POSTED: 17 June 2011
Football is an unpredictable sport, on and off the pitch. Yuri Krasnozhan knows this, after being ejected as Lokomotiv Moscow’s head coach almost a fortnight ago for “negligence in his job.” Normally hearts would start weeping of injustice, labelling Krasnozhan (who elevated Lokomotiv to 5th place) the “victim.”
The snag there is the speculation about underhanded workings – like a supposedly fixed May 27 loss against Anzhi Makhachkala– Krasnozhan was said to be part of. If those are true, then maybe his sacking wasn’t that unexpected after all.
What’s certain is the major hurdle Loko face: an upcoming match with Spartak Moscow, who have beaten them the last 3 meetings. Even though Loko’s performance massively improved under Krasnozhan’s management, the controversy certainly produced an uneasy, unsettling psychological blow that could lead to crippling team-wide effects. And against a solid Spartak team, Loko could find themselves at a bigger disadvantage than before.
Either the team keep their more solid performance under interim manager Vladimir Maminov’s temporary leadership, or they will face Spartak with weak ammunition. Either they shake off the shock and play as a solid squad, or face the danger I see up ahead for them.
Verdict: Spartak win