Lobont, Cocis and Dica back in Romania’s national team
On Monday, Razvan Lucescu will start training for a series of three friendlies: against Ukraine (29th of May), Macedonia (2nd of June) and Honduras (5th of June). Here’s the team:
Goalkeepers: Pantilimon (FC Timisoara), Bogdan Lobont (AS Roma), Silviu Lung Jr. (Universitatea Craiova)
Defenders: Maftei, Galamaz (Unirea Urziceni), Dananae (Universitatea Craiova), Tamas (WBA), Dorin Goian (Palermo), Cristian Chivu (Inter Milano), Razvan Rat (Shakthar Donetsk), Laszlo Sepsi (FC Timisoara)
Midfielders: Roman (FC Brasov), Radut (International Curtea de Arges), Radoi (Al Hilal), Florescu (FC Midtjylland), Ghioane (Dynamo Kyiv), Cocis (FC Timisoara), Tanase (Steaua), Deac (CFR Cluj)
Forwards: D. Niculae (Auxerre), Andrei Cristea (Dinamo), N. Dica (CFR Cluj), Bilasco (Unirea Urziceni), Mazilu (FC Arsenal Kyiv).
Well, a more balanced team from Lucescu Jr. this time! Only one player from Steaua, Tanase, and this one called not as a reward for his form, but more to give him credit and try to exploit his potential. One player from Dinamo as well, the only one who deserved a call-up, while Craiova, who almost paid a huge price for fielding a very young team all season long, has two players – Lung (very promising, consistent enough for his age, should play ahead of Pantilimon and Lobont, who both lack match practice!) and Dananae, a right back who just returned from a long lay-off, isnt’ at his best, but could be a solution for the future. I would have called Sapunaru, who was by far the best Romanian right back in the league in the second half of season, but I think Lucescu made some choices and, when a team looks balanced, with old players and hot prospects fighting for a place in the team in almost every position, it’s fair to keep quiet.
I like the fact that Radut gets a taste of the action, that Bilasco is finally in the team, but I wouldn’t have called N. Dica. Anyway, now that the team is decent, I am really looking forward to see if Lucescu has also some fresh tactical ideas, as I think we’re doomed if he sticks to that 4-4-2 with two defensive (or not creative enough) central midfielders, wingers keen to go back, not forward, and attackers that are too weak to count in the air, too often forced to come down for the balls, as they fail to connect with the long passes thrown behind the opposition’s defence. We’ll be playing against decent teams and I expect to see Romania working on a style that will allow this squad to lay siege on a weaker opponent, as we’re experts in defending and destroying, even when our chances are destroyed and there’s nothing left to defend…