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Is Pavel Pogrebnyak Missing English Football?

The 'Big F***ing Russian' left Reading last August to return to his homeland. But, from these reports, he doesn't appear to be enjoying the move...

Tony Marshall/Getty Images

You can attribute a number of qualities to Pavel Pogrebnyak: strength, presence, and skill in the air being the main ones. Well, apparently Russians don't like any of them. Last week, SportExpress.Ru quoted the Pog as saying that he didn't feel appreciated now that he's swapped England for Russia.

The basic gist of the piece is that Pog is annoyed at the different attitude to forwards in Russia, to the extent that players like him aren't liked as much as, say, more mobile options. In fact, Pogrebnyak and other Russian strikers like Aleksandr Bukharov (FC Rostov) and Artyom Dziuba (Zenit St. Petersburg) are (presumably jokingly) referred to as 'trees' or 'columns'. Of course, having seen him, I wouldn't exactly argue with that assessment...

Interestingly, Big Pav says the English view is completely different, basically saying that target men like him are loved like sons. I wouldn't go that far, but us fans of the Football League (I won't utter the planned new title) do certainly have a fondness for an unsubtle battering ram of a forward. What's more English than a 6'6" striker clattering a centre half on a wet Tuesday night under the floodlights?

Anyway, I digress. Should the Pog be type cast as an unsubtle beast of a forward that takes no prisoners? Maybe, but he did sometimes display a degree of finesse that broke the mould...

Pog Newport gif

Either way, it's nice to see he misses us. I for one was disappointed when he left in the summer. Granted, his big wages were a major burden on the club, but I did feel that he had more to contribute on the pitch.

The original article was translated with the help of Google, and can be found here. The gif was made from these official YouTube highlights.