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Player of the round: Mircea Axente, FC Timisoara’s bet of the season

August 14, 2010 1 comment

Mircea Axente didn't waste time while he was away on loan

Name: Mircea Axente
Position: striker
Born: 1987
Height/Weight: 186 cm/75 kg
Club: FC Timisoara

4 goals in 5 matches is a promising return from a striker discovered by Timisoara six years ago, who was used to be sent on loan to smaller clubs, once the season was kicking off. This time, Axente speculated Timisoara’s discrete transfer campaign and caught the attention of Vladimir Petrovic, a coach who promised to give the team a more offensive approach. The 23 years old proved just the right man, although shuffled Pizon’s best attacking “cards”: Magera was pulled back as a central attacking midfielder, while the skilful Goga had to move on the right flank. Strong and tall enough to resist against tough opposition, Axente prefers a direct approach, based on quick turns and instinctive finishing from different positions. Good in the air, he’s quick and unpredictable enough in movement, capable to find just enough space and put both power and precision behind his shots. All these qualities were on display against CFR Cluj, the latest match influenced by Axente (hit the bar once, then scored a nice goal to make it 2-1), who has every reason to feature against Manchester City, in the Europa League playoff, a match he wouldn’t have dared to dream of when he was improving in the second division with CS Buftea or getting playing time in Liga I with Otelul Galati.

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Timisoara’s strange European campaign has come to an end: they’ll play Manchester City!

August 6, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve watched the incredible 3-3 against MyPa, a poor team, defeated at home, in the first leg, with 2-1, with mixed feelings. The scoreline helped, I have to admit it: 0-3 at half time, winning draw in the end, with the decisive goals scored in the 92nd minute. I went from surprise to disbelief during the first half, switched to anger and disgust at half time, when a former Timisoara coach, Jackie Ionescu, was hinting that there could be some gambling involved (the club is still under investigation for an older Europa League game, vs Dinamo Zagreb), but finished the game in style, jumping from the sofa and punching the air at Cisovsky’s equalizer. I take that back now, when I look back at a terrible match and feel obliged to say that – in spite of my respect for one of the most passionate crowds in Romania – the Viola outfit should have been out of a competition that proved too strong for them even before it began properly. But they’re still in and have the honour to meet Manchester City. Let’s face it, not every club gets the chance to be sparring partner for the Citizens! Here’s why FC Timisoara doesn’t stand a chance in this tie:

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