FC Vaslui’s title hopes suffered a blow yesterday, when Adrian Porumboiu’s club dropped two points against Astra Ploiesti and lost contact with the first two teams, FC Timisoara and Otelul Galati.
Timisoara had no problems in putting three past Unirea Urziceni, while Otelul’s controversial win away at Victoria Branesti ignited a huge scandal, with the skipper Gabriel Paraschiv scoring from an offside position a late winner to grab all the points and stay on top of the league, with two rounds left to play.
Vaslui ends another season without a trophy and it’s a delicate moment for the club’s ambitious
owner sponsor, who had hopes as high as the wages paid to important players like the Brazilian pair Wesley – Adailton or Slovakian goalie, Dusan Kuciak.
Porumboiu and Timisoara’s owner, Marian Iancu, launched an attack not just towards Otelul’s experienced president, Marius Stan, but also towards “dark forces” they have failed to identify.
“They’re trying to show us that anyone but us could win this league”, stated the two, but this is a theory they too have to struggle to understand. The fact is that we’re close to a poor season, marked by the mediocrity of the title challengers and the numerous decisive mistakes made by the referees thoughout a year to forget that will be followed by yet another set of disappointments in Europe.
With two rounds to go, it’s going to be either Otelul Galati or FC Timisoara, as the two teams will meet ,on Sunday evening, on the leaders’ turf in what looks like the league’s Final. Unfortunately, before thinking of a potential match winner within the two teams, it’s wise to wait and hear the referees’ names. It might be there, among the officials…
With the big shots from Bucharest trying to book a place in Europa League, after yet another disappointing season, Otelul Galati, FC Timisoara and FC Vaslui have only three points between them, with three rounds left to play, in Liga I.
Otelul grabbed three vital points against Universitatea Craiova, on Thursday evening, taking full advantage of the draw between FC Vaslui and FC Timisoara, and regained the top spot, looking like the favorite not just because of it, but also thanks to the easiest schedule.
Next up for Dorinel Munteanu’s men is Victoria Branesti, an already relegated team, and a win will ensure a lead and the possibility of a draw in the following game, which could be a title decider, as Otelul will host FC Timisoara.
The Viola also have the title in the hands, even if they’re in second place now, three wins out of three being a guarantee for a title that will repay years of some important investments and also reward the always excellent support offered by a beautiful and passionate city like Timisoara.
For FC Vaslui, who badly needed a win against FC Timisoara on Wednesday, but Dorin Goga’s goal cancelled their lucky one goal advantage, have small chances to finish first, in spite of schedule that would allow them to get maximum points.
- Victoria Branesti – away
- FC Timisoara - at home
- Astra Ploiesti – away
FC Timisoara’s schedule:
- Unirea Urziceni – at home
- Otelul Galati – away
- Dinamo – at home
FC Vaslui’s schedule:
- Astra Ploiesti – away
- Sportul Studentesc – at home
- Pandurii Targu Jiu – away
A more discrete presence on the market than in the past, Timisoara managed to sign three players that were going to play an important part in the first half of the season: Ovidiu Burca, on a free transfer, Helder, on loan from Nancy, and the former Inter Milan signing (back in the days when his huge potential had enough years ahead to be fulfilled), Ianis Zicu. The results were better than ever, with the team finishing the year unbeaten, even after a quite long spell under the command of an unexperienced coach like Cosmin Contra, and this strategy offered the chance to shine to players like Axente or Scutaru, talented youngsters bought a few years ago, who were used to be sent on loan or kept on the bench.
Best transfer Read more…
Andrea Mandorlini (CFR Cluj), Lopez Caro (FC Vaslui), Vladimir Petrovic (FC Timisoara). Big names, high wages, scary anti-sacking clauses. What’s to be done once they get their teams into deep trouble? Well, Timisoara’s Marian Iancu always liked to look tough in the media, CFR’s Arpad Paszkany plays the old “Backing the coach” trick and looks very supportive (until he finds a replacement), while FC Vaslui’s Adrian Porumboiu has no other option than to beg the former Real Madrid to leave the team without asking for more than a couple of hundred thousand Euros. Not a good moment to be in charge of a club, right?
Mandorlini, saved by last season’s trophies. But not for long…
CFR won the league and the Romanian Cup with him on the bench, but the team rarely offered convincing displays, struggling to adjust to a 4-3-3 that looked good on paper, but poor on the pitch. With the whole summer ahead of him and the chance to create a roster according to his plans, Mandorlini failed once again to impose his ideas. Important changes took place in the team, but CFR kept on switching between a 4-3-3 and a 4-3-1-2, in the first rounds that left the impression that Mandorlini needed a few more friendly matches, in order to make the team click. Six rounds gone and the champions are in mid-table, with the humiliating 0-3 defeat suffered against a newly promoted, Sportul Studentesc, still hurting a lot of egos in Cluj. Read more…
The round kicked-off with a surprise just for those who thought that everything’s fine at the champion club. Sportul exploited the visitiors’ arrogance and lack of determination, putting three past Nuno Claro, but could not end Mandorlini’s contract, well defended by a clause of 800.000 Euros. Bad news for the numerous players who thought that this was the way to get rid of their coach, starting with Lacina Traore, who finished an embarrassing display with a criminal attack that killed any hope of a fightback conducted by the once out-of-favor Sixto Peralta. Read more…
Timisoara snatched a point on Sunday evening in the dying moments of the away game at Universitatea Craiova, thanks to Ianis Zicu, and it’s pretty clear who are the 13-14 players that will have the honor to fight with the Citizens, hoping to produce another European miracle.
Yesterday, it became clear that Vladimir Petrovic realized that his plans to build an offensive team need to be adjusted, that his eleven needs balance, otherwise it will be severely punished, just like it happened in the very dubious first half against MyPa, when his back four was so exposed that the hosts were 3-0 up after 45 minutes. The key to Timisoara’s spectacular return was Alexandru Bourceanu, a central midfielder nicknamed Gattuso, whose impressive work-rate is vital in covering the spaces, breaking up attacks and linking up the play. He was among the starters in the impressive 3-2 win against CFR Cluj, as well as in last evening’s game, and the Viola were punished only after a childish mistake from Srdjan Luchin. Universitatea struggled to create chances, while at the other end the 20.000 fans withnessed as much as four dangerous shots in the space of two minutes, in one of Timisoara’s raids forward. Ok, the “drawing” goal came very late and based on some hazard and the hosts’ lack of experience, but this was the fourth time in as many league games when Timisoara managed to come back from one or two goals down to earn a positive result! Read more…
Name: Mircea Axente
Height/Weight: 186 cm/75 kg
Club: FC Timisoara
4 goals in 5 matches is a promising return from a striker discovered by Timisoara six years ago, who was used to be sent on loan to smaller clubs, once the season was kicking off. This time, Axente speculated Timisoara’s discrete transfer campaign and caught the attention of Vladimir Petrovic, a coach who promised to give the team a more offensive approach. The 23 years old proved just the right man, although shuffled Pizon’s best attacking “cards”: Magera was pulled back as a central attacking midfielder, while the skilful Goga had to move on the right flank. Strong and tall enough to resist against tough opposition, Axente prefers a direct approach, based on quick turns and instinctive finishing from different positions. Good in the air, he’s quick and unpredictable enough in movement, capable to find just enough space and put both power and precision behind his shots. All these qualities were on display against CFR Cluj, the latest match influenced by Axente (hit the bar once, then scored a nice goal to make it 2-1), who has every reason to feature against Manchester City, in the Europa League playoff, a match he wouldn’t have dared to dream of when he was improving in the second division with CS Buftea or getting playing time in Liga I with Otelul Galati.
Name: Lukas Magera
Position: centre forward/central midfielder
Height/Weight: 195 cm/87 kg
Club: FC Timisoara
Liked the player since his arrival in Romania, at Dusan Uhrin’s request, and still believe that he can be one of Liga I’s top footballers, if used regularly in his natural position. This powerful centre-forward had “to pay” in the past for his excellent vision of the game and his ability to offer the final pass, being used a lot in central midfield, but things looked to have changed since the arrival of Vladimir Petrovic. Magera plays upfront alongside the creative and skillful Dorin Goga, an awesome partnership in my opinion, and the Czech has a perfect start of season. After a wonderful strike in the first round, Magera scored again last weekend, helping his team come from behind in a tough away match, against Gaz Metan Medias, for a 2-2 draw. The player offered another solid display, with his composed style and intelligent plays, looking comfortable on the ball, holding it upfield, opening up channels and throwing useful passes with both feet behind the opposition’s defense. Ok, he looked too slow at times, but it would be unrealistic to ask for pace from a player of his size, while it’s very clever from Petrovic to keep this guy as close to the danger zone as possible. Two goals and one assist in two games looks like a very promising return from a player who could enjoy his best season in Liga I. And probably his last.
- Timisoara ended all speculation and presented the former Red Star Belgrade coach Vladimir Petrovic as Ioan Ovidiu Sabau’s successor, in spite of all the rumors that involved the ex-trainer of CFR Cluj, Maurizio Trombetta. The 54 years old will be unveiled on Wednesday, in a press conference, but he already presented some of his plans, settled during the three rounds of talks with Daniel Stanciu, Timisoara’s team manager: he’ll have around six months to adjust, know the players and implement the ideas that should lead the Viola club to bigger success than the 3rd place occupied at the end of last season, but he obviously stated that he hopes to make the team play offensive, attractive and successful football even sooner.
- Dinamo Bucharest made an interesting signing, after the promising keeper Cristian Balgradean agreed to sign a five years long deal with teh Red Dogs. The goalie has big chances to be followed by a former colleague from UTA, George Tucudean. The U19 national team centre forward asked for a few days to think things through, as, in spite of Bratu’s loan to Lovech, the competition upfront is still very tough and he’ll probably end up playing for the reserves… Read more…
Still trying to persuade Maurizio Trombetta, Vladimir Petrovic or Viorel Moldovan to take over after Sabau’s resignation, FC Timisoara still have on the transfer list the Costa Rica international Winston Parks, who scored an outstanding goal against Switzerland in midweek. The striker, who has been underperforming most of the times last season, has a price tag of 1 million Euros, but Timisoara’s officials say that the player is expected to resume training with the club after the summer holiday, if he won’t find an interested team, and could get a second chance, if he impresses the new coach in pre-season.