For the first time, I really do not want to write up a review of a game. I fear that my blog is fast becoming a poorly worded critique of Hungary, which was never my intention when I started this journey back in the lovely town of Pecs in August. Not only does moving in such a direction make me seem bitter (which may be the case after being a Spurs fan for 20+ years), but this was never meant to be more than the story of a journey or collection of journeys. When I finally gathered my words off the back of MTK’s stumbling victory versus Kecskemet in Spetember, I pictured a glorious ending with MTK sneaking the title on a warm early summer day in Miskolc. The last two weeks have seen that ideal ending taken from me (starting to sound bitter) so the defeats have hurt more than the sum of their individual parts.
In no uncertain terms, Ferencvaros were the better team. A 2-0 score line (as my head had predicted) flattered MTK although they did improve slightly after the break. Vass Adam filled in alongside Baki (to replace the suspended Vuki) and he played well enough. MTK’s troubles were two-fold.
Firstly, both fullbacks were being sucked very narrow (either on purpose to give CBs a little more support) or because Vass and Baki were unable to communicate the need not to be sucked inside. (I would hazard a guess that the Groupama pitch is a fair bit wider than anything MTK usually play on.) This meant plenty of space on either flank with MTK’s wide men being forced deeper (and leading Torghelle isolated) or giving Ferencvaros plenty of opportunities to go two against one against the fullbacks. Hegedus was again on form palming away a couple of decent chances resulting from deliveries out wide.
Secondly, MTK missed Vass A in midfield. Polo and Thiam were overrun and somehow outnumbered. Kanta often ended up dropping in to help out, but further isolating Torghelle up top. Ferencvaros could have been three up at halftime were it not for Hegedus (still not part of the Hungary squad).
The goal came from a penalty with Baki dangling a leg that Lamah was all too grateful to fall over. One of their players slid the ball home before running to celebrate in front of us. He probably was confused because we were making all the noise 😉 and assumed we were the ‘legendary’ Ferencvaros support (many remain absent due to ongoing conflict between club management and supporters’ groups). Second half was a little more even with Ferencvaros happy to drop deep and suck the game away from MTK. With Torghelle up top, MTK had no real pace to stretch the defence.
I struggle to recall MTK having more than a quarter chance (a Baki header from a corner and a low cross comfortably taken by their goalkeeper (who incidentally seems to think he is Manuel Neuer). It is a shame that Garami did not (does not) have a Plan B. This may have been a time to throw Hrepka alongside Torghelle and hit them from deep (i.e. long ball British style), but he only made the one change (as I remember) despite calls from the fans to do something else. The second goal came in the dying seconds of the game with MTK legs tiring as they tried to press forward, they were caught on the counter. Game over.
It is nice although I felt like I was in a branch of Groupama at times given the level of corporate sponsoring. Built a stadium and got a billboard (to paraphrase). We were tucked in a corner surrounded by netting which obscured the view somewhat. Selling Fradi branded products added to the feeling of a club that had sold its soul (most have/will).
Fradi security are perhaps the most scary/unpleasant men that I have ever seen. They almost outnumbered us (certainly in muscle mass if not in headcount). They also really dislike people standing in the gangways. The whole afternoon (as disappointing as it was) was definitely soured by one of the security guards celebrating the second Ferencvaros goal. Really?! You spend all that effort on segregating fans and then you let a man (with a licence (and great desire) to forcibly eject you from the stadium) celebrate a goal amongst away fans for whom this is the biggest game of the season (I took his picture, but best not to publish it here given that I go back to watch Hungary at the same stadium on Sunday). Gy gave him a piece of her mind (I shook my head for fear of a kicking if I did anything else). MTK fan told Gy to ‘behave’ herself (in less polite words given his undoubted disappointment at seeing his side concede the second). All left an unfortunate taste in the mouth (see Gyongyi speaks…Again) and triggered by flagrant provocation of the security guard.
In September, Romania will occupy this corner of the ground. It is going to be messy and it might be a good idea that the guy with big Hungary (the map of pre-1918 Hungary including vast swathes of Romania) tattooed on his neck does not work that night.
Noone checked it. Totally pointless. I have given up with the MLSZ – beyond reproach as an organisation.
What happens now…?
With the dream of a championship over and two defeats in our two most important games of the season. It is hard to see where MTK go from here. They have a fairly easy run in having played all the teams in the Top 5 twice. Second is still realistic and an international break followed by a home game against Papa next up is probably the best way to kick start the run-in. Looking at the calendar, it may be that that game may be my last of the season. It would be nice to finish on a high and cross my fingers that MTK qualify for Europe and are drawn to play in Denmark/Southern Sweden (it is the hope that kills).
Az MTK. A szeretetunk…a csapatunk…a klubunk…a bukszeksegunk. Hajra kekek.