Last season’s third placed team, FC Vaslui, went on a run of four defeats without a single goal scored at the beggining of the season, moving from the qualifying matches for the Champions League to the Europa League play-off in the meantime and looking very poor in Liga I.
Adrian Porumboiu, the owner, looked more reasonable than usual and yesterday the team delivered. A 3-0 away win against the newly promoted Concordia Chiajna might not have anything extraordinary about it, but it surely is a sign that this team cannot perform worse than last season, at least not against Romanian opposition. My guess is that Sparta Prague’s emissaries also returned home with some worrying notes…
If the Prague outfit still relies on experience, that’s something Vaslui doesn’t lack either, with the Brazilian duo Adailton-Wesley finally producing a performance closer to its standards. Adailton managed to provide the last pass for each of Vaslui’s goals, but the first, scored by Wesley, was a sign of perfect synchronization between the two forwards. With one of his often decisive late runs in the box, Wesley scored his 33rd goal in Liga I in 82 appearances and is only three goals shy of the all-time best foreign scorer in the Romanian league, the Albanese striker who used to play for Dinamo Bucharest, Sulejman Demollari.
It would be a mistake to get carried away, though, as Vaslui still has to wait until the 10th of September to have a transfer ban lifted and the team certainly is short on luck, with the starting pair in central defense, Paul Papp – Gabriel Canu, recently injured. The club is in such a mess that against Chiajna Viorel Hizo paired Pavol Farkas with a Romanian player who is in the squad for a few years, but was kept there as a solution for the attack, not the back four! It might have worked against Chiajna, but it could go very wrong against Sparta and Porumboiu – although he deserves credit for paying high wages and brining good foreign players in the league – has to take
part most of the blame for not having a youth center and a reserve team able to supply the first squad with a decent youngster in such difficult times…
They have been the best foreign players in 2010 and they’re either looking to move in search of a new challenge & more money or have attracted too much interest from the bigger teams in Liga I to finish the season at their current clubs.
1. Wesley Lopes da Silva
- Club: FC Vaslui
- Position: Forward
- Age: 30
- Games/goals this season: 18/6
He’s pushing for the league title with FC Vaslui, yet he wants to move away this winter. Again. Last time he did that, club owner Adrian Porumboiu applied the “star treatment”, making the Brazilian the team’s captain, in spite of an attitude he used to punish severely (Carlos Costly is probably still regretting for trying to do things “the hard way”). This time, I doubt there’s something that can be done, as the excellent attacking man (who scored six goals even if he had to play as a central midfielder, in a 4-2-3-1!) will be entering the last six months of a 300.000 Euros/season deal, but he’s wrong if he thinks that this in enough to ease his way out of Vaslui, even if clubs like Steaua and especially CFR Cluj have small chances to finish the season above Porumboiu’s team.
2. Eric de Oliveira
- Club: Gaz Metan Medias
- Position: Attacking Midfielder
- Age: 25
- Games/goals this season: 18/9
Add 7 assists to the 9 goals scored this season and you’ll get the picture: he’s been in hot form since the start of the season and cannot continue under Pustai’s command, although he’ll have a hard time finding a finer coach in Liga I and a similar group of players&friends. He has to try, though, to prove himself in a more challenging environment, as he’s got the age, the experience and the quality to make it at a higher level and he’ll move this winter, in spite of all the problems Gaz Metan have been trying to create, since they’ve realized that they could lose their star player for nothing. His contract with the Romanian club will expire in June 2011, in spite of recent reports spread through papers too lazy to check the information handed to them by Gaz Metan’s board.
3. Aluisio Chaves Ribeiro Moraes Junior
- Club: Gloria Bistrita
- Age: 23
- Position: Forward
- Games/goals this season: 15/8
He’s at the end of an excellent first year and he should move now if he wants to take advantage of the inspired decision to come to Romania, to such a small club and pressure-free environment, like Gloria Bistrita. His brother’s recent release has reduced close to zero the reasons to continue at the club, but the question is who is going to satisfy the old fox Jean Padureanu. He’ll want cash&players, plus a little help to have a safe season, out of a deal that should not go through for less than a million Euros, in spite of visible and laughable efforts from the Becali brothers to decrease the player’s market value through some repeated comments in the media. Ribeiro Moraes is one of the few complete attackers this league has seen in recent times, a skilful creator and finisher, a free kick specialist, the kind of 2 in 1 forward that could help any team that misses both a playmaker and a striker.
- Astra Ploiesti – Pandurii Targu Jiu 2-0 (Patrascu 7, Fatai 74)
- Universitatea Craiova – Universitatea Cluj 3-0 (Dina 5, Iliev 11, Wobay 54)
- Dinamo – Otelul Galati 1-2 (C. Munteanu 71 / Salagean 45, S. Ilie 74)
- Gloria Bistrita – Unirea Urziceni 0-0
- Poli Timisoara – Rapid 2-1 (Zicu 28, 86 / Cesinha 25)
- Gaz Metan Medias – FC Vaslui 0-0
- CFR Cluj – FC Brasov 4-0 (R. Bastos 18, Cadu 36 pen, Traore 49, De Zerbi 73)
- Steaua – Sportul Studentesc 4-2 (B. Stancu 5, 42, Patrascu 31 og, Bilasco 67 / Varga 3, 90 pen)
- Victoria Branesti – FCM Targu Mures 0-0
Next round (15-18th of October): Unirea Urziceni – Gaz Metan, Rapid – Astra Ploiesti, FC Vaslui – CFR Cluj, FCM Targu Mures – Poli Timisoara, Pandurii Targu Jiu – Sportul Studentesc, Otelul Galati – Gloria Bistrita, Dinamo – Steaua, Universitatea Cluj – Victoria Branesti, FC Brasov – Universitatea Craiova.
- The Brazilian playmaker Eric de Oliveira scored his eigth goal of the season and showed the way to victory for this impressive little team, brilliantly guided by Cristi Pustai. The former maths teacher fielder a striker-free first eleven, with the small attacking midfielders Eric and Muntean roaming around upfront, combining quickly and speculating the lack of pace and agility from Universitatea’s centre-backs.
- Two teams in need of points grabbed vital wins, Victoria punishing Pandurii’s laid back atitude after their impressive win from the previous round, while Targu Mures produced the surprise of the round with a 2-1 away win against the champion club (the first win under new manager, Ioan Ovidiu Sabau), thanks to some terrible defending in the last 10 minutes and their most dangerous weapon: the ability to speculate set plays.
- Rapid got a deceiving away draw against Universitatea, in a tensed match that the hosts could have won. Without Costin Lazar, the guests failed to produce the same number of goalscoring opportunities and needed a bit of help from the ref, who said “sorry” for a harsh red card shown to Ovidiu Herea (his second of the season!) awarding a bit later an imaginary penalty. Read more…
They say that a striker’s job is to score goals and I’m blaming Dinamo’s hard-working Cristea, Andrei, (the lazy one is Adrian) for taking his job too seriously? No, he deserves to be up there, battling with Kapetanos, another honest player and good professional, but the way he wants to become Romania’s top scorer at all costs reminds me of the days when Steaua or Dinamo were fixing matches just to offer one of their players the chance to shine in Europe…
Cristea scored a brace against Unirea Alba Iulia, after yet another waaay too selfish display (I’ve seen a dozen since media reports spoke about the player’s chances to move to Serie A, in the summer), and the two goals get him ahead of Kapetanos, ending, in my opinion, what has been an interesting and correct race for most of the season.
Yes, there are still two rounds to go, but we must consider that in the next round Dinamo meets its unofficial satellite club, Astra Ploiesti, (if required, Cristea could score at will) and that the Greek will miss the last game of the season, as he will join the national team for the first training camp, before the World Cup. So, congrats to Cristea for the title and good luck to Dinamo, I’m sure they’ll be able to get a few more hundred thousands Euro from the club that will eventually sign the player… Read more…
- International Curtea de Arges – Ceahlaul 2-0 (Apostu 15, 81)
- Astra Ploiesti – Otelul Galati 0-3 (Giurgiu 45, Costin 60, Antal 87)
- Unirea Alba Iulia – Dinamo 1-2 (Fl. Dan 28 / Andrei Cristea 45 pen, 69)
- Universitatea Craiova – CFR Cluj 2-3 (Piturca 12, M. Costea 21 / Traore 63, Bud 85, Cadu 90 pen)
- FC Timisoara – Gaz Metan Medias 0-2 (Eric 33, 83)
- FC Vaslui – Steaua 2-1 (Burdujan 68, Papp 82 / B. Stancu 45)
- Rapid – Pandurii Targu Jiu 1-0 (Sapunaru 86)
- Politehnica Iasi – FC Brasov 0-0
- Gloria Bistrita – Unirea Urziceni 0-0
Next round (15-17 of May): Gaz Metan Medias – Unirea Alba Iulia, CFR Cluj – International Curtea de Arges, Gloria Bistrita – Politehnica Iasi, Otelul Galati – FC Vaslui, Unirea Urziceni – Ceahlaul, Steaua – Universitatea Craiova, FC Brasov – Rapid, Pandurii – FC Timisoara, Dinamo – Astra Ploiesti.
- Gloria Bistrita – Pandurii 1-0 (Coroian 36)
- Astra Ploiesti – CFR Cluj 1-0 (Al. Stan 64)
- Universitatea Craiova – International 1-3 (Dina 39 / Radut 4, E. Kone 18, D. Stan 66)
- Unirea Alba Iulia – Steaua 2-1 (Veljovic 24, Fl. Dan 83 / Arman Karamyan 43)
- FC Timisoara – Otelul Galati 2-1 (Magera 7, Cocis 13 / Axente 58)
- FC Vaslui – Ceahlaul 1-0 (Costly 57)
- Poli Iasi – Gaz Metan Medias 1-1 (L. Munteanu 66 pen / Eric de Oliveira 90)
- Unirea Urziceni – FC Brasov 1-0 (Rusescu 82)
- Rapid – Dinamo 2-2 (D. Kone 33 o.g., Ionita 39 / Andrei Cristea 11, Alexe 24)
Next round (5th of May): Ceahlaul – Universitatea Craiova, Pandurii – Politehnica Iasi, Gaz Metan Medias – Rapid, Steaua – Astra Ploiesti, Otelul Galati – Unirea Alba Iulia, FC Brasov – Gloria Bistrita, CFR Cluj – FC Vaslui, Unirea Urziceni – International Pitesti, Dinamo – FC Timisoara.
The info comes from gsp.ro and the two clubs are, apparently, Lazio and AS Bari. The forward, who has an excellent 2010, scoring at will, has been recommended in Italy by his former coach, Dario Bonetti. The 26 years old has 12 goals this season, 7 of them coming in the 7 matches played so far this year, reaching the Greek Pantelis Kapetanos at the top of the best scorers list in Liga I. Cristea, who looked very promising back in his Steaua days, when a brace scored against Valencia made the exhuberant owner Gigi Becali state that he will sell this player for no less than 20 million Euros. Now, Dinamo would be more than happy to cut the zero and cash in 2 million Euros, as they paid less than half of million to get the forward from FC Timisoara…
After tonight’s brace (the third of the season) from the mad draw against Unirea Urziceni, Andrei Cristea joins Steaua’s Pantelis Kapetanos at the top of the best scorers’ list in Liga I, with 12 goals each. Cristea, a former Steaua forward, who’s best moment of his career was a brace against Valencia, is having an outstanding 2010 so far, with 7 goals scored in 6 matches, a record that allowed him to overcome Timisoara’s Dorin Goga and Astra’s Liviu Ganea and put under pressure Steaua’s Pantelis Kapetanos.
Anyway, the “golden boot” has now four serious and gifted pretenders:
- Pantelis KAPETANOS (Steaua, 27 years old, 12 goals) has consistency, physical strength, intelligence and a solid aerial game;
- Andrei CRISTEA (Dinamo, 26 years old, 12 goals) counts on athleticisim, technique and the mistakes resulted from his constant pressure on the opposition’s defenders;
- Liviu GANEA (Astra – on loan from Dinamo - 22 years old, 11 goals) lacks a quality team behind him, but can take full advantage of his pace in Astra’s counter-attacking style, enjoying freedom to shoot at will and an improved aerial presence;
- Dorin GOGA (FC Timisoara, 26 years old, 10 goals) has finally got the right partner – a solid centre forward – to take full advantage of his intelligent off the ball movement, creativity and skill.
- Ceahlaul – FC Brasov 2-1 (Mulisa 16, Cebotaru 24 / Savic 23)
- CFR Cluj – Pandurii Targu Jiu 1-0 (Hugo Alcantara 25)
- Universitatea Craiova – Politehnica Iasi 2-1 (Iliev 62, Prepelita 89 / Straton 85)
- Otelul Galati – Dinamo 2-3 (G. Paraschiv 50, Antal 61 pen / Moti 6, Alexe 20, Andrei Cristea 54 pen)
- International – Gloria Bistrita 2-1 (E. Kone 31, Bacila 57 / Ribeiro Moraes 69)
- Steaua – Gaz Metan Medias 2-0 (B. Stancu 63, Kapetanos 79 pen)
- Unirea Alba Iulia – Unirea Urziceni 1-2 (Bucurica 39 / Brandan 47, Onofras 53)
- Astra Ploiesti – FC Timisoara 1-3 (L. Ganea 19 / Magera 3, Goga 11 pen, 88)
- FC Vaslui – Rapid 1-0 (Papp 6)
Round 24 (26-29 March): Gaz Metan Medias – Otelul Galati, Pandurii – Steaua, Unirea Alba Iulia – Astra Ploiesti, Politehnica Iasi – International Curtea de Arges, Rapid Bucharest – Universitatea Craiova, Gloria Bistrita – Ceahlaul, Unirea Urziceni – Dinamo, FC Timisoara – FC Vaslui, FC Brasov – CFR Cluj.