Dugout Blues: Dan Petrescu moves on

Biserica_MihailDan Petrescu, the former Chelsea wing-back, left his post as manager of Al Nasr at the close of the UAE Arabian Gulf League. Al Nasr was the tenth team the Romanian had managed in the last 13 years. Petrescu’s last game in charge was the final of the President’s Cup, which his team lost 3-0 to Al Wahda, says a sport blog.

Prior to that game, Petrescu saw his side finish a disappointing sixth place in the 14 team league. Petrescu’s last two league games were 1-0 losses to both Emirates Club and Al Jazira. In his first and only season in Dubai Petrescu won 50% of his league games, but this wasn’t enough for Al Nasr to extend his time at the club. Instead they hired former Italy manager Cesare Prandelli to take his place.

Prior to his dismissal, Petrescu had hinted that he wanted to leave the desert (and have a run with the Romanian national side). The latest reports out of Romania state that the ‘badger’ (as he is known there) will be returning to home soil, but it will be to continue his career as a club manager.

On June 3rd Prosport.ro reported that Petrescu was negotiating with CFR Cluj about their vacant manager position. Based in Cluj-Napoca, CFR were established in 1907, but their glory years came quite recently. The club won Romania’s Liga 1 in 2007-08, 2009-10, and 2011-12. They also competed in the UEFA Champions League in the 2008-09 season, where they were drawn against Chelsea in the group stages (along with AS Roma and Bordeaux). In the group stages Cluj pulled off a shocking 2-1 win over Roma in Italy and later held Chelsea to a no score draw, though they still failed to advance to the knock-out rounds.

In 2014 Cluj’s finances bottomed out and the club was declared insolvent. A few years of instability followed until the team was declared back on good financial footing at the end of this past season.

If Petrescu does join the team, this will be his sixth posting in Romania. His last gig in his homeland was at ASA Targu Mures, who he managed for just 1 game in 2015 (which he won). After that he joined Jiangsu Suning in China.


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