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Best players of the season in Romania: left midfielders

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment
  1. ARMAN KARAMYAN – FC Timisoara / Steaua Bucharest
  2. Willian Gerlem – FC Vaslui
  3. Ciprian Petre – Gloria Bistrita
  4. Catalin Munteanu – FC Brasov
  5. Banel Nicolita – Steaua Bucharest

My view: Hmm, tough one to call and the surprise of the final analysis, definitely, as Arman Karamyan was known until the second half of last season mainly as the twin brother of Artiom. The move to Steaua and the goals that followed were decisive, but also proved that there wasn’t a consistent player on the left wing., able to deliver and convince during the past championship. Good to see Petre in the top five, I’ve considered him a natural winger with potential since his Unirea Urziceni days, while Dinamo’s Alexe showed a lot of promise and will probably continue to develop into a quality winger indeed.

My choices: Well, seeing Cesinha in his last couple of appearances back to his best, I’d say it’s a shame he’s prone to injuries. Craiova’s Gangioveanu is still a player to watch – maybe he’ll switch clubs or settle down and focus on football -, just like Gaz Metan’s promising winger Paul Parvulescu, who offered some quality performances, but wasn’t always convincing during this season.

Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.

Steaua gets a brand new defense

June 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Steaua’s new manager, Victor Piturca, who’s yet to be officially unveiled, doesn’t agree that a team’s best defense is the attack. So, he rebuilds it from scratch. The situation was so dramatic last season that “Pitzi” needs to buy two players for each position in a back-four that will not count on the services of Golanski, Zhelev or Marin, who have been already released, while Baciu, Emeghara or Tudose – backup solutions during the previous campaign – are probably kept just until new reinforcements arrive.

Until now, Steaua bought what seems to be its first choice right back, the Bulgarian Yordan Todorov, who comes on loan from CSK Sofia, for just 40.000 Euros. In central defense, Piturca asked for the experienced Dorel Stoica, 32, who comes on a free transfer, but is in the middle of a huge scandal, involving his former club Universitatea Craiova. Able to play in central midfield, as well, Stoica should be the leader of the back four that needs at least two other quality centre-backs. One of them is Octavian Abrudan, who’s expected to sign in a matter of days and add aerial strength and intelligence, but won’t help much when it comes to the pace of the defensive line, Stoica being a slow player, as well. Piturca also signed Florin Gardos, from Concordia Chiajna, a towering central defender, U21 international, but someone that probably will have to wait and learn before getting to play on a regular basis. A fourth signing is needed, and that’ll probably be David Junior Lopes, from Cordoba, but we’d have to wait and see, as his arrival has been already announced a couple of times, by the papers… On the left, Steaua could get a second Bulgarian player, Stanislav Angelov, who is available on the market, after being released by Energie Cottbus.

The strategy is obvious: get old experienced defenders, in order to minimize the needed time to make a solid back-four, but the lack of pace and understanding will surely do some damage, at least in the first couple of months. How much? Well, enough to make these guys regret that they have spent under 100.000 Euros to get the players mentioned above…

Plesan, finally worth 100.000 Euros…

June 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Mihaita Plesan, 27 years old

This is pretty sad, actually… Having the chance to watch him on a regular basis since his debut in the top flight, I thought that the rumors regarding a release clause of just 100.000 Euros weren’t true. I mean, i refused to believe that Plesan can be taken away from a club he clearly wanted to leave – so, wages weren’t a serious issue, in this case – for such a small fee. And that nobody steps forward.

He’s 27, he’s fit, a change of environment or the chance to be hit at anytime by the thought that separates the boys from the men, which often changes a player beyond recognition, all these meant that some club like Karpay Lviv should/could/would gamble this sum on a footballer that still has three or four years ahead of him. Well, Plesan had to wait an entire season for this offer, which means that he had to work an entire season to be worth again 100.000 Euros. Plesan, who, back in the days, was considered a natural, talented, box-to-box midfielder, with a price tag calculated in million Euros, who could have made it everywhere. Instead, he decided to fail here.

Yes, he can blame his misfortunes, his injuries, his friends and his family, the agents he had, the coaches he changed, but, unless he comes across a clear mirror in the process, he might as well forget about going to Ukraine. He should have at least one in his nice car, the symbol of a player’s achievement in Romanian football…

Three Serbian players to Universitatea Cluj!

June 17, 2010 1 comment

The newly promoted is keen to complete its roster and have an almost full squad lined-up for the pre-season training camps. The club’s official site announced today the transfer of the following three players:

  • Dusan Brkovic – 21 years old, central defender. Played for Hajduk Kula last season, on loan from Partizan, and signed a three years long deal with the Romanian club.
  • Boban Cenic – 29 years old, central defender, comes from Mladi Radnik. Will play for U until June 2012.
  • Zoran Belosevic – 26 years old, left back, bought from FK Sarajevo. Signed a two years long deal.

Interesting moves, but it will be more interesting to find out how Universitatea’s board came across their names – I doubt that scouting was involved, it’s probably the work of some agent, as we see this all the time around here…

Best players in Romania: central defensive midfielders

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment
  1. Gabriel Muresan, 28 years old

    GABRIEL MURESAN – CFR Cluj

  2. Dan Alexa – FC Timisoara
  3. Gabriel Giurgiu – Otelul Galati
  4. Sorin Paraschiv – Unirea Urziceni
  5. Costin Lazar – Rapid Bucharest

My view: Yes, Muresan deserves to be up there, but Alexa doesn’t! The holding role is/should be much more than just sitting in front of the back four and winning balls, such a limited player isn’t useful to a winning team anymore. And when you have one pure anchorman on the pitch, adding another one (Bourceanu) when playing at home should be classified as attempted murder on football, a crime that brought punishment on a decent person, but a coach that still needs to develop, like Ioan Ovidiu Sabau. Sorry, got a bit carried away with this :-)).

Back to our top: consistent season from Giurgiu, who also got a couple of important goals and was labelled by some as the best defensive midfielders in the league, but I cannot understand how a massive midfielder like Ousmane N’Doye could have missed the top five. Anyway, he’ll compensate this by getting the first place when we get to the nightclub performances section!

My choices: Already said enough about N’Doye (btw, the guy is the leader when it comes to taking out opponents!), let’s include here Ionut Neagu, who was playing until the winter for the bottom placed in the second division, CSM Ramnicu Sarat, and is another nice coup from Marius Stan and Dorinel Munteanu. Also, it was an excellent first season in Liga I for the Japanese Seto Takayuki, while Timisoara’s Bourceanu would have been higher in the standings if he would have played in his natural role, as he often had to drift wide on the left flank, in a very unconfortable position for this workaholic central midfielder.

Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.

Best players in Romania: right midfielders

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment
  1. Mihai Roman, 26 years old

    MIHAI ROMAN – FC Brasov

  2. Gabriel Torje – Dinamo Bucharest
  3. Janos Szekely – Steaua Bucharest
  4. Antonio Semedo – Unirea Urziceni
  5. Liviu Antal – Otelul Galati

My view: Fair results, given the fact that, of all Romanian players on this position, Roman established himself as the first choice for the national team from Liga I, but it would have made sense to see this analysis including some stats regarding the players’ crossing ability. He’s the best when it comes to taking out his direct opponent and has the best shooting accuracy and these two criteria pretty much describe him as a player. Nice to see Antal grabbing the fifth spot, another second division player selected by the expert Marius Stan, a president with an excellent eye for promising footballers.

My choices: CFR’s first serious buy of the summer, Hora, was only in eighth place, in spite of a good season, but I would mention Gaz Metan’s Alexandru Muntean, as a nice prospect, and International’s experienced utility player Cosmin Bacila, who produced an impressive scoring rate in the second half of the season, which was definitely useful to the club’s survival in the league.

Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.

Romanian mercato: we buy poor players, so it’s vital to find a good coach!

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Of all the top clubs, only two will attack the next season with the same coach. Mandorlini‘s double with CFR Cluj and Levy‘s abilty to continue Dan Petrescu’s outstading work for Unirea Urziceni offered them the chance to stay put and enjoy the results of the previous campaign.

In a previous post, I had anticipated an agitated summer in this field, but my expectations were exceeded by the decision of two coaches that could have stayed: Sabau (FC Timisoara) and Lacatus (FC Vaslui), both leaving their clubs for personal reasons; Sabau – for his inability to connect with Timisoara’s football-loving fans, Lacatus – following the disappointing ending of a solid season.

Lopez Caro, coaching Real Madrid

With so many ambitious clubs looking for good coaches, it’s been more interesting looking for the moves in this area, rather than “buying” the rumors sold on a daily basis by the sporting newspapers regarding the players that might come to Romania this summer. Dinamo went for their old player and coach (although he’s still quite young), Ioan Andone, who was replaced at Rapid by the former Gloria Bistrita manager, Marius Sumudica. Sumudica, an icon in Giulesti, will get a lot of help by Rapid’s new and old president, Dinu Gheorghe. With Steaua still pushing for a deal with Victor Piturca, who, for the past two or three weeks, has arranged transfers and even decided who will be the club’s president!, FC Vaslui was the club that managed to go for something new and very exciting indeed: a staff lead by Lopez Caro, who had the chance to work with the likes of Guti and Zidane and now will try to teach Burdujan that football is a team’s sport and that it’s okay to pass the ball every once in a while, even if the game is indeed decided by goals.

If the move becomes official today, as announced, Vaslui’s owner, Adrian Porumboiu, shows once again that he cares about his investment in football and that he knows very  well what he has to do in order to continue the impressive development of his club. He keeps going forward, while “the big guns” from Bucharest are chasing their tales, looking back at their last moments of triumph and hiring the guys that managed to deliver…

Todorov signs for Steaua

June 10, 2010 1 comment
  • With the veteran Petre Marin already gone and other players looking to move away from Steaua, the red and blue outfit made a surprising move, before the official presentation of the new manager, Victor Piturca. The Bulgarian full-back Yordan Todorov should make up for Golanski’s departure on the right side of a brand new back four, with the Polish player gone exactly how Todorov comes to Ghencea stadium: on a free transfer. The 28 years old passed a medical today,  an exam he took among most of the players belonging to Unirea Urziceni, which caused a bit of confusion in the media today ;-).

Best players of the season in Romania: left-backs

June 10, 2010 1 comment
  1. Pablo Brandan, 27 years old

    PABLO BRANDAN – Unirea Urziceni

  2. Vladimir Bozovic – Rapid Bucharest
  3. Laszlo Sepsi – FC Timisoara
  4. Roosevelt Tavares de Melo “Ezequias”- FC Brasov
  5. Adrian Salageanu – Otelul Galati

My view: Well, I would have chosen pretty much the same order. Brandan is a complete, mature defender, his versatility is a bonus!, who could make it everywhere. Wanted by Stuttgart in the winter break, he’s now waiting for anothere concrete offer and hoping that Unirea will show understanding, given the fact that he came to Urziceni on a free transfer and acted like a true professional, even when he had every reason to be unhappy. Nice development by Sepsi, who improved while away at Benfica and Santander – we’ll probably see him higher in the standings next season. If Brandan leaves 😉

My choices: I think Leonardo Veloso deserves to be mentioned, in spite of a handful of appearances for CFR Cluj in the second half of the season. Dinamo’s Pulhac started again to look like a decent player, but the guy seems to have some serious issues and has lost the right moment to move abroad and away from the club that raised him. Something that hopefully won’t happen to Unirea Alba Iulia’s Bucurica (11th place in gsp’s standings!), demanded by several important clubs this summer…

Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.

Gabi Muresan signs for 5 more years with CFR Cluj

  • Tempted to move away this summer, Muresan agreed to a new deal with the champions that will expire in 2015! The anchorman played a key role in CFR’s first eleven since his arrival from Gloria Bistrita, showing excellent work ethic, leadership and quality on and off the pitch. Paid until now with 80.000 Euros per season, almost five times less than what Sixto Peralta was getting for playing as a rotation midfielder, Muresan probably will receive a salary in the region of 150.000 Euros (a couple of good offers from abroad paid dividends), but the official details of his new contract have not been released.
  • Unirea Urziceni signed the veteran full-back Petre Marin, from Steaua Bucharest, who gets a two years long deal, in spite of his age! The 36 years old leaves the red and blue outfit after six years of consistent performances and basically gives the green light for Pablo Brandan‘s move away from Urziceni. Marin will be followed to Urziceni by his former colleague, Adrian Neaga, who terminated his contract with Neftci Baku and was also recommended to Ronny Levy by Mihai Stoica.
  • Astra Ploiesti made the first two signings of the summer, showing that Steaua’s former manager, Mihai Stoichita, is really close to take over from Marin Barbu. Pierre Ebede, a 30 years old keeper from Cameroon, has been transferred from AEL Limassol, while the Bulgarian Atanas Bornosuzov comes from Litex Lovech to strengthen a team that will aim to finish in the top half of the standings next season. According to several press reports, the two should be followed in the next few days by the likes of Zhivko Zhelev (released by Steaua this summer), Mihaita Plesan (out of favor at Steaua, available for 100.000 Euros) or Stelios Parpas (available for 100.000 Euros)
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