After back-to-back defeats in league and cup, MTK travel to bottom of the table Szombathelyi Haladas to try and reignite their hopes of chasing down Vidi (and staying well clear of the chasing pack).
This will be my first time watching Haladas and will mean that I have only not seen one further top team in action. I will get you, Nyiregyhaza. As such, I have no anecdotes to share and no real comments on their players or form (I am not sure I have ever seen them play on TV either). This is going to be one hell of a blog entry.
Did you know that Szombathely (the name of the town) means Saturday Place? Unfortunately, the game is on Sunday and we are just travelling down for the day so I guess I will miss whatever the hell happens on Saturday that justifies calling the town Saturday Place. (I have a strange etymological recollection that Szombat may also mean market in Old(e) Hungarian UPDATE – My recollection is wrong according to Gy. Actually the word for Sunday ‘Vasarnap’ derives from the word ‘vasar’ meaning market. Still what is day out between linguistical friends).
Did you know that Haladas means Progress? Hence the witty, bilingual play on words that comprises the name of this blog post.
Current Haladas chairman and a name that every MTK fan is thoroughly familiar with is Illes Bela. Based on the (somewhat limited) video coverage I have seen of him, he seems like a Gareth Bale from Eastern Europe in the mid-90s. Quick with buffoned hair and excessively large football shirts. He was thrice top scorer in the Hungarian league and thrice won championship medals and is oft regarded as the best Hungarian players of the 90s. Given that two of his fifteen international goals came in 1-7 defeats to the Netherlands and Yugoslavia (1998 edition), obtaining the label of best Hungarian player of the 90s does not seem to have been too difficult (Dzsudzsak Balazs is finding similar ease in the current generation of Hungarian footballers). Having said all that his career statistics of a tad under a goal every other game are not to be sniffed at and he is certainly held in high regard by all at MTK.
He started his career at Haladas and has since returned there after his playing career ended in 2006 in an ‘upstairs’ position.
We will give him a wave if we see him (on which note is it a coincidence that Poor Patrick has been called up to the Hungarian squad after giving Gyongyi such an enthusiastic wave prior to the Paks game – I think not. Congratulations, Paddy).
I have heard that this guy could be one to watch out for. At 21, he was heavily linked with Fradi in the summer on the back of 14 league goals last time round from attacking midfield. Yet to find the back of the net, this season, which can only mean one thing…
Here is a dramatic montage put together by CSKA Moscow fans (for some unknown reason).
Seems like he is good at taking penalties.
Second versus bottom. Team with best away record versus team with second worst home record. I cannot see past a comfortable MTK win so I go with 0-3. Kanta to bounce back from his match changing penalty miss with a goal.
Hoping to see Torghelle show some sort of form because he has been frankly terrible since his return from injury. Garami Jozsef’s decision to play Hrepka and Bese in the wide position last time out did not work. It has to be time to get Vass Patrick back in the starting XI. Not sure why The Doctor (Horvath Zsolt) did not make the bench last time out: he was at the stadium so possibly suffering from an injury.