Playing for Big

07.11.2011 | kyivweekly.com.ua

Shakhtar beat archrival Dynamo in cup game

Shakhtar had something to prove and a limp Dynamo was no match. Grumpy fans, skeptical press and embarrassment in Europe shook up the Donetsk team to do more than blame fans away from the pitch. Shakhtar started by sending a message to its big earners by benching stars like Jadsen for his dismal performance against Kharkiv Metalist, then, they capitalized on chances. Although they played cautiously and did not actually have many scoring chances, they firmly placed the ball between the sticks when given the chance. The same cannot be said for Dynamo. And against such error-prone competition, it may even be said that Dynamo lost the game through mistakes rather than Shakhtar´s ability. Dynamo needs a shake-up soon before its loyal fan-base starts similar protests. First, Dynamo must sharpen its line-up selections. It opted to rest its stars like Milevsky, who perhaps has not been his best of last, but whose whole-hearted play only gets better with every match. His energy is needed on the pitch. It was his late goal that gave Dynamo a spark of a chance to draw. At the same time, one who should have been sitting out was aging striker Andriy Shevchenko, who "was less noticeable than the ball boys," as the press kindly put it. With his best efforts in the distant past, his tired play dragged down the team. Secondly, Dynamo chronically fails to capitalize on chances, instead, making costly mistakes time and time again, especially on the European stage. This time out, the Dynamo defence practically helped Shakhtar to score. Although Shakhtar staged a comeback, fans should still be disappointed that its two top premier league teams fail to thrill. Frankly, the two teams have become complacent at the top of the standings, and their boredom in yet another meeting clearly transmitted to the paying public. With their coffers and preferential treatment by top officials, these two heavyweights have dominated for more than a decade and shut out more exciting smaller teams. It is time for football officials and the authorities to tip the balance towards other teams that make the entire league more competitive. Ukraine needs to take a leaf from leagues like Spain where there is more parity between teams and their players are among the world´s best. State support for football academies would be a start.

Printable version
comments powered by Disqus