Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Romania’

România caută fotbaliști, dar pentru un sistem greșit

June 10, 2018 Leave a comment
Budescu – Băluță cuplu de atac, într-un 4-4-2, în care Stoian e surprinzător în centru, la construcție, cu Anton închizător și nu prea. Cam așa a arătat România contra Finlandei, când ni s-a retras Pisica și ne-am uitat zâmbind îngăduitori la trucurile unui motan cam obez și plictisit și cursele șoriceilor reinventați de Mangia la Craiova.
Contra caută soluții, mută, jonglează, și e de înțeles. Dar nu cumva castelul ăsta din cărți de joc – cu trei juveți! – riscă să se prăbușească la primul meci mai serios, plecând de la o premisă greșită?
Eu cred că asta se întâmplă, iar buba e-n regula asta nescrisă: România trebuie să joace cu o linie de patru fundași. Greșit. România nu are nici fundași laterali pentru un astfel de sistem și nu (mai) are nici soluții solide pentru centrul apărării. Ne uităm și mai sus? Dacă jucăm cu doi închizători – Hoban + Pintilii – nu avem cu cine construi. Folosim doar unul – nu facem față. Realitatea asta e: primele noastre opțiuni pentru numărul 6 abia mai fac față…
Așa, mai sus: jucători de bandă, constanți, decisivi 1 contra 1, capabili să creeze și să înscrie regulat? Mda, liniște.
Decar e Budescu, pentru că Stanciu nu se simte perfect acolo, dar, mă scuzați, cât de fină i-ar fi glezna lui Budi, eu nu mă pot uita la el. E un Alibec care mai dă un gol, o pasă de gol, un călcâi, două, trei, cinci… Dar astea, exterioarele de efect și cracii de curtea școlii intră aici, la noi, între noi, în meciuri fără ritm și miză… Faptul că selecționerul îl acceptă în halul ăsta la lot nu rezolvă nicio problemă actuală și mai creează și un precedent pentru viitor. În forma fizică actuală, Budescu e o pată de rușine pentru FCSB și națională.
Iar sus, sus de tot, singurul nouar cu fizic, ceva tehnică și simț al porții e Țucudean, tipul ăla care ar fi putut mai mult, dar n-avea de ce. Pentru că-n fotbalul de azi motivația e banul, nu pasiunea. Iar George își numără mai ușor golurile decât mașinile.
Buuun, deci, cam praf pe spate, modești la mijloc și subțiri în atac. Soluția? Nu, n-ar trebui să ne retragem din Liga Națiunilor, nivelul acolo e chiar accesibil (sigur, dacă acceptăm că Serbia e favorita). Condiția e să ne adaptăm la ce avem. Și eu zic că avem destule motive să încercăm – bine, am ratat acum două ocazii – un sistem cu trei fundași centrali, care nu doar că rezolvă o zonă vulnerabilă, dar pare capabil să scoată evoluții peste medie de la jucătorii utili, dar totuși limitați, mă refer mai ales la cei promovați și integrați recent în naționala mare.
În fața lui Tătărușanu, i s-ar face astfel loc și lui Țîru, de la Viitorul, care de doi ani joacă la un nivel bun. Ar deveni o soluție alături de Săpunaru, Chiricheș, când va fi apt, sau Gardoș, dacă se pune pe picioare la Craiova. Și, da, putem continua inclusiv cu Toșca, un fotbalist ok, dar care pentru o linie de patru cu adevărat competitivă ar fi doar backup pe stânga și niciodată o soluție-n centru.
Pe flancuri, Benzar și Bancu și-ar pune mai bine în valoare stilul ofensiv, pentru că ambii au carențe de poziționare și sincronizare într-o linie de patru. Să fim serioși, fundaș stânga nu avem, e doar tipul ăsta de la Craiova – care știți în ce sistem joacă, da? -, care își cunoaște limitele și încearcă să le depășească la națională, cu o atitudine care din păcate nu-i contagioasă… Sigur, nu-l uit pe Ganea, dar mai nou orice transfer afară a devenit mai degrabă îngrijorător decât încurajator…
Cu protecție suplimentară în centru, dar și dublaj pentru oameni de bandă ofensivi, poți jongla la mijloc. Îți permiți să mai tragi de Pintilii, un tip cu un IQ fotbalistic peste medie, ca număr 6. Poți aduce mușchi și plămâni lângă el sau poți risca atunci când vrei sau ai nevoie, cu jucători creativi gen Stanciu, Cicâldău, Mitriță sau Băluță. Ultimii doi merg și mai sus, într-un tandem care trebuie găsit, acolo unde, da, ar avea loc și Budescu, dar cu câteva kile în minus. Sau măcar un corset, care să-i mai ascundă excesul de talent. Plus că-l ai și pe Hagi, care bate la ușă (și) cu mâna grea a tatălui său. Ne-ar mai trebui un vârf, dar, pe bune, nu le putem avea chiar pe toate…
Să ne-nțelegem: nivelul e slab, soluții reale nu prea sunt și fotbaliștii pe care poți pune bază rămân parcă din ce în ce mai puțini.
Dar poate că tocmai din motivele astea ar trebui să căutăm mai degrabă un sistem funcțional, decât jucătorii care, teoretic, pot rezolva meciuri cu o execuție ieșită din comun. Ei există, pe bune, nici Sânmărtean cred că nu s-a lăsat de tot, dar nu am ajuns să jucăm doar cu Finlanda, Feroe și Luxemburg. Nu încă.
Advertisements

Can Romania play attacking football? Daum might be optimistic, but not suicidal…

September 4, 2016 Leave a comment

The image of Daum taking notes on Liga 1 players in the unglamorous stands from Voluntari or Chiajna had a wow factor in the first rounds of the new season. It said two things:

  1. his time to evaluate eligible players before the first official game of the qualifying campaign was extremely limited.
  2. the time when we knew *without even looking* who can should play in the national team was gone.

This is one of the big advantages of bringing in a foreign coach. If he’s serious and dedicated, but also aware that a change of approach and an objective reevaluation of things is needed for a team that finally played again at a final tournament thanks mainly to a more permissive format and to a weak qualifying group, he will really look at things and people. He will surely not like what he finds, but at least he’ll be operating with fresh data and ideas, leaving the past behind.

For a few days now, Romanian media reports of an attacking philosophy, presenting offensive line-ups and quoting positive, optimistic statements about how the team will play. Come match day and the brave, attacking predicted line-up features Sapunaru and Hoban in front of the back four and a 4-2-3-1 and the always out of place striker Stancu on the left wing. Hard to call that either offensive or innovative… But it’s not the official starting eleven, so surely better to wait and see.

Daum is experienced enough though to look for a result in the opening game, rather than attempt to impress with an attacking game that he had little time to implement, both tactically and mentally. Even if he plans to change Romania’s style, he needs more than just a few days and, as you can imagine, not everyone was happy to see him take over this role and a defeat against Montenegro would surely turn on the heat and the hate. Let’s not forget that key elements like Tatarusanu, Chiriches and Pintilii are also missing, but it’s good to see that the search for a new left-back has begun, now with veteran Razvan Rat is out of the picture. You can also see young, fresh faces in the squad, like Marin and Benzar from Viitorul or Dinamo’s Dorin Rotariu. I’m puzzled by the call-up received by Enache, who has been awful at right back lately and I do hope the media got it wrong about the tactical setup and selection of his first eleven, but I’m hopeful it’s only a matter of time until Daum understands who’s reliable or at least who has a chance of fitting his ideas and playing style in the future.

Trickier than in appearance, tonight’s game will be a test not for Daum’s selection and ability to quickly implement new ideas, but also for our understanding of the game, of the time needed to change an approach that has stayed with us for decades. We have praised Iordanescu for making a great counter-attacking team when he had Hagi, Sabau, Gica Popescu, Dan Petrescu or Ilie Dumitrescu at his disposal; I find it quite funny that people read so much into Daum’s words of playing a different football and expect this still mediocre national team to attack and impress with the likes of Grigore, Hoban, Achim and Chipciu…

Romania’s number 10, Nicusor Stanciu, cannot handle the pressure. Really?

June 18, 2016 2 comments

“Stanciu played a good game against France. But he is young and there is an important amount of pressure he has to deal with; we tried to take that pressure off his shoulders”, said Viorel Moldovan, sent by Iordanescu to explain one of the strange decisions made after Romania’s first game at Euro 2016.

And they took it off, leaving Romania’s number 10 and one of the very few creative midfielders on the bench for the 90 minutes played against Switzerland.

stanciu

Now, just a few episodes that Romania’s coaching staff surely know, but maybe forgot, when they realised that there’s some explaining to do regarding its controversial decision:

  • Stanciu makes his debut in second division for the senior team of Unirea Alba Iulia before turning 16.
  • Plays his first Liga 1 game when he was only 17. Against Steaua. In a match surprisingly won 2-1 by Unirea.
  • Signed by FC Vaslui, captained his club and scored from the penalty spot against Inter, on Giuseppe Meazza, aged 19.
  • Signs for Steaua and earns quickly his place in the team.
  • Makes his debut in the senior national team and goes on a scoring streak – 4 goals in his first 5 games – that puts to shame every striker that played in recent years for Romania.
  • Took the no 10 shirt and played a solid game against Spain, in a recent friendly, daring to lob Casillas from over 40 meters.

Finishing off, one question for Iordanescu, who lacks courage both as a coach and as a man, sending others to defend his choices: does the must-win game against Albania, in which I expect Stanciu to play from the start, have less pressure than the match against Switzerland?

Looking for some enthusiasm pre-Euro 2016?…

December 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Romania drew 2-2 in Bologna against a disappointing Italian side, but deserve some credit for ending the year unbeaten. The result can be just as deceiving though as the fact that Romania had the best defensive record in the qualifiers for Euro 2016 of all the teams involved.

There’s no real reason for optimism. Commenting the game for Rai, Trapattoni said, among others, that Iordanescu’s players “aren’t technically inferior to any other team” and that Romania’s “mastering the art of passing and dictating tempo”. With all due respect for the legendary coach: LOL!

On the pitch, we had the likes of Grigore, Hoban, Pintilii, who are more or less as skilful as Tatarusanu. It’s true that at the time of those two remarks Sanmartean had just came on and was showing off his classy touch and ability to toy with the game’s tempo when in possession, but six months from now the old wizard will be even closer to retirement…

Nevertheless, unlike Trap, I think Romania’s hopes before the final tournament starts should never get high enough to be able to cause disappointment once our three games at Euro 2016 will be over. Iordanescu, out of contract for a few days in November, is no longer regarded as a coach able to deliver miracles, in spite of all his faith in God. He did take the team to a final tournament after a looong wait, but look at the group, look at the performances, the players he promoted, a tactical edge or clear playing style created during his tenure! (Ok, it’s a trap, don’t waste your time searching for the last three…)

Involved with Steaua’s historical achievement in 1986, coach of the golden generation from 1994, leader of a mediocre group that finally gets tickets to a new final tournament, Iordanescu would have caused no surprise, anger or any other passionate reaction if he would have been left out of contract and replaced by another this autumn…

I’m no fan of the man and would blame Iordanescu for a few things, those unimportant things ignored by previous coaches, who also had promised to rebuild a team, promote new faces and create a playing style that suits this team. I blame him for the lack of vision and courage, I blame him for looking for results at all costs. For the lack of work done in areas left to the new faces of the Romanian football federation, who managed in one year to leave people thinking about Mircea Sandu’s regime… Bref, I simply cannot praise Iordanescu for the kind of results that his predecessors could have been able to deliver against such terrible opponents!

I keep on reading and hearing that our presence at a final tournament is a blessing. Come next summer, I doubt we’ll feel the same watching Romania play. We’ll be there, but it’s not an elite anymore, we’ll say our goodbye to the likes of Rat and Sanmartean and maybe to Iordanescu himself, and we’ll be looking around for options. The kind of options that Razvan Lucescu, Victor Piturca and Anghel Iordanescu failed to produce with their work in the past decade, all of them desperately trying to deliver a successful qualifying campaign. We finally did it, but when you have to thank UEFA for the new format of the tournament, Lady Luck for the draw and Hungary, Greece and Finland for being even weaker than us, you simply run out of praise for a coach and a generation of players that, given its mediocrity, would actually deserve some…

Can we stop Romania and Hungary from playing at EURO 2016?

October 10, 2015 4 comments

romania hungaryWhen Hungary decided settle for a 0-0 against Romania in the second half of the game in Budapest and let the hazard of future results decide their fate, I thought, ok, they don’t deserve to go through. When Romania went over 400 minutes without scoring it was just as clear that we’re just as terrible, both in terms of approach and quality. Hungary’s struggle against Faroe and Romania’s awful home game vs Finland only confirmed that both teams are at pathetic levels, unworthy of a final tournament that everyone thinks would do wonders for either of the two struggling countries.

I’m against that theory, really, because I see more value in reforming clubs and football federations, league associations and other organisms, in adjusting perspectives and lowering public expectations, adding realism and hard work focused at youth level instead. Yeah, the old good hard work…

With all due respect to Northern Ireland and especially Faroe Islands, I do agree that Group F offered some dramatic moments, according to emotional reports from the two countries still hoping to make it to France. You could watch the beautiful game suffer a slow and painful death…

Anyway, with the power invested in my by the 4-5 regular followers of this influential blog, I would like to ask UEFA to award the 2nd qualifying place from Group F to any nation that actually has a team able to play some football. For Romania or Hungary, a presence at EURO 2016 would only be a blessing in disguise.

Rule number 1 in Romanian football: you don’t mess with the owner!

September 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Romania’s defense held out in Athens against Greece, with Gabriel Tamas at right back, a desperate, yet effective solution. Normally, we should have seen there Alexandru Matel, the 24 years old who featured in both play-off games against Greece last November, when Romania missed out on a place at the World Cup, who went on to finish another solid season with Astra Giurgiu, winning the Romanian Cup and finishing the league in second place.

Don’t look him up in Astra’s team that managed to take out Slovan Liberec and OL on its way to the Europa League group stage! You won’t find him in the starting line-ups, not even on the bench. You can find him in exile though, training on his own, twice a day, on the pitch of Astra’s abandoned stadium from Ploiesti. He’ll be there until next summer, waiting for the last year of his contract to run out, watching international games go by at a perfect age to play and impress.

matelHe’s 24, fully fit, but after just over 100 games for Astra, still naive enough to think that Ioan Niculae, a rich guy who likes to own business and people, would have said: “well, it’s no problem if you don’t want to renew your deal, my team can still do with the best Romanian right back for another year!”. Well, the problem with most of the wealthy guys is that they rarely regard somebody else indispensable, valuable or at least worthy of respect. Other than themselves, that is…

Well, enough bad things about the owner. With all his faults, according to his version of events, he did meet the exact terms requested by Matel’s agent for a contract extension this summer. A scenario Matel didn’t feel the need to deny, which might just make it real. He prefers to pose as the victim, but it would have been a more convincing picture if he didn’t negotiate for a new deal in the first place. And Niculae, as any other rich guy out there, has the cash to surprise you. Usually, in a positive way. At times, in ways you and your agent might dislike. Because in a story that affects not only Matel, but more people and teams, there’s more than just one bad guy involved this time around…

Comeback

August 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Toyed with the idea of letting this go, as the blog’s domain was about to expire, but the passion for writing is still there. So is the will to share info and thoughts on Romanian footie, which lots of you appreciated over time, so here I am. Back on the road, scouting, back on the blog, writing.
Let’s talk some football here, on Twitter (@rbaicu) and Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: