Georgi Schennikov 22 Defender CSKA Moscow Russia
2013 has been…
A silverware success for CSKA Moscow’s first choice left back. Georgi Schennikov is not a flying wing back, nor a scorer of great full back goals, nor a constant danger for the opposition to contain. What he is, however, is a very decent and improving defender, strong and reliable, who has a wealth of experience despite his age.
He debuted for CSKA in August 2008 and was named as Russia’s Young Player of the Year in 2009. Now 22, he has played well over 100 games for the Moscow outfit and has some medals to show for it; his 2012/13 Russian Premier League title triumph sits alongside three Russian Cups among his early successes.
Schennikov was born into a sporting family in Moscow and has been at CSKA for the entirety of his short career. His contract runs to 2017 and he’s taking his chance in the first team. He’s a reliable defensive player, not too special going forward, but has a little bit of quality on the ball. He does cross well and gets up and down the flank with plenty of energy, coupled with an attitude that defines nothing as a lost cause.
He covers well, very centrally when needed, and was an important part of the defence that guided CSKA through a run without conceding upon their return from the winter break at the start of the year.
When CSKA have possession he always offers a wide option, hugging the touchline and getting high up the pitch, remaining happy enough to stick to his guns and hold that position as long as nobody picks him up. He tends to look inside for a one-two in order to get in behind his opposite number; he doesn’t really have the weaponry to beat him one on one.
Defensively, he stands up and jockeys well, allowing time for support to arrive and work with him to snuff out the threat. He tends to defend from inside out, starting off compact with the centre backs but quickly heading out wide when the ball is played there. It’s a trait that makes him look susceptible but hasn’t been of great detriment so far. His reading of the game is assured, and he’s not averse to a cynical nudge or clip when a winger gets beyond him.
Schennikov is neat and tidy, and accomplished at the back, but a headline writer’s dream he is not. He’s the kind of player the fans appreciate more than neutrals: a good, dedicated hard-worker with a mature temperament and who makes very few big mistakes.
Schennikov is already a domestic champion and should remain at CSKA for some time yet as he grows into his career. International football is the next obstacle for him to conquer. Having played for the Under-21s, Schennikov made his debut for the Russian senior team in August 2012 against Ivory Coast; he’s barely picked up a cap since, despite being in squads.
He certainly has some tricky competition in his position but, with the World Cup on the horizon, now’s the time for Schennikov to prove in the famous CSKA stripes that he’s not a man for Fabio Capello to ignore.
"Reliable but unspectacular. He lost his place for part of last season to Brazilian Mario Fernandes, and only a long-term injury to Fernandes has seen him return. Has since looked an improved player defensively - though is a little limited going forward. Still, at 22 he does have time on his side." - James Appell, Russian Football Expert
"Schennikov has completed 19.4% of his crosses and corners this season in the Russian Premier League." = Opta
C- Solid in 2013, time to push on again in 2014