Dan Petrescu’s suspension for Cluj in Liga I saw him make a surprising protest yesterday.
Cluj were held to a 0-0 draw by Steaua Bucharest. The fixture is the most hotly-contested and highly-anticipated in Romanian football. However, despite that, Cluj manager Petrescu refused to attend.
According to the Scottish Sun, Petrescu instead decided to watch the match in a hotel in the city. Incredibly, he apparently decided to have assistant manager Alin Minteuan, doctor Cosmin Traian, and goalkeeping coach Cristi Moldovan wired up so he could communicate with them.
The final result saw Cluj’s lead at the top of Liga I cut to two points. Minteuan confirmed post-match that the manager decided not to turn up. In comments picked up by the Scottish Sun, Minteuan claimed:
“The manager said he wouldn’t go to the game, that’s all I have to say about it.”
Petrescu’s character certainly hasn’t changed
Once again, the Romanian tactician has proved to be an enigmatic and highly unpredictable character. However, fair play to him for sticking to his beliefs.
Petrescu was struck with a four-game suspension for a sending off in a recent league game. Cluj continue to top the table in Romania, however, and are still in good form.
Celtic face Cluj next midweek, and it’s fair to say that they’re continuing to perform positively both at home and in Europe. Cluj opened up their Europa League campaign with a fine 2-1 win over Lazio. However, Petrescu continues to bring attention to himself off the pitch too.
Celtic have to be ready for the mind-games that Petrescu will inevitably bring next week. After Cluj face Botosani and Gaz Metan, they travel to Parkhead. Last time, the Romanian manager told anyone who would listen that his side were underdogs against Neil Lennon’s men (Daily Record).
This time, he’s likely going to try something similar. Don’t be surprised if he comes out and calls his last win at Parkhead a fluke or a freak-result. His unpredictability makes him a fierce opponent next week.
And, as his decision to incredibly stay away from his side’s game yesterday shows, he remains as strong and unpredictable a character as ever.