Slutsky Calls for Freedom

Leonid Slutsky believes a coach should always try to build a light environment among the players and shouldn’t try and impose too much of disciplinary rules and regulations on them.

According to Slutsky, soccer is an innovative trade and those who are involved in it have to be spontaneous. If they are in tough surroundings, that will not get the best out of them.
Slutsky had become a manager only in his early twenties as his playing career had been cut short by a horrendous injury. He was a goalkeeper by trade.

He has begun his Russia stint with some back-to-back wins and has overseen the team into the Euros.

The main difference that he is believed to have done to Russia is that he has started to coach them in a slightly calmer and lighter way and has not put as much pressure on them as Fabio Capello was putting.

But, according to Slutsky, the results dominate everything. If there are positive results, the coach’s methods are appreciated, otherwise, there are contrary views coming in from everywhere.

Whilst Russia are one of the favourites at StanJames for the World Cup that is set to be held in their own country in 2018, so far the focus for Slutsky has been on getting the players to relax, work the ball, and make the right runs.

Speaking in an interview, Slutsky said, “Personally, I believe you have to keep it simple and light and let everybody be himself and be in an easy frame of mind because it’s a highly innovative industry and having too much of harshness all around is not helpful.”

“However, it’s a result oriented business to be honest and you will draw the response according to the results that you produce.”

“At the moment you see it’s going well and people’s view is that this is the right way to go about it, but, if it had not been the same, some would be ruing the lack of discipline as well. So, the reactions are based on results.”


Yuri Zhirkov looks set to shake off his injury problems and start training this week. Chelsea are facing a number of injury crisis with a host of star players already out of the season opening match at Wembley for the community shield. It doesn’t look great for Abramovich from his Chelsea Hospitality seat!

Both Drogba and Petr Cech are likely to miss the clash with arch rivals Manchester united at Wembley and might further miss their season opener against West Bromwich Albion at the Bridge. However the good news is that Yossi Benayoun and Yuri Zhirkov are likely to start training this week.


Chelsea defender Yuri Zhirkov says that he is still struggling with a niggling injury. Zhirkov, 26, joined Chelsea from CSKA Moscow last summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £18 million, but a knee injury restricted his involvement and he did not start in the Premier League until late December. Chelsea’s chances of winning the Champions League are better if Zhirkov is playing.

Yuri Zhirkov was able to play regular football during Ashley Cole’s absence earlier this year and made a positive contribution to the club’s title success, but he has now revealed that he still suffering from the problem and could require further surgery.

“I had to miss a major part of the pre-season preparations,” he told Sport Express. “After my summer holidays, I still had sharp pain in my knees and had to visit Moscow for consultations, and also to consult with a doctor from Germany in London.

“The medical procedures and exercises helped me feel much better than last year, but the pain still bothers me after matches and trainings. In general, though, my health is much better than last year.

“I’ve decided that one month should be enough for me to return to my peak form. If I don’t manage to get rid of my problems, it will be necessary to do something about it. I’m looking optimistically at my future and I’m sure that I will shake off my injury, although I don’t know when it will happen.”


Carlo Ancelotti has denied reports that Yuri Zhirkov could leave Chelsea in the January transfer Window. The Russia international had previously claimed that he may have to quit the Stamford Bridge club in January in search of regular first team football. A number of free bets have been placed with bookies that Zhirkov will leave in January, on loan.

Yuri Zhirkov, who is comfortable playing at left full-back or on the left-hand-side of midfield, has struggled to make an impression in England since his move from CSKA Moscow back in the summer of 2009, largely due to the impressive form of Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda.

Although despite the Russian’s concerns with regards to his Chelsea future, Ancelotti is adamant that he won’t be allowed to leave the club.

“I don’t need to speak with him about the future,” Ancelotti told reporters. “That is because his future is here with Chelsea. He is a good player. He knows in this club, in the top teams, there is a lot of competition to play and for this reason, he has to improve.

“But I think that he will have the possibility to play a lot of games this year, because we are involved in a lot of competitions. We need to have all the players fit and ready to play.”


Yuri Zhirkov has said that his ambition is to become a regular for Chelsea. The Russian has endured a miserable start to the season following his £18million summer move to Stamford Bridge after being sidelined by a persistent ankle injury he suffered in pre-season.

But Zhirkov finally ended his frustration last night when he made his debut in Chelsea’s 1-0 Carling Cup victory over QPR.

The left wing-back said: “This is Chelsea, I don’t think anything needs to be said about the club.

“Everything is done at the highest level here. You have the best players here and the best facilities at the training ground and now I have to prove I am at this level too.”


Yuri Zhirkov is still sidelined for Chelsea as his team struggles to cope with a number of injuries. The Blues have had an extra week to prepare for the match following the postponement of last weekend’s clash with Manchester United.

Frank Lampard, Alex, Yuri Zhirkov and Yossi Benayoun remain sidelined.


Yuri Zhirkov has allayed fears that he needs an operation on his right knee.

Chelsea’s marquee summer signing has been unable to make his debut following an £18million move from CSKA Moscow.

The Russia winger, 26 today, hopes to return to training in the next few days but will not be fit to face Fulham in the west London derby on Sunday.

Instead, he is targetting the home tie against Burnley on Saturday week as the perfect game in which to make his bow.

Zhirkov has dismissed reports in Russia that he was set for a lengthy absence because of surgery.

‘I don’t know who spread these rumours, but they don’t correspond to reality,’ he said.

‘My condition has improved and the doctors say that in two or three days I will be able to return to training, although not fully. I’ll work on an individual program.

‘All will be clear after an examination on Thursday. I was feeling pain and noticeably limping when running, but now that’s behind me. I just need to tone up the leg.’

Zhirkov has been troubled by a compound knee injury that worsened after his appearance for Chelsea against AC Milan on the clubs’ pre-season US tour.


Chelsea’s marquee signing over the summer was the £18m acquisition of Yuri Zhirkov from CSKA Moscow, but since his arrival he has played a whole 20 minutes of competitive football.

‘I suffered a painful blow on the knee early in the game against Germany,’ Zhirkov said to Paris Sportifs.

‘It ached a little afterwards, but there was no sign of a continuing problem.’

The problem with his right knee just won’t go away, and the problem is that no-one knows what is causing it. When he looked like he was close to full recovery he was allowed to join the Russia team to face Germany in a crucial World Cup Group match, and it seems that he aggravated the injury straight away.

Again it looked like the problem went away, he was finally picked to play Atletico Madrid in last weeks Champions League match, and, again, the problem returned.

‘After the match with Atletico, the knee swelled up terribly and the doctors couldn’t explain exactly what was happening.

‘There was even a theory that my body was reacting to a complete change in climate, food and every else.’

‘There was talk of an operation, but now, after pumping out liquid on the knee, it is more or less normal, thank God’


John Obi Mikel is backing Chelsea teammate Yury Zhirkov to fill the void left by Ashley Cole’s injury.

Zhirkov appears the prime candidate to replace Cole at left-back.

“Ashley is going to big a loss for us because he is a very important player for this team,” Nigeria midfielder Mikel told

“But we have Yury, who can play in that position as well, and this is football, these things happen.

“We feel really bad that something like that happens to him at this time in the season, we don’t want it to happen to him at any time of the season, but with such important games coming up it’s going to be a big blow.”


After our marvellous 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, a win that saw us leapfrog the champions back to the top of the league, the bookies have shortened our title odds and the pundits have revised their tips, once again, to dub us champions-elect.

With five league games remaining, three of which will be played at Stamford Bridge, and a two-point cushion at the top of the table, it’s fair to say that the destiny of the title is in our hands.

However, Yuri Zhirkov, our Russian winger / makeshift full back, has spoken out in the aftermath of our triumph in the North West to warn that the title race is far from over.

‘It is far too early to become deluded,’ he said. ‘The champion’s race continues. We have some hard games ahead – particularly those against Liverpool and Tottenham. We are determined to win our remaining games.’