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Coach Vsevolod Bobrov introduces himself to his team Spartak Moscow (1964)

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04-18-2017, 01:17 PM
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Theokritos
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Coach Vsevolod Bobrov introduces himself to his team Spartak Moscow (1964)

I've just come across an anecdote from the first training session Spartak Moscow held after Vsevolod Bobrov had taken over the team in February 1964. (Detailed chronology here.)
Spartak had a talented but rather ill-disciplined team and right at the first training Bobrov singled out one player, forward Valery Fomenkov, for being under the apparent influence of alcohol. Russian sports journalist Vladimir Pisarevsky (*1936) recalls the episode:
I remember how Bobrov started working as coach of Spartak Moscow and how I rushed to his first training session. The Spartak players stood in a line: the Mayorov brothers, Starshinov and all the other aces of the mid-1960s. Bobrov skated down the line, looked at Fomenkov and stopped. "Is it me or have you let yourself go today?!" Fomenkov replied: "Well, Vsevolod Mikhaylovich, they say that you too weren't a saint." That hit close to home. Bobrov yelled: "Yes, but I didn't let it affect my play!" Then he suddenly suggested: "Okay, fine. Here's the deal: [Viktor] Zinger gets into the net and whoever scores at least four goals on ten attempts: by all means, that player can do whatever he wants and I will close my eyes to it."
As far as I remember only Starshinov scored four goals. Some others scored two, some others one. And some others didn't score at all. But then Bobrov took his turn and scored seven goals on Zinger. Then he said: "So, have you seen? Have you seen everything? I think now it's clear to everybody who on our team can drink if he wants to." This lesson was better than any lecture and a dozen sermons. The discipline among the Spartak players improved right away and their rapport with the coach was fine.


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Я помню, как Бобров начинал работать тренером в хоккейном московском «Спартаке», и я помчался на первую его тренировку. И вот стоят в линейку спартаковцы: братья Майоровы, Старшинов, другие спартаковские асы середины 60 х годов. Бобров проехал вдоль строя, принюхался и остановился около Фоменкова: – По–моему, вы себе сегодня позволили?! Фоменков в ответ: – Так ведь, Всеволод Михайлович, вы тоже, говорят, не святой были. – Да, но ведь я же играл! – воскликнул задетый за живое Бобров. – Ну, ладно, – предложил вдруг он, – давайте так. Зингер встает в ворота, и кто ему забьет из десяти бросков хотя бы четыре гола, то пожалуйста, я закрываю глаза, пусть такой игрок делает, что хочет.
Если мне не изменяет память, четыре буллита забил только Старшинов. Остальные – кто два, кто – один. А кто и вовсе ни одного. А потом бросал Бобров и забил Зингеру семь голов. И говорит: «Так, видели? Все видели? Теперь, думаю, всем ясно, кто может пить в нашей команде?». Это урок был лучше любой лекции и десятка нравоучений. И дисциплина в «Спартаке» сразу подтянулась, и контакт с игроками наладился.
Source: Epshteyn/Vukolov, Хоккейные истории и откровения Семёныча, 2006.
Bobrov was 41 years old and had been retired from hockey for seven years. Among those he challenged were three players (Starshinov and the Mayorov twins) who were current fixtures on the Soviet national team and had won the 1963 and 1964 World Championships.

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04-18-2017, 01:42 PM
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I was always under the impression Bobrov is underrated around these parts.

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04-18-2017, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I was always under the impression Bobrov is underrated around these parts.
... Oh?... How so?.... He was voted 3rd as the Top Russian Athlete of the 20th Century, football & hockey, seriously impressive player & Coach thereafter.

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04-20-2017, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... Oh?... How so?.... He was voted 3rd as the Top Russian Athlete of the 20th Century, football & hockey, seriously impressive player & Coach thereafter.
By "these parts" I meant this board, which voted Bobrov #22 for the Top European project.

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04-20-2017, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
By "these parts" I meant this board, which voted Bobrov #22 for the Top European project.
Maybe. The level of competition he played against just makes it difficult to rank him (as is also the case with Vladimír Zábrodský). But stories like the one here where old Bobrov schools young Starshinov and Boris Mayorov or one from a few years later where an even older Bobrov schools young Boris Mikhaylov and the CSKA juniors at least suggest his stickhandling and skating must have been on par with the best the Soviets had to offer even in the 1960s and 1970s.

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