We were so impressed with Russia’s display yesterday, that we have selected 7 players from the Russian squad, any one of which would be great at Newcastle United.
Kevin – are you reading this?
Kevin Keegan – could do worse than buying Russian
We’ll include a photo of the players and a short bio.
All have been in Russia’s first team during Euro 2008, except the Berezutsky twins.
Here we go:
Igor Akinfeev, who is now just 22, broke into the CSKA starting lineup at the age of 17, and has been the first-choice goalkeeper at the club ever since.
He’s had a great career so far and has various honors including a UEFA Cup, two National Championships, and the â€˜Zvezdaâ€™ trophy, awarded to the best football player from the former Soviet Union.
He’s looked an excellent goalkeeper who makes saves with no flashiness at all.
He is the same height as Shay Given, at 6’1″.
Berezutsky twins – Vasiliy and Alexey – in that order
We’re putting these two together – guess why?
They are the Berezutsky twins, and yes they are are identical.
Turns out they are very similar players too, and good defenders, with a no-nonsense attitude. They can play anywhere across the back line.
The identical twins were born in Moscow on June 20, 1982, with Vasily emerging the slightly older one 20 minutes earlier.
They are both at CSKA Moscow and we watched them a couple of seasons ago in Europe for CSKA Moscow, and they both looked terrific.
We would need to bring both to Newcastle – but why not?
On an international level Vasily has won 26 caps and scored one goal, while Alexei has so far collected 31 caps.
When they play together it’s really weird seeing two players who look exactly the same but with a different number on their shirt. 😀
They are both 6’2″ tall (of course).
They would fix up our defense that’s for sure. Not sure why they haven’t been in the Russian team but one of them is probably out of form, and the other one will be too – of course.
Andrei Arshavin – seems like he’s crying
Somebody we’ve been after since last year, and who looked great against Sweden on Wednesday night, when he seemed to transform Russia into a great looking attacking outfit.
We should have got him for Â£8M in January, when he was dying to join Newcastle, but that’s in hindsight.
Andrei plays for Zenit St. Petersburg, but he’s almost a certainty to move this summer to a top club in Europe. He is a versatile second striker who can also play as attacking midfielder and also as a wide midfielder.
Andrei is best known for his close control, vision and pace, as was apparent against Sweden.
This was the player who was attacking down the left hand side last night and he looks a terrific player, and just 24 years old.
Yuriy plays mainly as an attacking left winger although he has played as an attacking left wing back in the past.
His abundance of creativity makes him one of CSKA Moscow’s and Russia’s most prized assets.
Yuriy is known as The Russian Ronaldinho, for his dribbling skills and audacity. He is also a very hard working player as we saw last night, and will only get better.
He’s played for CSKA Moscow 109 times, and has 19 caps for his country.
The boyish looking youngster, Diniyar Rinatovich Bilyaletdinov was born in February 1985, and is a left sided midfielder.
Many consider him as Russia’s rising star, and he plays for FC Lokomotiv Moscow for whom he’s played 112 times and scored 21 goals.
He’s 6’1″ and has so played for Russia 23 times with two goals. He’s been in the Russian starting eleven in Euro 2008.
A versatile player, Bilyaletdinov can play on the left wing, in central midfield or in his most comfortable position, just behind the strikers as an attacking midfielder.
That’s the position Michael Owen was playing so well for us at the end of last season.
Pavlyuchenko plays as striker for Spartak Moscow and he looks like he could be made into a world-class goal scorer, if he isn’t that already.
He’s played outstanding football for the Russian side so far in Euro 2008.
He has all the skills you could imagine, but sometimes he doesn’t always play the right ball – but that could be put right by a good coach – like Kevin Keegan.
The 6’2″ blond striker looked awesome against Sweden, and has played 136 times for Spartak with 67 goals.
The reports suggest he can be bought for as little as Â£6M – they’ve got to be kidding. 😀
There’s 7 excellent players who would make the Newcastle squad so much better than last season.
Most of these players would also come fairly cheaply, although Andrei Arshavin will not – not now.