#FCLMblog ~ From Italy to Russia, the first and the only site about Lokomotiv for the English speaking fans worldwide

Friday 6 November 2015

The Boy from Mostovskoy.

Roman Anatolyevich Pavlyuchenko, born in Mostovskoy, Krasnodar, then still under Soviet Rule. Those outside of Russia may not know a great deal about him, other than his name is hard to say and he used to play for Spurs, but for the Russians, Roman has been a household name for years now, both domestically and on the international stage. Making 51 appearances for his country and scoring 21 times so far, a pretty impressive return by any standards.

Roman started his senior career at Dynamo Stavropol, where he never really made a huge impression, despite scoring 11 goals in his first season Dynamo were still relegated. He then moved to Rotor Volgograd. His spell at the Volgograd club will probably be best remembered for his debut, where he was shown a red card for punching a member of the other team in the face.

In the Spring of 2003 Spartak Moscow brought in the striker, finishing his first season with 10 goals and the club's top scorer. He went on to enjoy 5 years at the Moscow club, in which he built a cult status amongst the Spartak fans for showing such loyalty and passion for the club.

In September 2008, on the back of an impressive Euro's campaign helping Russia to reach the Semi-finals, eventually losing 3-0 to Spain who would go on to win the tournament, Roman found himself the subject of interest for London club Tottenham Hotspur. He ended up signing for Tottenham for a sum of £13.7 Million. His time in London was patchy to say the least I think most Spurs fans would agree, he blew hot and cold on a regular basis, occasionally popping up with important goals and the odd moment of greatness, usually in Europe or the domestic cups. I often liken him to a slightly less physically imposing Russian version of Emmanuel Adebayor, without the bad Juju. He always looked fairly awkward on the ball yet managed to produce moments of greatness, but, unfortunately few and far between.

In 2012, after finding himself fall out of favour in London, he looked for a move away from Tottenham, growing increasingly frustrated with Daniel Levy's reluctance to let him leave, supposedly venting his anger in an interview for Russian Newspaper Sports Express, saying if the club didn't let him leave he would sit out the remaining 18 months of his contract and eventually leave for free.

After a bitter battle the Russian target man left England, finding himself back in the motherland and back in Moscow, this time however for former rivals, Lokomotiv, signing for the Railwaymen for a fee of around £8 Million. He enjoyed spells in the first team, scoring some important goals, such as his first one in over 4 years back in Russia, helping his new team to defeat rivals CSKA 2-0. However, inconsistency still played a huge part in Roman's game, seeing him slowly fall out of favour and more frequently starting games on the bench under all the managers (Bilic, Kuchuk, Bozovic and Cherevchenko). Only Couceiro trusted in him in his first months with the red-greens. At the age of 33 Lokomotiv clearly felt he had served his purpose and allowed the player to join Kuban Krasnodar in July 2015, where he would join up with former Russian team mate Andrey Arshavin.

Full Circle for Roman Pavlyuchenko
After a 17 year career, gaining cult status amongst former fans and becoming an important part of the Russian international set up, the boy from Mostovskoy, finds himself once again back in the region of Krasnodar, is this a case of the chickens coming home to roost? Has he come back home in preparation to hang up his boots? Only time will tell.

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