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Posts Tagged ‘Cristi Pustai’

Pustai playing hard to sack

March 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Cristi Pustai: 5 years on the same bench and counting...

Cristi Pustai is a maths teacher – a story I wrote for the outstanding IBWM can be found here – who’s pretty good at coaching football too. He took charge of Gaz Metan when this small club was struggling for life in the top flight and almost made it into the Europa League group stage. Yesterday, “The Professor” finished his fifth year on the same bench by preparing tonight’s game versus CFR Cluj, a difficult exam, with his team dangerously close once again to the relegation zone.

According to a stat from Gazeta Sporturilor, he’s been in charge for 1.827 days, which is not a lot by Premier League standards :-), but keeps him in first place, way ahead of all the other colleagues from Liga I. Otelul’s Dorinel Munteanu is in second place, with just under 1.000 days for the same club.

Pustai deserves the credit and to stand out like that in a league where only foreign coaches interrupt from time to time a disturbing and dubious rotation of the same mediocre managers between the top flight clubs. He’s been as ambitious through the rough patches as when the team reached its’ best form and refused to give up his calm speech and modest approach even when he was making history for a club he thought it was time to leave a year ago, when he felt the need of a new challenge. The club managed to convince him to stay, by offering exactly that. Ovidiu Hoban (one of the most underrated players in Liga I), Paul Parvulescu and Eric de Oliveira are all gone and keeping the current team safe really needs some top class coaching… Good luck, Teach!

Ready to turn on the gas!

July 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Eric de Oliveira failed to force a transfer in the Ukrainian first division. He probably doesn't regret it anymore...

They had finished last season in 7th place, just missing out on a place in Europe, but Cristi Pustai’s men were rewarded in the end, as Gaz Metan Medias was granted the access to the Europa League preliminary rounds after FC Timisoara failed to get a licence and was withdrawn from Europe as well as the Romanian top flight.

Gaz Metan will face on Wednesday KuPS Kuopio, a Finnish club now lying in 7h place in the league, in a game that will mark the club’s debut in the European competitions.

“We’ve been working to get here for the past 4 and a half years”, said the Maths teacher that has recently agreed to continue his work at the club, although a few months ago he was hinting towards a move away from Medias, considering this the end of a cycle.

In my opinion, he’s intelligent enough to find ways to continue the development of this small, yet serious club, and this European adventure should bring enough motivation in a group of players that hasn’t gone through major changes, Pustai sticking to the right kind of strategy in a transfer market that needs a lot of work and some investment, in order to add quality, not quantity.

Gaz Metan’s “major” sigining is Ciprian Petre, a 30 years old winger, who should have done better in his career, but could still add something to this team. He likes to play on the left side, but is right footed, so Pustai could use him on both flanks, even though I believe his aim is to try and develop the talented Paul Parvulescu in a role that suits him better. Used a lot as a left winger, Parvulescu has the potential to become a very good attacking left back and Medias could have a very dynamic and dangerous duo on that side, if these two little guys connect.

These European games should also test the quality of Brazilian ace Eric de Oliveira, who has tried everything to move forward in his career, after proving himself in Romania, but Gaz Metan’s staff somehow managed to trick him into signing a new deal.

The 25 years old attacking midfielder has scored an amazing 15 goals and provided a dozen assists last season, compensating the absence of an efficient goalscorer, and I expect him to be raring to go in Europa League, hoping to convince on this stage even better than he did in Liga I.

Two other players to keep an eye on: the skipper Cristian Todea and Florin Bratu. Both are way past their prime, but would love a classy final show. Todea is a vital player in the middle, one of the best anchormen in the league for years, while a well prepared Bratu should definitely enjoy the service he can get from Gaz Metan’s talented dwarfs: Eric de Oliveira, Alex Muntean, Paul Parvulescu and Ciprian Petre.

Gaz Metan pushing for a place in Europe: Florin Bratu goes to Medias!

January 13, 2011 1 comment

Those who have read my blog know that I have the utmost respect for Gaz Metan’s manager, Cristi Pustai, who did a great job in creating this team from scratch and ensuring a constant progress, turning a second division club into a serious contender for a place in Europe, without spending a lot of money and with the calculated moves you’d expect from a Maths teacher.

Bratu, 31, will certainly try to prove that he's not finished

Today, when his club officially presented Florin Bratu, the forward released by Dinamo Bucharest and in-demand not just in Liga I, he might have done the sort of move that could help him finish his project. 31, not exactly in top shape – has tried to regain match fitness in Bulgaria, in the first half of season, after a nasty injury – Bratu boasts enough quality to solve the team’s biggest problem. Without a natural goalscorer since Bud’s transfer to CFR Cluj, Pustai had to rely on Eric de Oliveira, the Brazilian playmaker, who is spending his last season in Medias. Bratu’s arrival, who should fit perfectly into Gaz Metan’s counter-attacking style, should add the much needed extra-dimension and it would be great if the club will have the chance to keep Eric until the end of his loan from Metropolitano, as this team could do a lot more damage in the second half of season.

Although some say he’s past it, Bratu, who scored 43 goals in 115 Liga I matches, collected 13 caps with the national team and played abroad for Galatasaray, Nantes, Valenciennes and Litex Lovech, could finish his career in style here. Famous for the excellent pace and ability to find the net with placed shots, he should benefit from the excellent work ethic within Gaz Metan’s squad and deliver in the delicate moments, having the experience and the composure to play under pressure. And, hopefully, help this small, but well organized club get a taste of European football next season.

Round 23 – match highlights

March 21, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt – FC Brasov 2-1 (Mulisa 16, Cebotaru 24 / Savic 23)

First win for Filipovic and Ceahlaul, undefeated in four games now, keeps working and hoping for a miraculous feat. It’s getting pretty embarassing for FC Brasov though, who were tipped with a shot at a European spot, after the first half of season and, without losing players (they even spent some money to enforce the team), coach Viorel Moldovan needs to take some blame for thie very poor start of 2010. After three defeats in a row, Brasov is in no man’s land and the lack of perspective will probably further damage the players’ morale and motivation. After Mulisa‘s opener (nice volley with his right foot, from inside the box), Dusan Savic scored his first goal for FC Brasov, but the Moldova international Cebotaru cancelled immediately the equalizer, in a mad first half. The second one was terrible, but right now both teams will gladly put results above the quality of the display.

  • CFR Cluj – Pandurii 1-0 (Alcantara 25)

Unconvincing win for CFR, but a vital one. Poor match decided by the Brazilian centre back who now has the same number of goals scored (4) like his team-mate Yssouf Kone, who’s considered the best striker in the league, but has disappointed this season and will probably part ways with the Romanian club in the summer. Bud has won again the fight for a place in the first elevn with Lacina Traore, who is unsettled by the constant discussion regarding his future, and the Romanian centre forward offered a decent display, going close to a goal in the first half. Pandurii, on the other hand, came looking for a draw, having back on the bench the defensive architect Sorin “Sorinaccio” Cartu, but the experienced coach has a lot of work to do, in order to keep his team above the relegation zone. Read more…

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