Tomorrow CSKA Moscow and Kazan UNICS will play regular matches in the Euroleague basketball regular championship. The army team will host the Israeli Maccabi, and the Kazan team will visit the Greek Panathinaikos.
CSKA can’t recover from their injuries. So Daniel Hackett (center) is out of action. Photo: RIA Novosti
The attention to CSKA is, of course, special. The club is going through historical times and not in the best sense of the word. The defeat against UNICS (64:69) this weekend became the fifth in a row for Muscovites, taking into account all the tournaments. This happened with the army team for the last time 20 years ago. The 2000/01 season was almost the worst for CSKA in terms of performance in the Russian championships. The team, which was undergoing perestroika, was headed by 36-year-old Valery Tikhonenko. CSKA played the regular season indistinctly, and was knocked out by Ural Great from Perm in the playoff semifinals. And now the most titled club in the country is again in a serious crisis. We talked about its reasons and ways to get out of it with the chairman of the coaching council of the Russian Basketball Federation, Honored Coach of Russia Stanislav Eremin, who in 1992-2000 himself headed CSKA.
Stanislav Georgievich, was the CSKA crisis a revelation for you, or were there any preconditions?
Stanislav Eremin: You have to understand that there are objective reasons, but there is everything else. A lot of new players, a lot of injured early in the season, somewhere a little luck turned away. I carefully watch their matches: one cannot say that the players boycotted something, did not defend themselves, did not try. The team works, but it doesn’t look like a whole. Just look at the faces of the players. Here I was in Kazan at the match with UNICS, I watched them closely: they seemed to be doing hard work, the cars were being loaded. And the unity of the team, when for the result you need to do a little more, it seems to me, there is no. This suggests that the microclimate in the team, apparently, leaves much to be desired. I repeat, this is all taking into account objective reasons, injured players who cannot yet return to their normal state. If before the match with UNICS I said that there was no disaster yet, now I think the next one or two matches will be X-hour for the army team. Then it will be more difficult to correct the situation. And the game with Maccabi is one of the key ones.
In all matches of this terrible series, CSKA lost the last quarter …
Stanislav Eremin: You need to analyze, look. I’ve heard the opinion that the team is not functionally ready. I do not think. Although a number of players, taking into account the suffered injuries, illnesses, may not be in the best shape. Still, it seems to me that the reason should be sought in the fact that somewhere the army team has lost its character. The ending is the moment when you have to do a little more than you can. Work for yourself and that guy. And what do we see in the last CSKA matches? Now a loss, then a miss. Usually CSKA don’t make such mistakes.
What’s with the Swede? In the last match against UNICS, he did not score a single point …
Stanislav Eremin: I had never seen such an unsuccessful game with him, he himself was extinct. Of course, it is hard for Alexei: all previous years he was a clear leader who took over the game at key moments, he was allowed to do everything, he made throws when he saw fit, gave it away. And here he needs to fit into the team, and it is clear that he really wants to find the right position, to find a balance between his own game and playing for the team. It even seemed to me that in a couple of matches he succeeded. But, in my opinion, Alexey trampled his ego a little too much and lost his confidence a little. There are such partners in CSKA that if you pull the blanket over yourself, the rest will be unhappy. Partners there are stronger than in “Khimki”, and are not going to work for “uncle”. Therefore, it is very important for both the coach and the Swede to find a balance.
What is the role of head coach Dimitris Itoudis in the failures? Does it make sense to fire him?
Stanislav Eremin: It was believed that at the end of last season CSKA will change Itoudis. Not because he is a bad coach or because he does not work well. Sometimes fatigue accumulates, a certain blurring of the eyes and a fresh look is required. But the army team left him. In such situations, as now, in any case, the search for the culprit begins with the coach. If there is a caravan in the desert, the demand comes from the first camel. But this is probably correct. The problem is, tell me a real candidate who can take a team in the middle of the season and guarantee the result. It seems to me that this is out of the question at this stage. It is necessary to change the coach when it is clear that his work is not progressing at all, or when the team is uncontrollable. I think that in CSKA now, neither one nor the other can be traced one hundred percent.
Stanislav Eremin: Look at the faces of CSKA players. They seem to be doing hard work, the wagons are being loaded
How can the army team get back on the winning path?
Stanislav Eremin: CSKA just need to return to the game that they showed a little earlier. This team has potential. And, of course, there must be moves from the club’s management, from the coaching staff. You know, sometimes, if there is a leak, you don’t need to plug the hole, but, on the contrary, make it bigger. Change emphasis by player. But the coaching staff knows better.
Where will we look
November 11, Thursday,
19.55. CSKA – Maccabi. Live Stream.
21.55. Panathinaikos – UNICS. Live Stream
Source: Российская Газета by rg.ru.
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