Valery Karpin has a difficult relationship with the captains. So it was in “Spartak”, “Rostov” and the Russian national team


The national team lives under the leadership of Karpin for only two months, but is already as recognizable as possible. It’s amazing how in five games you can make a team and everything that surrounds it so authentic, but Valery Georgievich succeeded. The new team can be described in a few strokes – brave football, good atmosphere, Vitaly Kafanov, coat, epidemic of injuries, huge luck, and that’s all – captains.

After Maribor, the last point became especially relevant, because if before the game with the Slovaks, Djikia, Smolov and Barinov wore an armband, and their candidacies did not raise any questions, then Alexei Sutormin, who made his debut for the national team three days earlier, brought the team to Ludski Vrt. In total, under Karpin, the national team has already changed five captains – Vasily Utkin called it “Karpinskiy prank”, but if you go deeper into the topic, it doesn’t look like prank.

21 year old captain and mystic with coincidences

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Command: “Spartacus”

How much worked: ~ 5 years

Captains: 5

Over the 30 years since the collapse of the USSR, Spartak had 18 captains. An interesting fact: five of them fell on Karpin the coach, two more – on the Karpin the functionary. A total of 40% of captains for 20% of the club’s modern history is strong, but the anomaly is understandable. So Karpin will always be in the future, except for the national team, and this is something of a fairy tale.

Valery Karpin, head coach of Spartak

Photo: Getty Images

For fans of mystical theories, there is a great plot. Perhaps the captain’s leapfrog was launched by Stanislav Cherchesov: his “Spartak” burned out 1: 5 CSKA – the coach could not stand it and sent the captain and legend of the club Yegor Titov to the double with his assistants, Mozart and Kalinichenko. Against this background, Fedun promised changes, and they happened – Karpin came to the post of general manager and almost immediately fired Cherchesov. But it didn’t help Titov – he left Spartak three days before his abuser and never returned to the club.

It was a creepy-theory from the category of “Titov’s curse”, now to the facts. 2008 turned out to be a difficult year for Spartak, because two positions changed at once: the long-term captain and head coach left, and Karpin came and a long search for that very cap. For a year, the bandage was tried on by Mozart, who did not go, and Kovacs, who replaced him until the end of the season.

The following year, both clubs left, Karpin became the head coach and immediately outlined the position: “After consulting with the players and coaches, we came to the conclusion: the players themselves must choose the captain.” The elections were held according to a complex two-stage system, and Martin Jiranek received the majority of votes. Karpin accepted the choice, and the Czech ran off with a bandage all season. It was only the following year that Martin moved to the Premier League, and the place became vacant.

Martin Jiranek and Alex, Spartak

Photo: Getty Images

They decided not to hold re-elections – the coaching staff appointed Alex himself, but the Brazilian did not work out with this title. Soon he left the club and Russia, explaining everything with family problems. The cap was elected 21-year-old Parshivlyuk. This should not be surprising, because even Dynamo coach Sandro Schwartz admitted that he would have made the defender captain if it had not been for his red-and-white past – Sergei certainly has leadership qualities. But the youngest cap in the history of “Spartak” also did not work out – injuries did not allow him to perform normally, he was replaced by Andriy Dikan, but even then there was bad luck: the limit deprived the Ukrainian of a place in the squad. Somewhere to the right, Dmitry Kombarov was advancing on the captain’s position, and Karpin spent his last years at Spartak in such a rotation. When Valery Georgievich left, by a magical accident the oddities with caps ended. For two years Rebrov carried the bandage, Glushakov for three years, and now Dzhikia is putting on the bandage for the third season.

Less mysticism and quarrel with Ivelin Popov

Command: “Rostov”

How much worked: 4 years

Captains: 6

Karpin came to Rostov as a different coach – after going through the harsh school of Mallorca, Armavir and working on TV. In the Don club, there was one less problem – long-term captain and legend Alexander Gatskan did not need to be reassigned.

However, this did not last long – after 1.5 seasons, the captain stopped joining the squad and left the club. Initially, this was due to a reluctance to sit on the bench, but later Gatskan himself told his version – he was ready to stay in the reserve, but disagreements began with the club, including Karpin, and the player had to leave. The problem was that the vice-captains also left Rostov almost simultaneously: Timofey Kalachev retired, and Sergei Parshivlyuk moved to Dynamo. The bandage moved to Ragnar Sigurdsson.

Ragnar Sigurdsson celebrates Rostov’s goal

Photo: Getty Images

But also not for long – the Icelander terminated the contract six months later. The reasons were not entirely clear, because the first half of the season, Sigurdsson played on the field almost all the matches. The media wrote about alcoholism, but Rostov denied everything – they said that the Icelander is a great professional and all the rumors are fake.

After Ragnar, Ivelin Popov was appointed captain. The team made it to the European Cups with him, but they started there without him, because the Bulgarian had a falling out with Karpin a month before the match with Maccabi and left for Sochi. It turned out noisy – Popov became the first “Karpino captain” to publicly criticize the coach. He posted a post on Instagram, in which he accused Valery Georgievich: “I had several conversations with the coach, and they made me understand that the captain is just a word:” We pay you money, close your mouth and play! ” I apologize to everyone, but as a person and as a captain who must protect the interests of the team and the team, I just cannot combine this word with my morality and complex character … The fifth captain leaves in a year and a half, think about it. “

Ivelin Popov, “Rostov”

Photo: Getty Images

Departure from Maccabi launched a sale in Rostov, and another captain, Alexei Ionov, fell victim to it. Roman Eremenko, who took the blindfold, lasted a couple of months and left the club right in the middle of the cup match with Akhmat. Finally, Maxim Osipenko was appointed captain – in the summer he was replaced by Danil Glebov, but this happened already under Semin. In total, Karpin tried six captains in Rostov, three of them in six months. But what is more interesting, it is impossible to directly accuse the coach of dislike of the guys with the bandage – in each case, except for Popov’s case, there is a reasonable explanation. One was sold, the second stopped pulling the level, the third ended his career. There is only one question – why did all this fall exactly to Karpin and already in the second club in a row?

The story with the captains in the national team is absurd

Command: Russian team

How much does it work: 2 months


After joining the national team, Karpin immediately clarified the situation: any player can wear a bandage. In the context of Dziuba’s many years of captaincy, the personality of the new leader of the national team aroused interest, Valery Georgievich was tortured with questions, but he only denied and said that he would resolve this issue after meeting with the players. At the meeting, it was decided that everyone would be captains, and so far this order is maintained. In five selection games, five players tried on the bandage, among them Dzhikia, Smolov, Barinov, Kuzyaev and Sutormin. The format is a bit innovative and not everyone liked it. But he has at least three explanations.

The situation with Popov (partly with Gatskan, and, of course, with Dzyuba) showed that it is difficult for Valery Georgievich to work with real leaders – he is used to coaching alone, and he does not need additional influencers in the team. Perhaps he simply does not want to sacralize the bandage and raise a new leader to replace the one who left. It sounds bold, but there is enough evidence for this.

Valery Karpin, Russian national team

Photo: Getty Images

Another explanation sounds simple – Karpin is searching. After the appointment, the head coach of the national team talked a lot about the new leaders, about the backbone of the team. Perhaps the migratory dressing is just looking for its owner.

Finally, such a leapfrog may not have a second bottom – for example, Karpin does not care, and he gave everything to the players. Karpin has experience of such voting since Spartak, moreover, this is how the main version sounds.

But in general, history shows that Valery Georgievich’s captains do not linger and certainly do not become legends. Fans of beautiful football cases a la Maldini, Terry or Oliver Kahn need to endure – especially since Karpin now has all of football Russia in the captain’s pool.

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12/10/2021 at 08:14


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