PrologueThe team has had 10 different managers in the past 10 years. While that lack of stability may not affect a team like Chelsea that has the funds to purchase not only some of the best players, but some of the best managers, it does affect the legendary Russian team. To say that FCD has had a rocky start to the season would be an understatement. Dynamo is currently the only team to have not acquired a single point in all 5 of their games. The only game Dynamo has won was against Scottish team Dundee United for the UEFA Europa League qualifiers.
Petrescu to the Rescue
Can a new club President and manager restore a team to its former glory?
Perhaps the second part of that question currently resides with Liverpool fans, but I'm referring to the Russian club Dynamo Moscow.
Ever since former coach Sergei Silkin literally took apart a team that was good enough to win bronze in the RPL (under Kobelev, the team reached 3rd place in the league for the first time in over a decade), the once legendary club hasn't been able to get even a draw since the end of last season. Forget the Europa League qualifiers for now. As prestigious as it is to have made it to a European tournament, it's more important to stay up top in the league. A team that's unstable can only win a large tournament by chance - the epitome of good fortune was Chelsea winning the Champions League. Yet Chelsea were in the middle of the EPL table, and it's impossible to compare the technically crafty English teams with those in Russia. One thing England has going for them is their slew of local talent - even wealthy teams like Manchester United and Chelsea have a ton of England-born players.
Exactly how far can Dynamo get with Dan Petrescu in the mix? Just nine years ago, Petrescu was playing as a defender for his native club, Fotbal Club Progresul Bucureşti, where he ended his career at the age of 35. A year later, Petrescu went on to coach several clubs in his homeland. In 2006, he had a brief stint at Polish club Wisła Kraków. Under Petrescu, the former champions finished in 2nd place in the league. Apparently Petrescu's demands of the players were not welcomed by the club's owners, and he was relieved of his duties. Petrescu debuted as a coach in Russia in December 2009, having signed a contract with Kuban Krasnodar. He not only promoted the team to the Premier League within one season, but also led the team to an 8th place finish last season.
Petrescu's decision to quit as manager of Kuban was rather shocking to fans. The team, which has been going back and forth between the Premier League and the First Division, seemed to be looking rather sharp under Petrescu's reign. But the Romanian manager is not one to stop at a single accomplishment. Possessing a "carpe diem" attitude, Petrescu signed a three-year contract with FC Dynamo Moscow this Saturday. He saw an opportunity and he seized it. Interim coach Dmitri Khokhlov, who has had previous success with the reserve team, will join Petrescu's managerial staff. In Petrescu's recent interview for the official site of FC Dynamo, the Romanian manager mentioned his thirst for challenges. He hasn't been handed teams on a silver platter - he proved that he can come in and take previously unsuccessful teams and make them winners. In the interview, he describes the correlation between the club's as well as his own ambitions. "I also have maximum ambitions," he said. "I want to win titles". Despite his reputation for getting results in short periods of time, Petrescu warned fans that the road to victory begins with baby steps. His first concern will be getting Dynamo the three points that they need to begin the slow climb to the top of the leader board.
|Petrescu as coach of Kuban.|
|Dan Petrescu playing for Chelsea FC.|
Dynamo recently advanced their losing streak, losing last week's game 2-1 to Terek Grozny. Terek's manager didn't underestimate Dynamo, and that's exactly what made the difference.
Both teams ended up playing with 10 men, yet when Terek lost a player, the team looked much better than Dynamo.
Although Petrescu was unable to help Dynamo in their last game and had to resort to calling the interim coach during the game (Petrescu was disqualified for two league games while he was still manager at Kuban), he will have the opportunity to train the team for their next two games and stand on the sidelines at the Europa League qualification playoff match against Stuttgart on Wednesday.
In With the New
Dynamo's new President is Federal Security Service general-lieutenant and former substitute to the VP and Chairman of the Board of Directors Gennady Soloviev. In addition, he was the former President Yuriy Isaev's right-hand man. Yuriy Isaev himself will remain a member of the Board.
Soloviev's decision to appoint Petrescu as manager already shows his determination to push the club back to the tide of success. The general-lieutenant's presence alone is nostalgic for the club, which was founded (and funded) by the Interior Ministry.
A good manager should be able to work with the team not only on technique, but on their emotional approach to each game. A strict, determined coach like Petrescu may be just what the team needs to get out of both their scoreless rut and unmotivated play.
-- Recent Results --
Russian Premier League
Sunday, August 19, 2012, 8AM EST
FC Dynamo Moscow vs. FC Terek Grozny - 1:2 (0:1)
Arena: Arena Khimki (Moscow, Russia)
Referee: Aleksey Eskov
0:1 Maciej Rybus ('30)
1:1 Balazs Dzsudzsak ('75)
1:2 Maciej Rybus ('83)