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Archive for October, 2010

Ciprian Marica thinks about retirement. Stuttgart’s fans have no reason to celebrate: it’s about the national team

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

(In)famous agents Ioan and Victor Becali decided to change tactics before the game in France, refusing to comment regarding the national team and especially its coach, Razvan Lucescu. They knew that Mircea’s son had little chances to come out with a win, so “Le Bleus” were going to give them a hand in changing this stubborn coach, who refuses to acknowledge their influence and picks his team on his own.

Marica is too good to sit on the bench. And wants out, not in!

It was one of their clients who spoiled this decent plan, as Ciprian Marica needed just a couple of training sessions to realize that he was going to start the match on the bench, in spite of his outstanding scoring record of one goal in almost 800 minutes played for the national team, under Lucescu Jr. On Friday, Victor Becali appeared on tv and spoke about his client’s thoughts to stop playing for Romania. Marica himself refused to use these words, but stated his discontent, saying that “The coach favors other players”, still hoping that this kind of pressure might change Lucescu’s plans. It didn’t, but the young coach showed enough diplomacy to send Marica on the pitch in the second half. Read more…

This is Romania!

October 11, 2010 1 comment

Desperate to keep a clean sheet. Trained to destroy, not to build. Hoping for a lucky counter or a well taken free kick. This is Romania. At any level. From the senior national team to the Under 0. We have it in our genes and we’re not making the smallest effort to change our mentality. And you can see it at club level. Where we’re defending. Destroying. Hoping for the counter-attacks that bring once in a lifetime 2-0 wins on Olimpico. And we still wonder why we have slim chances to see Romania at a final tournament in this lifetime…

 

Romania's U21, a team used to sit back and wait. And has been waiting for a final tournament since 1998!

 

For those not very familiar with the team in yellow, the weekend was looking promising on Friday evening, when Romania faced England, in front of a packed stadium in Norwich. Sandoi’s eleven that featured one keeper, five natural defenders and five natural midfielders, was trying to switch from a 4-5-1 to a 4-3-3, as the team got hold of possession, being probably the first in the world to try and use three forwards, without having at least one on the field! Read more…

Missing out on final tournaments since 1988. England’s U21 should learn from the Romanian experts!

October 8, 2010 1 comment

It’s no surprise to see Romania’s U21 challenging for a spot at Euro 2011, 12 years after its last appearance at a final tournament. The first league has changed a lot in the meantime, with several clubs outside the capital winning trophies and getting European exposure, and what a lot of people feared – mediocre foreign players blocking the development of young Romanian players – didn’t affect the promotion of the hottest prospects, now spread throughout the country. Clubs like Otelul Galati and Universitatea Craiova offer the best example and have determined the Bucharest sides to change their strategy – with Steaua investing heavily in youngsters like Radut or Gardos and offering them the much needed playing time for a continuous development. The number of promising players used regularly in Liga I has increased so much that even a lazy and modest coach like Emil Sandoi managed to field a strong team, one that won a group that also featured the mighty Russia. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to earn a presence at a final tournament and the odds offered Romania one of the toughest adversaries available. Read more…

Universitatea Craiova joins the trend, cutting down incredible and unjustified high wages

October 6, 2010 1 comment

When Victor Piturca threatened his players that they will lose their wages for 3 or 4 months, if they play as selfish as CFR’s Lacina Traore, it would have been interesting to know what gsp.ro announces today: several players from Universitatea have, at least on paper, incredible wages for what they can offer and have offered to this beloved, but underachieving club, in recent years.

The club’s highest earner and also top player, Florin Costea, who’s currently injured, gets 410.000 Euros/season, a salary that cannot be found at the champion club, for example, where Sixto Peralta, the former Internazionale midfielder, gets 375.000 Euros/year. But let’s say that Costea deserves this, given his on-the-pitch input when fit, as well as a market value calculated in million Euros. But to hear that Spase Dilevski, an Australian defensive midfielder, who never stood out as a decisive player for the club, earns 370.000 Euros per season, and Mihai Dina, an average 25 years old forward, who has an excellent year when he scores five goals in the league, was getting paid 180.000 Euros/season, obviously shocked Universitatea’s new manager. Wage cuts of -40% followed immediately, with non-negotiable offers accepted by the mentioned players, as well as by the young Mihai Costea (down to 120.000 from 180.000), while others, like the 28 years old Brazilian David Lopes, are expected to either accept half of their current wages or leave the club during the winter break.

Mihai Dina was earning in a year a bigger sum than what Universitatea would have got in case of a sale. Photo from prosport.ro

Read more…

Badea gets the sack, Grigoras gets the tough job to avoid relegation with Pandurii!

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

This club should have been playing in the second division, based on last season’s results, but yet another compromise from the Professional League allowed Pandurii to take International’s place, following a deal that saw numerous players, plus the technical staff to move from Curtea de Arges to Targu Jiu. 10 rounds gone and this “2 in 1” team occupies the last place in the standings, with just one win out of ten games, already 5 points away from the 14th place that guarantees salvation, of course, unless Pandurii will find another way to dribble through the so called laws of the game.

The charismatic Grigoras has been in talks with FC Vaslui, Astra and Unirea Urziceni

The two weeks break was make or break time for the board, who decided to release the young & promising Ionut Badea – who was linked with a job at Dinamo, in spite of his position in the standings! – and handed over the team to a more experienced coach like Petre Grigoras. Known for his ability to make his teams play attractive football, Grigoras comes after a difficult period, as he had to stay away from the game for medical reasons, and takes over one of the ugliest teams in the league. Pandurii were a tough nut to crack especially under CFR’s current coach, Sorin Cartu, nicknamed Sorinaccio for his ultra-defensive style, and Grigoras will be seriously tested by a roster divided in two groups of players: those who had played for Pandurii last season and the 16 that came this summer, from International.

The new coach will get to know the team in a five days training camp in Antalya, with the exception of two central defenders, Chiriches (selected in Romania’s U21) and Viera (called-up for Cote d’Ivoire’s match in Burundi), and has the biggest challenge in getting the team’s strikers in shape, as only Apostu scored so far (a brace, in Pandurii’s single win of the season), with the likes of Stromajer, Adrian Iordache and Antohi looking useless, unable to take advantage of a decent midfield, which contains decent players like Voiculet, Ilie Iordache, Orac and Bacila.

A must read for Laurent Blanc. This one’s on the house!

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Looking at the players selected for the vital game versus France, it’s fair to say that Lucescu Jr. has bigger problems than who should wear the number 10 shirt, an artificial issue which kept the media occupied for days. With Sapunaru and Radu back in the squad, Romania looks solid enough at the back to worry “only” about the rest of the team.

  • Goalkeepers: Costel Pantilimon (Poli Timisoara), Bogdan Lobont (AS Roma), Ciprian Tatarusanu (Steaua)

Being friends with the captain always helps. Photo from prosport.ro

Lobont will definitely start in goal, in spite of his obvious fear to catch a ball, with both reserve keepers inconsistent and, in my opinion, in mediocre form. Rapid’s Bornescu had a string of top performances, is mature enough and very confident, and I wonder why an ex-goalie like Lucescu overlooked him.

  • Defenders: Cristian Sapunaru (FC Porto), Vasile Maftei (Unirea Urziceni), Gabriel Tamas (WBA), Cristian Chivu (Internazionale Milano), Marius Constantin (Rapid), Stefan Radu (Lazio), Razvan Rat (Shakthar Donetsk), Mihai Nesu (FC Utrecht) Read more…

They bought Unirea’s top players, but couldn’t kill the team’s spirit

October 1, 2010 2 comments

After this summer's sale, there's nothing ideal left in Urziceni

As expected, Unirea Urziceni, the team lead by Dan Petrescu to a record eigth points in the Champions League’s group stage, was dismantled by the other title contenders, at the beginning of the season. The season that was going to be Unirea’s last in the Liga I, with relegation as sure “as death and taxes”, after the departure of an entire squad. Reserves and coaches included, plus several staff members. The club was going down, but not without a fight.

Players out: Pablo Brandan, Laurentiu Marinescu, George Galamaz, Ricardo Gomes, Iulian Apostol, Marius Onofras and Marius Bilasco (Steaua Bucharest); Adrian Neaga and Sorin Paraschiv (Volyn Lutsk); Valeriu Bordeanu (Dinamo), Sorin Frunza (Rapid), Catalin Grigore (Astra Ploiesti), Dan Matei (FCM Targu Mures), Maurice Junior Dale (Panserraikos); Daniel Tudor, Petre Marin, Bruno Fernanded (released).

Well, the fight started right away, after the appointment of Octavian Grigore, and has made a series of high profile collateral victims. In the last four rounds, Urziceni suffered a heavy defeat at the hand of league leaders Otelul Galati, but managed to snatch three wins against as many serious title contenders. The last two of them came with the same score, 1-0, on the same impossible home ground for those who’d try to play ball, against the mighty Steaua and Dinamo. Read more…

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