Hi there, here’s FC Zenit on theOffside.By: Alexander | January 31st, 2009
Zenit has returned from the first training camp in United Arab Emirates. Reportedly, there’s only one missing: Arshavin flew directly to another ‘Emirates’, to wrap up a move to Arsenal. The transfer window in England closes at 1700 GMT on Monday, so this endless story is going to be over very soon. And probably, #10 tshirt will be then given to Igor Semshov, the only new signing (he is Russia national midfielder, has joined from Dynamo Moscow in December).
Besides Semshov, there were two more changes: midfielder Alexey Ionov (19 years old) has been included into the first team, while Argentinian Alejandro Dominguez didn’t come nor to Dubai neither to St. Petersburg. The player’s explanation was brilliant: Dominguez is suffering from a sudden outburst of aerophobia, so unfortunately, is not able to fly at the moment. What a delicate and fragile psychic setup, poor guy.
There were many other transfer talks, but things remain the same: Malafeev, Timoschuk and Pogrebnyak stay in St.Pete, Iaquinta stays on the reserve bench at Juventus. (Earlier in January French defender Puygrenier joined Bolton on loan, and guess that no one regrets of this fact.)
Zenit played three friendlies in Dubai: vs. Uzbekistan national team (0:1), Bulgarian Litex (1:0, Anyukov) and Ukrainian Metallist (3:1, Denisov, Timoschuk pen., Zyrianov).
Oh, and there’s one big change in coaching staff: Dik Advocaat’s assistant Cornelius Pot returned to Netherlands (due to family issues), and the new assistant manager is Bert Van Lingen, one of the most famous Dutch specialists, the author of ‘Coaching Soccer’, ‘the official Coaching Book of the Dutch football association’.
Few photos from the first training camp:
Dik Advocaat and Bert Van Lingen: the official coaching staff of the UEFA Cup and European Supercup holders.
Andrey Arshavin: Fly to ‘Emirates’.
Timoschuk (in the center) didn’t go to Bayern, Pogrebnyak (on the right) didn’t go to Blackburn, youngster Ionov (second right) was added to the first team.
Dik Advocaat loves Igor Denisov. Well, everyone in St.Petersburg does. (My personal feeling is that Denisov, former captain of Russia Under-21, should finally become the real leader and captain of Zenit, may be already by the end of this season. See, I have big expectations on him. Remember his goal in the UEFA Cup final last year? -
St. Petersburg weather in Dubai.
The same photo after 17:00 GMT on Monday.