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Pustai playing hard to sack

March 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Cristi Pustai: 5 years on the same bench and counting...

Cristi Pustai is a maths teacher – a story I wrote for the outstanding IBWM can be found here – who’s pretty good at coaching football too. He took charge of Gaz Metan when this small club was struggling for life in the top flight and almost made it into the Europa League group stage. Yesterday, “The Professor” finished his fifth year on the same bench by preparing tonight’s game versus CFR Cluj, a difficult exam, with his team dangerously close once again to the relegation zone.

According to a stat from Gazeta Sporturilor, he’s been in charge for 1.827 days, which is not a lot by Premier League standards :-), but keeps him in first place, way ahead of all the other colleagues from Liga I. Otelul’s Dorinel Munteanu is in second place, with just under 1.000 days for the same club.

Pustai deserves the credit and to stand out like that in a league where only foreign coaches interrupt from time to time a disturbing and dubious rotation of the same mediocre managers between the top flight clubs. He’s been as ambitious through the rough patches as when the team reached its’ best form and refused to give up his calm speech and modest approach even when he was making history for a club he thought it was time to leave a year ago, when he felt the need of a new challenge. The club managed to convince him to stay, by offering exactly that. Ovidiu Hoban (one of the most underrated players in Liga I), Paul Parvulescu and Eric de Oliveira are all gone and keeping the current team safe really needs some top class coaching… Good luck, Teach!

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