Ruslan’s hands were raw, not through hard labour, as his father suffered all those years ago, his hands were raw from writing. Sometimes the pencil is mightier than the sword he thought, a wry smile etched across his weathered face.
200,000 postal votes had been submitted by dead British citizens in constituencies identified by the Kremlin as key to the British election; May 2022. Ruslan was sure he’d filled in over half of these at his desk overlooking the Anzhi training ground. While some one-star potential youth graduates filled in the rest.
He sat up late into the night to watch the results coming in, Labour gain, after Labour gain. They’d done it, Corbyn was Prime Minister. Border polls in Scotland and Northern Ireland were now inevitable, adding to the instability and division across the European Union since the United Kingdom left last year. The European project was over, the continent divided, an ever stronger Russia loomed in the East; Europe could now be conquered.
One of the first two things I try and observe during a game are, where is the opposition’s defensive line, and secondly, how high up the pitch are they prepared to press.
Generally during the save teams have played with a relatively high defensive line against me, as Anzhi remains one of the lesser sides in the division, leaving plenty of space in behind for me to exploit.
I play a flat 4141 and, when I think about how I would want any side I managed to actually defend, this is the shape I imagine. In possession, however, the shape is very different due to the roles and duties selected, especially the midfield four. My left-midfielder(a) is instructed to cut inside with the ball and dribble more, as well as get further forward by default. I’ve added get further forward to my box to box midfielder while my mezzala(a) and winger(s) are vanilla. All four of these roles will attack space in front of them fairly aggressively. Having a standard defensive midfielder behind them offers me great security should we lose the ball in advanced areas. Continue reading “Evading the press and breaking the lines”
Ruslan always enjoyed his trips to Western Ukraine, he had been there many times before as a child, and during his adolescence. This trip was different though, he knew his actions would probably set in motion a series of events that he could neither fully predict, nor halt, once initiated. He was, however, sure this was the right thing to do for Russia, for his family, and for himself. He took a deep breath, and slowly disconnected the valve on the pipeline in front of him. Continue reading “Something in the pipeline – the conclusion to Season 3”
Ruslan Chepiga recently met Ángel Bastardo, who wished to make use of Ruslan’s rather unique skill set. In the end, Ruslan had to enlist the help of Mike According to keep the general safe. You can read all about it on FM Grasshopper’s blog. Please check it out.
Planning for season two was well underway when the bombshell came. Star left-back and player of the season Evengy Gapon, along with goalkeeper Alexandr Budakov wanted out, both wanted to leave for Rostov. Neither believed Ruslan could take the club further, while he found their lack of faith disturbing, Ruslan also knew this was a battle he could not win, but he was confident he would win the war. “The fox runs long my friends”, he muttered under his breath, as he smiled and waved them off.
Ruslan recognised the club needed cash and needed it fast. The two million raised from these two sales would help the club immensely in the short-term. Eleven players, mainly youngsters, had already been released to reduce the clubs swollen wage bill. Replacements would be difficult to source, the transfer embargo had only recently been lifted and consequently relatively little scouting had been done.
Agents (aka scouts in FM parlance) were dispatched across Eastern Europe to find willing recruits to the cause.