Ukraine-Romania 3-2. A good defeat!
Well, this is, more or less, what I expected. Although Lucescu Jr. seems determined to stick to a 4-4-2, the players selected, the trained&tried moves, the ability to switch from a defensive approach to a very offensive one during the game, all speak of a team that is finally working on a style, while adding the needed new faces. And the coach deserves credit for that. For his mistakes, he will always pay, look at the decision to field Lobont (out of form and severely lacking match fitness – please forgive the Football Manager language!), but this is a period when we can afford them, as long as we’ll be looking to fix them in the near future.
Anyway, in spite of the three goals, we look pretty good at the back, with Chivu pushing the line upfield and both centre-backs composed on the ball, helping the build-up. We have Goian and Galamaz in stand by, we’re rock solid there, Rat is in good shape and Sepsi – a promising reserve. But we still need a keeper and also an alternative to Maftei, on the right.
In midfield, Radoi should keep things organized, but he needs someone like Cocis nearby, someone who can play effective box-to-box football, creative and dangerous in attack, but ready to give a hand in defense as well. Good game by Roman on the right, while Tanase could have done more on the left (wasted lots of balls and also the efforts done by Rat, always ready to overlap) , but he’s been out of form since his transfer to Steaua. Nevertheless, the quality is there, you can see it.
A big plus for Bilasco upfront, who could be as vital for the national team as he’s been for Unirea Urziceni, excellent in the air, excellent in offering balls to his partner – a selfish and uninspired Cristea (still working on his transfer from Dinamo!) in the first half, an outstanding Daniel Niculae (working on getting a new deal ;-) ) in the second.
I like the final score (as much as I dislike the coach speaking of a conspiracy during a FRIENDLY game!), because when we were ahead, we stopped working and started to think about holding onto the slim advantage. Romanians! There were though lots of minutes when we played nice football, even outplayed Ukraine, my view is that we need to work on this and regain the ability to create football, not to destroy it.