Home > My offside trap > Mandorlini gets the sack. Two days before CFR starts the Champions League campaign!

Mandorlini gets the sack. Two days before CFR starts the Champions League campaign!


Well, it’s bragging time on this blog, as Mandorlini becomes the second coach to have qualified CFR Cluj for the Champions League group stage and won’t get the chance to sit on the bench for at least one match. It happened to Ioan Andone and I expected this to happen to the Italian back in May (yes, I’m that good!), even though CFR was heading for a double they eventually snatched.

Sorin Cartu, ready to lay down the law

Mandorlini went into the game against Rapid having the backing of the board, but came out of it without points and with the team leaving the same impression: struggling to adjust to yet another tactical setup – a 4-1-4-1 this time -, lacking cohesion, determination and courage, sitting back and hoping that one of the players will create something out of the blue. Not the approach you’d want to see at the champion club, the club that had failed to send a single shot on goal against Universitatea Craiova, the club that felt humiliation against the newly promoted Sportul Studentesc. Arpad Paszkany, the owner, had enough and was more than supportive since the start of the season: backed the coach, put pressure on the players who wanted to get rid of Mandorlini, kept on bringing (Italian) players demanded by “Mister”, with De Zerbi and Sforzini the latest additions to an already full roster.

The announcement came on Sunday and the new coach might come as a surprise: his name is Sorin Cartu, who trained already a dozen teams in Liga I, winning the title with Universitatea Craiova, but lately being offered jobs at small clubs, where he became famous for his defensive approach and asked to keep them safe from relegation. Well, looking at CFR’s position in the standings, the choice doesn’t seem odd at all, yet two days from his official presentation the champions will host FC Basel, in the Champions League. It probably won’t go as well as in the days when Maurizio Trombetta was taking over from Ioan Andone and went on to win in the Olimpico, against AS Roma, because Cartu needs to sort things out in the locker, before working his magic on the training ground. And I expect him to tell the Portuguese legion (Nuno Claro, Cadu, Tony) that there’s a new boss in town!

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