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Eskenazi, 02/12/1933: London, center of football
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-04-08 18:16:58
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London, center of football
Jean Eskenazi | 02/12/1933, London
The Austrian team took a light training gallop this morning on the spacious Arsenal ground, whose luxurious facilities won everyone's admiration. A training that can be given as an example to our national team and which is certainly better than a match against Racing or the Selection of Foreigners of France, under the direction of Jimmy Hogan, of an astonishing greenness despite his 51 years , and who does not do his session by reading excerpts from a football treatise. The Austrian players first made a few laps with some physical culture movements and the training ended with the handling of the ball. Excellent system that keeps players in top condition. Which is definitely the main thing. With all their eyes, the Arsenal players watched. The pure method is quite different, but they recognized that the one instituted by Hugo Meisl is also very effective.
James and Jack tell us...
Alex James, back from a salutary trip aboard a cutter, dressed in a big gray sweater, comes out of training with increased energy.
The little Scotsman did not play today: Arsenal against Liverpool. He will only make his comeback on Monday, against Vienna, with his ankle being restored.
James was chatting passionately about Len Harvey's victory. This will kick off Arsenal-Vienna and alone will attract several thousand spectators.
— You should never neglect anything, confided to me Champman, the perfect businessman.
We spoke for a few minutes with Alex James, who was still in Bordeaux a few days ago and who attended a football match on French territory.
James: It's a very hard task for your compatriots. They will suffer, I believe, from the different interpretation of the game. I was surprised, during my trip to the continent, by the respect that we have for the goalkeeper who is taboo, one would say. It's no wonder, in these conditions, that he pulls off spectacular saves and is the crowd favourite. With us, it's completely different. The goalkeeper is a player like the others, perhaps even less, because he is only asked to intervene at the very last end. Your goal would do well to beware.
David Jack, "gentleman Jack", as he is called here, having finished his training, comes to join our conversation. David Jack with his elegant raglan, his gray hat posed carelessly, his cigarette at the corner of his lips, really looks like a very great English lord.
Jack: I played a lot of matches in France, he told me. I know French football is improving, but Wednesday's match is beyond its means. Do not delude yourself and especially burn a candle so that it does not rain by then.
The Austrian team had finished their training. We left the two famous players to return very democratically with the Viennese by the "tube."
The opinion of the captain of the Wunderteam.
Along the way, we collected the confidences of Walter Nausch who is not content to be a brilliant player. He is also a big boy with a perfect education who combines his duties as captain of the Austrian team with those of administrative secretary of Austria.
Nausch: If French footballers followed training more diligently, he told me, they would make tremendous progress. They are rotten in quality. Against England, they have to be very careful. They will fall on players who know their job inside out and who know how to exploit the slightest chance.
"The France team will defend themselves" — Alex Jackson.
I went to visit Alex Jackson, the famous Scottish player who has just opened a new bar in Leicester Square. Merry boy Alex Jackson greeted me with Scottish hospitality.
Jackson: Yes, definitely, but I received another proposal from another French club, the F.B.C. of Sete.
— Did you accept?
Jackson: Impossible. The offers are too low...
— What do you think of France-England?
Jackson: England will win, of course, but I believe that the French will defend themselves. During my honeymoon in France, I saw a few matches. We're playing better now, the team lasts about an hour and a half.
A visit to Sir Frederick Wall.
From Jackson's, I jumped to 22 Lancester Gate, which houses the office of the English Federation. Without, however, having asked for an interview beforehand, Sir Frederick Wall received me with great courtesy which surprised me. He was in no way resistant to my questions.
Wall: The game will be successful without compromising. If it's not raining. Because otherwise the English public knows very little about French football and our newspapers totally lack details of the match. For the match to have benefited from great publicity, the French team would have had to come to London a few days before the clash. Then, we would have talked about France at length and the public would have been interested.
And like a polite and hurried man, Sir Frederick Wall rose and accompanied us to the door, conveying to us his best wishes for a good display by the French team.
What to do.
If Sir Frederick Wall considers the question from the practical side, it nevertheless calls for other lessons for us. This is a serious mistake, but it was difficult for the F.F.F.A. to do otherwise with the championship. It was important to familiarize the team, as we did for the Austrian team, with British customs. France had to get used to this atmosphere of English stadiums, giving them the opportunity to attend an English championship match. For our players, it was a timely lesson. The Austrian players who see Arsenal-Liverpool today will not fail to learn lessons for next Monday.
It was necessary to make our National Team take its last training in English territory. We didn't. A longer stay in London would not only have been advisable from a technical point of view, but it would also have allowed our team to quench its morale.
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