Ioan Ovidiu Sabau, the new Poli manager

The former Romanian international signed a two year contract with the club this evening. He is coming off a four season adventure at Gloria Bistrita, with whom he achieved fairly average results, albeit with few resources. All in all though, I'd say it's a reasonable choice, as Sabau is well known for his integrity and discipline and he is young enough to strive relentlessly for the almost exaggerated demands of club president Iancu.

It will be interesting to see whether Poli will be allowed to make any transfers, as there is an impending ban that needs to be lifted after some delayed payments to Ionel Ganea and Universitatea Cluj. If everything works out fine, Otelul's midfielder and Romanian international Alexandru "Gattuso" Bourceanu, as well as Gloria Buzau's playmaker Claudiu Ionescu are poised to join the team in the following days. Also, a number of the players loaned out to Gloria Buzau will most likely return, while the rest are rumored to stay one more year on loan, most likely at Sabau's former team, Gloria Bistrita.


Looking for a new beginning

With the season ending last Saturday, the club is now forced to look ahead. Marian Iancu had a meek attempt to bring Mr. Uhrin back to Poli, but it failed as the Czech manager was not allowed to leave by the Mlada Boleslav owner - despite a 300000 Euro offer. Good to see some things just can't be bought.

The latest rumor is in regard to the former German International Lothar Matthäus, who might just be redirected from Hungarian club Fehervar if the right buttons are pushed. While as a manager Matthäus has not thoroughly failed, his antics off the football pitch (and bench) have generally been criticized and he has been labelled as difficult to work with. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, Mr. Iancu having a clear penchant for either crappy medium profile managers or, particularly, crappy high-profile managers/ex-players. The exception confirms the rule, doesn't it?


RC: Poli - CFR Cluj 0:3 (0:2)

It was an ugly night for Poli, as the over four thousand fans who flocked to Targu Jiu did little to help the team's cause. Despite a great atmosphere, the white-violets' poor game and some appalling refereeing lead to a sour outcome and violence, as the hatred against the Romanian Football Federation and the frustration of being jerked off all the time mounted into a painful spectacle of anger. Responsibility has to be shared, as the RFF did decide to let Cristi Balaj referee the match, despite loud protests from the Timisoara board, instead of simplying choosing a foreign ref to do the job. The difference in reaction could be seen against Unirea, when Bergonzi destroyed our title chances, but nobody said or did anything because there were no doubts as to the integrity of the man. Sheer ineptitude doesn't really matter.

Otherwise, not much to be said. Poor marking and an undecisive Pantilimon allowed CFR to score first, then Balaj's invented penalty came, then the same Balaj rejected a clearer penalty for Bucur and Poli were pretty clearly out of the running. CFR scored a third after some more lousy marking in the second half, before Vrsic was sent on the pitch and the white-violets started creating some scoring chances. Bucur, Cisovsky, Nibombe and the Karamyan brothers were unable to beat Nuno Claro, and when they finally did, a fan had entered the pitch and the game had to be stopped.

So it's sad and painful and the future is anything but shining brightly on the Northern sky. What can one do but endure?

Poli: Pantilimon (4) - Badoi (4), Cisovsky (6), Nibombe (5), Latovlevici (3) - Stancu (4,5), Alexa (5,5), Borbely (4,5), Art. Karamyan (5) - Bucur (5), Parks (4,5)


Arm. Karamyan (5) for Badoi (min 45)
Vrsic (6) for Borbely (min 58)
Luchin for Nibombe (min 76)


The Points Are Home

CAS has awarded Poli its six points, which puts the white-violets second in the league. This means we will be playing in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, but it also means that we wasted a golden opportunity to win the first title in the club's history.

P.S. I added the clips for the matches against Brasov, Urziceni and Dinamo.


FC Brasov - Poli 1:0 (0:0)

Poli's chances of winning the title were hanging by a thread to begin with and when the goal was conceded, in the 88th minute, it really didn't matter any more. The match was poor in general, with only two meagre scoring opportunities from the white-violets, but there is an excuse, in that the Romanian Cup final from Saturday was worth sacrificing this match.

Not much to say, as mentioned before, the title was lost against Urziceni, and now we are the biggest fools of all. There's still a vague chance that the six points will come our way, in which case we will finish second and head for the qualies in the Champions League. We'll see tomorrow.

Poli: Pantilimon (6) - Bădoi (5,5), Luchin (6,5), Cisovsky (5,5), Latovlevici (4,5) - Stancu (5,5), Arm. Karamyan (5,5), Scutaru (5,5), Borbely (6), Art. Karamyan (5,5) - Curtean (5)


Vrsici (6) for Scutaru (min 52)
Bucur (5,5) for Art. Karamyan (min 64)
Parks for Arm. Karamyan (min 81)

Goal Hadnagy (min 88):

Ilyes chance (min 52):


Poli - Unirea Urziceni 1:2 (1:0)

Not much to say, just sad. A huge missed opportunity.

Poli: Pantilimon (5,5) - Badoi (5), Luchin (5,5), Cisovsky (5), Latovlevici (5) - Stancu (5), Alexa (5,5), Borbely (5,5), Art. Karamyan (5) - Bucur (6,5), Magera (5)


Parks (5) for Borbely (min 65)
Curtean for Art. Karamyan (min 79)

Goal Gigel Bucur (min 29):

Urziceni penalty (min 50):

Goal Bilasco (min 60):

Bucur gets downed in the penalty area(min 73):

Pantilimon save (min 90):