This club should have been playing in the second division, based on last season’s results, but yet another compromise from the Professional League allowed Pandurii to take International’s place, following a deal that saw numerous players, plus the technical staff to move from Curtea de Arges to Targu Jiu. 10 rounds gone and this “2 in 1” team occupies the last place in the standings, with just one win out of ten games, already 5 points away from the 14th place that guarantees salvation, of course, unless Pandurii will find another way to dribble through the so called laws of the game.
The two weeks break was make or break time for the board, who decided to release the young & promising Ionut Badea – who was linked with a job at Dinamo, in spite of his position in the standings! – and handed over the team to a more experienced coach like Petre Grigoras. Known for his ability to make his teams play attractive football, Grigoras comes after a difficult period, as he had to stay away from the game for medical reasons, and takes over one of the ugliest teams in the league. Pandurii were a tough nut to crack especially under CFR’s current coach, Sorin Cartu, nicknamed Sorinaccio for his ultra-defensive style, and Grigoras will be seriously tested by a roster divided in two groups of players: those who had played for Pandurii last season and the 16 that came this summer, from International.
The new coach will get to know the team in a five days training camp in Antalya, with the exception of two central defenders, Chiriches (selected in Romania’s U21) and Viera (called-up for Cote d’Ivoire’s match in Burundi), and has the biggest challenge in getting the team’s strikers in shape, as only Apostu scored so far (a brace, in Pandurii’s single win of the season), with the likes of Stromajer, Adrian Iordache and Antohi looking useless, unable to take advantage of a decent midfield, which contains decent players like Voiculet, Ilie Iordache, Orac and Bacila.
Iordache, the million dollar baby
Playing for Pandurii Targu Jiu was a blessing for a winger gifted with enough pace and skill to stand out in one of the most defensive and ugly teams from Liga I in recent years. Taking out his direct opponent on the left, cutting inside and scoring an average six goals per season made Iordache look like the decisive player every team needs. Every team in the second division, every team that dreams of survival in Liga I, right? Wrong! Iordache presented himself as a free agent to AEK Athens in the summer of 2009 and the Greek club agreed, after a trial, to offer him a shot. Problems appeared right away, as Pandurii asked the Romanian federation to block the move, stating that the player was still under contract, but they were only trying to find a way to block the move. They had lost Iordache on a free transfer, yet when they had bought the guy from Dinamo, they agreed to pay 1 million Euros, in case the player would have switched clubs… Read more…
Rapid completed the loan deal that will bring Ilie Iordache (24) back in Romania, at least until the end of the season. Iordache has a contract with AEK Athens that will only expire in 2012, but the player seems to have realized that he has slim chances to play in Greece and spoke about the possibility of a permanent deal.
Although he comes from a solid club, Iordache might not prove the best immediate solution for covering the left winger position at Rapid, as he definitely needs some time to regain match fitness. His performances were good before his transfer to Greece, but the fact is that he has scored only 11 goals in 71 appearances for Pandurii Targu Jiu, as THE star player of the team.
The Romanian press also announced that Rapid has completed another loan deal on this occasion and next week is expected in Romania Tamandani Nsaliwa (28). The Malawi born midfielder comes from AEK Athens as well and should stay until the summer, when the Bucharest side will have the chance to sign him on a longer deal, as he will terminate his contract with the Greek giants.