Monday, December 26, 2011

Across Danube River Steaua (Bucharest) triumphed with a double. It was coming back with a vengeance – Steaua did not win championship since 1968! It was there 8th title and a Cup for good measure. It was confident season for the Army club – they finished 7 points ahead of second placed Dinamo (Bucharest); won 21 out of 34 championship games, scored impressive 79 goals – the most in the league by far. On a larger scale, it looked like the domination of Bucharest clubs was restored – big Steaua and Dinamo on top, and on the bottom – two clubs from Cluj: Universitatea last and CFR just a place above. The novelty? Univerisatea was among the top clubs 2-3 season previously. CFR are Romanian champions just now: freshly winning the 2009-10 season. Who would imagine that in 1975, when the ‘railways’ boys were relegated? Back then another conclusion was more convincing: the end of provincial football challenging the big clubs from the capital. May be even the end of dark years of Romanian football?

No Army crewcuts for the Army team – and hairy boys winning everything! Front row, left to right: Marcel Raducanu, Florea (?), Constantin Dumitriu IV, Ion Ion, Tudorel Stoica.
Middle row: Radu Troi, Teodor Anghelini, Ion Dumitru, Anghel Iordanescu, Viorel Smarandache, Gabriel Zahiu, Constantin Zamfir.
Top: Emerich Jenei – coach, Viorel Nastase, Stefan Sames, Dumitru Moraru, Vasile Iordache, Mario Agiu, Iosif Vigu, Greiniceanu (?) – assistant coach.
To a point, quite a balanced squad, full of national players – Raducanu, Iordanescu, Anghelini, Moraru, Dumitru… However, this was not a squad revered as much as the one coached by Stefan Kovacz few years ago. The top stars of Romanian football at that period – Dobrin, Oblemenco, Georgescu – played elsewhere. As a whole, this team did not leave long lasting impression – it was more likely an attempt for building something new, but the material was still fragile. From the distance of time, something important has to be pointed out, though: it was the first spell with Steaua for Emerich Jenei, who was yet to become famous coach, but his first year at the helm of Steaua brought big results, at least in Romania. In a way, it was continuation of the Hungarian tradition of the club: ethnic Hungarian, Stefan Kovacs (or Stefan Covaci, or Istvan Kovacs), made the last strong Steaua. Another ethnic Hungarian (today Jenei is often listed as a ‘real’ Hungarian and under ‘proper’ name – Imre Jenei) started new era for Steaua. Kovacs and Jenei are considered among the 4 best ever Romanian coaches, along with Mircea Lucescu , who had nothing to do with the Army club. The fourth is Anghel Iordanescu – so far sporting medieval mustache and winning trophies on the pitch, not from the bench.