The second round of the RPL will open with a match between the champion and the leader. “Wings of the Soviets”, having won at the start of the championship “Orenburg” (4:2), climbed into first place. It is clear that after one game one can talk about leadership only as a joke, nevertheless, a fact is a fact. More importantly, Krylya Sovetov remains a bright, playing team, even despite the loss of key offensive players in the offseason – the departure of Anton Zinkovsky and Vladislav Sarveli. Head coach Igor Osinkin is not the first to solve personnel problems: for example, in winter, the Samara club sold Ivan Sergeev to Zenit. And nothing – did it. Flight is normal.



Glushenkov nailed the RPL rookie and laid down a masterpiece!  Spartak already regrets the transfer?
Glushenkov nailed the RPL rookie and laid down a masterpiece! Spartak already regrets the transfer?

Those who dropped out are replaced in the Wings of the Soviets by other, no less gifted players. Finally, Sergei Pinyaev got a place at the base. Maxim Glushenkov shows himself. After the victory of the Samara team in Orenburg, everyone discussed the game of the forward who did not reveal himself in Spartak. Glushenkov scored three points for performance in the first round: he scored a double and gave an assist. He was deservedly recognized as the best player of the match.

But this meeting had at least one more hero – Roman Yezhov. It was the right midfielder of Krylia Sovetov who turned the game around with his goal in the 49th minute with the score 1:0 in favor of Orenburg. After that, Yezhov assisted Glushenkov in the episode with the second ball scored by the Samara team.

First of all, attention is drawn to how quickly Yezhov thought and acted in difficult moments. Here is the first goal. With his back to the goal, Roman turned around and made the only right decision, breaking into touch. The sense of the gate didn’t let him down. He kicked the ball under the crossbar with his left foot.

And this is the second goal. Yezhov developed the attack with a forward pass, flew into the penalty area, tamed the ball that crushed and played very non-standard: he sent the ball between the legs of the defender to Glushenkov. This is the game of a mature, great football player.

Yezhov is not yet the most promoted player of the Wings of the Soviets. When the media discussed potential newcomers for Zenit after Ivan Sergeev, other names sounded – Zinkovsky, Sarveli, Pinyaev. However, according to rumors, the coaching staff of the St. Petersburg team is closely following Yezhov. His qualities are well known, so the right midfielder of Krylya Sovetov is definitely on the long list of blue-white-blue. This does not mean that Roman will definitely be in the Russian champions, but such performances as in Orenburg certainly bring Yezhov closer to Zenit.

Zinkovsky, having passed through the Zenit farm club at one time, still did not appear in the first team. Not six years ago, not in the summer of 2020, although last season was Anton’s best in the RPL (4+11 in 30 matches). The newcomer of Spartak himself commented on the failed return to St. Petersburg: “There were no contacts with Zenit, as I understand it, since I’m not there.”

Roman Yezhov

Roman Yezhov

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

Visually, Yezhov’s game does not seem as bright as Zinkovsky’s. From his dribbling, the fan will not grab his heart. Last season – his debut in the RPL – Roman was less productive than Anton: 2 + 4 in 30 matches.

That’s just Yezhov’s game in many respects more consistent with the requirements of modern football. If you look at the statistics of the last championship from InStat, it turns out that Roman has higher passing accuracy (78% versus 69% for Zinkovsky), more rebounds (6.0 versus 4.1 on average per 90 minutes of play), more interceptions (2 .9 against 2.3), tackles (1.9 against 1.1), martial arts in defense (7.0 with 43% success against 5.1 with 32% success). He allows less marriage. Yezhov is a pretty predictable player for a head coach. It is more reliable, while quite fast and technical.

In October 2021, Valery Karpin included Roman in the extended squad of the Russian national team. Then Osinkin answered the question about comparing Zinkovsky with Yezhov:

“Is it possible to say that Sergeev and Yezhov suit Karpin more than Zinkovsky? Karpin is playing 4-3-3, and we are 4-2-3-1, and Yezhov performs much more defensive functions than Zinkovsky, and Zinkovsky plays more attacks. I don’t want to judge which of them is better, they all know how to play football and are useful for the team. We will try to use their strengths within our team in such a way as to get the maximum benefit for both them and the team. And let Valery Georgievich decide in which games who is more useful to him ”(in an interview for Metaratings).

In the event that Andrei Mostovoy leaves Zenit in the summer transfer window, the St. Petersburg club will most likely sign a newcomer. If Sergey Semak uses Claudinho in the top three of the centre-haves, then another flank midfielder may be added to Malkom, Zelimkhan Bakaev and Gustavo Mantua. It is quite possible that the champions of Russia will seriously switch to Yezhov. The next match against Zenit is a chance for the 24-year-old native of Nizhnekamsk to get as close as possible to St. Petersburg. The novel should surprise Semak.



From the roar of Safonov it becomes scary!  10 highlights of the RPL tour that you might have missed
From the roar of Safonov it becomes scary! 10 highlights of the RPL tour that you might have missed

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