In Romania, the former international and two times champion, while coaching Rapid and Dinamo, has a nickname difficult to accurately translate into another language, as it seems to refer to his physical appearance, while it was meant to define his character. If it was easier, clubs like Khazar Lankaran and Standard Liege would have been better prepared for Mircea Rednic’s arrival…
“Strambul” means in fact “The crooked one” and, as good as he is strictly in terms of coaching, Rednic’s hands-on approach in the club’s transfer activity leads him off-track most of the time. I hope my elegant choice of terms doesn’t go unnoticed
Let’s go back to Rednic’s first adventure abroad, in 2010, when he took over Khazar, a club ready to pay for supremacy in Azerbaijan, so on the table was a two years long deal with 800.000 euros per season for the head coach. That should have been enough, but not for Rednic, who demanded and supervised the arrival of no less than 10 players from Liga 1. Besides some handsome “bonuses” for seeing all these moves through, he won the Cup and finished second in the league, after his first season, which turned out to be also his last. Forced out of the club, he was soon followed by all the players he signed, a reaction that we are seeing now, at a smaller scale, from Standard Liege.
Rednic used to play for “Les Rouches” and looked like a handy solution to the team’s struggles, when he was appointed halfway through last season. Although offered only a temporary deal, the 51 years old got off to such a good start that during the winter break the club’s board had to give in to his demands and move for two players from Liga 1. The first (shocking) move was the signing of Adrian Cristea, an attacking midfielder considered for ages one of the biggest Romanian talents, but also a champion at wasting his gifts and throwing away his career. Ok, it was only a loan with a buying option from Petrolul, but it was still strange to see him risk his reputation and the chance of signing a long term deal with Standard for one of the laziest and least professional players from Liga 1…
The second lead to the transfer of George Tucudean, a young striker from the cash-strapped Dinamo. Although (or because?) Rednic was well-aware of his former club’s financial trouble, Standard came up with a naive offer of 800.000 euros + a 200.000 euros bonus in case the team made it into Europe. A deal that could have been done for half that money, but as an official from the Belgian club whom I’ve crossed during a scouting trip told me this was considered collateral damage. “We know who we’ve signed” were the words that convinced me that, no matter how well Rednic did, he was not there to stay.
Released at the end of last season, although he had resurected the team, winning over the dressing room and the fans, Rednic is now followed by both Cristea and Tucudean. Cristea had his loan terminated, after 8 appearances and no goals (a total of 290 minutes spent on the pitch), while Tucudean, who has a longer deal with the club, was informed that he needs to find himself a new team, as he is out of Standard’s plans. The 22 years old started just one game, played as a sub in 9, failing to find the net and getting himself sent off once. His young age and potential suddenly don’t matter? No, of course not, it’s just that Standard feels that the house needs a proper cleaning process, after Rednic’s stay, a reaction that we’ve seen before and will encounter again in the future. Because “The crooked one”, now in charge of CFR Cluj, doesn’t seem to be lacking offers from clubs with money to
throw away spend.
The “director” is Mircea Rednic, former Liga I champion with Dinamo and Rapid. The setting is in Azerbaidjan, where Rednic tries to interrupt Neftchi Baku’s supremacy with FK Khazar Lankaran, a team he took over in July 2010, signing a two seasons long deal, with the sights set on winning the title. After 19 rounds, he’s just one point behind Neftci and fully convinced that with a slightly stronger side he could deliver even at the end of his first season in charge.
In December, he returned to Romania on an active vacation, stating his interest in over a dozen players from Liga I and entering negotiations with several teams, including his former clubs. It wasn’t enough that he had already in the team four Romanian players (Iordache – 30 years old, centre back; Arbanas – 27, utility defender; Doman – 22, attacking midfielder; Stelian Stancu – 29, right midfielder) and two other players recruited from Liga I (Romanovs – 32, goalkeeper; Parks – 29, striker), he wanted more. A lot more. Slowly, he started to work on his long shortlist, checking one target after another and, at this point, with no sign that he’s satisfied, has closed deals with Dinamo, Rapid, Pandurii and Gloria Bistrita and could return to Azerbaidjan with 6 new players from Liga I. Here they are:
- Andrei Muresan - defensive midfielder, 25, bought from Gloria Bistrita, although he was also a target for Rapid Bucharest!
- Carlos Cesinha - left winger, 30, bought from Rapid, where he looked classy at times, but had became inconsistent and prone to injuries lately.
- Carlos Cardoso - left back, 25, bought from Pandurii Targu Jiu. Was also a target for Dinamo!
- Nicolae Musat - left back, 24, loaned from Dinamo, with a buying option in the summer
- Adrian Scarlatache - right back/centre back, 24, loaned from Dinamo, with a buying option in the summer
- Georgian Paun - forward, 25, loaned from Dinamo, with a buying option in the summer
If the last four will probably be utility/reliable players, Muresan and Cesinha can be considered very good deals, with the anchorman very useful in adding steel in midfield and organizing the build-up and the Brazilian an excellent forward on his day! All the deals required an investment of around one million Euros, so, if it’s true that Rednic has another half of million available, it won’t be a surprise to see others joining the colony, having the chance not just to earn more money than in Romania, but also to win some trophies…