Well, this can only happen in Romania: a Dutch coach, with an excellent reputation, who comes here to save a team from relegation, is accused of something Romanian players, referees, club officials and club owners are doing on a regular basis! That’s why foreign coaches and players should think twice before saying yes to an offer to come here.
In Romania, football is a mud fight – and I’m not referring to the muddy pitches – once you’re in, it’s impossible to come out clean!
PS For those interested in Craiova’s scenario (who offered it to the press, putting more pressure on a coach that should get a lot of money, if sacked), Wotte has been accused that before the game against International (lost 1-3, at home) he went to a meeting with people close to International’s owner, Benone Lazar. Wotte is currently suspended, which means that he’s still under contract, but not allowed to train the players and sit on the bench, with veteran midfielder Eugen Trica and Craiova’s legendary player Ilie Balaci taking care of things until the end of the season.
The experienced Eugen Trica (34) has refused to travel with the team for tomorrow’s game against Unirea Alba Iulia, accusing the Dutch coach Mark Wotte that he’s not playing him enough. In 2010, the attacking midfielder didn’t start a single game, featuring only as a substitute, and in the previous round played only in the last five minutes. The fight could be a surprise for those who heard about the Dutchman recent praise for Trica’s value to Universitatea’s locker, but such a reaction has been seen in the past in Trica’s case, back in the days when he was playing for CFR Cluj.
Not the most popular guy in Craiova, Universitatea’s owner, Adrian Mititelu, the guy who decided to move the team to a different city (Severin) starting 2010, broke into tears on TV, when he was asked about Florin Costea’s injury! The guy could only say that he’s not able to talk and hung up, as the team’s best player faces a very long spell on the sidelines, after the injury suffered during the weekend. Fouled inside the box by Politehnica’s keeper Branet (the ref didn’t award a deserved penalty!), Costea had his left knee severely damaged and will stay away from the pitch for at least 7-8 months! It’s a huge blow for Universitatea, who is still waiting for right back Ovidiu Dananae to return from a similar injury suffered in August 2009…
Florin Costea has collected 106 appearances in the blue and white outfit, scoring 45 goals in the process, and this year he had featured in 20 matches, scoring 9 goals.
Zoran Filipovic decided not to waste any more time and already agreed terms with Ceahlaul. Arrived yesterday in Romania, the former coach of Montenegro’s national takes over from Gheorghe Multescu, who left the club after a fantastic win away against Steaua and a 0-1 loss at home versus Otelul. Filipovic signed until the end of the season and he’ll be paid 100.000 Euros in case he avoids relegation, a feat that will also guarantee him a new and better deal with the club. His chances look slim though, as Ceahlaul is a poor team (12 new players arrived this winter, but all of them on free loans and short term deals), with a terrible situation in the standings and with 0 chances to take anything from Zoran’s first game in charge, away at Dinamo. He can ask Mark Wotte why…
- FIFA agent Victor Becali spoke about the situation of Bogdan Lobont, who’s currently on loan at AS Roma. Read more…
Universitatea Craiova had a terrible start of season, losing two games out of two, and this beloved club is in deep trouble in the standings, lying in 15th place, one that offers a trip to the second division at the end of the season.
A recent interview offered by Mark Wotte to the Dutch press revealed a coach rather intrigued by the things saw so far in Liga I and motivated by the club’s perspective, rather than scared by Craiova’s uncertain future in the first league. He dribbled with elegance an episode that would have angered anyone else: Craiova had the most clear penalty in the world against fierce rivals from Dinamo and ended up losing that game by one goal, yet Wotte thought that is enough to consider this a mistake, “while in Romania the press talked about this episode for three days”.
He also had no reaction regarding the huge scandal that surrounds his team, after club owner Adrian Mititelu (Adrian Little one – in English ) decided to move it from its town, as part of a fight with the mayor, and avoided to speak about the poor performances of the team’s best players, starting with topscorer Florin Costea.
This guy is definitely from another planet: some call it Holland, others the Netherlands…
Three new coaches, with impressive credentials, took over this winter clubs with either important tradition (Mark Wotte – Universitatea Craiova) or important ambitions (Andrea Mandorlini – CFR Cluj, Ronny Levy – Unirea Urziceni) and they offered new credit to promising players, who had found little or no space in their teams in the past:
- Ciprian Deac - 24 years old, left winger/forward, CFR Cluj
Left footed attacking player, who made his debut in the top flight for CFR three seasons ago, in a team packed with foreign players, showing a lot of promise. Enjoyed a good spell on loan at Otelul Galati, where he was a regular starter for half a season, but once he returned to Cluj “regained”his backup/rotation status. In total, he has played 51 matches for CFR, but started only 18 matches! This year, under Italian coach Andrea Mandorlini, Deac was immediately handed a start, although in a surprising position – a right winger in a 4-3-3 system. Read more…
The Sierra Leone midfielder Julius Woobay (26) has been granted a move on loan wherever he wants, until the end of the season. Universitatea Craiova accepted the player’s request, who feels jaded at Craiova and didn’t even tried to impress new coach Marc Wotte.
The attacking midfielder is in Romania since 2007 and has always been an important player for Universitatea, but this year he has played below his ability and only featured as a rotation player, with 7 starts and other 7 appearances from the bench, scoring twice in the process.
Woobay plays best as a wide midfielder – but has also featured in defense, when required – has good technical skills and creativity, plus decent workrate, as well. He likes to take on his direct opponent, relying on skill rather than pace. Still, he lacks consistency and can go from outstanding to mediocre or even worse from one week to the other and rarely managed to stand out as THE threat in this decent team that now faces a tough battle to avoid relegation, in the second half of the season.
- Rapid is trying to sign the former Olympique Marseille and Grenoble forward, Elliot Grandin (22). Of course, the deal will go through only if Grandin will come to Bucharest as a free player, as Rapid is currently trying to get 6 mil. EUR to clear some debt and aquire the license for top flight football next season.
- Another target for Rapid is Ventspils’ Edgars Gauracs (21). In this case, the Bucharest club is hoping for a loan with a buying option in the summer. Gauracs impressed in Latvia U21 – Romania U21 5-1, when he managed to score a hat-trick.
- Marc Wotte is in Romania, finalizing the negotiations with Adrian Mititelu, the owner of Universitatea Craiova. The Dutchman has been offered a contract until June 2010 and should get 20.000 EUR / month + bonuses. My bet is that he won’t stay until the end of the contract, if he signs.
- Polish international Pawel Golanski (27) has entered the last six months of the current contract and Steaua isn’t at all keen to extend it, mainly because the right back was unavailable several times due to different injuries and they’d like a more consistent player. But they’ll probably keep Golanski if he agrees to earn less (around 100.000 EUR / season). Fact: in two and a half seasons, Golanski collected 42 starts in the league and this season featured in 10 of the 17 played so far.
- According to FIFA agent Cristea Opria, a Top 5 club from 1.Bundesliga apparently offered around 2,5 mil. EUR for Gabriel Torje (Right winger, Dinamo Bucharest, born 1989). Dinamo refused and would say “yes” for 4 mil. EUR.
- Steaua and FC Vaslui are trying to exchange two key players: central defender and team captain Sorin Ghionea with the prolific midfielder Marko Ljubinkovic. It seems that Ghionea refuses the move and waits for an offer from abroad, having an attractive asking price given his quality, experience and age (only 30): 200.000 EUR.
- Steaua is trying to sign Bulgarian centre-back Zhivko Zhelev. The 30 years old is out of favor at Otelul Galati and in the last six months of his current contract, but also suspended after he protested for not getting paid according to his contract. The deal will probably finalize, although Otelul refuses to let him go for free at Steaua, but on the other hand will never get 200.000 EUR for a player in a similar situation.
- Romanian press quotes http://www.tuttomercatoweb.com, who announces Arsenal’s interest for Lacina Traore from CFR Cluj and an offer of 4 mil. EUR. CFR’s president, Iuliu Muresan, denied the rumor, but confirmed the interest from abroad and also a “concrete offer from an important club”. The press talks about Napoli and a failed attempt to sign the promising striker for 1,2 mil. EUR.
- The Dutch coach Mark Wotte is expected to sign with Universitatea Craiova, after the club’s owner failed to convince former NT coach Victor Piturca. Wotte should get around 150.000 EUR per season. In case the deal won’t be finalized, Craiova also looks at another Dutch trainer – Luc Nijholt.