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Posts Tagged ‘Dinamo Bucharest’

Three players that could help Bucharest have its revenge

July 14, 2011 1 comment

After yet another poor year, the Capital clubs Dinamo, Steaua and Rapid have renewed their hopes of returning to greatness. Let’s take a look at three names that need to (finally) deliver, if the Bucharest big shots are to stand a chance against the always ambitious and recently better organized teams from the rest of country.

  • Name: Marius Niculae
  • Club: Dinamo Bucharest
  • Position: striker
  • Age: 30

The former Sporting Lisbon forward has failed to deliver since his return to Romania. He spent the second half of last season playing (and scoring) for Kavala – 4 goals in 12 appearances, in the Greek SuperLeague, but the club refused to make the deal permanent. Back in Bucharest, Niculae had to accept a wage cut and it will be interesting to see if he cares indeed for Dinamo or he’s just saying what the constantly decreasing number of fans love to hear.

With the best active scorer in Liga I by his side – Ionel Danciulescu, now 35 years old, scored a total of  193 goals in the Romanian top flight – and fueled by the most promising wingers in the country, Gabriel Torje and Marius Alexe, Niculae should deliver more goals than excuses in what promises to be another inconsistent season for the Red Dogs.

  • Name: Cristian Tanase
  • Club: Steaua Bucharest
  • Position: attacking midfielder
  • Age: 24

If Steaua wants to have a better season, a player like Tanase definitely needs to start looking like a genuine number 10. A right footed attacking midfielder who settled for a position on the left wing, the Romanian international has often drifted from inconsistent to simply useless, since his big, sorry, huge money move from FC Arges, three years ago. Numbers speak for themselves: one goal scored last season and a total of five in over 120 matches in Liga 1!

Predictable, lacking determination and the mentality (not the quality) to step up and act like the decisive player he was supposed to be, he fails to pose a threat with his shot, doesn’t get into scoring positions and simply cannot deliver quality balls in the last third.

With such a “discrete” no. 10, it’s no wonder Steaua struggled to fashion goalscoring chances and find the net even in the easiest of games. Now, under yet another coach, but involved in a playing style that should suit him even better, Tanase has the chance to prove a point. Otherwise this might just be his last season at the once great Bucharest club, although I get the feeling that the red and blue outfit has started to get used to the mediocrity of recent years

  • Name: Ciprian Deac
  • Club: Rapid Bucharest
  • Position: left winger
  • Age: 25

One of Felix Magath’s flops, Deac comes after a poor season with Schalke 04, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if the chance to take showers alongside the likes of Raul and Huntelaar has convinced the Romanian international that he’s among the greatest players alive. Presented by Magath as a number 10 – still amazed by that statement! – Deac will certainly have enough chances to redeem himself in the one year long loan deal. Razvan Lucescu used to play him in the national team even when he was severely lacking match fitness, but the blonde winger certainly has a tough job ahead. Rapid parted ways with the likes of Cesinha and Juliano Spadacio, two of the best left footed players this league has seen in recent year, and will find it hard to accept another year without a serious title challenge.

The red and white exodus

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

The first half of season hasn’t been that bad for Dinamo, who lies just outside the places that guarantee a spot in Europa League, but the club was a mess. With less and less support from the fans, increasing financial problems, after the loss of three important shareholders, and a team that Ioan Andone was struggling to control, discipline and unite, the Red Dogs were barking, but not threatening to bite as hard as the other title challengers.

It was vital to act swiftly during the winter break and what the club did might sound suicidal, for the current season’s goals: 9 players were sent away, either on loan or for good, with the following considered regular starters and good enough, in theory, for any team in Liga I:

  • Juan Pablo Garat – 27, central defender, 10 games / 1 goal, released;
  • Ousmane N’Doye – 32, defensive midfielder, 13 games / 5 goals, sold to Astra Ploiesti;
  • Adrian Cristea – 27, playmaker, 17 games / 7 goals, sold to Universitatea Cluj;
  • Florin Bratu – 31, forward, 7 games / 2 goals (on loan to Levski), free transferred to Gaz Metan;
  • Andrei Cristea – 26, forward, 11 games / 4 goals, sold to Karlsruhe;
  • Marius Niculae – 29, striker, 16 games / 3 goals, loaned to Kavala (with buying option);

It only looks suicidal… First of all, because the title was an unrealistic target, given the distance that separates Dinamo from he current leaders, but mainly due to the high number and good quality of the other contenders, with Rapid, Poli Timisoara and FC Vaslui convinced that this is their season. Secondly, in spite of the names and the stats from above, the red and white outfit can still count on some of the finest attacking prospects in Romania, with the likes of Gabriel Torje, Marius Alexe and Liviu Ganea relishing the chance to feature on a regular basis and support the excellent player and professional that is Ionel Danciulescu. There will also be some relief among those responsible in delivering the wages, as the budget will suffer a serious cut and probably allow the entire team to start getting paid on time, on a regular basis.

The only thing Dinamo must do now is to use this month as a foundation for a strategy that has always delivered and keep on betting on young, ambitious players. But, with so much time left before the end of the winter mercato, the recent signing of a 31 years old from the bottom-placed team and the club’s willingness to test unknown foreign players, who are closer to their 30′ than their 20’s, we might be only witnessing Dinamo’s desperation to get rid of the high-earners and intention to buy some more time to prepare another one or two important sales…

The rise and fall of Marius Niculae

January 5, 2011 1 comment

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marius Niculae, back in 2001

Made his debut in Liga I when he was only 15, but already looked equipped to take on stronger opponents, thanks to his father, a former European Champion in judo, who took really good care of the young Niculae. The fact that Sensei Constantin was also a fitness coach with Dinamo also helped, but the young centre-forward soon repaid all the confidence with his constant development. Five years later, in the summer of 2001, he was on his way to Portugal, as Sporting Lisbon was impressed with the 20 years old who had finished the season as the league’s best scorer, with 20 goals. So impressed that they paid a total of 5.3 million Euros, a fee that included a 1.7 million Euros installment fee that should bring back some good memories to the Becali brothers and some of Dinamo’s shareholders…

Under the command of Laszlo Boloni, Niculae was surrounded by top players like Mario Jardel, Joao Pinto and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the fairytale ended a few months later when he suffered a nasty knee injury, which kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. The strong kid, who was ready to take on any opponent, never regained full fitness nor the bravery that had made him famous and – as a friend from the football world once told me – had raised his market value to 10 million Euros, an asking price available at that time for any interested club.

The centre-forward was going to leave Portugal on a free transfer, with a record of 14 goals in 59 appearances, and rejoin Boloni, with the coach willing to offer him a second chance, but unable to save a career that was going to register another two free transfers, to Mainz and Inverness, in the following years. A season high of eight goals in the Scottish top flight finally determined a club to pay something for the player’s services. It was his first club, Dinamo, who came up with half of million pounds and the same old plan. He was going to be the leader of the team, he was going to have all the support to score goals in double figures – Dinamo is an expert in “polishing” players for expensive exports – and he was supposed to help the club at least make some profit, if achieving sporting success is something that the red and white club fails to do for years. Unfortunately for him and Dinamo, the 12 goals scored in 2008/1009 were followed by one and a half seasons of mediocre football and a string of rumors that linked him to exotic destinations. One in particular looked interesting, but Boloni failed to convince Al Wahda to pay one million Euros for a front man who scored 7 goals in his last 36 matches, as part of probably the most offensive team from Liga I.

This winter found the player in a mess. With half of this season’s matches started on the bench and a wage that’s a problem for the club, Niculae is again ready to go. To China, on a free transfer, obviously, where Beijing Guoan are ready to pay 30.000 Euros/month until his next move. Which could be hanging up the boots, unless someone comes to his rescue. The Romanian press immediately thought of the same old Boloni, who just signed for Lens, but Niculae, now 29, is too old to be still living in the world of dream-moves and way too far from his best form to think that he could swap Liga I for Ligue 1. He should be more concerned about saving money rather than hopeful of saving his career…

Dinamo releases the Argentinian Juan Pablo Garat

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Garat should be happy to move as far away from Dinamo as possible. He should forget the promising start of the season. The deserved praise for some promising performances and the beginning of a solid partnership with Cosmin Moti, the centre-back who may have returned from Seria A two years ago, but failed to return to form. The scoring ability discovered only after his move to Liga I. He will keep in mind though that, if you’re willing to make a career in Romania, there are a few guys out there who control everything, even if they’re not officially involved in the game anymore. One of them is former FIFA agent Ioan Becali, who once criticized the Argentinian centre-back more for the fact that he signed with Dinamo without going through him rather than for the quality of his performances. Garat replied by asking “Giovani” to keep quiet and stop talking about him and may have laughed in disbelief when he received a text message saying that he’ll never get to play for Dinamo again.

Today, the Red Dogs announce that they have released Juan Pablo Garat, considering that he failed to adjust to Liga I due to several medical problems, after 13 matches for the club and 2 goals. Of course, the decision has nothing to do with Becali’s threat. Garat did get to play two more games for Dinamo, after that episode. 15 minutes in the 11th round and 10 more minutes in the 16th round.

Round 16 – results, scorers, standings and highlights

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Pandurii Targu Jiu – FC Brasov 2-1 (Pintilii 83 pen, Apostu 90 / Ilyes 68 pen)

Unbeaten in four games, Pandurii climb out of the relegation zone, thanks to the excellent work from new coach Petre Grigoras. This was a vital game for both clubs and there wasn’t much between two organized teams, until the first huge mistake from a poor ref. Unfortunately, things got worse, as he tried to make up for that error with another invented penalty, although there was a sense of justice in his action. Left with only 10 players on the pitch, after Pandurii equalized from the spot, Brasov failed to hold on to a point and are in the zone everyone had expected to see them, after they lost almost an entire team before the start of the season.

  • CFR Cluj – Gaz Metan Medias 1-1 (De Zerbi 1 / Edimar 12 og)

Excellent tactical battle – as always, when Cristi Pustai is involved -, as Gaz Metan managed to cancel quickly a nice goal created by Bjelanovic, who has so much to offer to this team, thanks to his quality and experience. The equalizer came after a deflected free kick from Eric de Oliveira, who is right to feel angry that this was considered an own-goal, as he could have reached Steaua’s Bogdan Stancu at the top of the scorers’ list, with 10 goals in 16 rounds. Impressive stuff! CFR continues to lose very important points and should sound more convinced that they’re out of the title race, as this lack of realism will only do more harm in the near future. Read more…

It’s official: nothing in Romanian football is official!

September 13, 2010 1 comment

Iordache, the million dollar baby

Ilie Iordache, haunting his former club

Playing for Pandurii Targu Jiu was a blessing for a winger gifted with enough pace and skill to stand out in one of the most defensive and ugly teams from Liga I in recent years. Taking out his direct opponent on the left, cutting inside and scoring an average six goals per season made Iordache look like the decisive player every team needs. Every team in the second division, every team that dreams of survival in Liga I, right? Wrong! Iordache presented himself as a free agent to AEK Athens in the summer of 2009 and the Greek club agreed, after a trial, to offer him a shot. Problems appeared right away, as Pandurii asked the Romanian federation to block the move, stating that the player was still under contract, but they were only trying to find a way to block the move. They had lost Iordache on a free transfer, yet when they had bought the guy from Dinamo, they agreed to pay 1 million Euros, in case the player would have switched clubs… Read more…

Danciulescu’s return could hurry Marius Niculae’s departure

July 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As my friends from Twitter (rbaicu) already heard, Ionel Danciulescu signed a two years long deal with Dinamo, after a surprising release from Hercules. “Danciu-goal” refused a very tempting offer from the newly promoted club FCM Targu Mures, who offered a fabulous 250.000 Euros per year plus 70.000 Euros upfront, hoping to catch one more European adventure with the Red Dogs, before ending an oustanding career in Liga I.

With him in the squad, Dinamo has to options: either loan once again one of their young forwards, Liviu Ganea or Georgian Paun (this one has the biggest chances), or sell one of the big names: Andrei Cristea or Marius Niculae. With Cristea too expensive at 1,5 million Euros for interested clubs, like Newcastle or Brescia, Dinamo could be tempted to accept Karabukspor’s 500.000 Euros for Niculae, who is also one of the highest earners at the Bucharest side and has been looking for his best form for the past year, without any luck.

Mutiny at Dinamo, under Giovani Becali’s command!

April 18, 2010 2 comments

After Dinamo’s defeat against CFR Cluj, in the semifinals of the Romanian Cup, three players left the hotel in the middle of the night: Ousmane N’Doye, Ze Diabate and Djakaridja Kone went out on their own and returned in the morning. With the other players aware of their departure, talks went on among the team’s leaders, Niculae, Niculescu, Bratu, Moti and Bostina, who agreed that something needs to be done to restore an order too often troubled by N’Doye, who had been recently “rewarded” with an excellent contract and, even more surprising for such an unprofessional player, the vice-captan role.

In the morning, when N’Doye was begging for forgivness, Dinamo’s staff had the surprise to see six players leave the hotel and return to Bucharest. If Florin Bratu had already been sent there, to play for Dinamo II, players like Gabriel Bostina, Andrei Margaritescu, Adrian Cristea, Ianis Zicu and Marius Alexe stated that they’re backing Bratu and would like to protest against the repeated trouble created by the Senegalese midfielder. Read more…

Steaua and Dinamo’s rivalry continues. This time, on the transfer market

April 14, 2010 1 comment
  • The two fierce rivals are keeping tabs on Gloria Bistrita’s winger, Adrian Hora, who is tipped to move to one of the big clubs from Bucharest at the end of the season. The former youth international looked very promising a few years ago, when he made his debut in the top flight playing for UTA Arad, and the transfer fee paid by a poor club like Gloria was surprising at that time: around 250.000 EUR. Now, it just look like wise investment, as “The Vampires” should get at least double that sum and maybe even some other promising youngsters in exchange.
  • Dinamo is looking to strengthen the defence and the Red Dogs will be testing in the next few days the Ivorian Robert Sakara, who’s a free player at the moment. The trial was obtained by his agent, Eutin Bojin, who was aware of the lack of options for the centre-back role, after the injuries suffered by Dragos Grigore and Lucian Goian. Anyway, this is a strange decision by Dinamo’s staff, as they have several youngsters in the reserve team (playing regularly in the second division), not to mention the Czech Marin Zivny and Inter’s on loan hot prospect Cristian Daminuta. Yet coach Cornel Talnar insist on pairing the insecure Moti with the natural right back Scarlatache and testing unknown 25 years old players…

After escaping CSKA’s hooligans, Andone feels ready to meet Rapid’s hostile fans

April 1, 2010 2 comments

Ioan Andone

Recently departed from CSKA Sofia, where the fans reacted badly to the team’s slimmer chances to win the league and forced him to quit after only five games (2 wins, three draws!), Ioan Andone makes another risky choice.

The former Dinamo defender and coach agreed to sign a contract with The Red Dogs’ fierce rivals from Rapid and the best scenario is that his appointment will be met with a mixed reaction by the club’s radical fans. His credentials as a coach in Romania are solid, but his past will not be easily forgotten and he definitely needs to make an impact from the very first game and in every match played until the end of the season. His goal is to reach a place in Europa League next season and, if he will impress, the contract that should expire in the summer, could be extended for another two years.

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