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Not so quiet times for Romania’s national team coach

These are agitated days for the national team, with Razvan Lucescu under huge pressure from the public disgusted that the young coach blamed everyone but himself, for a start so poor that could compromise the entire qualifying campaign. Romania has two points from three matches and slim chances to turn things around, yet the Football Federation decided not only to defend its choice, but also to add two more years to the current deal and some extra cash, offering Lucescu Jr. a deal until 2014, paid with 375.000 euros per year! All this, in spite of the agreement that the coach will walk if he cannot get Romania to Euro 2012 and in spite of his obvious struggle to rebuild the team (the idea was to use the last official matches of the previous campaign to find new players and refresh the NT, but Lucescu preferred to take his long shot at landing the second spot in a group eventually won by France and Serbia).

The great Gica Hagi speaks about the not so great national team coach

This hard to explain support offered by Mircea Sandu and Ionut Lupescu has been balanced by the justified attack launched by the legendary Gheorghe Hagi, who played down the idea that Romania cannot get better results due to the quality of the available players. Very quiet until now, busy with running his excellent football academy, the former Barcelona & Real Madrid asked Mircea Lucescu’s son to step down, if he doesn’t have faith in the players’ ability anymore. Here are the most interesting quotes of their diallogue:

Gheorghe Hagi:

“Razvan said that Romania is a third world country, that the players are mentally weak – I cannot accept that, I feel insulted. I have supported him until now, but he was wrong to play down Romania’s past performances. His own father was successful with the national team. My generation was successful.”

“We are not weak, as players, I say we’re creative and smart, but we do need discipline. In the past two years he called up over 50 players, Romania’s U21 has a very promising group, we’re playing in Europe and have some top players abroad too. How could he say that we lack good players? I do not want to hear such a negative approach anymore, I say we CAN get results.”

Razvan Lucescu:

“I didn’t want to offend anyone, especially Hagi. But I still say that there’s a lot of criticism and pressure before the games and that the players need a different, more positive atmosphere. I never said that we cannot qualify for Euro 2012, I believe we could still do it!”

“I will not resign and I only ask for support ahead of the games, not afterwards. I accept everything that has been thrown at me after these results, but they’ve been decided by some clear mistakes from the referees. We were seven minutes away from a good results on Stade de France”.

As if Lucescu (who strangely preferred France – Luxembourg, instead of the decisive U21 game between Romania and England!) didn’t have enough problems, he is also struggling to keep together his group of players. Relieved to have convinced VFB Stuttgart’s Ciprian Marica to give up the idea of a temporary retirement from the national team, the coach was surprised to hear that his vice-captain, Mirel Radoi, has no intention to play for Romania anymore. The 29 years old who is currently playing for Al Hilal is angry at the comments made by Ionut Lupescu, the Federation’s chief executive, and had already announced his intentions after the friendly games against Ukraine and Turkey.

  1. October 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I’ll say it flat-out. Lucescu Jr is a horrible coach. His father might have done okay on the job, but not him. There are so many great possible coaches for Romania out there (Dan Petrescu, Piturca [although I want him to stay at Craiova], Mircea Lucescu, many others I can’t remember now lol, or even a foreign manager who has at least some idea Romanian football], , yet they keep this brainless Lucescu for almost 2 years , fail after fail, loss after loss (or draw after draw)……. he calls-up some of the worst players and has no real tactics. Discipline and strong mentality lacking, the players look as if they are lazy and talentless bums walking back and forth across the pitch, with no ambition whatsoever.

    And btw, RADOI SUCKS. He wasn’t too bad in his early days at Steaua, but now he’s in a crap Saudi Arabian league (like Cocis) and not doing anything at all…

    I was actually impressed by the way Deac and Florescu played in the second half against France. Deac, I already knew, is a great player and important to our national team right now, but Florescu really surprised me. He plays for a Russian club I’ve never heard of, and I was skeptical about him at first. He can be decent though, and I’d like to see more of him. Also, younger players need to be called-up too (ex. players from the U23s/U21s and other Romanians who have been overlooked many times).

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