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Best full-backs: Central Europe 1920s

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-01-14 21:49:12

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Starting with Josef Blum, who was largely known for being Austria's best defender and regarded by many as the best full-back in comparison to Antonín Hojer and Károly Fogl. Blum was a complete defender, a tactical, technical and athletic type. Weltmeister — as he was nicknamed — was punctual in his actions, and was an impressively fast player, both in his movements and in his speed of thinking. Moreover, the captain of First Vienna exuded an internal confidence and stoic calm. He foresaw everything that was going to happen and was considered one of the cleanest defenders. On the other side of the full-back line was Karl Rainer, a player who possessed a remarkable technique and a very safe presence. Rainer was a brilliant player and could overcome any situation with a clean style.
Wiener Amateur S.V. had two great names for the first line of the field: Johann Tandler and Alexander Popovich. The contrast, compared to the line of First Vienna, was quite different. The Wiener Amateur defenders' game was a more physical, harsh, much less technical and elegant game. Alexander Popovich peaked in the 1910s, but managed to stay at a high level until the first half of the 1920s. Xandl was an athletic player, quite fast and strong, very strong, but was not tall. He, moreover, had a high quality of positional game and knew how to nullify the offensive actions of the opponent. The main defensive line partner at his club was Johann Tandler, a completely different style from Pepi Blum and Karl Rainer, for instance. Tandler was a rough player, quite physical and who liked to intimidate his opponents. Tandler's game was tough and under any circumstances wanted to impose respect and fear on opponents. GREAT HUNGARIAN QUALITY.
Following the waters of the Danube there is the Hungarian territory, which had Gyula Mándi as the best representative of the technical and tactical side. Mándi was a player close to the style of Virgínio Rosetta and Josef Blum, a more thoughtful, technical and strategic player. Mandl was the kind of defender who was put to nullify offensive actions of great attacking strategists. His tactical sense was enviable. He played on both sides of the defensive line, but was mainly regarded as a right full-back. However, he did not reach the level of Újpest F.C. captain, Károly Fogl, who already possessed a different style of play. Moreover, he also had to dispute with Károly's brother, József Fógl, therefore Mándi often played as left full-back, when he had a chance, or even centre half-back for the national team. Hence, the most common defensive line which Hungary used to select during the 1920s was the following:
Fogl III. Fogl II.
As mentioned before, of a completly different style was Károly Fogl, a tall, strong and very athletic player. His speed and sense of combativeness were impressive. Moreover, his sense of position and technique of shooting made him stand out before the vast majority of defenders of the continent. The game of Fogl II. was often considered rough and with excessive force with his opponents. His work on the field often reflected a fighting spirit almost tirelessly and often performed the whole work alone on the defensive line of the field. Alongside his younger brother, József Fogl — Fogl III. — he was part of a defensive line called "Fogl-gát" — Fogl gate — that became known throughout Europe for their physical qualities and defensive power. József Fogl was a player similar to the characteristics of his brother. However, as much as he did not belong to the same level — speaking proportionally —, his main quality was the perfect complement to his brother's style of play. He knew exactly not only his movements, but also his ideas. HOJER TOWERED ABOVE THE CZECHS.
Finally, the Czech class is excellent, but it was below both classes of the previous nations. However, names such as Antonín Perner, Antonín Hojer, Karel Steiner are worth mentioning.
Starting with Perner, who found himself increasingly being transformed into a full-back until he reached the position as the years of the first half of the decade passed. Perner was a brilliant left half-back. He, however, acted much more as a full-back in the 1920s. Perner was a skilled player for his technique, tireless work and his efficiency on the field. Alongside Hojer, he formed a great defensive duo for A.C. Sparta in 1920s. Shortly Hojer's drop of performance, Perner played on the right side, alongside Steiner.
Hojer, the main name of Sparta's defensive line, was one of the pillars of the team. Antonín Hojer's game style could be characterized by a series of accurate long passes, determination, physical fitness and a game characterized by being quite tough. Hojer could play either side, but the side he played the most was the right side. At the beginning of the decade, when Antonín Janda was transitioning between full-back and inside forward, he played on the left side and Janda on the right side. One of the characteristics that stood out the most to Hojer was his difficult temper.
From S.K Viktoria Žižkov to A.C. Sparta, Karel Steiner, with a style completely different from Antonín Hojer, shone both in his first club years and in the matches he played alongside Hojer or Perner for Sparta. Steiner wasn't a fast player or possessed a stamina comparable to Hojer's, no, but his cunning, technique and strategic sense were superior to Hojer's. Furthermore, his long-distance shots impressed the public.
The final podium is, as I mentioned before, between each apex of each of the three nations: Hojer, Blum & Fogl II. Austria's Blum was a more left-sided player, as he made the vast majority of his matches playing on that side. I, therefore, not only consider him to be by far the best on the left, but I also consider him above Fogl II. and, mainly, Hojer. Finally, the styles of Fogl II. and Hojer were even alike, but Hojer had a much more incisive temperament than the Hungarian representative. Not only was he a problem for referees and opponents, but he often got into arduous disagreements with teammates. Speaking of the quality of the player himself, yes, Hojer was a fearless defender of high quality, but not as reliable and did not reach the same level as Fogl II. Hence, I consider the Hungarian even an easy option on the right side of the defense.
The line has two players of different styles. Josef Blum was characterized as the perfect defender, but more focused on an analytical style of the opponent's actions. Károly Fogl., on the other hand, was more harshly aimed at dexterity and combativeness. Even so, speed and a sense of position overflow in both players.