Dziuba is waiting for the match of the year. His future will be decided by Spartak

Dmitry Zimin

Dmitry Zimin

Spartak - Zenit

If you stay on the bench, the motivation will disappear completely.

Even before the match with Khimki, Sergei Semak issued an important public message: the championship has been won, which means that those who have played little lately can get a chance. Including to resolve contract matters and the issue of bonuses. The first thing I personally thought about is Artyom Dzyuba will definitely come out now. He has played very little in recent months as the manager sees more value from Sergeyev and Alberto up front. They act with a lot of volume, press and add dynamics – so everything is logical. But then again: the title is won, Dziuba certainly would not spoil the structure of the game, so why not let him frolic with the defense of an outsider?

But Dziuba can really break into Serbia!  Nothing keeps him in the RPL
But Dziuba can really break into Serbia! Nothing keeps him in the RPL

But Semak decided otherwise – Artyom did not go to the base for Khimki. Now Spartak is ahead. And at a press conference, when it comes to Artyom at the start, the coach has a vague wording. Dziuba or Sergeev? The strongest will play. Based on past matches, Sergeyev will again enter the field.

I think if Artyom stays on the bench, this is the final indicator of leaving. Everyone knows about his special feelings for Spartak and how important it is for him to play with this particular team. This is drive, emotions, anger, crazy motivation – everything that helps the attacker to maintain his best qualities. I am sure that he even prepares for this match in a special way. And he really wants to appear at the base. Again: the championship is won, Dziuba is definitely not the worst option that will not globally change the game of Zenit, but the decision is up to the coach.

Dziuba in the fight in the game with Spartak

Dziuba in the fight in the game with Spartak

Photo: Edgar Breshchanov, “Championship”

Let’s imagine the plot that Artyom comes out in the starting lineup. And scores a couple of goals. Zenit wins, the coach is happy, the management is delighted, the player himself radiates positive. Agree, an excellent background to score on all the problems of recent months and talk about the future. It just doesn’t get better. Surely the player’s side will be more accommodating, and the leadership will move away from pragmatism. At this very moment, there will be a chance to preserve the common road, at least for the next two years. The player will remain for the sake of emotions, which he is unlikely to receive in another Russian club, and the management will retain not only the player, but also the brand.

Now another plot: Dzyuba is watching the match from the bench. In the second half, when his help is needed, Erokhin comes out. Or Ozdoev. Or any other player. No matter the result – Zenit wins or loses, Artyom will establish himself in the opinion that he is not part of this. And the only motivation to stay is very good money. But isn’t it better to earn less and prove to everyone – Semak, the management, the team – that he was no longer considered the leader and base player too early? Feeling that the second desire will outweigh. Yes, and Dziuba will definitely not want to sit and have a permanent supply.

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So the next match, if not decisive, is definitely very important: in the case of the first outcome, the player may well stay, in the case of the second, negotiations will be activated not only with Red Star, but also with Russian clubs.


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