Sorin Cartu promises attacking football from CFR Cluj. But not tonight…
The man’s nickname is Sorinaccio and that’s the perfect description of a coach who could have inspired The Special One, ahead of the (in)famous Barcelona – Inter Milano. Asked to step in and ensure survival for several small clubs, in recent years, he went to CFR labelled as a ultra-defensive coach, but ready to prove everyone wrong. In his first press conference, he spoke about his intentions to build an attacking team, deployed in his favorite 4-4-2, and we can agree that he has what it takes to do it, only by looking at his offensive weapons. Mandorlini’s hard to explain transfer policy brought together no less than six natural strikers: besides Lacina Traore, Yssouf Kone and Cristian Bud, CFR signed Sasa Bjelanovic, Ferdinando Sforzini and Anselmo Ramon. Only three of them are fit right now, Traore, Bud and Sforzini, while Bud’s unjust omission should “help” the new coach to make a cautious approach, at his debut in the Champions League.
Cartu will probably go for a 4-4-1-1 system, with Rafael Bastos behind Lacina Traore, who comes after a two match ban, after a last terrible appearance, against Sportul Studentesc, but I expect several players to raise their game, after this change. In spite of all statemements, it seems that the players might have given a hand to CFR’s board to offload Mandorlini, without having to pay a compensation of 800.000 Euros, which was on as long as the team was in the upper part of the standings. With the Italian still in charge, I would have backed Basel not to lose in Cluj, against a team that was struggling to cross the midfield line, but now we could see an invigorated bunch of quality players, plus the determination to claim their place in the first eleven from guys like Rada (natural centre-back, is expected to play at left back, ahead of the mediocre Edimar and the out-of-form Leonardo Veloso) and Emil Dica (who is expected to partner Muresan in a hard working central midfield pair).
This match is going to be intense, with the home team fighting for every ball and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Basel struggling against such a determined team. Still, CFR will have to rely in attack on the combination of strength and skill from Traore, who, in a good day, can be a match winner, and will probably keep it tight at the back, looking for a killer blow from set plays or a lucky winning combination upfront.