Today Valery Karpin announced the composition of the Russian team for the September camp, during which our team will play a friendly match with Qatar. It included 36 players. Former national team coach Boris Ignatiev, in an exclusive interview with Sovetsky Sport, assessed the composition of the national team, named its current leaders and gave his prediction for the upcoming match against Qatar.
– Kerzhakov and Shunin were included in the expanded squad, doesn’t it seem paradoxical to you, given that Karpin has talked many times about rejuvenation and in the end calls 36-year-old players?– In general, now we have no reason to flirt with players of that age. But at the same time, it is always necessary to value the best of the best. They all point to Napoleon, and when they see how Kerzhakov plays in the starts, they say to each other: “Wow.” So the team needs such old men. You never know what circumstances are developing today in our football and in its environment. Perhaps neither one nor the other will play, they will spend several days training.Of the entire list of goalkeepers, that is what I will say. Today we have the following situation: our youth team is playing, a reserve team, and there are practically no veteran players in it. But there are those who perform better than this young man. They must be the same. And if they are not present, they will only be able to see it on television. Here Lantratov is a good goalkeeper, but there are better ones: Kerzhakov, Shunin. And he will feel this difference and he will adopt some things. Sitting at the table with them, he will ask himself questions: how and what he eats, why they play so long and if I can do it too. Even in simple things, people learn this.
– Khlusevich entered the squad, one of the leaders of the start of the season in terms of scoring errors, do you agree with this choice?– Let’s say I don’t like my neighbor’s wife, but he married her. This is the case of Karpin. He is responsible for the team’s performance, even at a level like Qatar. Khlusevich for Karpin is probably the best player in the world. We have entrusted Karpin with an important and responsible position, and he is responsible for it. If we tell him something now, he will tell us: “Take it and train it yourself.” Go ahead and train this team wherever you want.
– In the team of Golovin and Miranchuk, it can be said that the probability of their arrival is close to zero?– In principle, your call is quite logical. Karpin follows the path that we have traced when we talk about goalkeepers. He calls two people who are cooking in the juice of big, professional soccer. There the preparation is completely different. Our football is only similar to European football in nuances. That this squad, that our football smells bad. And Miranchuk and Golovin, in turn, ennoble, show what we need to strive for.Most likely they will not release them, they will find some reasons. But here they are necessary, like portraits in a gallery, to be admired. They can incorporate all the right things that are being done abroad. At one time, such a function was performed by the same Onopko and Karpin. But I think they will not be released yet. They give results, depth to their clubs, they will not take risks.
– Who else could be called worthy of the level of the national team at the moment?– These are the best players. In all qualities, including goalscorers. Each one of your team sets the tone and direction in the work and effective actions. So I don’t think anyone is missing here. They are all worthy. I’m trying to remember which of our Russians is the New Year’s toy on the Christmas tree at our championship, and I probably won’t remember anyone.
– Smolov plays well at the beginning of the season.– I think he gives in. According to my taste preferences. Although all this could be diluted a bit with Smolov. But of course, today Karpin is the boss of everything. Since there is no Smolov, it means that he does not meet the established principles and requirements in the activities of the national team.
– Who do you think can become the leader of this team?– Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is Jikia. I like how Glebov behaves in his team. Well, and Barinov, according to certain character traits. Here they will be able to set the course in all matters of our team. Well, all the same, Igor Akinfeev could become the unequivocal leader, but he is not in the team.
– We have a match with Qatar ahead of us, what are your expectations of the match? Will we be able to host the 2022 World Cup?– Then we will see if they are difficult for us or not. I am not far from people who demand victory, I would also like our team to have an advantage with Qatar. But it is important to see how correct and logical everything we are doing now is, whether this is the right path, whether it suits us. The time will come when we will play England, Germany, France. Then we will tell ourselves that “we wasted time” or “we did everything right”.