The first part of our story was dedicated to Sergey Morozov, Eduard Malofeev and Viktor Prokopenko (they made their RPL debut in 1992-1994): https://www.sovsport.ru/football/articles/2:1055816
In the second part we talk about Benyaminas Zelkevichus, David Kipiani and Pavel Yakovenko (RPL debut 1997-1999): https://www.sovsport.ru/football/articles/2:1055905
In the third part, the time has come for the first foreigner from abroad, Boris Bunyak, as well as Evgeny Kucherevsky and Vladimir Muntyan (1999-2002): https://www.sovsport.ru/football/articles/2: 1056127
The fourth portion of foreign mercenaries (Revaz Dzodzuashvili, Vlastimil Petrzhela, Sergey Aleinikov): https://www.sovsport.ru/football/articles/2:1056185
And the fifth, the most remembered (Arthur Jorge, Nevio Scala, Roland Courbis): https://www.sovsport.ru/football/articles/2:1056425
And so we continue to talk about 2004, when a real stream of foreign specialists first entered Russia.
JAROSLAV GRZHEBIK, Czech Republic – 16 games: 3-7-6 (1.0 points per game)
Years in Russia: 2004
While Spartak, CSKA and even Alania chose a coach with a name, Dynamo unexpectedly decided on a specialist who had never traveled outside the Czech Republic either as a footballer or as a coach. Although at home he had a decent reputation. No one will be trusted to coach Slavia and Sparta anyway.
At first, the team took the coach very well. He proved to be a good tactician and, after the Soviet trainers, he looked like a modern European, giving theoretical classes on a computer, where the chips themselves were transformed into various schematics. Many players were shocked by this. He also took the formation of the starting lineup very seriously, tracking the performance of all players on sensors. “Many coaches say: if you work well in training, you will play. Here Grzhebik was the only one with whom he really worked, and he was not left alone in words, ”said Sergey Yashin.
True, at the same time Grzhebik began to shackle the team in tactical shackles and get rid of the authorities. For example, he said goodbye to newly signed Dynamo titleholder Andrei Kanchelskis. “His only problem with him is conceit. When he analyzed the theory and came to the error of some soccer player, he got upset, he could take a tile from the board and throw it at him. Or Kanchelskis sits opposite him: Grzhebik let him tell you that you are running in the wrong direction, hitting the wrong place, they didn’t teach you everything that way, you are nothing at all. The man played in the best clubs in the world, with the best coaches, and he tells you. Stop, Grzebik, who are you? We didn’t know you until you came here,” said Alexander Tochilin.
Kanchelskis went through a couple of training camps, got injured and never made the team again. Tochilín himself, a veteran of veterans, did not stay long either: “He approached me and said: ‘As a footballer, I have no complaints with you. But you influence the team so much that they are afraid of you”. Like I’m the main despot there, I beat everyone up and chase everyone down. In general, Grzhebik quarreled with everyone, quarreled with everyone and left a bad microclimate in the team.
With this approach, the authority of the coach was fading before our eyes, the team stopped listening to him, won only three times in 16 games and fell to 14th place. In the last five games, Dynamo scored just one point and the Czech was fired . Six months later, in the middle of the season, he returned to Sparta and led them to the championship title. By the way, the only one in his career.
He missed the start of the next season (three wins in eight rounds) and was fired, he did not work in the youth team for a long time, and since 2011 he has been the sports director of Sparta (and he is 74 years old). True, not too successful – the Czech record holders in the number of gold medals during these 12 years won only one championship title (2013/14).
ALEXANDER STARKOV, Latvia – 45 games: 20-15-10 (1.67)
achievements: silver RPL-2005
Years in Russia: 2004-2006
Another authoritative specialist in his homeland, who was in conflict with local veterans in Russia. In general, Starkov is a cult figure for Latvian football. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he won 12 (!) Championship titles in a row with Skonto and brought a very expressive team to the Commonwealth Cup. And for the only time in history, he led the Latvians to the European Championship, when “only” 16 teams took part, and not 24, as now.
In general, Starkov’s arrival at Spartak was, in a sense, even readable. He was the creature of Leonid Fedun’s first protégé, General Director Yuri Pervak, from the first days of his appearance at the helm of the club. Even under the Rock, players were bought “under Starkov.” The coach arrived in the autumn of 2004 in a very weak season, which ended in the middle of the table, but the following year he rushed to the silver medals, showing very significant football -16 victories in 30 games with a goal difference from 47-. 26 Only the champions of the army team scored more.
However, at the beginning of the next season, the team won only one match out of six, and Dmitry Alenichev, who grew up with Romantsev football and returned from Europe with the Champions League, gave that legendary interview under the title: “Starkov is a dead end for Spartak”. In it, he accused the coach of lying (let’s say, he came up with a version about the medical contraindications for Alenichev to play synthetics) and whispered to Fedun: “Alenichev is a veteran, a pensioner, who fulfills a number in training. He can no longer bring any benefit to Spartak, so he, Leonid Arnoldovich, does not play for me.
At that moment, the rojiblancos really looked very down, and from the stands there were even shouts: “Shame”, so the scandal did not come out of nowhere. Nobody liked what was happening. It all ended sadly for both of them: first Starkov was fired, and then they parted with Alenichev. So as not to provoke similar interviews in the future.
From Moscow, Starkov returned to Riga, where he spent virtually the rest of his career, except for a short business trip to Baku. Here he worked in Skonto (but happy times have passed), then in the national team, and then in Liepaja. He hasn’t trained since 2019. Unfortunately, this is one of those stories where the main character risks a successful career for a new challenge and loses everything. This is not shown in Hollywood.
EDGAR HESS, Germany – 8 games: 3-2-3 (1.38)
Years in Russia: 2004-2005
The Soviet footballer (born in the Tajik SSR), who played for Pamir, Spartak (114 games) and Pakhtakor, was of German ethnicity and at the end of his career left for his historic homeland, Germany, where he trained only at an amateur level, and in Russia he came at the invitation of the management of “Alania”.
Here he first became an assistant to Bakhva Tedeev, a prominent Vladikavkaz player in the past, who worked as an assistant to Revaz Dzodzuashvili, Alexander Yanovsky, Roland Kurbis and other coaches who were in Alania. But it was not enough for a long time: two draws with five losses in seven games, and now Hess is in charge of the team.
Hess markedly corrected the situation. In the first game under his management, Alania crushed Spartak at home (2: 1 – Dzhambulat Bazaev had a goal plus a pass), and in the next home game he scored four goals (!) Against Kurban Berdyev’s Rubin, who It’s a feat in itself. Also, on 69 minutes, Hess’s men trailed 1:3, but Bazaev’s own double and Christian Tudor’s 85th-minute goal gave the hosts victory.
Hess took over the team in 15th place and left after eight games in 13th place. In addition, the resignation was a big surprise, because it followed the victory over Terek. Yes, in the previous four rounds the team took only two points and did not score even once, but at the same time it played three games away from home, including against Dynamo and Lokomotiv. The fact that Hess complained to the press that the team members “have the impression that they leave us alone and nobody needs us” probably also played a role.
Unfortunately, his departure buried Alania. In the remaining 17 rounds, he scored a paltry 11 points, dropped out of the Premier League and has never stayed there for at least two seasons since. As for Hess, then he went to Lithuania (“Winds”), and then settled in Uzbekistan for 11 years, where he coached various clubs, but no longer flinching: his greatest achievement was fourth place and the Cup final of the Country in 2010 with the club “Shurtan”.