New coaches, new hopes
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. The type of winger with very good pace and reactions, who likes to confront his opponent and always attack the goal, Deac suffered on the right, as he can control and kick the ball only with his left foot, gets credit for CFR’s first goal, when his shot could only be parried by Arlauskis and the loose ball found the net after a tap-in from Lacina Traore.
- Mihai Dina – 24 years old, attacking midfielder, Universitatea Craiova
Debut in 2005 for Universitatea Craiova, got enough credit to prove himself in the first two-three seasons, but after a good 2007/2008, with 22 matches and 7 goals, became just a rotation player. And, it must be said, Universitatea never had an impressive roster, Dina being often forced to make way to younger players. A talented attacking midfielder, he ended up playing even as an out-and-out striker, which clearly affected his performance, as he lacks pace and isn’t the quickest off the mark, yet he has nice technical skills and vision, is decent in the air and dangerous when he comes from behind. Still, he seemed to struggle in an orthodox 4-4-2, both in attack and midfield, while his atitude on the pitch often leaved the impression of laziness and discrete workrate. First game under Mark Wotte, Dina found himself back in the first team and repaid the Dutch coach with a goal and a good performance overall. No surprise he remained on the pitch until the final whistle, which hadn’t happened since the 10th of May 2009!
- Laurentiu Marinescu – 25 years old, attacking midfielder, Unirea Urziceni
After six years spent at Petrolul Ploiesti, where he was always a standout player, but enjoyed too much the mediocrity and lack of professionalism at a club with a solid tradition, but little ambition. His move to the champion club last summer came as a surprise, while his lack of opportunities didn’t. Marinescu got only three starts under Dan Petrescu, plus two appearances as a sub, but immediately featured in the first eleven, in the first domestic official match of the year. Used as a central midfielder in a 4-1-4-1 system, Marinescu filtered a lot of balls, tried to take out his direct opponent and reach the final third to pose a threat, but lacked the vision and the composure for such a role, looking better equipped for a place on the flanks or closer to the fornt men.