There was a hot debate regarding the credit that Ilie Dumitrescu deserves for Steaua’s results, with a team assembled during the summer by Victor Piturca. It ended quickly and in the least expected moment, after a game that registered an outcome that speaks about the beauty and unpredictability of the game: Unirea Urziceni won 1-0, fielding the likes of Musat, Muzac, Lupu or Tosca, youngsters loaned from Steaua’s reserves, to make up for the loss of Brandan, Galamaz, Bilasco, Apostol or Onofras, all used by Dumitrescu, in the Saturday’s and the season’s biggest surprise.
It’s hard to explain Dumitrescu’s choice for a first eleven that had the ball 70% of the time, but couldn’t find a way past the last mohicans: Maftei, Nicu, Todoran or Paduretu. If pairing Bilasco upfront with Stancu made some sense, as the two had played a game together for the national team, offering a start to Brandan was wrong, as the Argentinian, as good and as experienced as he is, had joined Steaua with just two days before the game! Steaua was only starting to get some cohesion in a first eleven that will have to be used in Europa League, as only Apostol and Ricardo Gomes (of all the players brought from Unirea) have been registered for the competition, and Dumitrescu would have been at least less exposed to criticism, if he had limited his implants to replacing key injured players like Tanase or Kapetanos. Now, he comes after a shocking result and has sent the wrong signal to the likes of Abrudan, Angelov, Surdu and Nicolita, who realized that their playing time will be severely limited once the European adventure is over. It’s going to be interesting to see Steaua against Liverpool, and, chances are – depending of Hodgson’s care for the Anfield idols – that it’s going to get ugly, if the Reds will field a strong formation. Read more…
Becali’s improvising: Ilie Dumitrescu, who was initially asked to be the club’s president, is the new coach!
Humiliated by Victor Piturca and facing the fans’ anger, Gigi Becali had to move quickly and try to please the masses. The initial plan was to convince Anghel Iordanescu, Ilie Dumitrescu (president) and Gheorghe Hagi (coach) to take charge, but Hagi’s refusal to abandon the excellent project at his football academy and return to work for the man that had insulted him beyond excuse forced Iordanescu to retire from the project. Dumitrescu, who had announced his intention to give up coaching earlier this year, becoming a football pundit, didn’t. After a formal attempt to convince Hagi – his former colleague from Steaua and the national team - to take up the coaching position, the former Tottenham man accepted Becali’s proposal to occupy this role, asking for a symbolic one year long deal of just 1 Ron (around 25 eurocents), hoping to prove that his decision was determined by the love for the club and having more or less the same dream as Victor Piturca: to be Becali’s partner, rather than his always-exposed-to-public-humiliation-employee. Dumitrescu, who’s most notable experience as a coach was a short spell at AEK Athens, was presented today in a press conference by the Steaua’s new president, the legendary Helmuth Duckadam, the keeper who kept out four penalties out of five in the 1986 European Champions Cup final versus Barcelona. Below are the most interesting comments released today:
The idea belongs to former Barcelona skipper Gheorghe “Gica” Popescu, who gathered most of his colleagues from the national team that impressed at the American World Cup, in 1994, and proposed over lunch to make a final appearance as a group. The event should close the “Champions’ night” campaign initiated a few years ago by Popescu, which brought in Romania, among others, Brazil’s national team, for charity purposes. Gheorghe Hagi, Adrian Ilie, Bogdan Stelea, Tibor Selymes, Daniel Prodan, Ilie Dumitrescu and Ionut Lupescu were present and agreed to take part to a farewell match that will take place in Timisoara, in May. The choice is fully justified – although it’s quite far from me -, as Timisoara has the most passionate and civilized crowd in the whole country and probably the opposition will be top class, as every former national team player will try to bring quality players.