves as being classy fans, even among the hools).

    Though I definitely think it's a topic for another forum.
     
  9. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Make it 7. I’m a Torpedo fan. :)

    But this is disgusting. No wonder the team is in some beer league.

    Honestly, I would rather they just folded.
     
  10. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Wow, CSKA situation is getting out of hand.

    Not only did they lose 3/4 of their team in the off-season but now the players that are left are going down with injuries.

    While this will give their youngsters good experience, their chances at Champions League are very bleak.
     
  11. YNWA14

    YNWA14 Onbreekbaar

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    Has there been any news about Quincy Promes out of Russia? I feel like he's been the best player in the league for 3 years (and just won the award) but I rarely see rumours about him besides tabloid crap.

    Not that the RPL is awful but he should be playing for a top team. I think I'm just afraid his talent will be wasted and he'll stagnate a bit.
     
  12. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Yeah, there are a number of teams interested, he is one of the best players outside top 5 leagues imo.

    Problem is that Spartak has plenty of money and it’s more valuable for them to keep him, so the asking price is high.
     
  13. Ivan13

    Ivan13 Super Joe!

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    Ivan Santini with his 2nd hat trick in as many games for Anderlecht. He should be on our national team.
     
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  14. Acallabeth

    Acallabeth Days of glory

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    Double post
     
  15. Acallabeth

    Acallabeth Days of glory

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    [​IMG]
    "On the way towards the zenit of glory" - Zenit banner for the 1st home game of the season.

    Despite their roster problems, CSKA defeated Lokomotiv for the Supercup, thanks to a goal from a 20 yo Hosonov. Most of the game looked like that:
    [​IMG]

    This success hasn't converted into winning championship games though yet, with CSKA playing Krylia Sovetov to a 0-0 tie, and losing to Rostov 0-1 right now.

    Lokomotiv played 2 0-0 ties (Ufa and rival Spartak), looking half-ready in process despite adding Krychowiak (who looked quarter-ready yestaerday). Howedes will be a welcome addition as well, but rumoured Breel Embolo would be even more important, as the offense is the team's major concern. The championship overall has stated with pretty tame scoring.

    And no, Promes isn't the best player in Russia. He's very talented, but he hasn't been consistent enough late in the last season.
     
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  16. les Habs

    les Habs Registered User

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    HFBoards' favorite Paulinho now has 5 goals in 4 matches since his return to China.
     
  17. darko

    darko Registered User

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    Keisuke Honda off to A-league.
     
  18. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Acallabeth, CSKA also lost Khosonov to an injury a week later.

    They need to go out and spend. They are playing friggin Nababkin in the midfield.
     
  19. Savi

    Savi Registered User

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    CSKA and Lokomotiv both still winless through 3 games.
     
  20. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Yeah, that bodes well in Champ league.

    Zenit and Spartak will also probably be out.

    All hope is on Ufa. :)
     
  21. Milos Krasic

    Milos Krasic Ballin' in Poland

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    Not only is Lokomotiv winless. They can’t score a goal.
     
  22. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    That is very surprising with all the talented offensive players that they have.

    Hopefully it’s just a matter of players finding chemistry.
     
  23. Acallabeth

    Acallabeth Days of glory

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    So, the RFPL carpet story. A coupla Rostov fans took a carpet to a game for the new arena to feel like home:
    [​IMG]
    Suck it Zenit fans and your massive banners. The players were so inspired by this performance that they beat newcomers Yenisey (who are still waiting for their arena to finish being renovated, so they missed home games against CSKA and Zenit) 4-0, the carpet found a new home on the team's base:
    [​IMG]
    and may even be featured on the team's unis this year:

    [​IMG]

    Where's the new kits thread? GOAT incoming. The craziest thing is the RPL started an investigation of a carpet in stands. Crazy how much they love to have that fun thing.

    Alright, both CSKA and Loko found their 1st wins. CSKA comfortably beat Arsenal 3-0 , while Loko barely managed to outbus Krylia Sovetov, scoring only the 2nd goal since mid-April. And this having bought Smolov, who isn't impressive so far. In fact, if you told me that that it's Lokomotiv who have lost most of their roster while CSKA is the champion who got way better, it would be easier to believe. Yuri Semin is of course a very defensive-minded coach, and Miranchuks and Farfan have to be pretty tired after having almost no offseason, but it's no excuse. Still, both better get on better rails if we are to see non-embarrssing CL.
     
  24. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    I doubt they do much in CL.

    RPL is in a kind of weird phase right now. It’s biggest strength, depth, is also it’s biggest flaw.

    They’ve actually been one of the most unpredictable European leagues lately, with 5 different champs and 9 different top 3 finishers in the last decade. That’s very impressive for Europe soccer league, most leagues have the same clubs on top every year.

    The problem with that though is the foreign limit. This makes quality Russian players very valuable assets. Unfortunately, right now Russian talent pool isn’t deep enough to accommodate so many competitive clubs. I mean, you have as many as 7 different clubs going after top players. As a result teams are forced to dilute their rosters.

    A big reason behind CSKA and Zenit success a decade ago was the fact that they pretty much divided the talent pool between each other. I mean the NT was pretty much CSKA’s goalie/D and Zenit’s midfield/forwards.

    I do think things are improving though. This new generation of players that is coming in is starting to make some noise, but it will take time.
     
  25. Savi

    Savi Registered User

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    That's a big point of discussion in Belgium as well. There's no limit on the amount of foreign players you can buy, but each game you are required to have a certain amount of Belgian players in your match squad. But most good Belgians already left the league a long time ago and the best young prospects don't stay as long as they used to anymore either. So mediocre Belgian players get really expensive.

    I think between club owners it's about 50/50 when asking about this rule. Most top clubs are not a huge fan, but then again thanks to this rule clubs like Anderlecht or Genk have built a reputation when it comes to integrating their academy graduates into the first team. Still I think if they would leave it up to a vote the rule would likely be at least changed.

    Imo a foreign limit rule can work but only if it is enforced throughout the European leagues - like it used to back in the old days. But we'll probably never go back to that.
     

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