Concerns that Snagov may suffer a downturn in form following their first league defeat of the season appear to have been unfounded. Following the defeat at Pandurii Târgu Jiu, Snagov bounced back with a convincing 3-0 win against Metaloglobus. The win takes Snagov back to the top of the table with Academica Clinceni falling to defeat against the form team of the division, and Snagov's next opponents, Chindia Târgoviște.
This past week has seen a number of changes in Liga 2. Friday 19th October saw three managers lose their jobs with Leo Grozavu's contract terminated at Petrolul 52, and Cristian Popovici departing Aerostar Bacău. The third departure of the day took place in Cluj with Adrian Falub leaving his role as manager of Universitatea Cluj.
The events of "Black Friday" which saw three managerial vacancies appear has fuelled speculation that Snagov's Laszlo Balint could be in line for one fo the positions, such is the incredible job he is doing with Snagov. Speaking to Liga2.ro, Balint explained that there had been some contact from Petrolul but he is under contract at Snagov and content with his position. Fans of Sheffield Wednesday, who read this blog, may be interested to know that Laszlo Balint won the Romanian League playing under a former Owls player, Dan Petrescu. This was in the 2008/09 season when Petrescu was manager of Unirea Urziceni.
Laszlo Balint - a man in demand.
With a large part of the season still to be played, promotion is by no means certain for Snagov. They have shown remarkable resilience, however, to bounce back after set backs within individual matches and after defeat against Craiova in the Cupa României several weeks ago, and then after their first league defeat just over a week ago. There have been several times this season where Snagov have been losing, only to bounce back and claim draws and wins from those losing positions. There is a real fighting spirit within the club, and the culture of a club generally flows from the leadership. If Balint was to leave Snagov midway through the season, it would be a real blow to Snagov's hopes of promotion.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Snagov travel to Chindia Târgoviște who have won their last six Liga 2 games in a row, with their last win coming at Academica Clinceni on Saturday. So, in true Now We Live style, let's ask the question:
Who are Chindia Târgoviște?
Târgoviște is a city approximately 80km to the north-west of Snagov, with a population of just under 80,000. The name Târgoviște appears to originate from the old Bulgarian word for marketplace and the city has a rich history dated back over 800 years, with Saxons and Greeks playing important parts in the founding and development of the city.
The most celebrated attraction of Târgoviște is the Chindia Tower which makes up part of the city's emblem. The tower's construction began in the 15th century during the reign of Vlad the Impaler. The tower has been amended several times since then with Gheorghe Bibescu (a 19th century Romanian Prince) increasing the height of the tower by five meters, to an overall height of twenty-seven meters.
Chindia Târgoviște are a young club, having been established in 2010, and were for a brief time one of two clubs playing in Târgoviște. The other club in the city was FCM Târgoviște which was founded in 1948 and dissolved formally in 2018 so that the club could concentrate on women's football.
Chindia Târgoviște take their name from Chindia Tower which is located a short distance from their stadium. Prior to their demise, FCM Târgoviște changed their name seven times in their history. This is a regular occurrence in Romanian football where clubs come and go quite frequently. Since their founding, Chindia Târgoviște have spent their existence in Liga 3, which they won in 2010-11 and 2014-15, with the other seasons in Liga 2 in which their best finish was 3rd place in 2015-2016.
If Snagov are to be successful against Chindia Târgoviște then they will need to find a way to nullify striker Cristian Cherchez. The 27 year-old has scored nine times this season, with 66 goals in 137 appearances for Chindia Târgoviște. Although most readers of this blog from the U.K. will probably have not heard of Cristian Cherchez, I think the name Viorel Moldovan will have some familiarity. Moldovan is the manager of Chindia Târgoviște but in his playing days he was a forward who earned 70 caps for Romania, scoring 25 goals, including one against England in the 2-1 victory for Romania at the 1998 World Cup. Dan Petrescu scored the other Romanian goal that day.
Viorel Moldovan also played in England for a brief time in 1998 as he made ten appearances for Coventry, scoring two goals. Moldovan had an impressive playing career scoring 196 goals in club football from 437 appearances; an excellent goals-to-games ratio maintained over a seventeen-year playing career.
The match between Snagov and Chindia Târgoviște takes place on Sunday 28th October with a 10am kick-off (GMT). I will be in hospital for shoulder surgery on Friday 26th and I will struggle to type for some time after. I have been testing different voice-to-text apps on my iPhone but trying to get the phone to recognise Romanian names and places is producing some amusing results. For example; "Snagov" comes out as "Snag of", "Balint" is "Pallant" and "Academica Clinceni" comes out as "Academic Clincher". I am going to struggle to put these blogs together over the next few weeks, but I'm hopeful of arriving at a solution.
If you are reading this blog and are a Romanian football supporter I would be love to have you write a guest blog over the next few weeks. You don't have to be a fan of Snagov specifically, but if you are passionate about football and would like to have your work featured on Now We Live, please get in touch on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
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Critic. Writer. Thinker. Observer. Creator of nowwelive.com.