Spartak Moscow’s results under Raul Riancho certainly aren’t impressive. Tensions, therefore, are only growing stronger in Russia.
The latest news to come out of Moscow is that the caretaker coach has slammed the club’s own fans. Riancho isn’t pleased with the backing he’s getting after his side lost to FC Ural 2-1 yesterday. The defeat marks the club’s fourth in-a-row at home domestically.
The Spartak coach is expected to be replaced soon, but not in time for the Rangers clash on Thursday. The two sides will slug it out in Moscow to see who takes the advantage heading into the final two group games. Rangers remain top of the group as it stands.
Riancho, however, has slammed his club’s own supporters for their behaviour recently. As quoted in the Daily Record, the Spartak manager has laughably claimed that “evil forces” are out to get his club.
“I don’t understand why our own supporters want to destroy a club which has a proud 96-year history. This team needs the support of the fans, but we are not getting it. The players feel it. You can see it in their behaviour in the dressing rooms. They were getting abused in the warm-up and the match.
“From behind my dug-out they screamed at the team, me personally. In situations like this, the only losers are the club. I am only here because the players wanted me to help out.
“Maybe I will leave tomorrow, maybe I will see out my contract until May next year, but while I am at the club I will give everything for it. I get the feeling there is an external evil force at this club that makes us do badly. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
A real crisis
Riancho certainly hasn’t steadied the ship since replacing previous coach Massimo Carrera. Since taking over before the Rangers match at Ibrox, Spartak have won just one of their last four matches.
Spartak as a whole seem to be crumbling from one disaster to another. The latest news about fan disgruntlement and player abuse follows devastating injury news regarding Ze Luis and Fernando. The two are Spartak’s most creative influences, but are highly likely to miss the clash in Russia.
There were fears over the availability of Luiz Adriano too. Despite that, he did return to the side and score against Ural. He’s likely to lead the line when Rangers visit on Thursday night.
This should be a Spartak side extremely vulnerable, as their league form suggests. Going four home matches without picking up a point shows that. They did, however, grab a respectable 3-3 draw at home to Villareal on match-day two of the Europa League.
Rangers will have to be wary of a backlash. As it stands, however, Moscow look as vulnerable as they’ll ever be.