A suitcase without a handle forgotten in the storage room: what happens to the Metalist


6 points in 12 matches is all that Peritsa Ognenovych and his coaching staff can boast of…

Back in January, we had to state that the management of “Metalist” made an extremely strange decision when instead of Oleh Ratia, they appointed Serbian specialist Peritsa Ognenovich as acting head coach of the team. Under the previous coach, the Kharkiv players did not shine in the Ukrainian Premier League, but they were able to go to the winter break in 11th place. With Ognenovich, the team predictably went downhill, winning only one victory in 12 matches (with three draws and eight defeats), and that one over the same hopeless outsider of the elite as the current “Metalist” itself – “Lviv” (1:0 ).

When, four months ago, the author of these lines shared the impression that with the appointment of Peritsa Ognenovich, “Metalist” had clearly turned on the wrong path, even in the comments to that article there were many supporters of “conspiracy theories” – they say that these journalists are specifically “smothering” the team and ” clinging” to her. But after four months and 6 points scored in 12 matches, no one is shouting about third-party insidious conspiracies around the team, because even die-hard fans of the current management of the club have become clear that the project is really moving with “negative acceleration”.

It became clear in mid-March that the appointment of Ognenovich did not improve, and even worsened the situation within the team. By that time, “Metalist” had dropped from 11th to 15th place in the UPL standings, and information appeared in the media that the Serbian specialist was actually more does not perform its functions, being a kind of “wedding general” in the team. And even if those rumors were never officially confirmed, and Ognenovich de facto continued to perform his functions, it did not change the essence of the matter.

Ognenovich was able to win his first and so far only victory at the head of “Metalist” only in the tenth match in the framework of the Premier League. It is symbolic that the Serb, as colleague Yuriy Lyakhovetskyi countedbecame one with such highly dubious figures in the history of our championship as Jacob Gall (Stal Kamianske), Yannis Christopoulos (Tavria), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Arsenal-Kyiv), Sergio Navarro (Karpaty ), Eric van der Meer (“Steel” Kamianske), Dario Drudi (“Zirka”)…

How did the path of club projects end, the teams of which were headed by the specialists listed above at a certain stage? Where are “Stal” from Kamian, “Tavria” from Simferopol, “Arsenal-Kyiv” from the capital, “Karpaty” from Lviv and “Zirka” from Kropyvnytskyi, probably, none of the real fans of domestic football need to be told more.

Most likely, “Metalist” is also going on a similar route now. Judge for yourself: in order to keep registration in the Ukrainian Premier League for the next season, the Kharkiv team needs to win at least two victories and score 6 points in the three remaining rounds, and this is taking into account that “Ingulets”, “Rukh” and “Veres” will not score a single point in their matches for a similar tournament aspect. Only then will “Metalist” be able to avoid not only direct relegation from the elite, but also the stage of transitional matches. How real is it? No more than a couple of percent, and even such an optimistic forecast for Kharkiv residents can only be made solely as a sign of respect for the theory of probability.

As in the case of “Lviv”, the situation with “Metalist” is moving in the only logical direction – to relegation from the UPL. And here it is not a question of a positive or negative attitude towards the Kharkiv football project revived by Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi. You just need to assess the situation objectively.

When a team in apparent crisis signs an absolute no-name for the domestic football market in the person of 25-year-old left back Roberto Corral, it is either a desperate attempt to find a diamond in the mountains of waste rock, or some agency tricks that have nothing to do with football . Why was the Spaniard chosen as a negative example? Judge for yourself: in the seven matches held for “Metalist” in the UPL, the effectiveness of Corral’s actions is 56%. In total, on average, he performs only 44 actions in 90 minutes of playing time. And this, let’s not forget, is not an attacking football player, but a left defender in a team that is an outsider in the tournament and, therefore, most of the time is forced to play “from the stove”.

In fact, personnel matters to the management of the current “Metalist” are, as they say in such cases, a wagon and a small cart. For example, what does the 34-year-old Brazilian veteran Anderson Pico do in the Kharkiv club, who also, interestingly, plays on the left flank of the defense? Even on the website of the UPL, the profile of this legionnaire includes data that makes it clear that the current Pico, based on his physical dimensions, is more likely not a football player, but a boxer or a weightlifter. Are you still surprised that all that Anderson Pico has played for since his October transfer to Metalist is 10 minutes in a match against his compatriots from Metalist 1925 in November 2022?

UPL Anderson Pico: weight 83 kg with a height of 170 cm

It should not be forgotten that in the classical sense of managing personnel work in football, and also in the championship, where there is a limit on legionnaires, the invited foreigners must be of a higher level than those who can be signed on the market for a comparable budget. Even a cursory analysis of the composition of the current “Metalist” makes it clear that the money spent on conditional Corral or Pico could with a high probability be invested in Ukrainian players, and it certainly wouldn’t be worse. Perhaps it would also be possible to save. And we are forced to talk about all this against the background of permanent rumors about salary arrears, which in “Metalist”, as in some other UPL clubs, amounts to about three months.

Therefore, it should not be surprising when, during the match against Metalist 1925, the TV camera captures the coaching staff of Metalist, in the person of Peritsa Ognenovich and his assistant Ruslan Fomin, who, trailing in the score 0:2, calmly sit on the bench, being either in prostration or then in some kind of half-sleep. Obviously, both perfectly understand that they are no longer able to influence anything, and if so, why waste energy in vain, because nerve cells do not regenerate, and everyone has only one life…

Ruslan Fomin (left) and Peritsa Ognenovych

Obviously, in the coming summer, the football project “Metalista” is waiting for big disturbances. The current management has not shown its ability to pleasantly surprise, especially in a situation close to critical. The fact that Oleksandr Yaroslavsky stopped investing in his favorite brainchild is in the press it was reported back in January… Yevgeny Krasnikov, the idea behind this project, currently has enough to worry about in Dnipro-1, which is fighting a fierce championship battle with Shakhtar.

So it turns out that the current “Metalist” is not just a notorious suitcase without a handle, but a suitcase without a handle, and also forgotten by the owner in the storage room. Will he ever come back for her, or will he remember the disappearance? And if so, wouldn’t he decide to throw it away right away so as not to worry about it in the future? There are a lot of similar questions surrounding “Metalist” now. Only with the answers, as with the results of the team in the UPL, things are going extremely badly…

Oleksiy Slivchenko

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