Prepare your resumes! Coaches needed in Romania
We’re close to the end, now, but I doubt that what’s going to happen in the last three rounds will change things. I’ll explain: CFR is still the favorite to win the title, but the team struggled so badly that Mandorlini should be dismissed even in case of a successful scenario. The only team capable of winning the league seems Unirea Urziceni, so Ronny Levy should be kept at all costs for the coming season, even if Unirea will fail to defend the title won last year under Dan Petrescu. But let’s take a look at the top clubs that should/will change coaches this summer:
- CFR Cluj – in spite of its position in the standings and the club’s chances to win the title, Mandorlini failed to connect with his players and to put his mark on a team that plays poor football for months. Period! He worked during the winter on a tactical system he had to abandon after the first official matches. He recommended three Italian players – Bottone, De Zerbi and Piccolo - who looked completely useless. He saw top players getting out of shape – Kone, Traore – and couldn’t do anything to get them back at their best. Was lucky to draw against strong teams and simply took advantage of his superior roster to win by a small margin – the Italian style – against the smaller clubs. Although he has the backing of the board (intelligent enough to keep the staff and the players focused on the title, hiding the obvious disappointment), Mandorlini will/should not be offered another deal. Verdict: change him!
- Unirea Urziceni – Levy did what few expected: take over from Dan Petrescu and keep what everyone still considers (in spite of everything these players have done even in the Champions League!) an average team, formed by decent, but mediocre footballers, at the top of the league with chances even to defend the title won last season. A solid coach, who tried to further develop the team, going for a more Latin/technical style, who should be kept at all costs. Levy’s problem is that next season he will probably find himself without the likes of Galamaz, Brandan, Bilasco and will be forced to show his recruiting ability, as well. Verdict: keep him!
- FC Timisoara – Ioan Ovidiu Sabau has the backing of Marian Iancu, but this obviously means absolutely nothing. Still, he’s under contract for one more season and kept Timisoara hoping for the title until the last rounds, which is a big plus, but I must say that he could have done better, given the quality of the players available. Among the few coaches relaxed about their near future. I repeat: near future! Verdict: deserves to stay.
- FC Vaslui – A solid season for Adrian Porumboiu’s club, with a Romanian Cup final and hopes for the title or the second place until the end – Marius Lacatus is safe. He should pray though that Porumboiu will keep this team as it is, because the coach showed limits that could have punished a squad with less quality. Verdict: deserves to stay.
- Steaua – Mihai Stoichita is history, as Becali already started negotiating with different coaches, like Victor Piturca and Ionut Badea. Anyone interested should be at least as out of his mind like the club’s owner, naive and desperate. And stay in line with those already hoping for a chance to coach Steaua . Verdict: already given.
- Dinamo – All the nice things have been forgotten, so Cornel Talnar should consider himself out of work – at least until Dinamo’s next coach will fail and he’ll be recalled to save the season. A victim of the shareholders and the board, just like Steaua’s Stoichita. Verdict: already given.
- Rapid – Ioan Andone signed until the summer, but failed to win a place in Europe. In theory, he should not be offered a new deal, but the club’s owner tries now to persuade him to extend the current contract. The team looked very promising at times, but also poor on occasion, so Andone couldn’t cure Rapid’s chronic disease: inconsistency. Still, he won the fans on his side, the players and the owner. Verdict: keep him!