Posts by powsoff

    Those Russian OHs you mentioned are not exceptional players, but if they could be exported, I'm sure many NTs would welcome them and they could even be starters. There're not many OHs who can spike and receive well nowadays.

    Starters sounds yumm :).

    Many players will look OK when they have someone like Pavlov playing alongside. In December 2010, Loko Nsk with Pavlov and Butko simply destroyed the star-studded (Ball, Tetukhin, Mikhaylov) Zenit Kazan 3-0. The OH of Loko Nsk were a pair of stunts (Anton Dubrovin and Nikolai Leonenko)... I think they ended up somewhere deeply on the bench if not in the 2nd league, with Bratoev G :). The 196 cm tall Kolia Pavlov has been definitely the best opposite in Russian Superleague for several years. He's so good technically and he has a killer instinct.

    Brazil was playing a very shaky game yesterday. They actually did so in the first game of the tournament. You may remember that the sets the Brazil won on that day were very tight and the refs helped them a bit, while those won by Russia had like 8-point margin.

    Clearly a political decision. Bruno, Zaytsev and especially Lucarelli (pls watch the final once again) shouldn't be be there. Sokolov sounded like a joke. The problem is that in a couple of years some people would say that Sokolov "almost gave Bulgaria a medal of WL" and was "definitely best opposite of the world back in 2013" :).

    So Pavlov originally didn't hold a Russian passport? Who else in the Russian team has changed their citizenship?

    Pavlov, Muserskiy, Khtey, and ex-opposites Yakovlev, Baranov and Poltavskiy are geographically from Ukraine and some of them were involved in Ukrainian national teams (adult and junior). For Pavlov, sadly, it was first national team. Another person to play for a non-Russian national team was setter Alexander Butko. As you may know, there can be only one naturalized player in the official squad and Butko is regarded a more valuable asset than Pavlov. This summer Butko is having a surgery and therefore Pavlov got his chance.Ukraine could have had a decent roster :).

    Sokolov brought Cuneo to the final of the Champions League, brought Bulgaria to the semifinal of the Olympics and brought us to the semifinal of this World League. I think he has risen. Aleksiev - did you follow him in Russian league? Not a great talent and still better spiker than most players. Ask Avital Selinger what is his opinion ;) Todorov is the best blocker/ as the element block/ in the world, probably together with Mousavi, he had done 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 blocks in a game countless times. Bulgaria is the best blocking team in the world for several years now. Bratoev as a setter has a lot to learn, no doubt Zhekov is better technically, I agree about that. Skrimov is highly regarded from a lot of specialists in Brazil, in France. Yosifov is the best blocker in Serie A1 for the last year, better than Holt, Fei, Simon ;)

    If anyone here understands volleyball, he will think for a second - how is possible for a team without serving to get in top 4 in World League - is that an average result? What if Sokolov starts doing 126km/h serves one after another /he showed that speed in London/. What if somebody teach him more ball control? He will have 100% efficiency against Argentina, not the AVERAGE 80% :aww:

    Todorov is a definite yes. The others are big question marks to me.

    I do follow Югра games and I sometimes I feel sad that Todorov has a Bulgarian passport. Could have played alongside Muserskiy for Russian NT easy-peasily (another good substitution would be Konstantinov for
    Voronkov :)). As for Ugra progress, I don't think that it was Aleksiev who had grown. He was good, no question here; he was even good at this World League. But the major improvement was their new captain, Alexei Rodichev, who had really become a superb player. They were also very lucky with Konstantinov and Tolochko who were able to organize the team well, and Todorov, as I said, was a real asset too.

    Sorry to say, Sokolov looks like a very overrated figure so far. Somehow he always plays for the rival team and every time I am very comfortable with that :). I recall his action vs Zenit Kazan in 2012 Champions League, against Loko Nsk in Champions League 2013 and vs Russia in London... just a big guy who always screws up when his team needs him to perform. Not fast, poor technically, with a beautiful smile though, he will always find a block or out in the end of the set :). By the way, do you know how old he was when he started training? He reminds me Sergei Baranov a bit.

    Serie A1 is not the most "blocking" competition in the world. At the same time, middle blockers do attack sometimes and here I'm pretty sure Holt, Simon and Fei play on a very different level to Yosifov. Again, there is a big difference between being the best blocker or being "highly regarded" and actually winning something. You would say these guys are very young. Yes, but at the same time Kaziyski brought his team (Dynamo Msk) from scratch to the first place in the national championship at the age of 22. At the age of 23, he was the best player in Russian league, already a very good league at that point. I don't think there are many U-22 players on the Bulgarian roster.

    Bulgaria is a good team but I can't say that the trip to F-4 was something special this year. Many teams are experimenting with their squads and trying new players. I think, in the end, it was very much between Bulgaria and Poland, in which Bulgaria had an advantage of the home pitch. As for the serve, speed is not everything :). Consistency is by far more important.

    What bold statement. :aww:

    I would refer to what Vlado Nikolov was saying in London ("We are the tourists here"), and no offence, this World League proves his point. Salparov is OK, Todorov is promising but otherwise there was nothing special in London for Bulgaria. Aleksiev is a nice chap and great player but not a great talent. Sokolov, widely regarded as a biggest Bulgarian rising star, is somewhat like Spiridonov (i.e. is "mental" in his performance, may either play very well or very badly). He is already 24, he's been "rising" for last three years... and what has he won so far? The setter Bratoev played in Russian 2nd league and, I regret to say, it looks like he switches positions with his twin brother from time to time. Very readable. People like Yosifov, Nikolov N, Skrimov... who are they? Kaziyski and Zhekov were very much "the bright side" of the Bulgarian team, just like Konstantinov and to a certain extend Nikolov V were. Don't forget that sometime in 2007 Bulgaria would beat Brazil in the World league finals and that was a very different Brazil :).

    Correct me if I'm wrong but after that scandal in Bulgarian federation the national team suddenly became regarded as an underdog at the Olympics. A good position especially for mentally weak characters like Sokolov.

    I wouldn't call this Russian team great. They showed many moments of poor play in the intercontinental round and lost to Canada in the finals. The level of play hasn't been great but there are a lot of new faces and players and that is to be expected the season following an Olympic cycle.

    The Russian team is a joke. Yes, Pavlov is arguably the best opposite in the world at the moment (!) and this is probably his only chance to win a major international competition, due to the citizenship issues. But otherwise they have out of shape Grankin and Muserskiy and seriously out of shape Mikhailov on the bench. Both Alexeys (Verbov and Spirik), though very talented players, have been deservedly kicked out of the national team by Alekno. Verbov is known to be a total disaster for the team spirit... and Spirik got famous for using the other kind of spirit on the regular basis :). Sivozhelez, Zhilin and Apalikov are all middle-age bench-players. They all have exceptionally strong and stable service but otherwise should not appear in the top-level matches. Sivo and Zhilin normally struggle with a single block when hitting from four, and their reception is usually poor. Aschev is by far a better blocker and middle attacker than Apalikov.

    This team reminds me of Bulgaria at London Olympics: they lacked talent but at the same time they were not under big pressure. I think the Russian team from the Universiade would have no problems beating this nominally first team. Would be actually nice to see a game between the two :).