Signing out for 2016. It has been a funny old year with highs including watching three games in one day and lows including facing a bleak three, a half month stretch in Scandinavia without football and two trips to Dunaujvaros. But we reach the end. Older and hardly wiser. What a fitting way to draw the curtain down on the year with the Orokrangado as I follow MTK into the Swamp that is Ferencvaros.
Policing the masses
Whilst MTK’s travails have been relatively well documented (by me), they have been made somewhat sweeter by the fall from grace that has accompanied the team in green who live a mile around Hungaria Korut. After winning the 15/16 Championship by 21 points some time in 2014 (or so it seemed), the general musings were that we were entering a period of Fradi dominance that hopefully would be accompanied by some appearance for a Hungarian team in European competition after August. That is not how the story has unfolded though. Ferencvaros were dumped out of the Champions’ League qualifiers on penalties by Albanian runner’s up Partizani (whose goalkeeper scored a delightful panenka in the shootout). They have also stuttered in the league and Thomas Doll, the German manager, seems to be losing his swagger whilst being connected with a move back to the Deutschsprache world constantly being touted around the media.
At the halfway point this season, they have lost the same amount of games as they did all last year, but also conceded three more goals. Defeats at home to Paks and away to Mezokovesd in recent weeks really underpinning the problems at the club. This is not to say that they are out of the running sitting in fourth place only five points behind surprise leaders Vasas.
MTK may well go into 2017 in the relegation zone. The bottom two clubs play each other and a win for Diosgyor will see them leap frog MTK unless MTK can get a victory in the 9th District for the first time since 1 September 2002. The club found themselves in a similar position three seasons ago before investing in Torghelle Sandor and Vass Adam who eventually saw them to safety. I am still not worried though. I think the team has enough about it to survive this year whilst blooding some good youngsters.
MTK have lost four of the last five away games in Ferencvaros 2-0 (drawing the other 2-2). So I predict MTK to win 2-0. Never was a good gambler.
To the game. Back to the new Ulloli uti stadion for probably about my tenth game there. I never look forward to trips with huge trepidation as I struggle to enjoy the international games and am bound by nerves when MTK make the trip. Once again I made way to Section E for away fans and after negotiating the not too hostile security check, I was in. It dawned on me that much like UHNS, the Ferencvaros stadium was made of significant quantities of exposed concrete. Exposed concrete has very little in the way of aesthetic pulling power. I think it only looks good in industrial type bars that also employ lots of metal. (What am I going on about?). I bought beer before making my way to the MTK section (i.e. walking up the stairs). There were some 100 to 150 people. The stadium as a whole was sparsely populated. This is no longer a surprise, but is still a disappointment.
Baki Akos continued at RB. I like Baki, but I am not sure he is a RB. I would play him in the middle and Poor in the full back position. MTK started pretty well and dominated possession if not creating many chances. Torghelle had a half chance, but his cross cum shot was neither one nor the other. At one point, it looked like he might be in trouble with the referee as Ferencvaros took umbridge with the referee after Torghelle collided in the air with a centre half. There was nothing in it. And the referee agreed! Ferencvaros seemed to take umbridge with everything from this point onwards.
And then they scored. Baki and Petkovics got themselves in a little bit of a muddle Baki slid in and managed to curve the ball past his keeper around Vadnai Daniel and gently into the back of the net. Darn it. Fradi seized on the lucky break and had the momentum going into a much needed half-time some ten minutes after the goal. The first instance of the second half was a nasty one. Already booked, Vladan Cukic of the other team, was late and ankle high on Gera Daniel. The second yellow was inevitable: it should have been a straight red. From protesting his innocence, he quickly reverted to apologising. Worst tackle I have seen this year. Gera Daniel was subbed off for Nikacs meaning a much more conventional 4-4-2.
Swore at these fannies.
Ferencvaros produced nothing as an attacking force from that moment forward and looked to kill the game. And until, that man, Torghelle headed home a Kanta freekick with eight minutes left, it looked like they might just do that. Oh. I ruined that narrative. We went a bit crazy and MTK took the game by the scruff of the next. It seemed inevitable. A mad scramble saw the little boy Nagy clear off the line, but only via an outrageous slice onto his swinging right hand. Was it deliberate? No. Was the attempted clearance so utterly atrocious from a professional football that he deserved a red card and to concede a potentially decisive penalty? Yes. MTK still had enough chance for Torghelle miss a Torghelle special header from yards out. We thought it was in. It was not.
1-1 is a pretty good result from a fixture where MTK get very little. But Diosgyor did indeed win meaning MTK sit second bottom going into the new year. The general consensus seemed to be that the team needs an injection of something (not a Spain c. 2010 type injection – can I get sued? (If so, I am referring to the prevalent use of motivational speech interjections made in the Valladolid region following the financial crisis and not anything to do with Fuentes.) Goals are clearly the issue. Some real genuine pace might help out wide. Dr Horvath – do you like living in Debrecen?
Sanyi – Beautiful when blurry.
And I am done. 2016 draws to a close (and I think it is time too. Pretty miserable year in many regards). It started in Cologne and it ends in Budapest’s IX District. Time to take a well-earned rest. Sorry for the drop off in quality of posts. A new job, a new wife and a new life has limited my time. But I will be back alive and kicking in 2017 with a trip to the home of football in South West Bedfordshire. I am going home……(to clarify, not permanently – I am in Budapest for the foreseeable future).
Merry Christmas to you all you beautiful people.
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