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Saint-Etienne’s Banel Nicolita requested by one of Premier League’s top clubs!

June 7, 2012 1 comment

Tottenham Hotspur is either the club or the kind of club that is currently in talks with ASSE, according to a fresh statement released on TV by Nicolita’s agent, Traian Gherghisan. “In December, two big clubs came after him, but Saint-Etienne’s president refused. Now, he will probably accept, as we’re talking about one of the important teams from the Premier League.”

Bought from Steaua a year ago for 700.000 Euros, Banel Nicolita adjusted really well to Ligue 1 and could now generate a profit of more than 2 million Euros. The Romanian right winger, now 27, has featured in 19 matches for the French outfit, scoring three goals and providing 6 assists, coping really well with the physical side of the game – one of his strongest points. Gifted with a great engine, work-ethic and a fantastic humble attitude, he’s not good enough, in my opinion, in terms of skill and vision to make such a huge step, so I could see him playing for a mid-table team from the Premier League, not at a higher level. But I’ve been wrong before… 🙂

Thank you, San Marino!

August 11, 2011 3 comments

This goes out to the security guards, the policemen, the honest workers that every once in a while get together to play in San Marino’s national team. They did it again on Wednesday evening, when offered the Romanian national team yet another chance of a fresh start, under the recently appointed head coach Victor Piturca. The match that ended with a 1-0 win for our national team was helpful for a lot of reasons and you can find some below:

  • Showed us exactly where we are at this point: slightly better than one of the worst national teams in the world.
  • Offered another strong reason to get rid of some of our “star players”, with Adrian Mutu and Gabriel Tamas excluded from the national team after returning late to the hotel from a few hours break offered by Piturca.
  • Helped the always generous Banel Nicolita fulfill yet another dream, as he wore the armband on his 31st cap.
  • Proved to Piturca that 75% of those called up to refresh the national team cannot play better here than they are doing at club level. What a surprise!
  • Made the coach think very seriously about avoiding the same mistake done by his predecessor, Razvan Lucescu, who was called to rebuild the squad in the middle of a campaign and decided to defy the odds and fight for a qualifying spot, having to rebuild at the beginning of the next one, when he should have had the team ready to go.

Best players of the season in Romania: left midfielders

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment
  1. ARMAN KARAMYAN – FC Timisoara / Steaua Bucharest
  2. Willian Gerlem – FC Vaslui
  3. Ciprian Petre – Gloria Bistrita
  4. Catalin Munteanu – FC Brasov
  5. Banel Nicolita – Steaua Bucharest

My view: Hmm, tough one to call and the surprise of the final analysis, definitely, as Arman Karamyan was known until the second half of last season mainly as the twin brother of Artiom. The move to Steaua and the goals that followed were decisive, but also proved that there wasn’t a consistent player on the left wing., able to deliver and convince during the past championship. Good to see Petre in the top five, I’ve considered him a natural winger with potential since his Unirea Urziceni days, while Dinamo’s Alexe showed a lot of promise and will probably continue to develop into a quality winger indeed.

My choices: Well, seeing Cesinha in his last couple of appearances back to his best, I’d say it’s a shame he’s prone to injuries. Craiova’s Gangioveanu is still a player to watch – maybe he’ll switch clubs or settle down and focus on football -, just like Gaz Metan’s promising winger Paul Parvulescu, who offered some quality performances, but wasn’t always convincing during this season.

Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.

Lucescu calls 23 players for the friendly against Israel

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

With Cristian Chivu, Razvan Rat and Stefan Radu out injured, Razvan Lucescu offered Gabriel Tamas (transferred in January to West Bromwich Albion) the chance to reclaim his spot in the team. Another surprise is the absence of the first two choices for the goalkeeper postion, Lobont and Coman,  but, looking at the likes of Gaman, Sepsi, Florescu or Deac, it’s obvious that the National Team coach is trying to evaluate some of the promising, yet established players in the first division. Here’s is the full list of players:

  • Goalkeepers: Mircea Bornescu (Rapid, 29), Costel Pantilimon (FC Timisoara, 23)
  • Defenders: Cristian Panin (CFR Cluj, 31), Vasile Maftei (Unirea Urziceni, 29), Gabriel Tamas (WBA, 26), Dorin Goian (Palermo, 29), Mirel Radoi (Al-Hilal, 28), Valerica Gaman (Universitatea Craiova, 21), Laszlo Sepsi (FC Timisoara, 23), Mihai Nesu (FC Utrecht, 27)
  • Midfielders: Banel Nicolita (Steaua, 25), Mihai Roman (FC Brasov, 25), Iulian Apostol (Unirea Urziceni, 29), Paul Codrea (Siena, 28), Tiberiu Ghioane (Dynamo Kiew, 28), George Florescu (FC Midjtyland, 25), Ciprian Deac (CFR Cluj, 24)
  • Forwards: Gigel Bucur (Kuban, 29), Andrei Cristea (Dinamo Bucharest, 25), Ciprian Marica (VFB Stuttgart, 24), Daniel Niculae (Auxerre, 27), Marius Niculae (Dinamo Bucharest, 28).

Update: Lucescu decided that the third keeper will be Steaua’s Ciprian Tatarusanu (22), while the injured Iulian Apostol has been replaced by his colleague from Unirea Razvan Paduretu (28).

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