Say Yes to Concrete Steps and Limited Facilities
So in contrast to the Autumn season where we seemed to be playing games all over the shop, the start of the Spring season sees MTK play four of the first five games at the Bozsik Jozsi Stadion and the fifth also in Budapest. Whilst this makes weekends somewhat easier to plan, it does take away the element of adventure out of the blog. I am not sure I can cope with writing more about the trip to the Bozsik Jozsi and its environs. (Indeed I have written a frankly fascinating and/or informative article for the good people at magyarfutball.hu – http://www.magyarfutball.hu/hu/blog/147/bozsik_stadium). This is also my return to the away end of the stadium where I made my first trip as an MTK fan (although I had previously pretended to be a Debrecen fan (one of 34) earlier that season).
MTK come off the back of a somewhat unconvincing win over Paks whereas Honved are stumbling blindly towards a real relegation dogfight. Defeat against Nyieregyhaza last week – their 11th NB1 game without a win – sees them level on points with Dunaujvaros and Pecs and a point clear of bottom placed Szombathely. With, the other four of the bottom five all playing each other before Honved face MTK, Honved may well find themselves sucked into the relegation places. Their recent form against MTK offers little solace also having not beaten them for over five years and indeed only won 4 of the last 34 meetings (versus 21 MTK wins and 9 draws).
Honved followed their usual transfer policy this winter of buying anyone from anywhere promising that another six months of settling-in faces the squad. Six players (Cote d’Ivoire, Venezuelan, French, Columbian and Serbs x2) arrived on permanent contracts with a further three on loan (Croatian, Mexican and Argentinian) adding to Honved’s international patchwork of a side. As I have written before, continued failure to place faith in the youngsters coming out of the fairly well-regarded academy can only damage the club and those young players alike. It is yet to be seen whether these players can/will buy into the relegation fight that seemingly awaits. Honved have also reappointed Marco Rossi as manager less than a year after he departed the club (following a five match losing streak).
MTK hope to welcome back a couple of their injured players with a few more looking to have regained a further week of sharpness. There is certainly a desire from all to have Hegedus back between the sticks. Groppioni’s unconventional style did little to calm fears that he would be the man to replace Hegedus on a longer term basis. Vadani’s debut on return to MTK at left back was unconvincing including clumsily giving away a penalty that allowed Paks to equalize. Baki and Vuki looked solid enough at CB back their lack of pace could easily be exposed. Poor Patrick would be a welcome return along with one of Kalnoki-Kis (possibly still serving his 3 month suspension) and Kelemen David (likely still injured).
I think we will probably see Vass A back in instead of Thiam. Thiam was a little disappointing and lacked the athleticism that he has shown in past performances. Unfortunately for him, I think he will miss out. On the wing, we will probably see Horvath “the Doctor” Zsolt return in place of Csiki who had a disappointing game. Torghelle to replace Hrepka (and hopefully find the same form he discovered this time last season) and Bese to keep his place. Kanta as always the first name on the sheet.
Convincing victory last time MTK faced Honved at Bozsik Jozsef.
I am going to bold on this one. MTK to win 4-0 (4-1 if Groppioni starts). MTK could do with boosting their goal difference to help ward off the chasing pack. A confidence boosting win would also carry them into a potentially title deciding (in favour of Vidi only) match next weekend.
Join me next week for a comprehensive review of the away end of the Bozsik Jozsi (not a euphemism).