Posts Tagged ‘Romania U21’

Adrian Stoian, just another typical Romanian talent?

June 6, 2012 3 comments

Stoian, 21, is considered one of the leaders of his generation.

Socks pulled above the knees, plus a constant care about how the shirts covers his otherwise fragile upper body, with extra care for his flashy haircut (shaved on the sides and at the back, long enough on top to have it in the eyes every once in a while) – this is the way Adrian Stoian “listened” to the national anthem before Romania U21 – Slovakia U21. He was the only player coming from abroad in a Romanian first eleven fueled by relegated teams like Sportul Studentesc, FCM Targu Mures and CS Mioveni. An average team in terms of talent, but the type of squad that should only help him stand out even more. A couple of runs down the left flank, one decent cross, a well placed shot and another poor attempt from long range animated the first half. In the second, he did a lot less, but got the penalty that allowed Mihai Radut to open Romania’s account and show the way to a second consecutive 2-0 win against Slovakia. In both, he rested when the others were defending, rearranged his shirt, pulled up his socks over his precious knees and, after Romania scored the opener, ran to the bench and desperately asked for a bottle of water. It wasn’t that hot, quite on the contrary, and he wasn’t that thirsty either: but he needed it to fix the hair messed-up by the spectacular fall inside the penalty box…

Is this THE Adrian Stoian? The little winger who impressed at Bari, who belongs to AS Roma and is wanted not only by a few other Serie A clubs, but also by Zenit St Petersburg? Probably not. He probably gives a lot more at club level (featured in 29 matches last season) and will probably get a break at some point in a bigger club. But will he cope with that move?

Denis Alibec, a player I saw pull something similar at U19 level for Romania, a year before he got the chance to feature in a couple of games for Inter Milano, in Serie A, tells me that Stoian needs to have a serious look in the mirror and not to admire once again his tattoo and haircut. Because Alibec managed to shot himself in the foot in no time: failing to impress in Milano, was sent on loan to Mechelen, where he lasted for a dozen of matches before being kicked out of the club, and is now hoping that someone else will offer him another chance to start over.

Alibec and Stoian are both 21. Hopefully for their otherwise promising careers, I’m talking only about their age, not their IQ’s…

“The new Hagi”? Yeah, right!

June 7, 2011 3 comments

A year ago, I wrote this about Cosmin Matei, when the kid signed for Steaua Bucharest a five years long deal. He managed to stay there for a year, which I have to rate as an unexpected performance, featuring in five games in the league and collecting some minutes in Europe, as well. Now, he was sold to Astra Ploiesti, where he agreed on another five years long deal. Knowing the coach, Tibor Selymes, he could find it even harder to play over here…

This is Romania!

October 11, 2010 1 comment

Desperate to keep a clean sheet. Trained to destroy, not to build. Hoping for a lucky counter or a well taken free kick. This is Romania. At any level. From the senior national team to the Under 0. We have it in our genes and we’re not making the smallest effort to change our mentality. And you can see it at club level. Where we’re defending. Destroying. Hoping for the counter-attacks that bring once in a lifetime 2-0 wins on Olimpico. And we still wonder why we have slim chances to see Romania at a final tournament in this lifetime…


Romania's U21, a team used to sit back and wait. And has been waiting for a final tournament since 1998!


For those not very familiar with the team in yellow, the weekend was looking promising on Friday evening, when Romania faced England, in front of a packed stadium in Norwich. Sandoi’s eleven that featured one keeper, five natural defenders and five natural midfielders, was trying to switch from a 4-5-1 to a 4-3-3, as the team got hold of possession, being probably the first in the world to try and use three forwards, without having at least one on the field! Read more…

Missing out on final tournaments since 1988. England’s U21 should learn from the Romanian experts!

October 8, 2010 1 comment

It’s no surprise to see Romania’s U21 challenging for a spot at Euro 2011, 12 years after its last appearance at a final tournament. The first league has changed a lot in the meantime, with several clubs outside the capital winning trophies and getting European exposure, and what a lot of people feared – mediocre foreign players blocking the development of young Romanian players – didn’t affect the promotion of the hottest prospects, now spread throughout the country. Clubs like Otelul Galati and Universitatea Craiova offer the best example and have determined the Bucharest sides to change their strategy – with Steaua investing heavily in youngsters like Radut or Gardos and offering them the much needed playing time for a continuous development. The number of promising players used regularly in Liga I has increased so much that even a lazy and modest coach like Emil Sandoi managed to field a strong team, one that won a group that also featured the mighty Russia. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to earn a presence at a final tournament and the odds offered Romania one of the toughest adversaries available. Read more…

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)

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).

This isn’t just Sandoi’s lack of vision, unfortunately…

March 4, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Israel U21 – Romania U21 1-1

Frankly, I don’t see the purpose of this friendly. It wasn’t a mistake, no other player sneaked on board, this was the selected team and Sandoi fielded a tactical joke in Tel Aviv:




————-Sburlea—L. Ganea——————-

A 4-4-2, with an improvised left back, Barboianu, who plays at right back and, on occasion, in midfield. Although he had a natural left back, Silviu Ilie, Sandoi moved Barboianu there, losing the only option to improvise (yes, thanks to Sandoi’s knowledge, we have to improvise a central midfielder in the U21!) a central midfielder to pair with Ionescu and give some sort of balance to the team. Look at the four midfielders! Torje is a pure winger, Rusescu is a natural striker!, Ionescu – an attacking midfielder, Gangioveanu – a left winger. Somehow, it ended 1-1, with the latter scoring Romania’s goal in the 7th minute, but this is definitely the case to use a cliche: friendly results do not matter…

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