Du Malone writes: I once heard a manager — I’m pretty sure it was David Pleat — say that at the end of each season he’d sort his players into two lists — the winners and the losers.
The losers, he’d ship out.
He added that, quite often, he’d find the list of losers included some of his favourite players. No matter, they had to go.
Evidently Grigor Pasha uses the same method at Neftochimic 1982.
The 2021 close season saw a number of divestments — contracts not renewed and players transferred or loaned out.
Pasha didn’t shy away from difficult decisions.
One player whom I’m sure would have caused pause for thought was Dzhuneyt Ali, returning from a season-long loan in the Romanian second tier.
Ali is something of a utility man — and I’ve noticed that Pasha likes utility players. Why else would he have decided to retain Kaloyan Evgeniev?
He has a certain turn of pace too and is a good team man.
But somehow he always seem to frustrate. Niggling injuries mean that he’s in and out of the team. An aversion to physical training limits his development. A bit of a moaner.
So I can Pasha’s point: out (on loan, to Spartak Pleven, until the end of his contract) he goes.
Similarly with Kristiyan Parashkevov. I believe Pasha would have spent longer on that decision. Kristiyan has many strengths, not least his work rate and determination.
But somehow with Kristiyan one’s never far from a problem. He keeps the medical staff busier than a fitness-minded manager like Pasha is likely to tolerate. And he too shies away from tough training.
If he’d been prepared to put the work in, I think he might have had prospects as a wing back. Instead he’s out of contract.
I notice Ali and Parashkevov are quite brave chaps. Might that have contributed to their downfall — do they launch themselves to often into injurious situations?