Reading the papers since Mutu’s return to the national team is a rare treat. Yesterday, it was “Mutu has arrived four hours earlier than he should have done it, for an individual talk with Razvan Lucescu”. Today it’s: “Mutu has decided to sleep in the afternoon, although the players had a a few hours off!”.
Trying to anticipate a bit, tomorrow we should read that Mutu wasn’t picky at lunch and ate the entire meal, although the pasta wasn’t very good and others complained. On Thursday, he signed autographs even for the kids that didn’t want them, and during the night before the match against Bosnia, he refused to kick the shit out of a waiter who dared to bring him the check, at 5 o’clock in the morning.
I won’t go any further with this. I’m 100% sure Mutu won’t, either…
Here’s Romania’s squad for the vital game against Bosnia:
- Goalkeepers: Pantilimon (FC Timisoara), Tatarusanu (Steaua), Lung Jr. (Universitatea Craiova)
- Defenders: Sapunaru (FC Porto), Rapa (Otelul Galati), Tamas (WBA), Chivu (Inter), Goian (Palermo), Gardos (Steaua), Rat (Shakthar), Salageanu (Otelul Galati)
- Midfielders: Torje (Dinamo), Ropotan (Dinamo Moscow), Florescu (Alania), Alexa (FC Timisoara), G. Muresan (CFR Cluj), Deac (Schalke 04), Cocis (Karpati Lviv)
- Forwards: Stancu (Galatasaray), Zicu (FC Timisoara), Mutu (Fiorentina), Alexe (Dinamo), Marica (Stuttgart)
Calling four similar central midfielders – I was expecting to see Alexa called-up, especially after he was praised by Razvan Lucescu, who called him a “discovery and a plus” after the last friendly, when Timisoara’s captain scored a brace. For the record, the man’s 31.
CFR’s Muresan has also impressed, but in the last league game, against the bottom placed team, but it would definitely be strange to see him starting alongside Alexa. They’re exactly the same type of players. Slightly different – a bit more dynamic and with a small plus in going forward – are Florescu (who is now playing second division football in Russia!) and Ropotan, but, in any combination between these four, Romania will only be able to secure the central zone and build-up by directing the balls to the wide players. We’ll be organized, hard-working, but extremely limited when going forward.
The credit for out of form & squad players – Deac and Marica haven’t played for months, Ropotan hasn’t featured for Dinamo Moscow in 2011, Florescu went down with Alania. But, for Lucescu Jr., this principle applies just in some cases, not when there are players he likes in this situation. Then, it’s important to rely on pretty much the same group of players throughout a campaign, in order to be successful. Yeah, right!
Mutu’s return - it could seem that Lucescu’s looking for the team’s and the nation’s best interest, by calling up Mutu and forgetting what has happened in the past. He’s not, he’s just trying to save his position. He probably won’t. So, this is just a sign of desperation, from a weak man and just an average coach. A lethal combination for our chances to catch the next final tournament…