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01/04/1933: Hugo Meisl's comments on English football

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-07-30 03:15:26

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Comments on English football
Hugo Meisl | 01/04/1933

Nobody admires English football and English footballers more than I do,— said Hugo Meisl, the famous Austrian captain-manager, when the Press Association correspondent saw him at the new headquarters of the Austrian Fussball Verband in the Berggasse, Vienna, — but I cannot help thinking that something must be wrong with a system under which a splendid forward like Alex James, of the Arsenal, scores his first goal after five months.
— Your 'W' formation of three forwards in front and two inside forwards behind mechanically-perfected system which may have something recommend it from the point of view defence in League matches in England and saving points, but I am no admirer of it, and shall never adopt the system in Austria.
— League football forces your teams to pay much attention to defence, but I think a point has been reached where it has been overdone, and where it could only be an advantage for English teams to play about Europe and come up against others systems,” said Meisl. Best in the world.
— English footballers —, he added, — were still the best in the world as a whole. Their physical condition was excellent, but they played with too much vigour.
— We in Austria cannot call upon anything like the same number of physically developed players, and we therefore have to cultivate our own game. The game which play is an English game, but pre-war English game, something like that which Corinthians used to play, a clever game in which we expose our men to open play. Better Austrian forwards.
Comparing English and Austrian first-class players as a whole, Hugo Meisl thinks that the English have the better defence — though not the best goalkeepers — and the Austrian the better forwards. “But England’s strength is in its great choice of players."
To-day, Hugo Meisl sits in the former Palace of Count Zabeo of Padua, in the Berggasse, which, after thorough renovation by the Fussball Verband, is a noble headquarters of the game in Austria.
— Our game is the study of many systems, — he concluded, — for we are always playing other Continental opponents. League football has slightly mechanised your game, and the more contact England has with the outside world the better for her game.