Ex-for­ward of the Ukrain­ian nation­al team about the match­es Slavia — Dnepr‑1 and Aris — Dynamo

The first match­es of the third qual­i­fy­ing round of the Europa League and Con­fer­ence League for Ukrain­ian teams end­ed unsuc­cess­ful­ly, both in terms of play and results. Dnepr‑1 in Prague was defeat­ed by local Slavia, and Dynamo Kiev lost to Aris in Thes­sa­loni­ki. These match­es were ana­lyzed by the famous for­mer foot­baller of Shakhtar, Dnepr and the Ukrain­ian nation­al team Andrey Vorobey.

Read also: UEFA rat­ing. Ukraine dropped to 15th place

— Let’s start with the match Slavia — Dnepr‑1. The Dnipro team lost with a big score in Prague, strik­ing the first blow at the oppo­nen­t’s goal only in the 86th minute of the match. What was it?

— I think that Dnepr‑1 is not ready to per­form at this lev­el. Ear­li­er, in the Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion, the Dnipro team played only the sec­ond match in Athens at a decent lev­el. And here? It seems that most of the foot­ball play­ers only saw each oth­er for the first time on the foot­ball field. We didn’t see any team inter­ac­tions, although Dnepr‑1 has expe­ri­ence in inter­na­tion­al match­es. Last sea­son, Alexan­der Kucher’s team played in the group tour­na­ment of the Con­fer­ence League.

See also: Slavia — Dnepr‑1. Video review of the match for August 10

What caught my eye? Dnieper defend­ers make a lot of mis­takes. Every­one knows that Czech teams play skill­ful­ly with set pieces, but we can­not cope with an oppo­nent who scores against us after a penal­ty kick in the minor­i­ty. Slavi­a’s play­ers played with heart, but our play­ers act­ed spine­less­ly, hit­ting the first shot on tar­get only in the 91st (!) minute of the match. And this blow was struck by 18-year-old strik­er Daniel Kivin­da.

— Does the absence of Pikhalenok and Dovbik affect the team’s per­for­mance so much?

- As we see, yes. I would also add Gut­sulyak to the team lead­ers. Dovbik moved to Girona, Pikhalenok fell ill — and every­thing broke down in the Dnepr‑1 game. With­out Dovbik and Pikhalenok, the zest in the actions was lost. But, again, I am very embar­rassed by the defen­sive play of all the team play­ers. Here, for exam­ple, is the cap­tain of the Sva­tok team. In the spring he was called up to the Ukrain­ian nation­al team, he played at Wem­b­ley against the Eng­land team and after that he began to make a lot of mis­takes. From under him Slavia scored the first goal in the open­ing of the match.

Read also: Coach­man: Cred­it of con­fi­dence from the club man­age­ment? This is a ques­tion for the club man­age­ment

— You often come across this: yes­ter­day a play­er was announced, and today he is already in the start­ing line­up. We are talk­ing about strik­er Alexan­der Fil­ip­pov. And anoth­er rook­ie, Bog­dan Led­nev, entered the field in the 11th minute of the match?

— Every­thing hap­pened very quick­ly here. Dovbik moved to the Span­ish La Liga, and there is sim­ply no one to replace him. Of course, every­thing should have been fore­seen ear­li­er. Every­one under­stood that Dovbik’s trans­fer was pos­si­ble, which is why the lead­ers of Dnepr‑1 need­ed to invite a new for­ward ear­li­er and play him. And we don’t know exact­ly what the finan­cial sit­u­a­tion is now for the Dnipro res­i­dents. Either you can take only free agents, or make the tran­si­tion for rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle mon­ey. If you acquire a first-team play­er, that’s one thing, you can count on him.

We know that Fil­ip­pov and Led­nev played lit­tle last sea­son for var­i­ous rea­sons. Yes, we under­stand that these new­com­ers also have inter­na­tion­al expe­ri­ence, but you need to be in opti­mal con­di­tion to per­form well in such a dif­fi­cult match. I think it’s too ear­ly to count on Led­nev and Fil­ip­pov now.

— In your career you played against Slavia. What impres­sion did this team leave on you?

— Foot­ball is chang­ing, but Czech foot­ball play­ers are not chang­ing much. All are phys­i­cal­ly pow­er­ful, tall play­ers. They always play great in set pieces, their head coach Trpišovs­ki has been lead­ing Slavia for 6 years. In my time, Czech play­ers did not rely on tech­nique. And now I look, and here they have added. A month ago, Slavia left-back David Jurasek signed a con­tract with Ben­fi­ca. As I heard, the trans­fer amount was 14 mil­lion euros. Czech teams live off the sales of their best play­ers. And that’s quite nor­mal.

— Why did Aris beat Dynamo?

“I looked care­ful­ly at Aris’s play and I will say that this team pleas­ant­ly sur­prised me. I thought that the fifth team in the Greek Cham­pi­onship would look weak­er. But, with their loy­al fans, the home play­ers fought for every ball. With each attack, Aris tried to make the most of it. I can’t say that Dynamo played poor­ly, but there are big com­plaints about the attack­ing actions of the play­ers of the Ukrain­ian team.

See also: Aris — Dynamo. Video review of the match for August 10

— Every­one has a ques­tion, why the best sniper of the team, Vanat, did not play…

— I myself would like to hear the club’s offi­cial posi­tion on this issue. Mircea Luces­cu had this at Shakhtar: most­ly Ukraini­ans play in the Ukrain­ian cham­pi­onship, and for­eign play­ers play in Euro­pean cups. I’m not hint­ing at any­thing. Over the past 5–7 years, in my opin­ion, Vladislav Vanat is the best for­ward of Dynamo Kyiv.

Read also: Luces­cu: We start­ed play­ing to score a goal only after we con­ced­ed our­selves

— Do I agree with the opin­ion that the team lead­ers: Yarmolenko, Sidorchuk, Sha­parenko and Buyal­sky failed this game?

- Yes. Sidirchuk and Sha­parenko did not aggra­vate things at all — all the pass­es went back­wards and across from them. In attack, Yarmolenko and Buyal­sky were unable to pose unsolv­able tasks to the ene­my defense. Nobody broke into the free zone, we saw lit­tle one-touch play. I believe that Dynamo did not have a leader on the foot­ball field that evening.

It seems to me that before the match the Dynamo Kyiv play­ers want­ed to play due to their rich inter­na­tion­al expe­ri­ence. Did not work out. I think that we need­ed to use the flanks more often, act aggres­sive­ly, and not be afraid to make mis­takes. The play­ers on our team lacked cre­ativ­i­ty and flair.

— Before the start­ing whis­tle, every­one was wor­ried about the unsuc­cess­ful actions of the cen­tral defend­ers – Popov and Siro­ta. How did these play­ers per­form in Thes­sa­loni­ki?

“They didn’t make such obvi­ous, gross mis­takes.” But the way Popov plays defen­sive­ly… You can’t play like that. Only a mir­a­cle and Buschan saved Dynamo from con­ced­ing a sec­ond goal already in stop­page time. Our defend­ers are not accus­tomed to win­ning the ball clean­ly, with­out foul­ing. What I noticed is that in Europe, defend­ers play tight­ly with ene­my for­wards, and our defend­ers take a posi­tion, in zones, and try to counter the oppo­nent.

— Why, in your opin­ion, did Mircea Luces­cu make the first sub­sti­tu­tions only in the 81st minute of the match? After all, in such heat, many foot­ball play­ers are sim­ply tired…

— Prob­a­bly, the head coach of the Kiev team was afraid to change author­i­ta­tive per­form­ers. I am sure that Sidorchuk and Yarmolenko could have been changed much ear­li­er; they did not make it into this game.

— What are Dynamo Kyiv’s chances of get­ting Aris through now? In just a week there will be a return meet­ing in Bucharest.

— Dynamo’s chances of pass­ing the Greek Aris are quite good. We all want Dynamo to play in the play­off round with Besik­tas. I think that our team in Bucharest will have excel­lent sup­port from local fans and Ukrain­ian refugees. Every­one knows how strong Greek clubs are at home, and how they strug­gle away. And Mircea Luces­cu is a leg­end in Roma­nia, and local foot­ball fans should also sup­port him.

In the return match, the Kiev team must play very quick­ly. You don’t need ball con­trol for the sake of con­trol. We need active play from the flank mid­field­ers. Sha­parenko, Buyal­sky and Yarmolenko should threat­en the oppo­nen­t’s goal a lot. And not like in Thes­sa­loni­ki, where our guys made only three shots on tar­get against Aris. With an active game in the return match, every­thing will work out for Dynamo. You need to look for a chance only in attack.