- Ceahlaul – Gaz Metan Medias 0-0
Zoran Filipovic adds a second point in as many games since taking over the bottom placed in the league, but this was one of those matches that Ceahlaul needed to win in order to put some pressure on the other teams threatened by relegation. The home team failed to create chances even when Medias had to play with 10 men, after Kubala’s dismissal, in spite of Barcauan‘s debut, who was used as a centre-forward, seven years after he was reinvented as a centre-back!
- Astra Ploiesti – Politehnica Iasi 1-1 (L. Ganea 77 / V. Negru 80)
Tight game, in which Astra played slightly better and has enough reasons to feel disappointed, as Politehnica scored on its first clear cut chance through an otherwise uninspired Negru, three minutes after Ganea found the net once again – a tap in from close range, following a flick-on from Radek Oprsal. The match confirmed that the defender Marcelo Mendez is the only player from South America brought this winter that, at this point, offers some guarantees, with Kurchovski and Diego Silva once again disappointing and all the other sitting on the bench until the final whistle… Impressive performance from Vlad Bujor, in Poli’s team, a young forward loaned from CFR Cluj, who shows a lot of potential and definitely deserves attention in the near future.
- Steaua – Otelul Galati 1-0 (Stancu 11)
The hosts grabbed three important points, against the team that had won against CFR Cluj in the previous round, but Otelul was a handful for Stoichita’s men as well. The match was decided by the player that refused to take part in the U23 game against Italy, saying that he’s injured, but who looked in very good shape ;-). Stoichita handed the first start to Stelios Parpas, in central defense, and takes heart from his performance, as the Bulgarian Zhelev will be suspended for Wednesday’s derby against Dinamo, after his fourth yellow card of the season. But that wasn’t the only blow for Steaua’s defense, with Artiom Karamyan leaving the field with a serious injury and keeper Zapata showing once again signs of weakness in goal… Read more…
This was a hit back in 2008, when CFR managed to snap the striker from Rosenborg and Kone, in spite of a rather mediocre scoring record in Liga I, gained respect for some of his performances and is still considered among the best foreign footballers that ever played in Romania.
Although involved in the African Cup of Nations with Burkina Faso (10 minutes played against Cote D’Ivoire so far), Kone is very present in Romania as well, being the surprising target of a series of attacks from CFR’s usually quiet and discrete owner, Arpad Paszkany. For the past few days, the guy repeatedly accused Kone of complacency and, in case that was too subtle, spoke about his wish of an imminent departure of the centre-forward.
This might seem strange (as CFR wouldn’t say no to selling Lacina Traore and yet is very interested in winning another title), but it’s just a direct method of attracting attention for a player who currently probably lacks offers. And the player definitely could have done more in the first half of season and is probably the highest earner at the club, while almost any decent offer that should come in could satisfy CFR, who paid only 600.000 EUR to Rosenborg.
Looking over his scoring record in the league, you can agree with Paszkany: 9 goals in 28 appearances in the first season, followed by 4 goals in 8 games this season, isn’t enough, given the current level of the Romanian first division. And CFR can definitely find a player who can provide better numbers and won’t ask for a similar wage to Kone’s, while still making a profit out of this deal, by offloading the guy even for just 1 million EUR, a sum which several clubs could easily spend during this January window for an established striker…
- CFR’s owner Arpad Paszkany denied all the rumors related to Arsenal’s interest in Lacina Traore (19). He admitted instead that Udinese is keeping tabs on the striker, who scored 4 goals in the league so far this season.
- The American that Steaua is trying to sign is Josh Tudela (25), a central midfielder who played his last official match last summer, for LA Galaxy. He could become the second player bought by the Bucharest side from Major League Soccer, after the Colombian left footed midfielder Juan Carlos Toja (24), bought in 2008 from FC Dallas. Tudela comes as a free agent and will have to convince the staff in the next couple of months that he deserves a contract.
- Mamadou Diakite (24), a central defensive midfielder from Belgian outfit Excelsior Mouscron, is coming to Romania to see Rapid’s facilities and discuss the terms of a possible deal.
- Steaua keeps pressing FC Brasov, hoping to find a deal that would help the Bucharest club get rid of an unwanted player and strengthen the squad with a new aquisition. It seems that Steaua has offered the out-of-favor Dayro Moreno (24) on loan, after the initial 500.000 EUR offer for Portuguese full-back Rui Duarte (29) had been turned down, hoping to get FC Brasov’s board in a better mood. Dayro Moreno came to Bucharest from Once Caladas with the “wonderkid” label, but rarely lived up to the expectations and neither severe punishment nor the credit received from the new coach and management managed to change his attitude and approach.
- Universitatea Craiova released the experienced utility man Florin Soava (31), although the player has been a regular (at left back, in central defense or in the midfield line) since his return to Romania, at the beginning of 2009. Soava had played in Russia since 2004, with spells at Spartak Moscow, Krylia Sovetov and Khimki.