It was hard, but we did it
so, season 2022-2023 for Gazprom-Ugra completed, can draw preliminary conclusions. Note - not official, This is the job of the coaching staff., and the results of an interested observer. The most important: the task is completed for at least a season, the team advanced to the playoffs. Came out in many respects contrary to, not thank you, and showed a nice game in the qualifying round against Belogorye, imposed a fight on a very serious opponent.
What is this "against"? Even in the off-season and then, during the championship, the team received several tangible "holes", which, for various reasons, could not be completely closed. Let's start off with, that Yegor Yakutin moved to the St. Petersburg "Zenith", which was revealed last season and on which a certain bet was made. This mixed up the cards a little.: Kirill Ionov, who came to replace him, did not cope with the role of the main player.
Rafael Khabibullinu, normally, managed to "rock" another invited central blocker, Kirill Piun, who spent most of the time before Surgut in the reserve square (remember, how before that the same Yakutin grew literally in a season, Chereiskaya, Krsmanovich et al.). But the search for a partner for Kirill lasted for almost the entire championship, and no suitable solution has been found..
The second tangible “hole” is the state of the main diagonal Nikita Alekseev. He was never able to gain optimal shape and was only a shadow of that Nikita, which we all know. Rajab Shahbanmirzaev simply shone against its background at times, but the lack of stability in the diagonal was still noticeable to the naked eye.
Third, almost planned "hole" - the absence of a powerful attacking player in the composition. After the departure of Ilya Kovalev, it was not possible to find an adequate replacement, Role - super scarce. The team stayed with a couple of defensive players - Dmitry Makarenko and Kirill Kostylenko, veteran Dmitry Krasikov and universal Anton Botin, which the, Unfortunately, also failed to reach a stable level.
Thus, the team has significantly reduced the potential for attacks from the edges of the net. Nikita Alekseev is only the 28th striker in the league in terms of points scored with an average efficiency in 45%, which is not enough for a player of his level. At Rajab, by the way, slightly better implementation 46%.
Kastylenka, as we know, took a long time to recover from an injury, and then left by mutual agreement, since Milan Katic was signed in his place in emergency mode. This personnel move can be safely written as a plus for the coaching staff, Serb stabilized reception and showed himself well on the grid, until you get injured. And this is the fourth "hole": in the absence of Katic, the team had tangible problems with stability. And after returning, Milan played at half strength on the grid, forced to give "parachutes" (although he can be an iceman), although it significantly helped in the reception and protection.
Reception and defense this season - a minefield of unanswered questions. Reception periodically fell apart completely (especially in the absence of the same Katic), but in defense the team gave out an enchanting game, extracting a lot of pre-game chances - which were often not realized for the above reason: low attacker (and, respectively, counterattacking) potential.
All these nuances carried force majeure circumstances. (the match in St. Petersburg will be interesting in terms of finding a balance, probably, case with Nikita Alekseev). There was another very important factor, which can not be called force majeure, but which left its mark on the game of the team. Could not put, after all, it's about the game of binders, conductors in the orchestra, on the game which depends if not all, that's a lot.
Vadim Ozhiganov spent his debut season in the Superleague very unevenly. One side, we all saw progress in his game, in the ability to read the opponent's block, and not just send the ball to this or that zone. On the other hand, the quality of the decisions made and their execution often left big questions. Seriously discuss the game of twenty-year-old Maxim Kirillov, probably, it makes no sense, although in recent games he looked quite good even without taking into account age discounts. This is the future of Gazprom-Ugra, and very optimistic, we're talking about today. And today Ozhiganov is a great fellow, he jumped over his head. Another thing, that this is still not enough, to "drag" the game in the Super League.
Anyway, Gazprom-Ugra could have won several victories during the championship. remind, that we lost in a tie-break in five matches, twice lost to Nova. Theoretically, they could be in the place of the same ASC and not just compete in the qualifying round, and advance to the quarterfinals. But the subjunctive in sports does not work, got that result, for which they earned. He is not excellent, not fail - normal. Under those conditions and resources, which our team has today, qualifying for the qualifying round can be assessed satisfactorily. And the game in it against Belogorye is good: pleases, that in the playoffs the team showed character and almost fought on equal terms with a much more solidly equipped opponent.
At the same time, the trend of recent years - to occupy places below the 10th - cannot but cause alarm. Rivals keep getting stronger year after year, and we are forced to skid in place. But that's a subject for another conversation., and in another circle, and without our participation. obviously, that you can’t endlessly travel on the experience of Rafael Khabibullin, on some extraordinary decisions, rely solely on youth or, in front of, for the experience of veterans. The team must be balanced in all lines, but this, repeat, does not depend on us.