Out of the frying pan into the fire – Ferencvaros (Away) Preview

In the immortal words of the ever so mortal Aaliyah, you have got to brush yourself off and try again. The disappointment of the weekend will take a while to wear off and I think my drunken rant/outpouring probably sums up my feeling in the immediate aftermath of the game. But if there is a game that you would most want after that, a game that demands the players go again, then this would be it. Or we get humiliated 4-0 and cry ourselves to sleep (I have taken this whole thing a little too much to heart). 2013-08-04 18.49.40

No idea what this means?!

Only the most optimistic of MTK fans would think there is a chance of winning this blasted league this year, but defeat on Sunday will see Fradi leapfrog MTK into second position and take bragging rights in the capital (bragging rights in a language I do not really understand is fine by me). The history between the two clubs is long and complex, but fundamentally underpinned by the fact that they are the two most successful club’s in Hungary and separated by just over a mile (until MTK got shunted out to Kispest for a couple of years). Throw in the underlying dynamic that the supporters of each club typically come from very different political and economic backgrounds, then you have all the mixture for a spicy little derby. For more on the background, check out my earlier post previewing the first game between these clubs this season – https://timmybacsi.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/orokrangado-aka-az-klasszikio/).

This has been a game penciled in my diary since the start of the season. The first trip to the Corporate Sponsor Stadium (as an MTK fan) to be tucked away in the corner where I saw a bunch of Ulstermen have the time of their lives. I hope that my fellow fans can rouse themselves from the hangover of Saturday so that we can turn up in reasonable numbers (100+). I shall be brining three additional fans (ongoing negotiations with MLSZ permitting – see below) to swell the numbers. To be honest, I can understand why the prospect of travelling to the Corporate Sponsor Stadium to be treated like animals, frisked by the notoriously frisky Fradi security and probably subject to abuse from the home support may not be the perfect way of spending an early Spring Sunday evening for your average MTKite and family. Tickets are proving tough to obtain. One of my friends will not fly in until Saturday evening after the ticket office where one can obtain MTK fan cards will be shut. Unfortunately, Fradi have said (that against MLSZ rules) they will not sell a ticket to foreign passport holders without a fan card on the day of the game (although they are quite happy to sell us a ticket in the VIP sections). The Head of Communications at MLSZ, Sipos Jeno, was quoted in Nemzeti Sport yesterday as saying:

 Ott a helye a lelátókon mindenkinek, aki szereti a labdarúgást, a csapatát, és a felek sportszerű buzdításával törődik

                Everyone shall be there who likes football, his team and wants to cheer for his team in a sporty manner(rough translation)

This is clearly not true at the moment. I have an emergency smuggling route (which may be the same as the one I use to smuggle drink into that stadium), but that will not be revealed here with the police surveillance powers as they are (I would suggest that much of my readership consists of a combination of my Mum and the AVO). MLSZ once again turning people off the game of football. (I received further evidence of this last week whilst trying to buy tickets to the Hun-Gre game at the end of the month. MLSZ requires all people to obtain a supporter card even to buy national team tickets. Most people work in this country so come 17.00 the ticket office gets busy with queues out of the door. Ticket office operates a very strict 18.00 closing time leading to many people being turned away. How is this good for anyone? What trouble are the MLSZ expecting at Hun-Gre that will be prevented by people having to put their face on a card?. Sh’t I turned left onto the tangent again.) DSC_0111

There will be no Kanta shirts this time in this part of the ground!!

Ferencvaros

Booo.

The ultimate sleeping giant of South Central Eastern European football. I would suggest that there is no club with so much potential waiting to unleash itself onto the latter stages of the Europa League qualifying stages. The only club (well a club located in Hungary as Bayern, Barca and Real are undoubtedly more popular here) with a sizeable Hungarian support. As an indication, Fradi FB page has 133k likes versus 51k for each of Debrecen and Diosgyor (arguably the two second largest clubs). MTK has 7,391 😉 (not sure where that smiley came from; some tortured place in my soul). Capable of pulling over 20k to last season’s Ujpest game (at Puskas Ferenc), any type of success would bring in the typically fickle Hungarian fans back in droves.

Unfortunately, chronic mismanagement (including a relegation for financial strife) has hindered the progress of the club. This mismanagement has now taken the form of an all out war between the club’s owners and ultras. The move to the new stadium has seen the introduction of vein scans together with the standard issue fan cards to enable entry into the stadium. Furthermore, the once popular FradiBusz (shipping groups of fans from all around the country) has been targeted by security services (google Ferencvaros stewards for some disturbing stories that I am too scared to reproduce here for fear of getting a kicking on Sunday) and restricted in its operations. This has led to a fairly widespread boycott of the games and some fairly average turnouts for games (still staggering in comparison to MTK – 850 vs Vidi). The first game of the Spring Season saw approximately 10,000 for the home game against Gyor so we could see a similar turnout at the weekend. Still I am looking forward to the electronic crowd chanting that they have introduced. 2014-07-23 14.26.23

Wonder whether these guys will be working the gate…would be an improvement.

Much like last season, Ferencvaros seem to have many of the elements required to mount a serious championship challenge, but have struggled somewhat on their travels (especially towards the start of the season). 2014-07-24 20.28.27

Finishing third place last year, Fradi crashed out to Rijeka in Europe League qualifying losing 1-0 away and then 2-0 at the least ever game at the Puskas Ferenc (above).

They have only won 4 of 11 on the road, but this has been more than compensated by their searing home form winning 7 out of 9 and only conceding 3 in the process. They have turned the new ground into something of a fortress: an ugly, steel monstrosity of a fortress with green plastic trimming, but still a fortress. This mean defensive streak has been reinforced by the excellent form of Dibusz Denes who is now some 409 minutes without conceding in the league. A back four of a German, Croatian, Pole and Spaniard is more or less what you would expect from the self-titled ‘only Hungarian club’. Young left back, Cristian Ramirez, signed on loan from Fortuna Dusseldorf has attracted a lot of attention in the Hungarian press after (unsuccessful) trials at Dortmund and Spurs. gedeon2

2012/2013 – MTK taste Orokrangado victory.  Gedeon loves it.

The ‘only Hungarian club’ has been kind enough to become a retirement home for the tired legs of Hungarian midfielders, Hajnal Tamas, Gera Zoltan and Buzsaky Akos. Manager, Tomas Doll has a tendency to mix it around a little bit so Kukuruzovic, Cukic and promising Nagy Daniel could all be in with a shout of starting.

Up front, there seems to be a slight preference for the Grant Holt of Hungarian football (Bode Daniel) to start with two of Varga, Somalia or (genuinely good) Lamah (he has scored a Premier League goal and he is not well the wrongside of 30) in the wide positions in an all too familiar 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 formation.

MTK

A huge hole has been blown open in the centre of the MTK defence (and this time not due to a Vuki miscontrol and Fecsezszsesin tug). Vuki will be suspended and Kalnoki-Kis and Kelemen (KontraKt rebels) are rotting in the reserves. Baki Aki looked more than competent again this week (goal aside), but is still only twenty and this will only be his eighth top flight start. Big questions abound over who will start alongside him.  If Poor can get back to a degree of fitness, then he could always start in the centre, but this would be a risk having not played for so long. Another option is to play Vass A at centre half (as he did for part of the game on Saturday against Vidi), but you would fear him getting isolated by tall, fatso Bode Daniel if the balls starting coming long into the box (Adam is not big).  Thiam is another option on return from suspension. I am not sure a formation change will help particularly because neither Vadnai or Nagy would look particularly comfortable in a back three. Having one eligible CB is a problem (unless Garami can put his faith in one of the youth players that .

Thiam or Vass A will play the holding role (assuming the other one drops back into defence). Polo and Kanta will make up the middle of the park as always with Csiki (played ok on Saturday against Vidi despite a glaring miss) and Horvath “the Doctor” Zsolt (played very well on Saturday against Vidi despite a glaring miss) on the wings. Hrepka was actually doing ok versus Vidi before he was surrendered following the sending off so may start again. Torghelle has got some history against Ferencvaros and is not liked by the Fradiistas (as I will call them once and once only). A man who will rise to the challenge, it might be best to bring him off the bench to save him the red card that he has a 50:50 chance of receiving if he starts.

If MTK can replicate the first 30 minutes against Vidi here, then they can walk out comfortable winners. However, giving Fradi any sort of early momentum will be tough to bounce back from. Keeping 11 men on the pitch will be important here having finished the last two a man light.

Prediction – Too early for that. Come back on Friday (especially as MTK have a League Cup QF tonight where we could see Poor return a Torghelle given a proper run out).

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