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Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-06-25 01:01:14
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The first half of the decade was not so great to the Hungarians. They frequently were losing to their rivals, the Austrians, and did not manage to succeed in high level tournaments. Even in club competitions, the Hungarian territory did not achieve good results. Some critics were made regarding their style, which appeared different from the MTK iskóla, but something close to the "Kick and Rush". Their shots were not on target, and their tactics failed against strong sides.
Technique above every other attribute
The Hungarians were among the most tactical players in the world, yet they lacked almost every other aspect which a footballer should have. Their technique was praised, as they had players such as Gyula Lázár, László Cseh, Gyula Zsengellér & Dr. György Sárosi as the representative names during the decade. Most Hungarian players, however, did not have the same physical, athletical & tactical conditions which the other forces had, precisely the tactical knowledge which the Hungarians, once, were the masters. Their game was artistic, yet very little aimed towards the objective of scoring goals. As the professor Matthias Sindelar said: — First, we have to score the goals, then we will focus on playing beatiful.
Hungary x Austria
The first half of the decade reflected a much more weaker Hungary than the progressively growing Austria. Hungary started the decade by winning the first two battles against Austria, but until 31/05/1934 - the II. World Championship match -, Hungary found themselves in below the level of Austria. Nevertheless, after the II. World Cup, Hungary strated to increase their performances and aspects of the game. On the other side, Austria, that suffered with the old age of their best players and could not replace their ases, did not beat Hungary in the rest of the decade.
They had to change
After seeing their football getting weaker and weaker, the football authorities inside Hungary started to take action. Some ideas, which were repealled by many, were receiving more space inside the discussions; some ideas, which were considered old, started to receive less atention. The W-Formation, the much discussed W-Formation, started to be used even more. Trainings aimed to different ways of achieving a better physical & athletical results. After all that, therefore, Hungary started to increase their power.
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Ödön Holits's 3-3-4, for instance, was an idea brough.
Hungary were increasing in tactical knowledge & physical conditioning, they started to test some new tactics and also their old master started to appear, again, back in Hungary. One of the names was Alfréd Schaffer, for example, who totally changed the Hungária F.C. into a football machine. Some old experts wrote articles and books which are directly related to the tactics which other teams started to put into action. During 1938, László Feleki, a young journalist, was sent to England to study their tactics and the whole English scenario, therefore causing highly improvement in Hungarian football. The talents of Gyula Zsengellér and Lázslo Cseh appeared, and, thus, combined with Dr. György Sárosi, the Hungary's offensive inside trio was pure gold. Nevertheless, it would not be enough without Janos Dudás, Pál Titkos and Ferenc Sas improvement. The Hungarians went from a decadence to a new great generation.
As it was commented before, the first half of the decade was a level below to the other football forces. Hungarian clubs, at the continental level, could only beat teams in Húsveti Torna or in random friendly matches. However, they could not show their strenght in Mitteleuropa Pokal. Due to some failures, such as the 1931/32 Ferencvárosi FC, and some teams not being quoted as the favourites — Újpest FC and Hungária FC — the journalists eventually considered the Italians and Austrians above. Even the Czechs were sometimes considered a better team.
The improvement came, and the Hungarians did much better than the first half of the decade. To be honest, Hungária F.C. could achieved better positions in Mitteleuropa Pokal 1936 Y 1937, due to their dominance at the domestic level. They just could not. Ferencvárosi FC reached four finals in five years, but won only the 1937 edition with magic performances by Gyurka Sárosi. Two years later, in a much weaker edition than normal, Béla Guttmann's Újpest FC beat their rivals, Ferencvárosi FC, and won the second Mitteleuropa Pokal in the decade for Hungary.
In overall performance, Hungary could have done much better, mainly Hungária F.C. which managed to create a super team but could not reflect their knowledge outside the Hungarian territory.
The best teams
The whole decade had four teams as the most representative ones, precisely three teams dominated the Hungarian scenario and two achieved international sucess.
Gyula Lázár, Ferencváros artistic half-back.
1:Ferencváros F.C., Fradi, the club which achieved more success and had main stars in the Hungarian scenario. Commanded by Dr. Gyorgy Sárosi, the team won most of the domestic titles, including one which they did not lose in the whole championship — Nemzeti Bajnokság I 1931/32 — and reached the final of Mitteleuropa Pokal four times; won the 1937 edition.
2:Újpest F.C., lilák, were very close to Ferencváros, in terms of domestic titles. Újpest, however, according to most specialist of the time, did not reach their rivals level outside the Hungarian territory. They increased their knowledge even before the 1930s, yet they acted as they would dominate the whole scenarion in the same that they did when won the 1929 Mitteleuropa Pokal. In the first half of the decade, they won most of the championships, but failed to demonstrate their power in a Continental scenario. They found in Gyula Zsengellér the answer to their international problem. After István Avar left the club, Zsengellér started to take the spot of the team's goalscorer. With the help of Béla Guttmann and Zsengellér, Újpest reached their peak in 1938/39; when they won everything that they could dispute.
3:Hungária F.C., kék–fehér, compared to the 1910s & 1920s, were a much weaker team. They only achieved something when Alfréd Schaffer mixed the MTK-iskola with the modern game. Before him, the team did not succeed nationally and even worse at a higher level. Hungária, however, managed to win two championships while the 1935/36 edition being an invencible championship. They could have achieved much more prestigious with the refined quality of their players, yet they did not manage to succeed.In fact, they had eleven great footballers, but not a team.
The best players
Although the whole territory could not produce the same players of the caliber of Pataki, Schaffer, Orth, Schlosser & Konrád II., they brought some new stars to the Hungarian constelation, such as Dr. Sárosi, Hungary's captain & best footballer. The whole National Team was dependent of Sárosi, when he did not play, they could not perform. As Hugo Meisl mentioned before, Hungary would have to have Sárosi in great conditions to beat other strong opponents. During the decade, some extraklassiz footballers appeared: Gyula Zsengellér, Gyula Lázár, László Cseh, János Dudás, for example.
Dr. György Sárosi
Commander of the commanders
I will have to agree with Dr. Michl Schwarz when he said a star is not just important in field, but also out of it. A star can bring a whole great generation to the country, and this star was Dr. György Sárosi, the commander of the commanders. Throughout the whole decade, Dr. Sárosi was Hungary's most important player, due to him being important defensively, ofensively, creating, tackling and scoring. It was common to ask to an authoritie: "Is Sárosi better as centerhalf or centre-forward?". However, some — like Hugo Meisl — just could not have a right answer to this question, due to Dr. Sárosi being great in every single position.
Team of the decade
Titkos Zsengellér Sas
Toldi Cseh II.
Dudás Dr. Sárosi(c) Lázár
Author's best XI
Újpest's new talent
Zsengellér was one of the best signings of the decade, for sure. His vigor to score goals was needed. He had thousands of tricks and was a very technical players. Zsengellér could be used as winger, connector &, mainly his best position, centre-forward. Zsengellér reached his peak of knowledge during the second half of the decade. After the III. World Championship, Abel Zsengellér was seen as the best Hungarian footballer in the world. Moreover, he was selected to represent FIFA, in 1938, in the England - FIFA match.