Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Advocaat - Arshavin will remain my captain

Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin will retain his position as Russia's captain according to new coach Dick Advocaat.

The gaffer was the preferred choice of RFU's new president Sergio Fursenko, who has known him since their days together in Zenit.

At his first press conference as head coach Dick Advocaat left no room for cynicism as he stated that Andrey Arshavin, who regularly fell out with him during his three-year tenure as coach of Zenit St. Petersburg will remain the captain of Russia: "Arshavin is a good captain, he has respect among his team mates," the tactician said.

The 62-year-old Dutchman, who succeeded compatriot Guus Hiddink at the helm of Russia's football affairs after signing a four-year-contract on Tuesday revealed that he doesn't intend to tamper with the current squad he inherited from former boss Hiddink.

"I don't think we would make a lot of changes in the national team. We have good players there."
Although, he promised to focus his attention on grooming youngsters, who he expects to fill in for the established names: "The main thing right now is to identify talented young players who could join the national team in the near future."

Advocaat, who last month resigned from his position as Belgium manager after just six months in the job, spoke about his Predecessor Guus Hiddink - the manager guided Russia to the Euro 2008 semi-finals, but refused to renew his contract following their World Cup failure: "I can say that after such good work by Hiddink, we would only move to achieve very lofty goals such as qualifying for the finals of Euro 2012."

Russia will open their Euro 2012 Group B qualifying campaign away to Andorra on Sept. 3. The other teams in the pool are Slovakia, Ireland, Armenia and Macedonia.