Bonetti starts with a useful defeat: Dinamo’s through to the Romanian Cup final!
Dario Bonetti’s first game in charge wasn’t great. Dinamo lost against Gaz Metan Medias and the last 10 minutes were really difficult, as the home side managed to make it 2-1 and needed one more goal to overturn the 0-1 defeat suffered in the first leg.
The Italian decided to make small adjustments to the 4-4-2 that had failed to deliver under Liviu Ciobotariu, after some impressive displays and results in the first half of season. First of all, he added a second defensive midfielder, Dorel Stoica, who did three good things: 1. protected the back four well enough even if he didn’t look in top physical shape (both goals came from set plays); 2. allowed Djakaridja Kone to act higher up the pitch and use his energy and muscle to block the opposition’s build-up strategy earlier than usual; 3. scored Dinamo’s only goal, decisive for the step to the final. This lead to the usual playmaker, Catalin Munteanu, who also suffered an obvious dip in form, to move on the left wing, where he found more space and time to dwell on the ball and look for options, as well as send some quality crosses – something nobody else does at the moment for Dinamo.
The most important move made by Bonetti was the use of Marius Alexe in a different position, who moved from left midfielder to second striker – a role that (in my opinion too) suits him better, making him less predictable in movement and allowing him to get more scoring opportunities.
Even though it had little effect in last night’s game, this decision can have major implications not just for the young player who has been in disappointing form in the season he was supposed to prove himself too good for Liga I and ready to move abroad, but also for the team. If he will keep on playing there, there will be little to no space for Ionel Danciulescu, the veteran striker who is the club’s second scorer this term and the active player with the highest number of goals scored in the Romanian first division. This isn’t a surprise, as Danciulescu, who has scored over 200 goals in his Liga I career, had been forced by the same Italian coach to leave Dinamo a few years ago and move to Hercules Alicante, in the Spanish second division, a club he has helped at that time to gain promotion in La Liga.
With four options for the centre-forward role – Niculae, Danciulescu, Tucudean and Platini -, Bonetti’s setup offers only one place in the starting line-up and I expect him to stick to this and keep on playing Alexe, hoping to help him regain his top shape. Alexe had been reportedly followed by clubs like Fiorentina or even Chelsea (doubt it, really!), but this term he has 1 goal and 2 assists in 18 games played in Liga I. Two seasons ago, he was scoring 7 in 28 matches, making an impressive debut in the top flight after some loan spells that had offered him playing time in the third and second division.
Bonetti’s determination to help Alexe regain his sharpness will certainly please the greedy shareholders, but will also calm down his most dangerous critics, the agents Ioan and Victor Becali, who realize that this could lead to another big-money move in the near future. Does it really matter, in that case, that you’re mistreating (again) as a club one of the most loyal, professional and quality players from the last decade, like Ionel Danciulescu?