The qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup Russia – Malta should not be seen as a rehearsal for more important meetings. This was stated in an interview with RT by ex-midfielder of the national team Alexander Mostovoy. At the same time, according to him, the statistics of shots on target in favor of the opponent does not indicate the poor play of Stanislav Cherchesov’s charges. The expert also explained why Vyacheslav Karavaev should not be blamed for the ball missed by Anton Shunin, called Alexander Golovin the best midfielder in the team and made a forecast for the meeting with Slovenia.
– To begin with, even before the match, I said that we should win 2-0 or 3-0. This meeting should not be seen as a rehearsal. Malta must be conquered, and then only see what lies ahead. And there are stronger teams. The current rival is to be commended for testing the Russians so well. With the score 2: 1, it even became a little uncomfortable. For a quarter of an hour I thought that this was not Malta at all, but some other team. And ours even somehow got confused. And if not for the opponent’s goalkeeper, who has not yet learned how to play football properly, then everything could have ended differently.
Generally speaking, the score was not fundamental. Everyone will forget about it. The very next day, there was talk about the victory of Slovenia over Croatia.
– Modest Malta struck five shots on the target of Anton Shunin, while Russia only four. What does this statistic say?
– About nothing. In terms of statistics, the worst match in a long time, the Russian national team played against Spain at the home world championship. Our ball possession was 28%, like San Marino, we almost never hit the target and all the balls flew towards the stands. What is the result? Heroes. Should have taken three points from Malta and took. What’s the difference now? Imagine that we would have won 6-0. Everyone would say what a strong team we are? Nobody would say that.
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– The hosts’ goal was born on the left flank, where Vyacheslav Karavaev played. Why did Stanislav Cherchesov choose to release it, and not Ilya Samoshnikov, who looked great in the last matches for Rubin?
– Yes, Karavaev made two or three mistakes, because he played not in his position, despite the fact that he is a right-footed footballer. The left leg is not quite his. In the scoring episode, he was easily beaten due to the fact that he does not have the appropriate skills. Another thing is that, if we go back to Cherchesov, we know that he rarely throws newcomers into the fire. Therefore, I gave preference to Karavaev, who plays both in Zenit and in the national team, not a debutant, but not Samoshnikov, whom we know little about as a football player. Why not put on Yuri Zhirkov? With Malta and I would have played on the left, especially Zhirkov, who regularly appears at Zenit and becomes the best.
– Can we talk about the lack of left-backs in Russian football?
– Then we can say that we have a problem with right-backs, if not for Mario Fernandez. It’s good that he agreed and got a passport. Although this is also not quite the right path. Let us then give all Brazilians citizenship. I said the same thing when Ari received it. We shout that we do not have young people, we do not give her way, and immediately we make Ari’s passport. In a country of 150 million people, we naturalize players. Can’t they play football here?
– How surprised were you with the starting line-up, which had a minimum of changes compared to previous matches? Why did Cherchesov not give rest to the key performers – Dzyuba, Fernandez, Golovin?
– Why should Golovin rest? He had a lot of vacations at AS Monaco. Only in the last games does it appear at the base, and it does not play much, it is changed all the time. Fernandez also conceded due to injury and just started to get in shape. Dziuba is not yet in optimal condition, this was evident from the matches for Zenit. This is not a problem. The only thing I thought was that Miranchuk and Golovin would play together under Dzyuba. But everyone has their own views.
– Is Dziuba’s goal and pass a testament to his strength or is it not an indicator in the game with Malta?
– This is evidence of the error of the Maltese and, above all, of the goalkeeper. Artyom barely pushed the ball towards the goal, he didn’t even get a kick. And what did the goalkeeper do? The ball rolls into his leg, into his hand, and he manages to miss it. It is clear that the goal does not smell. Flew in and flew in. This was the case with the second and third goals.
– Wasn’t it worth it to play two pillars with Malta and just crush the opponent on the second floor?
– With Malta you can play with two strikers and three. But we have a very large attacking midfield. Golovin and Miranchuk can be called semi-attackers. We have a lot of these players. Many asked why not release Dzyuba and Sobolev together? But then we would have strayed to the same type of game. They would interfere with each other, because both are similar in terms of size. And the game of the national team would run into long passes.
– Isn’t Cherchesov a hostage of the situation when the same type of attackers gathered in the national team – Dzyuba, Zabolotny, Sobolev?
– The coach chooses the players himself. Questions to him. Another thing is that Cherchesov has been in the national team for five years. Don’t forget this. Many cannot hold out for a year. What we just did not see.
– Why didn’t the Russian national team succeed in attacking as much as we would like?
– The Maltese are well prepared. They are really progressing. This is not the Malta that was 10 years ago. Football players are growing, adding, a new generation is coming. It is no longer possible to fly to them and just score five goals. Although I will not be surprised that at home, with our fans, we will succeed. It happens. Is this connected with the fact that the Russians played worse? Not. Everything was fine. Golovin moved a lot and was very helpful. Dziuba, as always, pulled together the defenders. Ionov, perhaps, did not succeed a little. But the national team will be tested in matches with Slovenia and Slovakia. We will look there.
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– Daniil Fomin took an active part in both goals. Can we say that the Dynamo midfielder has grown to the base of the national team, or is it a temporary phenomenon due to the absence of Roman Zobnin and Magomed Ozdoev?
– I think that for now he is more likely to replace the midfielders of Spartak and Zenit. But it is clear that the right decision was made to release him in the starting lineup. Why not check the players against Malta? And do not forget that we already have three or four people in the youth team who can be useful to the first team. It turns out to be serious competition in the middle of the field.
– Sobolev shows a very decent level in the spring, and he is surprised not only by his ability to choose a position in the penalty area and play with his head, but also by the feeling of the ball — the goal against Malta, with some amendments, is similar to the one that he scored to Krasnodar. Has Alexander become an equal competitor to Dziuba in the fight for a place in the starting lineup?
– Dziuba and Sobolev play in the same team, and, above all, they must defend not their personal interests, but the interests of the national team. If you put one, he must play. The other must also play. So it was with Malta. First, Artyom played and scored, then Alexander came out and also scored. But in the next meeting, Dziuba will still be in the starting lineup. And Sobolev will sit and prepare to replace if something does not work out. A year ago, no one knew his last name. When he scored several goals for Wings of the Soviets and was bought by Spartak, he immediately became a star. But he still has to work and work, plow and plow. Our championship is our championship.
– Golovin flew in a day before the match, but at the same time came out in the starting lineup, played both halves at the highest level and was the brain of the team. Is this an indication that he is the best midfielder in the country at the moment?
– In my opinion, yes. He is the best. This is an answer to those people who, on the day CSKA sold Golovin to Monaco, shouted: “Why is he going there? What will he do? ” I am probably one of the few who said that Alexander did the right thing. He will play, gain experience and feel what European football is. Now his team is fighting for first place in the French championship and everyone has already closed their mouths and are silent. Golovin proved that we have one of the best. And he continues to prove.
– Do you feel the superiority of Golovin and Miranchuk over the players playing in the Russian championship?
– No, you can’t say that either. And Fernandez? He also maintains his high level, despite the fact that he plays in CSKA and in the Russian championship.
– Slovenia’s victory over Croatia hints that it will not be easy for the Russian team in Sochi. How can Cherchesov’s wards be transformed?
– Definitely, we will have an advantage. Russia is the only country where fans can be in the stands. And in Sochi, 15-20 thousand will definitely come. Slovenes, probably, have also lost the habit of this. Moreover, they themselves did not expect to win. Croats had to score at least two goals in the first 20 minutes. But, to the surprise of many, they managed to lose. Of course, thereby complicating your life. The three points they lost are good for us.
– So Slovenia needs to beat and break away?
– Of course. We have the advantage of our field, our walls and our fans. Yes, the opponent has good players. The same Josip Ilicic, Miranchuk’s partner in Atalanta. But the Croats outnumbered the Slovenes and were punished for the missed chances. In our case, Matjaz Keck’s wards will wait for their chance and try to create scoring episodes.
– Due to the fact that Slovenia was able to take advantage of Croatia’s mistakes so competently, is the responsibility of defenders and forwards increasing in the upcoming match?
—Yes, we will not see such mistakes that the Malta goalkeeper made.
— Do you dare to make a prediction?
– Russia’s victory with a one-goal advantage or a draw.
Source site russian.rt.com