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Look forward to this joint story. I have started my first international story with Ireland and majorly looking forward to it.
 
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Before the worries of international football there's a small matter of domestic duty with the mighty CSKA Moscow.


A disappointing third place last season continued CSKAs run of five seasons without a return to the top of the Russian Premier League, a minor blip? or a the start of a worrying slide for one of Russia's biggest clubs.


Regardless of CSKAs recent fortunes, the current Premier League has never been tougher.



Defending Champions, Zenit St Petersburg and the increasingly impressive Ruban Kazan head a list of favourites for the title, whilst the appearance of mega rich Anji Makhachkala has seen the arrival of a new potential dominant force in Russia along with the likes of Samuel Eto and Roberto Carlos in the unfamiliar cold of Russia.

Despite a daunting setup in the league there's already a squad in place that could certainly see us make a strong challenge for the title.






Despite containing pretty much the entire Russian back line, the CSKA team differs from an aging international team, with some promising young players providing some depth to the team, however like the Russian first team there are a few players who are the true backbone to this team.





The current stopper for the international team, Akinfeev is one **** of a goalkeeper and at only Twenty Six years of age he has got a bright future ahead of him.

A CSKA player since the beggining of his career it would be highly unlikely that Akinfeev would look to move elsewhere but regardless, we will do all we can to make sure my future captain will never want to leave the club that has become his home.


_______






Akinfeev might be the true soul of the club but flamboyant striker Vagner Love is the one who has captured the hearts of the CSKA faithful.

Six years at the head of The Army Mens strike force saw the Brazillian quickly become a fan favourite but a decline in fortunes saw the misfiring striker back to his home land and his first club Palmeiras, however a chnage in presidency at the club saw the transfer cancelled and quickly had the talismanic striker back in Russia.

I'm thrilled to have him with us and will be sure to make sure Love makes up for lost time with a leading role in my line up.


_______



With a competitive season fast approaching and the Europa League providing us with another opportunity for European success, every member of this team is sure to play a role in the forth coming season.


 
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Before we can get down to business its transfer time.


With a fairly solid first team squad in place it was clear most of the departures wouldn't be coming from the main team, however that's not to say we didn't have our fair share of players saying their goodbyes to the beauty of Moscow.



A total of nine players left the squad by the end of the window, all of them from a reserve squad over flowing with wasted potential and players with no hope of breaking into the first team.

None of the departures are really worth any note, however Lionel Adams loan to Shinnik gives our most promising reserve player at least a slim chance of improving enough to maybe have a shot at finally breaking into the starting line up.




Having reviewed the squad, I soon decided that only a left back and someone to provide cover for Vagner Love would be required for the coming season and I quickly set to work...





_______





First signing of my tenure at CSKA is Czech left back, David Limbersky.

Having spent pretty much his entire career at Czech side Viktoria Plzen, this is the step up Limbersky is ready for. With only young Schennikov able of filling the role at the minute, Limbersky will hopefully slot straight into the starting line up from the get go and with his strong work rate and firm tackling ability he could certainly make an impact in his debut season.

_______





Eight million for an eighteen year old is certainly somewhat of a gamble but Djordevic could be worth that and more in the future.

The hottest prospect to come of Montenegro since Stevan Jovetic and to take him from rivals Zenit St Petersburg makes it all the more sweeter.

Whilst Love holds down the role as lead and more importantly, only striker, Djordevic will be more then capable of filling in when the time comes. With a deft first touch and a mean right foot on him, its almost certain that he will be an absolute lethal striker in the not so distant future.

_______

So with the squad cleared of deadwood and two new arrivals bolstering our ranks with both a wealth of experience and potential we're set for the season.

Time to get down to business.


 
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Good looking story mate, will be interesting to see if you can turn Russia into a power house! Good luck!
 
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good luck mate, russia is my favourite league to manage in. Is Doumbia still injured in your database?
 
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Make a play for Bakic as well. Roughly 4-5 mil at toro and goes on to have a star ratng of 4 and a half in the Serie A if managed well. :)
 
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Thanks Chefbud, heres hoping!

Cheers lfc, Ive never managed in it before, its all new to me but so far its really fun. Yeah Doumbia is out for 6 months still. Real shame but atleast I have Love!

Thanks Wynters, I'm scouting him as I type, might have to wait until next season now though.
_______





Without further delay, its game time.

The kick off to the season is just under two months away and with an entire team and a new tactic to put into practice, the all important pre-season is thankfully here.


Friendly
23rd June 2012



Perhaps it was the untested 4-5-1 formation, or maybe just a case of pre-season rustiness but regardless a defeat against a minor Bulgarian side is hardly the most encouraging of starts to my CSKA career.


Friendly
30th June 2012


Well its a step in the right direction. Vagner Love sealed the victory after an early goal fest looked set to give us a second disappointing defeat but three well taken goals were enough to give us a victory in the Ukraine.


Friendly
4th July 2012


Mexican heavyweights Monterrey proved no match for a free scoring CSKA, Vagner bagged another brace with our impressive midfield adding to the one way traffic. An ideal way to introduce myself to the fans at our temporary home.


Friendly
7th July 2012


Back on the road around Europe and another convincing victory. Love continues to impress and two goals from set pieces got our short stay in France off to the perfect start. Our defence is looking increasingly solid.


Friendly
14th July 2012


Final pre season game and we leave France, on the back of another convincing win. No Vagner goal but an ever impressive midfield proved to be more then enough for Brest, with Chilean winger Gonzalez taking the plaudits.





A slow starting but non the less impressive pre-season.


Encouraging signs throughout the entire team but its talismanic striker, Vagner Love that is really impressing, picking up five goals in five matches to put him in fine form as we charge headlong into the coming season.​
 
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Thanks jord, I hope I can keep it up this time around.

_______



So with the pre-season done and dusted its time to sort the tactics.





With a line up full of midfield attacking talent but only one striker I've opted to flood the formation with three attacking midfielders.

With Japanese super star Keisuke Honda and Russias own future play maker Alan Dzagoev both made for the advance playmaker role it makes sense to have everything running through that all important central role sat behind lone striker Vagner Love.

Its a potentially risky strategy but with the two central midfielders set primarily on defensive duties we should hopefully be able to hold strong against even the toughest of opposition.




Before getting down to the nitty gritty part of the season I figure I should also point out that CSKA currently are without their own Home Stadium.


With the current stadium under much needed and lengthy redevelopment the club are currently playing here..




The amazing Luzhniki stadium is the biggest sporting venue in all of Russia and is the current home to the national team, however were not exactly welcome guests.


Fierce rivals Dinamo Moscow currently call this stadium home. With no other choice we've been forced into the same kind of arrangement as AC and Inter Milan but fortunatley for us its only for the near future.


CSKAs new home is nearly ready...





Yes that's a giant Europa League trophy in the corner.


Designed to celebrate being Russia's first club to win the tournament, the stadium incorporates a giant sky scraper in one corner and with an estimated 30,000 other seats its certain to be one impressive stadium.

Having suffered numerous set backs the stadium is finally due for completion by the end of the coming season and I for one cant wait to make it a fortress for the Army Men.



For now though its time to get cosy with Dinamo.
 
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So its time. The start of the Russian Premier League is upon us.


Prem'er Liga
21st July 2012

Position: 8th

Not really the brightest of starts to our league campaign. Kuban are a mid table side at best but still managed to hold off CSKA, with an impressive display at their home stadium. Our attacking formation failed to give us the expected results and a in particular a wayward Vagner Love was way short of his impressive pre-season form.


Prem'er Liga
27th July 2012
​Position: 3rd

Just two games into the season and already into our first major tie of the season. A convincing victory over fierce rivals Zenit has boosted our start of the season by no end. A goal from Swedish Midfielder Elm and a late finisher from Nigerian winger Musa saw us put a convincing spin on an otherwise tight match.

First blood to CSKA.



Prem'er Liga Table
July 2012



So just two games into the season and were well into the top half of the table already. Its impossible to read anything into this table so far but non the less a solid start to the season and no goals conceded so far.


Its a steady basis to what I hope will be an impressive season.
 
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With things at CSKA off to a healthy start, my international career is next on the agenda.


With the start of the World Cup qualifiers just a month away there's time for one last friendly before getting down to the serious business, as we made the short trip to Belgium for a match against one of the most promising young sides in Europe.



Friendly
15th August 2012



Despite having Bilyadentinov, Pavluychenko, Arshavin and Zhirkov in the team, it was current Premier League star Benteke that stole the show with a well taken brace in the first quarter of an hour. Our team struggled to cope with the likes of Hazard and Fellaini in the middle of the field, whilst Vertonghen, Vermaelen and Kompany kept out every attack with ease.

It wasn't until the second half that we had our first shot on target as Pavluychenko made the most of a sloppy pass back to rifle home a goal against the run of play, however it proved to be the only Russian highlight of a dis jointed performance.


A disappointing game but at least it gives me a rough idea of where were at.
 
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No Time to dwell on my debut failure in charge of Russia, the domestic league keeps on rolling.



Prem'er Liga
3rd August 2012
Position: 3rd

Continuing our solid start to the season, we keep another clean sheet, whilst Vagner Love opens his account for the season. It might not have been the most convincing of displays against a side that will quite frankly struggle all season but non the less, a wins a win.


Prem'er Liga
11th August 2012
Position: 1st

There is no stopping us now. Japanese play maker Honda, proved to be more then enough for Kylja Sovetov to handle with a goal in each half. A red card didn't help the minnows but regardless we certainly deserved this victory and its put us firmly to the top of the table. Only Twenty Six games left to hold onto it.


Prem'er Liga
18th August 2012

Position: 5th

Or perhaps not. The current leaders Terek have taken many by surprise this season and we were to be no exception. Two first half goals rattled the Army Men faithful and despite a Vagner Love goal on the hour mark we couldn't find a way back into the game as our perfect start to the season came to a convincing end.


Prem'er Liga
26th August 2012


Position: 4th

They might have more money then any other club in the world but their riches are yet to result in any success and against CSKA there was still to be no result for their financial efforts. Despite Eto and Zhirkov leading there attack we held firm against Anji to secure another point and a needed morale boost after the disappointing defeat.


Prem'er Liga Table
August 2012


Our solid start has turned into a rather mixed affair but non the less were in the right area to be competing with our main rivals for the title. Rubin might have the early lead but theres plenty of the season left to come.



Whilst my overall goal might be the Champions League trophy, its fair to say nothing beats a bit of Europa League action on a Thursday evening.


Europa League Playoff Leg 1
August 23rd 2012



A draw against Bulgarian heavyweights Levski could have been tricky but in clinical fashion we effectively killed off the playoff in an efficient display at the Georgi Asparuhov stadium. Chilean winger Gonzalez opened the scoring, whilst Vagner Love showed signs of what he's capable of with two solo efforts to kill off the game. With three away goals, we've got an easy job to do back in the Motherland.


Europa League Playoff Leg 2
August 30th 2012



Simples. Gonzalez once again led the way as we all but destroyed Levski slim hopes in twenty minutes, whilst his partner on the opposite side of the field young Nigerian, Musa doubled our lead to put a convincing gloss on the finish.



So with our place in the group stage assured we sat back and awaited the draw.







It could have been a whole lot worse.


To be honest we've got away very lightly here.

The obvious challengers are Italian giants Lazio but the side are a shadow of their former selves and with two qualification spots we should certainly be looking to make it into the next round along side them. Slovakian Champions Zilina have done well to get this far but the real suprise is interstingly our Belgian feeder club Lokeren. As winners of the Cofidis Cup they qualified for the Europa League but few suspected it to be more then a cameo appearance. yet here they are. Its a fairy tale story...but I'm still going to destroy them.


We're well on course to make yet more Russian history!
 
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Thanks Miguel, I will certainly try!

_______





Back to international duty, following a sloppy start its time to up our game as we head into the first of the World Cup Qualifiers.


As strong favourites along side Portugal for a place in the World Cup from this group I'm eager to get off to a flying start, an automatic spot is certainly within our reach but with little time to sort a strong tactic or a regular squad its certainly going to be touch and go.


World Cup Qualifier Group Six.
7th Septemer 2012

Position: 4th

Hardly the most inspiring of results.

In all honesty we were lucky not to be two goals down at the break as Nothern Ireland took the game to us, with only Goalkeeper, Akinfeev doing enough to keep us in the game.

A quick change around in the second half saw us field a more aggressive formation and when the tireless Pavluychenko eventually fired us in front it appeared we would go on to win, until Watford youngster, Hodson exposed our weakness from Set Pieces to score a late leveller.


Disappointing.


World Cup Qualifier Group Six
11th September 2012​


Position: 2nd

Having started with the attacking formation that saw us peg back Northern Ireland I was hoping for some kind of a whitewash against minnows Luxembourg but the tiny nation proved to be more then a challenge as they too took the game to us in the first half. It highlighted our lack of ambition when we could only managed to find the back of the net after plucky Luxembourg were down to ten men.​



World Cup Qualifier Group Six Table
September 2012






We head back to Russia with our heads down.



What should have been a relatively simple start to our World Cup campaign only served to show our rivals in the competition just how bad this current Russian setup is. Despite having a continued welath of experience and enough talent to stomp all over this qualifying group we showed no sign of our true potential.



Non the less its not all doom and gloom. Were sitting just behind Portugal and are yet to be beaten. Provided we can regroup and reform were still in with a strong chance.

 
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Its coming thick and fast in Russia now. Internationals and all kinds of domestic duties are certainly keeping me busy.


Prem'er Liga
2nd September 2012


Position: 7th

Another day, another fight against title challengers. Rubin Kazan are in the lead for the race at the moment but despite their early good form, they couldn't break down what is so far the tightest defence in the league as Akinfeev's goal remained untouched once again.


Prem'er Liga
23rd September 2012


Position: 5th

An away day trip to struggling Krasnodar, was sparked into life by Rasmus Elms converted penalty following a clumsy challenge on Vagner Love, Chilean winger Gonzalez continues to impress down the left picking up his first goal in the league following his encouraging performances in the Europa League.


Prem'er Liga
29th September 2012
Position: 3rd

Vagner Love showed signs of his continued development on his return at CSKA with a goal in each half that saw off an Amkar side who scored only the third goal past Igor Akinfeev in the league. Were on a good run of form here and despite hardly lighting the league up, were making steady progress.


Prem'er Liga Table

September 2012

Locked on the fringes of the title battle, were not exactly imposing ourselves at the top of the table but its still early doors yet and the race for the top is proving to be even tighter then I even imagined. The slightest slip up could spell disaster for any of the chasing clubs.



Whilst the League continues to build in drama, Russias one and only cup competition has raised its head and with a Europa League spot up for grabs its certainly not to be shrugged at.



Kubok Rossii 5th Round
15th September 2012



Non league opposition welcomed us to the competition and within fifteen minutes we had showed little Vityaz Podolsk that we were in no mood to be charitable. Vagner Love and Honda once again provided us with the attacking intent and we cruised into the next round.



Kubok Rossii 6th Round
26th September 2012



Having already played Volga in the league we knew they could be tricky customers but the Love machine wasn't about to slip up now, ploughing home a well taken hat-trick to send us sailing through the competition in some style. If only we could get him firing like this in the league.



So domestically its all going swimmingly but in an already busy month there was still the group stages of the Europa League to contend with.




Europa League Group G
20th September 2012

Position: 4th

For a while we were certainly well in this game. Keisuke Honda and Rasmus Elm were making all kinds of problems for the Lazio defence but in a rare lapse of concentration, a Lazio corner saw Floccari rise highest to score what proved to be the only goal of the game. A cruel result but still some impressive signs against the group favourites, we can only hope to have the better fortune back in Russia.



Europa League Group G
September 2012



Grim viewing on first appearances but its early days yet. Surprise package Lokeren continue to defy everyone by not only qualifying for the stage but topping the table, whilst both Eastern European clubs suffer an early set back in their Europa League hopes.
 
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