RIP Fyodor, a brilliant player, one that embodies what Dima always goes on about, effortless technique.
Why so few caps, it seems to me he was one of those unlucky players, one who should have had a 100 caps and been spoken of in the top echelon of European footballers but wasn't. A victim of too many circumstances it seems.
A lot of it was typical soviet football politics and management style, plus like France, the ussr was stacked at the time with quality in the position, probably their strongest area.You had Buryak, Kipiani, Oganesyan, Gavrilov,Zavarov and Mikhailichenko around at various times too.
For 82 Beskov was nominally head coach for the qualifying, but the powers that be had actually decided to go with a committee based approach and he was sharing power with Akhalkatsi the Dynamo Tbilisi manager in reality.Then Lobanovsky came in for the tournament itself too.
So you had a retarded three head coach "technical team" in charge and of course, it was a disaster.You ended up with no one able to really impose a style on things and the three of them trying to be as impartial as possible in squad selection, which in fairness worked out fine for most of the selections, but Cherenkov was one of the bigger omissions.
He was already one of the best in the league and would be player of the year next season, but he was the least experienced of the leading choices with 81 and 82 being his first strong seasons.
in qualifying Beskov\Akhalkatsi had gone with a two man creative mid team, with Spartak's Gavrilov and Kiev's Buryak playing as first choice duo.oganesyan was the main sub for them.Can't really argue with that as Gavrilov was a few years more experienced than Cherenkov and Buryak was excellent, playing the best two years of his career in 80\81 having finally added goals to his game, and had a great partnership with Blokhin as Kiev won the league in those years, which gave him an edge over any of the others in selection.
Then for the final tournament Buryak suffered what would end up a career ending injury and didn't play(but was in the squad), the coaches couldn't agree on a steady lineup and Gavrilov ended up shouldering all the creative duties, with Oganesyan playing a big role too, but played out of position often.Cherenkov missed out as they opted to fill the remaining midfield slots with water carriers like Bal and Susloparov or deeper players like Daraselia.
Debatable decision for sure, but you have to wonder if it would have made much difference with that cluster**** of a management setup.
84 was Lobanovsky, though because Kiev were in a mid-table transitional phase slump during the 83 and 84 seasons he was forced to pick a squad that properly took advantage of the leagues best players and Cherenkov was a mainstay.Of course as we know they blew it in qualifying with the one away draw in a heated game against Poland and the bad penalty decision loss to a bunkering home Portugal side.A shame as that was a really formidable team with a clearly higher ceiling than Portugal, though credit where it's due, the Portuguese played really well at the final tournament.
He played in the 86 qualifiers with Malofeev, but once Lobo came in again he filled the team full of Dynamo Kiev(who were one of the best sides in Europe by then with two league titles, cup winners cup and euro cup semi) players for the rest of the decade.Cherenkov's place was taken by Zavarov and Lobo preferred either the deeper lying mr reliable Sergei Aleinikov or his own Mikhailichenko in the other central position.
He more or less performed a big **** you to Cherenkov's many backers when he took Spartak's Viktor Pasulko as creative mid backup at 88.A below the belt move really.