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Archive for September, 2010

It’s official: nothing in Romanian football is official!

September 13, 2010 1 comment

Iordache, the million dollar baby

Ilie Iordache, haunting his former club

Playing for Pandurii Targu Jiu was a blessing for a winger gifted with enough pace and skill to stand out in one of the most defensive and ugly teams from Liga I in recent years. Taking out his direct opponent on the left, cutting inside and scoring an average six goals per season made Iordache look like the decisive player every team needs. Every team in the second division, every team that dreams of survival in Liga I, right? Wrong! Iordache presented himself as a free agent to AEK Athens in the summer of 2009 and the Greek club agreed, after a trial, to offer him a shot. Problems appeared right away, as Pandurii asked the Romanian federation to block the move, stating that the player was still under contract, but they were only trying to find a way to block the move. They had lost Iordache on a free transfer, yet when they had bought the guy from Dinamo, they agreed to pay 1 million Euros, in case the player would have switched clubs… Read more…

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

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

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. Read more…

Transfer deadline day in Romania. Did Balotelli really sign for Man. City or FC Brasov has a chance to get him?

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Can Steaua also take the corner flags from Unirea Urziceni’s arena, after signing half of its team? Is Dinamo ready to sign at least one decent defender? Could Rapid waste another million on a useless Portuguese striker? Did Mandorlini manage to bring all his 35 years old favorite Italian players? If you’re dying to know the answers, forget about Sky Sport’s special reports and keep on coming back. You’ll be surprised how many superstars can be signed on a free transfer in a single day!

18.46 Buying from Serie A isn’t the best idea. Adrian Pit, making his debut for Universitatea Cluj, got sent off in just 10 minutes: a dive + a foul.

17.55 Love always wins! Vasile Maftei has reached an agreement with his former club, but now can only hope that Rapid will do the same with Unirea Urziceni, who has a cash-loving-owner. As I said: love always wins! Read more…

Make or break time, for both Romania and Razvan Lucescu Jr.

September 7, 2010 2 comments

Romania's probable first eleven against Belarus

It could have been a wonderful start, with Belarus defeating France and Romania sweating working as a unit for a 1-0 win against Albania, but yet another stupid goal from a set-play encouraged everyone to speak up and against the current coach, his poor selection and the mediocrity of the current generation of players. Everyone but the players under Razvan Lucescu, represented with bitterness and his usual class by the team’s captain, a certain Cristian Chivu. The Internazionale defender… defended the young coach – “who prepares games like no one else I’ve seen at the national team” – in front of the press and from attacks that have been launched by the (in)famous agents Ioan and Victor Becali. It’s an oustdanding gesture, knowing that he’s related to the Becalis through contracts and even religious matters, as Victor is his child’s godfather, but one that probably has been forgotten already, as the media’s busy promoting two of the names ready to take over from Lucescu Jr., in case of a poor result in Belarus: Gheorghe Hagi and Laszlo Boloni. In the background, the lobby for Adrian Mutu’s return to the national team becomes more and more obvious and it’s no surprise, given the fact that the player’s ban determined the Becali’s to go for Lucescu’s jugular. Read more…

The incredible adventures of an ex-Real Madrid coach in Romania!

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment

It all began in the summer, when the wealthy former international referee Adrian Porumboiu decided to dig deeper in his pockets and ensure he’s done everything in his powers to help his club, FC Vaslui, not just make a nice impression in Europe, but also to mount a very serious title challenge. Finishing third, just behind CFR Cluj and Unirea Urziceni, was an outstanding feat for such a small club, but not enough for its proud and ambitious owner.

With the likes of Kuciak, Gladstone, Sanmartean or Wesley, the team had already a solid back-bone, so Porumboiu thought that offering a quality roster to a quality coach and his professional staff should solve most of the on-the-pitch problems, his past and current influence in Romanian football ensuring the vital protection in a title race that was expected to get ugly, given Bucharest’s problem in regaining its supremacy. He went for a certain Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, recently released from Spain’s U21, who also had an eye-catching and respect-imposing spell at the helm of the mighty Real Madrid. Read more…

Foreign coaches at a sacking, err, turning point in their Romanian adventures

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Andrea Mandorlini (CFR Cluj), Lopez Caro (FC Vaslui), Vladimir Petrovic (FC Timisoara). Big names, high wages, scary anti-sacking clauses. What’s to be done once they get their teams into deep trouble? Well, Timisoara’s Marian Iancu always liked to look tough in the media, CFR’s Arpad Paszkany plays the old “Backing the coach” trick and looks very supportive (until he finds a replacement), while FC Vaslui’s Adrian Porumboiu has no other option than to beg the former Real Madrid to leave the team without asking for more than a couple of hundred thousand Euros. Not a good moment to be in charge of a club, right?

Mandorlini and Cadu, trying to understand each other

Mandorlini, saved by last season’s trophies. But not for long…

CFR won the league and the Romanian Cup with him on the bench, but the team rarely offered convincing displays, struggling to adjust to a 4-3-3 that looked good on paper, but poor on the pitch. With the whole summer ahead of him and the chance to create a roster according to his plans, Mandorlini failed once again to impose his ideas. Important changes took place in the team, but CFR kept on switching between a 4-3-3 and a 4-3-1-2, in the first rounds that left the impression that Mandorlini needed a few more friendly matches, in order to make the team click. Six rounds gone and the champions are in mid-table, with the humiliating 0-3 defeat suffered against a newly promoted, Sportul Studentesc, still hurting a lot of egos in Cluj. Read more…

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