M41 Shota Arveladze

Biography

Former Georgian international striker Shota Arveladze was appointed first team coach at Hull City in the tumult that followed the sale of the club to Turkish media mogul Acun Illicali. He inherited a squad that may have lacked the necessary investment to compete in the upper reaches of the Championship, but it had twice won impressively in the last games of predecessor Grant McCann’s tenure. The squad benefited immediately from the loan signings of Iranian international forward Allahyar Sayyadmanesh, Finnish striker Marcus Forss and Swansea City schemer Liam Walsh, but these three signings went on to play bit part roles during the remainder of the season. Arveladze made it three wins in a row in his first match in charge, two goals in the first 20 minutes seeing off Swansea City. But a winless run of six matches saw the Tigers sink back towards the relegation zone – Shota’s football philosophy was evidently built on relentless attack but did not exhibit a great deal of tactical organisation when not in possession. This attacking style saw Arveladze claim impressive wins at Peterborough United (in Grant McCann’s first game in charge at Posh), Coventry City and Middlesbrough, and when City ended the season with two wins and a draw in the final three home games, cracking a run of five defeats at the MKM Stadium, Arveladze had done enough to ease clear of the relegation places.

At the start of the 2022/23 season Shota bought in Dutch coach Peter van der Veen as his assistant and strengthened the squad with a number of high tariff signings – Turkish internationals Ozan Tufan and Dogukan Sinik, forwards Benjamin Tetteh and Oscar Estupinan, midfield general Jean Michael Seri and Greek wideman Dimitrios Pelkas. The gung-ho playing style delivered initially and three wins in the first six League games lifted City into the top three, though the results masked the fact that the points gleaned were partially down to good fortune rather than tactical guile. When City regressed back to the mean and lost four consecutive matches in August and September 2022, dropping from top three to bottom five in the table, it was evident that Arveladze did not have the necessary skills to manage the squad Illicali had compiled. After a fortnight of rumours the likeable Georgian was dismissed at the end of September 2022, hours before a home match against Luton Town for which first team coach Andy Dawson took over pitchside duties after the very shortest of short notice temporary appointments.

Shota Arveladze was born and raised in the Georgian capital Tbilisi alongside his twin brother Archil and elder brother Revaz, both of whom played international football for Georgia. Shota came through the ranks at Georgian first division giants Dinamo Tbilisi, as a teenager he spent a season at development club Martve Tbilisi and hit 33 goals in 30 appearances, the kind of form that encouraged Dinamo to bring him rapidly into the first team fold. His first team debut came towards the end of the 1990/91 season and he was a first team regular during the 1991/92 season, netting 22 times in the League as Dinamo lifted the Georgian league title for the third time since its post-Soviet Union inauguration in 1990. After continuing to pile up goals for another season and a half and winning a 1992/93 league title winners medal, he spent half of the 1993/94 season on loan at Turkish giants Trabzonspor, scoring 19 goals in 22 appearances. He returned to Dinamo Tbilisi at the start of the 1994/95 season and took his tally for the club to a remarkable 63 goals in 77 appearances before he made a permanent move to Trabzonspor in November 1993.

In three seasons at Trabzonspor Shota scored 62 goals in 101 appearances as his side twice finished runners-up in the Turkish First Division – he won a Turkish Cup winners medal in April 1995 when Galatasary were beaten over two legs. In July 1997 Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam paid a £1.5 million fee to bring in Arveladze and his goalscoring form continued apace – he scored on his August 1997 debut for Ajax against Vitesse Arnhem and struck four hattricks in a total of 37 goals in 44 appearances. Shota remained a potent striker over the next three seasons although injuries partially curtailed his game time. By the end of August 2001 he had scored 72 goals in 124 appearances when he was transferred to Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers – Shota won the Dutch League and Cup double in the 1997/98 season and added a second Dutch Cup winners medal in the 1998/99 season.

Arveladze arrived at Rangers in customary style, scoring on his debut against Kilmarnock and providing assists for the other two goals in a 3-1 victory. He ended his first season with 17 goals plus a Scottish Cup winners medal and for the next three seasons he remained a key part of the Rangers’ attack as they lifted two Scottish Premier League titles, won the 2002/03 Scottish Cup final over Dundee and twice won the Scottish League Cup. His time at Rangers drew to a close in the summer of 2005 and featured 57 goals in 132 appearances. In July 2005 he returned to the Netherlands, signing for AZ Alkmaar under manager Louis van Gaal and rediscovering his prime goalscoring form, netting 48 times in 89 appearances. In July 2007 he joined Spanish La Liga side Levante though injury meant he missed most of the 2007/08 season and only made his debut in March 2008 – he ended the season with just four appearances before hanging up his boots in the summer of 2008 – his last professional match was against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, a suitably grand denouement to a career that yielded 321 goals in 17 seasons.

Shota was a crucial part of the Georgia international team in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of a separate Georgian team. He made his international debut against Lithuania in September 1992 and scored his first international goal a fortnight later in a friendly against Azerbaijan. He remained part of the Georgia side for fifteen years, scoring hattricks against Armenia in March 1997 and the Faroe Islands in August 2006. His last cap came against Scotland, fittingly, in March 2007 and his goal in that final game took his international tally to 26 goals in 61 appearances.

Following his retirement Arveladze returned to AZ Alkmaar and was appointed assistant manager to Louis van Gaal and his successors Ronald Koeman and Dick Advocaat. In June 2010 he struck out on his own, accepting the manager’s hot seat at Turkish side Kayserispor. In October 2012 after 86 matches in charge Shota left Kayserispor and was appointed manager of Istanbul-based Turkish League rivals Kasimpasa. He led Kasimpasa for two and a half years and 91 matches until his resignation his post in March 2015.

In June 2015 Arveladze was appointed first team manager at his former club, Turkish giants Trabzonspor, but he left the club four months later in November 2015 after only 15 matches in charge. In June 2016 Shota was appointed manager at Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv but again he failed to complete a full season and left in January 2017 after 30 matches in charge. In June 2017 he took over the reins at Uzbekistan League side Pakhtakor Tashkent and led his side to two Uzbek League and Cup doubles in 2019 and 2020 – he left Tashkent in December 2020 after 124 matches in charge and returned to Turkey where he befriended Acun Illicali, the man who appointed him Hull City manager in January 2022.

After a year out of the game following the end of his tenure at Hull City, Arveladze returned to frontline management in December 2023 when he took the reins at Turkish Super Lig side Fatih Karagumruk.

Details

Nationality: Georgia
Date/Place of Birth: 22 February 1973, Tbilisi, Georgia

Appointed by Hull City: 27 January 2022; 48 years, 339 days old
Left Hull City: 30 September 2022; 49 years, 220 days old
Tenure: 246 days

Clubs Managed

Kayserispor (2010-2012), Kasimpasa (2012-2015), Trabzonspor (2015), Maccabi Tel Aviv (2016-2017), Pakhtakor Tashkent (2017-2020), Hull City (2022), Fatih Karagumruk (2023-current)

Hull City Record

Playing Record: Played 30, Won 9, Drawn 6, Lost 15, Goals For 307, Goals Against 46
Achievements: 19th in Championship, 2021/22 season

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