Russia needs fresh blood, says Hiddink

July 13th, 2012 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Arsenal Moscow, July 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Former Russia coach Guus Hiddink believes the time has come for some of the national team’s big names to step aside in favour of young talent.

Of Dick Advocaat’s squad of 23 players for Euro 2012, only two were under the age of 25, while many established players such as Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin and ex-Tottenham Hotspur forward Roman Pavlyuchenko are over the age of 30.

“In the Russian national team, the time has come for a generational change, and the team should be made up of young players,” said Hiddink, who led Russia to the Euro 2008 semi-finals and now coaches Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.

“But, even so, there are players in the squad who can still help the national team. You need to think further than the (2014) World Cup in Brazil.”

Advocaat left after Euro 2012 to take charge at PSV Eindhoven in his native Netherlands, and the Russia post remains vacant.

Russia has coaches capable of becoming the first Russian to lead the national team since Alexander Borodyuk in 2006, Hiddink suggested.

“In Russia, there are experienced coaches who could come in for this job,” he said.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has said that the Football Union should appoint a coach for a period until the end of the 2014 World Cup, before picking a new coach to lead the team to the first Russian World Cup in 2018.

Seven Russians were on the union’s shortlist of 13 coaches published Tuesday, alongside such famous names as ex-England coach Fabio Capello and former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

Capello held talks with the Football Union in Moscow Thursday, with other candidates to follow within days, Mutko told R-Sport Thursday.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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