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Károly Fogl, 1929: All-time Hungary XI

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-06-23 14:09:34

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Endre László | 08/01/1929

The evolution of the full-back game — How Zsák became a great player — How do Bíró and Kertész II. compare in terms of knowledge — Comparing Károly, Hlavay and Bukovi — Bodnár or Konrád II? — Why is the public silent about Tauszig — Borbás and the play of today's wingers — Schaffer? The popular Újpest player comments on our application.

We are in Karcsi Fogl's shop before closing time. We chat about the Christmas shopping season, the weather and what else to talk about but the teams' Christmas tour. He gives us his findings, but I would like to hear something else, although his comments are certainly worthy of the most attention and consideration, even if they are independent. Somehow he wanders off in the course of his speech, and I manage to put him on the track I want him on. He jumps right in:
Fogl II.: The voting? To keep me on the cue, there is the full-back post. What did the Rumbold-Payer full-back pair used to do?
» The two giants would stand like a rock, when the ball came their way, they would grit their teeth, take a deep breath and semd a huge release kick that won the crowd over. At the time, they were playing that style everywhere, but whereas in other teams it was the half who was playing, or one of the unfortunate forwards who couldn't get into the first team in another position, they stayed in that position all the time and managed to gain a respect that still shows today. Payer had a touch of style perhaps? None! He had a kick that no one had at the time, his kicks were downright life threatening, but he couldn't tackle a drop! Did anyone see him pass? Pass the ball to one of the halves in a difficult position? Never! Rumbold was far above him in that respect. At least he had technique. But where are they both from Feldmann? After all, Feldmann founded today's full-back school!
» He didn't run at the forwards when their attack was hopeless anyway and he didn't stamp on them, he didn't send huge kicks into the blind side, but all his passes went to a teammate. Nor did the Payers, in difficult situations, occasionally throw in a system so that while the opponent was holding a council of war as to who should kick the free kick, there was time to get into position. And they didn't play home either, because that would have been considered a disgrace. Chüdör and Mandl became great players alongside Feldmann. And then the Rumbolds, but never mind.
» I wouldn't vote for Zsák, even though I used to walk from Megyer to Margaret Island as a kid to see Zsák defend! I consider him a very great player, but I would say he would have been nothing if he hadn't had a Domonkos in front of him. Domonkos almost bewitched the forwards. He was like a hypnotist! He did wonderful things and he had no one to learn from! I don't put Zsák behind him in knowledge, I consider him his equal, but Zsák was just learning the whole thing. Domonkos taught him.
» Bukovi, I think, is quite a little boy compared to Károly. Károly didn't drudge, he stumbled during the match, he stopped in the middle of the field, put his hand on his hip and everyone felt that the one person alone was in control of the field.
» He didn't run to catch the ball, but just stepped up and waited for the ball to fall on his head with his hands on his hips, as if it couldn't fall anywhere else. And from there? He only nodded his head so much that you could hardly see it, but the next moment he was being rushed towards goal by a winger, for it fell as accurately in front of him as if it had been calculated by centimetres. And Hlavay!... he's 45 now, but he'd still be a match for any centre-half.
» I think Bíró is far above Kertész II. Kertész II. only got this far with his antics, his knowledge is far below Gyusz Bíró. He had a shot, too. I remember once, in one of the games against us, he got a ball in the area and hit it into the top corner in a way that is a rare thing to see nowadays.
» Today's halves? They can't even throw the ball 20 meters away! Who could score a goal like that today? None! They are all far away from him, very far away.
» Blum never had any competition.
» I put Braun behind Sebestyén. The way he drove the ball, I've never seen anything like it. Somehow his knees were shaking, his defender never knew what he wanted to do and he found himself passing or centering. That centering was more than anything. You couldn't miss it. Then there's Tauszig before Braun. He alone could rival Sebestyén. His delivery was also gorgeous because it couldn’t be expected. He kicked the ball outside and it went into the net in most cases because the goalkeepers all thought it was going out. What didn’t go into the goal could only be expected by his partners, the defense was never there, because the path of the ball was such that the defender, no matter how far behind, always had to back away and the forwards could rush onto it. But there are still a couple that are better than today.
» I really have to think about the inside right. But not on Takács II., Bodnár and Kálmán Konrád. Konrád II. himself is the epitome of game intelligence, a machine with not a futile movement. Bodnár was all fire. He played much more dangerously than Konrád II., because he had no regrets, he was in it to the last breath, and that is the worst thing for a defender when facing a player of the ability of Bodnár. One was not interested in the match of the favorite teams in his heyday, but went out to such a little life-and-death fight, where, say, you could see Bodnár with Zsák.
» And the crowds were never disappointed. Bodnár would send a bomb, and Zsák would intercept it in a way that made people swoon.
» The other two insiders, I think, are Orth and Schlosser. Schaffer can't displace Orth because he was only really great in the inside left, and Schlosser dominated there with his chiseled curved legs. He fooled me so many times! He stopped just in front of me, with the ball in front of him, waiting for me to attack. In such a case I always, or (say) most of the time, know what the forward is going to do. Different striker! But with him I couldn't even guess!
» Whether he was going to do something with his right, his left, or send it back with a corner was always a mystery to me, although I knew most of the time he would pass it to the wing, where of course the winger was free. If he noticed — and he had the sense to do so — that I was careful not to let him pass it easily to the side, God forbid he should pass it there.
» Kohut is no match for Dr. Borbás. He ran down to the corner line, from there he gave the ball to the rushing striker right on the foot and the shot was roaring. Today? The majority of the wingers, including Kohut, just look for a small gap where the ball can fit and shoot, even though they know that only one in twenty shots, or even less, go in the goal.
» So my team would be:
Dr. Borbás Orth Sebestyén
Schlosser Bodnár
Blum Károly Bíró
— —
» This would be my team, but I'll be blunt and say it to your face, I don't like the pitch. Not because I know that Ferencváros has 8.000 fans and Újpest has only 3.000, but because I know that the Fradistas would rather vote for the Rumbold-Payer pair than for us, and that puts us at a big disadvantage, but because, as I said with the squad, you can't make comparisons between the players of the past who are in the fog and the players of today, because the game was different then and the game is different now.
» The way I would have done it is to separate the pre-war team from today's, or even possibly have the public vote for a team of an intervening time .
— They're closing up shop, I'll say goodbye. He lets down the grille after me, because he's still there and he's going to speak after me:
Fogl II.: But don't say a word!
— I won't. I'll dictate it just this once... I'll have to avoid Újpest for a while...