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Romanian FM 2012 Story: Unbelievable Roller Coaster

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Hello folks and welcome back to my Football Manager 2012 story! Sorry for keeping you waiting a bit for this update but I’ve been quite busy with less exciting stuff lately. A quick recap of the situation before moving on to the actual update: we were 2nd at the end of March 2014 in Liga 1, 2 points behind leaders U Cluj with 10 games remaining but also with a pretty bad injury crisis to deal with. We also had the Romanian Cup semi final to look forward to in the last two months of the season.

The first game in April was the first leg of the Romanian Cup semi final tie against FC Brasov, a Liga 2 side. With that and our injury crisis in mind I decided to rest all the important players for that game. The result was a goalless draw, a decent one considering that we were going to play the second leg at home.

After that good rest I was hoping that the players were prepared for the upcoming tough match as we were travelling to face 4th placed Rapid Bucharest. It also was my 100th game in management so I was hoping for a good result to celebrate that landmark.

Rapid vs Viitorul (Liga 1)

Starting Line Up: Octavian Ormenisan – Ionut Peteleu, Alvaro Casanova, Ionut Putanu, Tshepo Tshabalala – Dejan Danicic, Mihai Onicas, Nenad Grumic – Joabe, Marius Albu, Denis Alibec

The crowd witnessed a lively start to the game with a few shots on both ends but it was Rapid who took the lead thanks to an unfortunate own goal. That mishap affected my lads and Rapid took control of the game but we came close to scoring against the run of play on 26 minutes when Dejan Danicic received the ball in a good position inside the penalty area but was denied by the goalkeeper. Nine minutes later I had to watch the physio in action again, Ionut Peteleu had to leave the field on a stretcher…

I switched to the attacking version of my tactic at half time in an attempt to turn things around but we were hit by bad luck again on 56 minutes when substitute left back Florin Krajcar put another one past our own keeper. The game was as good as over and Rapid made sure of that on a counter attack, it ended 3-0 as we couldn’t even score a consolation goal although Joabe did have a pretty good late chance. A poor performance overall and injured Peteleu was going to be out for three weeks…

Match highlights: click here to watch

The next game was another disappointment as we were held to a goalless draw at 15th placed Gloria Bistrita, the situation was quite worrying as we failed to score in three consecutive games and moved down in third place.

We had to turn things around but the next game wasn’t looking as a good opportunity as we were welcoming strong 5th placed Pandurii.

Viitorul vs Pandurii (Liga 1)

Starting Line Up: Octavian Ormenisan – Alvaro Casanova, Timur Peniu, Ionut Putanu, Florin Krajcar – Corado Carstoiu, Mihai Onicas, Nenad Grumic – Joabe, Marius Albu, Denis Alibec

The lads seemed to be determined to change our fortunes though and we nearly broke the deadlock just 2 minutes into the game when a sensational shot by Mihai Onicas from way out rattled the crossbar. We were dominating quite clearly and the goal finally came on 13 minutes when Marius Albu somehow managed to push one into the back of the net. He could have added another one to his tally on 24 minutes but his volley bounced back off the crossbar. The first half ended without any more goals although the team played really well for a change.

Pandurii started the second half with a more positive approach and they could have levelled the score on 53 minutes when they wasted a pretty big chance. Then we managed to restore our domination but Joabe failed to score on a great chance on 62 minutes and then Alibec wasted another good opportunity. Luckily Pandurii were unable to punish us for the missed chances and we grabbed the three points. There was no celebration though because we had yet another injury to worry about after the game: Timur Peniu out for 3 weeks!

Match highlights: click here to watch

The second leg of the Romanian Cup match against FC Brasov was coming up and I was quite confident. The game seemed to go our way as we totally dominated it before Zarko Markovic finally scored the opening goal but then disaster struck when we least expected it: Brasov were awarded a rather dubious penalty kick and they scored to advance on away goals! You can imagine my frustration as our opponents had just one shot on target and that was a penalty kick! We blew a huge chance to reach the Romanian Cup final and that really was endangering our hopes of playing Europa League football next season…

Fortunately we had an easy league match coming up and we managed to bounce back by beating 15th placed Ceahlaul. The second goal was a beauty, click here to watch it.

The last match of the month was a crucial one as we were facing 5th placed FC Timisoara at home, we needed a win to remain in the top three.

Viitorul vs FC Timisoara (Liga 1)

Starting Line Up: Octavian Ormenisan – Alvaro Casanova, Ionut Putanu, Zarko Markovic, Florin Krajcar – Corado Carstoiu, Mihai Onicas, Nenad Grumic – Joabe, Manoel, Marius Albu

We got off to a bright start this time, an excellent move on 8 minutes saw Brazilian striker Manoel playing a perfect through pass for Nenad Grumic who powered home. Our joy was short-lived though as Timisoara managed to make it all square after just seven minutes when my defenders failed to clear the ball after a good save from goalie Octavian Ormenisan. The lads played a pretty good first half but our defence was totally dormant and Timisoara could have scored again just before the break.

The second half saw a beautiful open game with both sides trying to attack but unfortunately only Timisoara succeeded in converting that into a goal. They were better than us overall so we had to admit defeat and worry about yet another bad injury: Zarko Markovic‘s season was over as he was going to be out for two months…

Match highlights: click here to watch

The poor run saw us moving further down in 4th place, the title race seemed over for us but now we were also fearing for the Europa League qualification… Three Romanian teams qualify for the Europa League, the winner of the Cup plus two more. CFR Cluj were going to play the Cup final against FC Brasov and if CFR were not going to win it then our 4th place wasn’t going to be good enough for Europe!

There were five more games to play and our situation was uncertain: in theory we still had a chance to win the title but we also had the unwanted chance to miss out on the Europa League qualification. The fixtures set was not too difficult as we were going to meet only teams from the lower half of the table except leaders U Cluj in the penultimate match of the season.

I guess you’re curious to see how it ended… Well, the answer is in the next page!

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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MarianoSearsAlexMalhar BhadbhadeMartin - F.M.J.S Recent comment authors
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Amazing Johnny! That was fantastic to win it, especially with so many injuries. Champions League will help your finances a lot. Which qualifying phase do you go into?


Congrats on such a remarkable feat, winning the title so soon after getting promoted is certainly an amazing thing. You’ll have some tough times and a huge competition in the Champions League, but maybe with a bit of luck you’ll manage to get into the Euro Cup groups – that would certainly help your club a lot. Either way, it’s an incredible performance and I am sure that Hagi is really proud.


Wow, that was some ride. Good thing I put the safety belt on. ;)

Congratulations on winning the title in such dramatic fashion. Good thing Rapid failed to handle the pressure in their last match. I want to know, why when you really want the whistle to blow at the end of a really tight match, there always seems to be at least 3 minutes of extra time, and the ref then keeps playing for a while beyond that.

Hopefully next season you will be able to make it the group stages of the Champions League, or at worst in the Europa League. If you achieve that, your financial situation will definitely be greatly improved. Just by the promise of European football, it should help getting better players to join the club as well.


Fantastic season Johnny! What a turnaround after the poor run in form, brilliant mate :) Would be great if you can get through the qualifiers and into the CL, but you should get into the Europa League anyway which will be great I’m sure.


Fantastic season!! Looking forward to reading about next season and the challenge of the Champions League.

Darren Smith

The season started with some excellent transfers and very wise preparation. at that time I had a sneaky feeling you may be challenging for the title but within this first page those hopes were dashed somewhat….then you went on a sensational run and just shocked the whole of Romanian football. Fantastic achievement and I can’t wait to see you go up against Europe’s elite. (Maybe not the elite but you’ll have a chance to do so) ;)


Hi Johnny
I’ll start by saying congratulations on winning the Romanian Championship and qualifying for the Champions League. More importantly though, at least for me, was a riveting story that unfolded before my eyes as I scrolled down the screen ever so slowly as the end of season tension mounted. Your writing here was just pure genius. Fantastic!!


Hi Johnny,

It’s such a roller coastal ride. I thought you have blown it away by the form in April but the last few games in may really turn the fortunes around. Congratulation on the title win. Bet next season will see you win the double and hopefully you have a pleasing outing in the Champions League.

Chris @ Chester
Chris @ Chester

Well done mate, I was waiting for this post because I had a feeling you were going to finish near the top, but with so many good teams I didn’t know whether you’d win it or not. And Kevin’s right your storytelling throughout this has been excellent. Kinda makes me want to grab a small club and storm up the leagues :-)

Martin Pickard

Wow talk about edge of the seat stuff! Congratulations on an amazing title success! I think you’ll be a little suprised in respect to Champions League qualifying…i’m sure its split into two types now…Champions route and Best Placed…so you should possibly avoid the big runners up in the qualifying and be drawn with the winner of Welsh Premier, Northern Irish Premier and Eire Premier…I maybe wrong but I think thats what happens. Again fantastic achievement and I’m looking forward to your next update with the ins and outs…should be some strong players interested in joining you now :). REMEMBER…the qualifiers start early July so get some friendlies in :)


Winning the title against some major teams like Cluj and Bucharest is a great achievement Johnny, your young team is starting to show their progress

Hopefully you can get a good draw in the Champions League, the money from reaching the group stage will be immense to help your club push on

Hopefully Manoel can make a real impact next season, he looks like he can still improve

Putanu has immense potential, such great performances despite not being near his full ability

Good luck for the new season Johnny, hopefully you will get some money to help with continental competition

Ana Garcia

Amazing well done Johnny!!!

Three qualifying rounds? If you get beaten in one does that mean you drop out of Europe totally or do you go into the Europa league?

Its been so long since I managed in Europe I have totally forgotten. :)

Its a great feeling when you promote someone from the youth team and they go on an exceed all expectations and judging by your assistants report he could be even better.

I really hope you can make the groups stages I know it will be difficult, but think of how good your finances will look!!

The very best of luck!


Wow, talk about a dramatic finish! You really had me on the edge of the seat there, and it was definitely a thrilling run to the title. I thought (at least in FM11) that Romania went straight into the group stage? Has the reputation really fallen that quickly?

Martin - F.M.J.S

Congrats Johnny, what a great finish to the season, I hope that you will be able to qualify for the CL group stages, but at least you have made it to the Qualification stage and it just a case of improving every season.

Good luck

Malhar Bhadbhade
Malhar Bhadbhade

hey johnny,
congrats!! you might have surprised yourself, but i did have a feeling that you might just clinch it. i really respect your patience and determination. hopefully you make it to the champions league group stages…it will be a wonderful experience regardless of what happens there. will also be great financially…good luck for the next season and hope you have more success. cheers!


Great season, congratulations on winning the league. With a bit of luck you’ll get to the Champions League and pocket some cash. Vazquez? Sorry, who?


Congrats on a phenomenal title win mate! I must admit – I thought you’d lost your chance, though with a few games remaining anything was possible. Well done ;)


Congratulations Johnny!

This kind of season ending makes FM even a better game, when having to play your game but at the same time checking your rivals game…………:)

Cheers and good luck in the ties of Europe CL!

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