New Spartak Moscow Coach and Home Kit for the start of the 2015 – 2016 Season
17th July 2015.
After two consecutive seasons of sixth place finishes in the Russian Premier League, Spartak Moscow are mixing things up for the 2015 – 2016 campaign. The football club will have both a new Spartak Moscow home kit 2015 – 2016 and a new manager when play commences for the new season on July 19th. But will the “out with the old, in with the new mentality” bring about a change of luck for the People’s Team? Will the new Spartak Moscow coach bring about success? Or will their lengthy title draught continue for another year?
Alenichev and a History at Spartak
Whatever happens, most of the responsibility will rest on the shoulders of Dmitri Alenichev, who will take over the position as manager at Spartak Moscow. A former attacking midfielder, Alenichev has old ties to the People’s Team: he played two separate stints for the soccer club during his senior career—first from 1994 to 1998, and later from 2004 to 2006.
During the first stint, Alenichev made 122 league appearances for Spartak, scored 18 goals, and helped the People’s Team win four Russian Premier League titles. (The soccer club won the national championship in 1994, 1996, 1997, and 1998, and came in third in 1995.)
By the time Alenichev returned to the club in 2004, he was in his 30s and past his prime. He added 21 additional league appearances and three additional league goals in two seasons. However, his relationship with the club ultimately soured. In 2006, an interview was published wherein Dmitri scathingly criticized then Spartak coach, Aleksandrs Starkovs. The interview cost Alenichev his spot on the starting squad, earned him a hefty fine, and eventually—by mutual consent—ended his contract with the club.
The Starkovs controversy actually seemed to sour Alenichev on football altogether. Following the termination of his contract, he gave up soccer for a career in politics. He would never play football at the senior level again, though he returned to the game in 2010 to coach Russia’s U-18 team.
Now, nine years after his controversial career-ending move at Spartak, Dmitri is headed to the Otkrytie Arena to take the job as head coach.
An Uneasy Homecoming
While Dmitri Alenichev may have a complicated history at Spartak Moscow, the bottom line is that he knows how to win here. When Alenichev left Moscow for the first time, after the 1998 season, the People’s Team won three more titles—in 1999, 2000, and 2001. They haven’t won since.
Clearly, the hope behind Dmitri’s uneasy homecoming is that he will be able to take the wearers of the Spartak Moscow home jersey 2015 – 2016 and turn them into a title-winning squad once again. It’s a tough job: as recently as 2013, it looked like Spartak were in good shape. They were the runners-up during the 2011 – 2012 Russian Premier League season, and finished a respectable fourth in the next year. But the People’s Team has gone downhill since, falling to sixth place in 2013 – 2014, and only winning 12 of their 30 league fixtures last season.
Part of the problem has been a lack of managerial consistency. Most seasons, the football club has had a managerial shift midway through, with caretaker manager Valeri Karpin spending a lot of time at the helm since 2009. With Alenichev, who spent four years at his most recent coaching job (at Arsenal Tula), hopefully the soccer team has found a more permanent leader.
New Jerseys for a New Era
Dmitri isn’t the only reason that Spartak Moscow is celebrating the start of a new era. It will also be the football team’s second year ever in their new stadium, Otkrytie Arena. Prior to the 2014 – 2015 season, the club had never had their own stadium, always playing home games at other grounds and pitches throughout Moscow. They are still settling in, and Alenichev will hopefully be able to help the People’s Team turn Otkrytie into a proud home.
Last year, Nike designed the 2014 – 2015 home shirt in honor of Otkrytie Arena, with a unique diamond patterning to match the stadium’s distinctive shell. This year, with the Spartak Moscow home kit, Nike is changing things up again, ditching last season’s red-on-red design for a red shirt with a band of white in the middle. The white polo collar is also new—different from last year’s block cut crew neck.
You can link up with us on social media to tell us what you think of the new shirt design, as well as whether or not you believe that Dmitri Alenichev can establish a winning tradition at Otkrytie Arena. Find us online today, on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn as well as other popular social networks.