Who will be the main goalkeeper of the Russian national team at Euro. Why Cherchesov replaced Shunin in Poland


The Russian national team played an absolutely adequate test match, considering that this was the first game after heavy loads and the players are unlikely to play with freshness. We saw the main thing: the team has a prototype of one of the basic structures (there may be several of them, depending on the opponent – and this is normal), several local staffing options for different positions have been tried. There was definitely no total chaos on the field, although it is still far from ideal.

Main observations following the results of the test match of the Russian national team with Poland

Since this match is a test one, I don’t want to analyze it down to deep nuances. I propose to focus on the basic points and emphasize the main thing that we saw:

1) the 5-1-3-1 scheme with five defenders and a “diamond” in the middle remained relevant – the team played with it in the spring during the selection for the World Championship. I admit that Cherchesov confuses opponents, and then suddenly surprises someone with an alternative formation, but there are several factors at once that hint that the “rhombus” will be used on the Euro as well. The main one is that the team has many central midfielders who are in excellent condition, but at least strong wingers;

2) high pressure remains an important defense method for the Russian national team, and it is very likely that it will be used even against Belgium. In Wroclaw, a variant with pressure was tested against the 3-4-3 formation (although, most likely, they were preparing for other scenarios, Poland is changing the formation). Increased requirements in this model to the two “eights”, Golovin and Zobnin – depending on the direction of the alien attack, they in turn must either move into the support zone (if the ball is on the opposite flank), or run out to put pressure on the outside central defender (if the ball is near) … The distances covered by the two midfielders are solid, but the physiological capabilities of Golovin and Zobnin are appropriate.

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The pressure against Poland worked well, the constructive play of the opponent turned out to be difficult. You can only find fault with some nuances: once in the first half Kuzyaev did not climb on his opponent, and Kudryashov had to insure him too high; lacked hard joints in the performance of the same Miranchuk – he disciplinedly ran after someone else’s defensive player, but when it was possible to play on the verge of a foul, he did not; Ozdoev occasionally failed (more on that below). And the pressure became a little chaotic in the second half, when the Poles changed from 3-4-3 to 4-2-3-1. You need to learn to quickly respond to tactical changes and adapt to them;

3) Ozdoev failed to control the support zone. There is a feeling that while Magomed is heavy: he lost concentration and opponents behind his back, did not close the most dangerous points, after his own losses of the ball at least twice for some reason he flew high into pressure, trying to immediately take the ball away, and destroyed the structure, there was space behind him … The position of the lower holding midfielder is still debatable;

4) the central defenders also played imperfectly: Kudryashov did not assess the situation in the best way when a goal was conceded, did not rebound (and Kuzyaev did not have time to insure and narrow it down), and then turned out of the episode; Jikia twice occupied controversial positions with flank serves; and Semyonov just played at a low level and made a lot of mistakes – he cut himself off, missed passes to his zones, fouls, sat down on a yellow card early and then was afraid to put his foot out in single combats. Plus, in general, there were occasional questions about compactness;

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5) the main thing: in my opinion, specifically in Poland, the Russian team squeezed out of the “diamond” too little advantage in front. In each of the halves, literally two or three good attacks were carried out with the advancement of the ball due to the maneuvers of the central midfielders, otherwise football was often simplified, the numerical advantage around the central axis was not used. In total, our team delivered only five shots (one on target), of which three were from the penalty area. Not enough.

There were a lot of prerequisites for more active involvement of the same Miranchuk – Alexey often remained free in the zone above the penalty area or pulled another central defender onto himself. But Zobnin and Ozdoev did not always see him open, they took the ball the other way, and therefore Miranchuk limited himself to only two passes into the penalty area.

The beginning of the attack also limped. And here I want to dwell in more detail on the replacement Shunin on Safonova at the 63rd minute. Replacing the unexpected – we remember that sincere surprise appeared on Anton’s face. It seems that at first he himself did not understand anything.

The main complaint against the Dynamo goalkeeper is a very weak start to the attack

I’ll make a reservation right away: I don’t know the true motives of the goalkeeper’s replacement, I can only guess about them. Perhaps it was generally a planned rearrangement (although why then such bewilderment in Shunin).

At the end of the match, Anton has one specific complaint – playing with his feet and starting an attack. The point is not even a goal conceded, when the goalkeeper unsuccessfully knocked the ball into the middle of an opponent and created a confusion. This is just one episode, it happens. But everything was bad in a systemic way. With long passes, the ball lifted and flew for a long time; proposals for the defenders were made sluggish and unaccented (the goalkeeper stuck to the ribbon).

Several removals turned out to be completely unsuccessful – out in the first half, in an empty zone in the second.

Short and medium gears were performed thoughtlessly, if only to give accurately and not invent anything. And the fact that Semyonov was driven into the flank under pressure with these passes or the attack did not unfold (it is a bad habit of goalkeepers to pass the first touch into the same saturated zone from where the ball had just come from), Shunin did not particularly care.

Preparations for Shunin’s replacement started exactly after another strange introduction of the ball into the game from him: he took the ball, waited a long time, doubted, and then made a high arc from his hands to the area of ​​the central circle, which Dziuba did not even try to cling to.

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And now we emphasize once again: our team plays with a diamond in the center of the field, one of the advantages of the scheme is the presence of an additional player in the middle. That is, you can and should even try to attack through a short and medium play, someone else’s pressure is difficult by default. But if your goalkeeper is constantly pounding forward wherever and whenever possible, the meaning of the diamond is somewhat lost.

It is difficult to predict how much the game in Poland will affect the future of Shunin in the role of the first number – everyone initially understood his limitations and style, as well as the current form, which has deteriorated compared to the fall. But if the national team wants to play “diamond” and build a constructive game under someone else’s pressure, and not just hit on Dziuba, then, most likely, they need to try another goalkeeper.

It’s just not a fact that Safonov will cope better.

Used data from Wyscout.

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