Grigor Pasha writes: In my first pre-season at Farul Constanta I wasn’t able to organise any matches against big teams: those that were available wanted too much money.
I sought to create interest by organising three cup competitions — imaginatively named the Black Sea Shield, Black Sea Trophy, and Black Sea Cup — against the best opposition I could obtain in Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova.
The lack of higher-level opposition wasn’t ideal: it might mean we’d go into the Romanian Second League season without having been challenged appropriately. Still, should at least mean we’d go into the season with some confidence-enhancing wins under our belt and our strikers should get the feel of hitting the back of the net.
In fact, performances and results were mediocre. We did at least win the Trophy — though only on penalties.
When the league season started it looked, as though, against the run of play, we would win the first game, against Petrolul — but then we let them equalise in stoppage time.
We lost our second game, home to FC Arges, 0-1. We were uncreative and completely flat. I tried to pull a few levers but the players were unresponsive.
Then we lost the next match, again at home.
And then, in the fourth match, the wheels fell off. Universitatea 4 Constanta 0. And we were luck to get that.
Individual errors. Team errors. The out come of our regular training sessions on defending corners and free kicks was to leave players unmarked on both. Oh, and a needless sending off to add icing to the cake.
No shots at all, not even off target.
We scraped a draw in the next match and then went to Balostesti (in the third tier) for the fourth round of the cup. Naively I though that playing against lower league opposition might provide an opportunity to change our fortunes.
After 10 minutes were one down and we lost 0-2. We conceded goals in our favourite ways: for the first, we let an opponent steal round the back of our full back; for the second, we said ‘After you, sir’ at a corner.
Then we lost another league match at home, 0-2.
So you can see I’ve got off to a flier. Dumped out of the cup (oh, the ‘magic’ of the Romanian Cup!); and bottom of the league — played 6, points 2.
I notice that people go very quiet when I’m around. But they don’t need to say anything: every look that comes my way says, ‘We really wish you hadn’t driven up Route 39 [the coast road from Bulgaria] but at least you’ll be driving back down it soon’.
The feeling all around the club is simply wretched. And the worst thing is, I haven’t got a clue what to do about it.