Aleksandr Kokorin Balazs Dzsudzsak

The Two-Pronged Problem

1:01 PMGoalChatter

What's going on with Dynamo? The team that seemingly started to get out of a terrible season and an equally bad start to this season seems to be heading backwards. The narrow, difficult win against FC Khimki in the Russian Cup should have been a pretty good indication of what's in store for the 14th match week of the Premier League. Unfortunately Dynamo manager Dan Petrescu was too busy worrying about refereeing to take notice of the changes he needed to make to the starting XI for today's game. Like Dynamo, the opposition has had a rather rocky start, amassing just 16 points after 13 games. But unlike the Blue-and-Whites, Krasnodar made use of some of their chances today. Neither team was exactly what one would call stellar, yet the home team dominated the pitch for the entire first half and part of the second. The Bulls were good at keeping the ball but didn't create too many chances themselves, and the game seemed to settle down to a series of back-and-forth passes. But looks as always were deceiving. The referee gave a free kick to the home team for what looked like an accidental handball by Marko Lomic. Dynamo's Achilles' heel has for awhile been set piece defending, especially when Anton Shunin is the keeper. Naturally, Nikola Drinčić's delivery was an easy goal-scoring chance for Wánderson, whose scissor kick flew in after his teammates' shot ricocheted off a Dynamo player's head. If only that was the only free kick Dynamo gave away. The home team had it easy - they had plenty of space to do whatever they wished. The Blue-and-Whites attempted to salvage the score before halftime, but unlike the guests', Krasnodar's defense was pretty solid.

Krasnodar vice captain Yura Movsisyan watches the match.

As per tradition, Dynamo manager Dan Petrescu failed to make any halftime substitutions. That decision comes back to bite teams more often than not. Kokorin should have been benched - he had one of his worst games today, and as of late he hasn't been putting in enough effort in the club. Krasnodar made great use of Dynamo's inactivity, on the prowl as soon as the whistle blew. Balasz Dzsudzsak went on with his terrible crosses into the box, sub-par deliveries that could be taken by any keeper from any league. Perhaps a bigger disappointment for Dynamo was Jakob Jantscher, who still is very much the Lukas Podolski of the Blue-and-Whites - he played very well for other clubs, but isn't showing any of that at his new club, and only he knows why. Dynamo saw more of the ball, but still nothing of the net. Rather unexpected from both teams were two of the silliest mishaps in a Premier League match. First Marko Lomic had a throw-in from the wrong spot, then Krasnodar's keeper stepped out of the 18-yard box with the ball still in his hands. When Dan Petrescu finally decided it was time to bring on fresh players, he had Noboa come on for Sapeta and Semshov come on for Kuranyi. Regardless of what supporters and certain commentators say about Kuranyi's game as of late, Kokorin should have been replaced instead. Several consecutive corners did nothing to enhance Dynamo's chances, despite the fact that Dzsudzsak was not the only one delivering them. After 80 minutes of some of the worst football in the Premier League this season, Dynamo had one shot on goal, Kokorin's only shot during the match, skillfully saved by Krasnodar keeper Sinitsyn. There was tons of time-wasting by the home team, mostly with simulations. The Bulls were content with doing nothing but defending with all ten men in the box - after all, a 1-0 win is enough to get 3 points. After referee Kazmenko graciously added 5 whole minutes to the end of the second half, one would think that the Blue-and-Whites would all be going forward. How often have we seen games that are decided in stoppage time? Instead, the guests kept making crosses to the keeper. Krasnodar had one last opportunity and boy did they make use of it. Konate, who had come on for Wanderson, failed to score from his counter, but made up for it just two minutes later, picking up a long ball and easily outplaying Vladimir Granat. Konate chipped the ball in from just outside the box, right over Shunin's shoulder. A delivery deep into the box gave Márcio Abreu a chance to score himself, but his shot bounced off Shunin, who as usual was rocky on the save. The football gods denied Krasnodar a 3-0 win, but didn't deny them the 3 points. Despite the lack of vice captain Yura Movsisyan, whose injury limited him to watching the game from the stands, Krasnodar moved ahead to a more respectable 9th place in the table. Dynamo have already conceded 23 goals in 14 games and after today's match, the team remains in 11th place with just 15 points.
Wanderson celebrates his goal by tangoing with Vladimir Koman.
"Like dogs often resemble their owners, football teams often resemble their managers", said the commentator. But if that's the case, how come Kuban played far better under Dan Petrescu's management than Dynamo? Does it really take two to tango in football? Surely you can't get by with a talented team and a talent-less manager, nor vice-versa. It's a two-pronged problem. Dan Petrescu needs to forget about the refereeing - whether it's good one match or bad the next should be the RFU's (the Russian FA's) concern. His focus needs to be on the players, motivating them and taking out those who obviously don't want to put in the work. Jantscher and Bakkal are alright for the reserves, but the main team needs players of a different caliber. Kevin Kuranyi may have a goalless streak going, but is anyone really feeding him the ball? A team is a team - he can't score on his own if nobody else is working. If anyone should be sold during the winter transfers, it's Aleksandr Kokorin. Sure, he's talented and occasionally scores great goals, but he's not dedicated to giving his all. He constantly acts like he'd rather be elsewhere, so why should the club deny him that chance? It's time for the Blue-and-Whites to step it up, and in order to do that, they'll need the kind of players that'll be ready and willing to do whatever it takes the kind of players who will always put the club first.

Russian Premier League - 14th Match Week
Sunday, November 4, 2012, 9AM EST* (DST in effect)

Krasnodar vs. Dynamo Moscow - 2:0 (1:0)
Arena: Kuban Stadium (Krasnodar)
Referee: Vladimir Kazmenko (Rostov-on-Don)
1:0 Wánderson (37')
2:0 Moussa Konaté (90+2')

Half Time Stats:
Shots (on goal): 3(1) : 4(2)
Corners: 2:2
Fouls: 10:8
Yellow Cards: 1:1
Red Cards: 0:0

Full Time Stats:
Possession: 50:50
Shots (on goal): 9(3) : 11(3)
Corners: 2:6
Fouls: 17:19
Yellow Cards: 3:1
Red Cards: 0:0

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