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Posts Tagged ‘promising Romanian players’

Romania U21 looks well-equipped for the decisive double versus Russia

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Russia tops the group on goal difference, having the same number of points with Romania, 21, with just two matches to go, and Emil Sandoi’s youngsters stand in with a chance that seems bigger than ever to make it into a final tournament. Here’s the selected team, including the replacements for Paul Parvulescu (Gaz Metan Medias) and Cosmin Gangioveanu (Universitatea Craiova), who suffered injuries during the weekend:

Goalkeepers: Cezar Lungu (Steaua II), Silviu Lung Jr. (Universitatea Craiova)

Defenders: Cornel Rapa (Otelul Galati), Alexandru Matel (Astra Ploiesti), Valerica Gaman (Universitatea Craiova), Paul Papp (FC Vaslui), Florin Gardos (Steaua), Vlad Chiriches (Pandurii)

Midfielders: Stefan Barboianu (Universitatea Craiova), Andrei Ionescu (Steaua), Eric Bicfalvi (Steaua), Ionut Neagu (Otelul Galati), Ioan Hora (CFR Cluj), Dragos Firtulescu (Universitatea Craiova), Liviu Antal (Otelul Galati), Marius Alexe (Dinamo), Gheorghe Grozav (Standard Liege)

Forwards: Sabrin Sburlea (Rapid), Liviu Ganea (Dinamo), Mihai Costea (Universitatea Craiova), Alexandru Ionita (FC Koln), Raul Rusescu (Unirea Urziceni)

CFR’s Ciprian Deac linked with Schalke 04

August 20, 2010 3 comments

All the praise received by CFR’s number ten this season seems to produced the expected results. Media reports from Germany speak today of Schalke’s interest in Ciprian Deac, the move that could take place for a fee around 3 million Euros being also described as “imminent”.

Can Ciprian Deac move away from Cluj before Lacina Traore?

Knowing that Schalke also signed a certain Raul, I cannot wonder what recommends Deac for such a high profile transfer, besides the rather artificial hype created in Romania. The young international – who featured in Romania’s last friendly and is also regarded as an important player for the qualifying campaign that is about to kick-off – doesn’t seem ready for a move to a stronger league. He’s still quite inconsistent in Liga I, has had a rather poor start of season, being moved around on the pitch in uncomfortable positions, with Mandorlini trying him even as a central attacking midfielder, a role that has nothing in common with his main qualities. A natural winger, gifted with a decent left foot, Deac impressed only on the left side of an attacking trio, showing good control and pace, in a direct style of play that makes him eager to take on direct opponent. In fact, his game relies on his ability to free himself from his marking man and take his shots, still looking too selfish, and I believe that he’s rather poor when it comes to take the right decision under pressure. He also lacks the mentality that would allow him to cope with Bundesliga’s demands (same goes for the Premiership and the other leagues where referees aren’t encouraging professional divers), as he’s an expert in knocking the ball past his opponent (his favorite move) and going down at the slightest touch, a habit even Stuttgart’s Ciprian Marica fails to get rid of.

Ok, he has pace and a better left foot than most of the other Liga I players and has definitely developped as a player in the last two years, but he still has a lot to learn, which makes him look overrated at 3 million Euros…

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.

Romania’s U21 looks decent. Too bad we don’t have a left back…

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Romania U21 travels on Monday to Moldova for a match scheduled to take place on the 11th of August. Here’s the team selected by the eternal Emil Sandoi, a coach who is yet to promote a youngster with a lower profile in this team or at least to “push” a player from the U19 at a higher level:

Goalkeepers: Cezar Lungu (Steaua), Silviu Lung Jr. (Universitatea Craiova)
Defenders: Florin Gardos (Steaua), Cornel Rapa (Otelul Galati), Alexandru Matel (Astra Ploiesti), Paul Papp (FC Vaslui), Valerica Gaman (Universitatea Craiova)
Midfielders: Eric Bicfalvi, Andrei Ionescu (Steaua), Gabriel Torje (Dinamo), Stefan Barboianu, Constantin Gangioveanu (Universitatea Craiova), Ionut Neagu (Otelul Galati), Ioan Hora (CFR Cluj), Gheorghe Grozav (Standard Liege)
Forwards: Mihai Costea (Universitatea Craiova), Liviu Ganea (Dinamo), Alexandru Ionita (FC Cologne), Sabrin Sburlea (Rapid), Raul Rusescu (Unirea Urziceni).

Player of the round: Gabriel Torje has every reason to hope for a move abroad

August 5, 2010 1 comment

Gabriel Torje looks ready to go

Name: Gabriel Torje
Position: right winger
Born: 1989
Height/Weight: 167 cm/64 kg
Club: Dinamo Bucharest

With Lazio still trying to reach an agreement with Dinamo, Gabriel Torje has every reason to give his best on pitch and convince the Italian club to dig deeper in its pockets. His first performances in Liga I were solid and, in the second round, he was one of the top performers in the highy entertaining 5-3 win against Sportul Studentesc. The little winger’s raids produced the free kick and the penalty kick that offered Dinamo a perfect first half and he made it 3-0 right after the break with an excellent sprint behind the opposition’s defense, a cool move past the rushing keeper and an angled finish. Torje was unstoppable, showing a combination of pace and skill that proved too much for his direct opponent, often left with the choice you cannot make twice in the same game: a desperate foul. Hard working, creative and with a bigger range of movement – got more freedom from Andone and he seems to enjoy it – Torje definitely looks on top of his game, with a growing level of confidence and the once lost appetite to impress.

Lazio offered 3 million Euros for Gabriel Torje. Dinamo will soon regret the decision to turn it down

July 28, 2010 3 comments

Gabriel Torje, 21 years old

Dinamo’s officials stated that a written offer has arrived from Lazio, a bigger one than the initial 2 million Euros, but, as I was saying earlier,¬† the Red Dogs expect at least 4 million Euros. Of course, to get that kind of money, they’ve asked Lazio for 5 ūüôā

In my opinion, the Bucharest side will not get more than the current offer, especially now when the interest from Borussia Dortmund has cooled down and there isn’t a sign of competition for the player’s signature. Torje isn’t worth it and the ways he could increase his market value are limited: an excellent season with Dinamo (possible), moving from the U21 to the senior national team (not likely, Lucescu will give credit to Mihai Roman), playing Champions League football with Dinamo next season (improbable and he’ll need at least one and a half years for that!). My point is: Dinamo made a poor deal, paying 2 million Euros for 50% of the player’s transfer rights and they’ll never get their money back, that’s why the idea of making a profit out of it seems to be unrealistic. I would have accepted the money and only tried to negotiate a percentage of the player’s next transfer, considering his just 21 and the move to Serie A alone should increase the player’s market value, which could have covered the club’s losses and even kept a small chance to make some profit in two or three years time.

Title contenders: Steaua Bucharest

July 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Fourth place last season wasn’t that bad, considering the poor quality of the team and the huge conflict between the fans and the club’s owner, but Gigi Becali realized that he needs to change not for Steaua’s sake, but thinking about the lost money in recent years, where he dictated everything at the club, making a mockery of what still is the team with the biggest fan base in Romania. That’s why he accepted Victor Piturca’s conditions, including the toughest of all: keeping his big huge mouth shut. The former national team coach took up the manager’s role – Premier League style – supervising the training sessions conducted by Eugen Neagoe, former Pandurii coach, bringing back former Steaua players and offering them jobs in the youth academy, installing Emerich Ienei (the man that brought Steaua the biggest European trophy in 1986) as club president, getting the fans back in the stands and behind the team. He did so many important things for the club that missing out on the title this season shouldn’t matter that much. But I’m sure this is unacceptable for the ambitious Piturca…

Mercato activity:

Players in: Stanislav Angelov (central midfielder, 32, Energie Cottbus), Iasmin Latovlevic (left back, 24, FC Timisoara), Cosmin Matei (central attacking midfielder, 19, Farul Constanta), Geraldo Alves (central defender, 30, AEK Athens), Yordan Todorov (right back, 29, Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Novak Martinovic (central defender, 25, Pandurii), Alexandru Pacurar (central midfielder, 29, Pandurii), Razvan Stanca (goalkeeper, 31, Pandurii), Florin Gardos (central defender, 22, Concordia Chiajna), Dorel Stoica (central defensive midfielder, 32, El Ettifaq), Mihai Radut (central attacking midfielder, 20, International Curtea de Arges),  Octavian Abrudan (central midfielder, 26, FC Brasov).

Players out: Arman Karamyan (forward, 31, released), Artiom Karamyan (left midfielder, 31, released), Petre Marin (left back, 37 , Unirea Urziceni), Zhivko Zhelev (central defender, 31, Inter Baku), Gora Tall (central defender, 25, APOP Kinyras – loan expired), Pepe Moreno (striker, 29, Independiente – loan expired), Pawel Golanski (right back, 28, released), Stelios Parpas (central defender, 25, AEL Limassol), Ovidiu Petre (central defensive midfielder, 28, Al Nasr), Alexandru Tudose (central defender, 23, Gloria Bistrita), Juan Toja (left midfielder, 25, Aris Salonic).

Mihai Radut, the young and the fearless

Massive changes in Ghencea, where Piturca wanted and had every reason to create a new team. Among the rare important losses is Ovidiu Petre, but the manager had on the anchorman role his favorite player already lined-up, Dorel Stoica. For the rest, he went on to bring on a mixture of young & promising players like Radut and experienced guys like Angelov, which proves that his goal is building a new squad, without sacrificing this season’s trophies at stake. Interesting fact, Steaua relies on the same forwards from last year, even though Pantelis Kapetanos doesn’t seem to fit the lone striker’s profile preferred by Piturca, which means that Bogdan Stancu should enjoy the best season of his career and start fulfilling his potential. But what if he doesn’t or gets injured? Back to the Greek one more time? What does this guy has to do – this year, against all odds, got to play in the World Cup! – in order to start a season as the number one choice for the centre-forward role?

Tactics:

  • Coach: Victor Piturca (new)
  • Preferred system: 4-1-4-1
  • Ideal first eleven: Tatarusanu¬†–¬†Emeghara, Abrudan, Geraldo Alves, Latovlevici¬†–¬†Stoica –¬†Nicolita, Radut, Angelov, Tanase¬†– B. Stancu
  • Reliable subs:¬†Stanca (goalkeeper), Pacurar¬†(central midfielder),¬†Szekely (right winger),¬†Kapetanos (centre forward).
  • Key player: Dorel Stoica. Able to play in central defense, the 32 years old was convinced by Piturca to sign for Steaua, even when the manager wasn’t sure that he’ll return to Ghencea. Deployed in front of the back four, Stoica has the ability and the experience to protect not just the back four, but also the “front four”, as the line of midfielders will have¬†to think¬†how to open up the opposition’s defense, not be afraid that a missed pass¬†or a miscontrolled ball could expose¬†their own defense.¬†In his own half,¬†Stoica will win balls in the air, shut down channels, anticipate the midfielders looking to drop into space, but once Steaua regains possession, he¬†will organize the build up,¬†draw the¬†back four as high as possible¬†and eventually pose a threat with his long shots, especially from free kicks.
  • Underrated player: Pantelis Kapetanos. The Greek isn’t a pleasure to watch, I agree, but he’s been a very prolific scorer even when Steaua was playing miserably –¬†I wonder what he could do in a team that has superior possession and creative midfielders able to increase the number of scoring opportunities. His presence at the World Cup will keep him out of the team in the first month, but once “Kape” is fit, Stancu’s age and (unfulfilled) potential won’t be enough to keep him in the first eleven, ahead of this modest, hard-working and effective front man.
  • Liability: Ciprian Tatarusanu. Promising, definitely gifted, looks to me like the kind of keeper that will need to turn 30 to be really something.¬†But I might judge the guy¬†a bit too hard and based mainly on last season’s performances, when Steaua’s defense was a joke.¬†

What to expect:

Victor Piturca, the man nicknamed Satan by the same fans that now consider him Messiah

A serious title challenge from a club offered by its clown of an owner to a very ambitious manager, Victor Piturca, who changed absolutely everything at Steaua and now it’s only a matter of time until the results will show that this is the way to run a successfull team. It will be hard to win the title right away, mainly because the league changed a lot in recent years and this isn’t just an affair between the Bucharest sides, but the fact that all the other title contenders point towards Steaua when asked who’s the favorite proves that the name still weights enough to crush the clubs that only recently enjoyed the sweet taste of success.

Chiacu returns to FC Timisoara. Zicu, ready to follow him

July 22, 2010 1 comment

Very discrete on the transfer market until now – after years of investments that haven’t brought the expected trophies, FC Timisoara re-signed Hristu Chiacu from Dinamo, who will come on loan for another season. The attacking midfielder could be followed by a player of a similar profile from the same club. Ianis Zicu, who was once under contract with Internazionale Milano and is out of favor at the Bucharest club, due to his mediocre performances and terrible attitude, has been spotted in Timisoara, where he will negotiate a deal with the Viola outfit.

On another note, the former Energie Cottbus defender Ovidiu Burca, currently a free player, has rejected “a tempting offer” from Timisoara, stating that he feels there’s an unstable environment in Romanian football. I’ll translate that for those interested: “FC Timisoara just had its accounts blocked, the club owner says at least once a week that he’s not motivated anymore to invest in the team and is at war with the local authorities”.

Lazio wants Romania’s U21 captain, Gabriel Torje

July 17, 2010 2 comments

According to gsp.ro, “i biancocelesti” asked for Cristiano Bergodi’s opinion on Dinamo’s winger, who doesn’t have an attracting asking price, given the fact that the Red Dogs bought only 50% of the player’s rights from Timisoara, for almost 2 million Euros! So, talks are expected to start from 4 million Euros, the two clubs having a precedent in “the Stefan Radu case”, the defender bought by Lazio for 5,4 million Euros, after a one year long loan deal. Of course, Dinamo was wrong to pay so much at that time, a mistake done recently by Steaua, as well, who bought Cristian Tanase’s 50% for 1,8 million Euros, from a second division club!

Torje looked indeed very promising a few years ago, when he got so much credit from Gheorghe Hagi (too underrated as a coach!), playing on a regular basis as an 18 years old for Timisoara, but since his move to Bucharest, his impressive development rate slowed down. Still, he’s the captain of the U21, could earn very soon his first caps for the seniors,¬† but he still needs to become even better in terms of technique & tactical knowledge, to make up for his very small size and be able to play with the big boys. Right now, he’s not worth more than the 2 millions paid by Dinamo, of course, if the buying club expects to make a profit in two or three years time…

Today’s rumors: Lung to Hamburg, Cristea to Newcastle

July 12, 2010 2 comments
  • Universitatea Craiova received an approach from Hamburger SV for promising keeper Silviu Lung Jr. Apparently, the 1. Bundesliga club was hoping to land a deal in the region of 2 million Euros, but talks stopped after Adrian Mititelu expressed his desire to start negotiating a deal from 4 million Euros. The kid is good, but not that good. At least not yet…
  • Although recent press reports spoke of Dinamo’s willingness to cut down the asking price for last season’s top scorer Andrei Cristea, it seems that the Bucharest side didn’t rush the player to the nearest airport when Newcastle United offered one and a half million Euros. A written offer is expected and, in the meantime, the press will try to decide which of these two Turkish clubs are interested in Marius Niculae: Bursaspor or Manisaspor. Niculae was simply too poor last season to determine a race for his signature this summer…
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