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Imre Schlosser, 1929: All-time Hungary XI
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-07-12 11:23:11
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PLAYING WITH BODNÁR AND SCHAFFER ONCE AGAIN WITH A TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD HEAD!
Dr. Gyula Vadas | 13/01/1929
Borbás was Slózi's favorite partner, but he considers the old great MTK forward line to be the greatest forward line — only Bodnár was missing from the team. Schlosser selectcs his team like this: Zsák — Fogl II., Rumbold — Biró, Károly, Orth — Braun, Bodnár, Schaffer, Schlosser, Dr. Borbás — His little son does not agree with him
After one of the best full-backs of all time, Fogl II., we wanted the opinion of the opposite extreme, so we approached Slózi, appardon Imre Schlosser, who is the best forward of all time, but also beats half-backs, full-backs and goalkeepers, according to our application and the Hungarian sports press.
Slózi, who was in the driver's seat, was having dinner with his family when we found him. He can only be found in the evening, because he works in his office from morning till night. He was expecting us, but he was still the same old, unassuming Slózi. He doesn't start with himself, but with his younger son, Slózi III., who, he tells us, also took part in our competition, and with the next original team:
Zsák (!) — Mari aunty, Papp — Fuhrmatin, Bukovi, Bérkési — Koszta, Taki, Túrái, Slózi (!), Kohut.
Which also shows that Slózi III. is an ardent Francophile, but he can't leave his dad out of the team, and he can't leave out Uncle Zsák, who is considered the ideal of the latest Slózi family offshoot. Papa informs him that his son does not wish to follow in his father's footsteps and is preparing to become a goalkeeper.
Goalkeeping is also a family tradition, however — on the Arnyan side, as far as Schlosser's brother-in-law Fritz, a former FTC goalkeeper who taught Zsák to defend on the field.
— Yes —, says Schlosser to his son, — your uncle taught Uncle Zsák, and Uncle Zsák will teach you.
— And I hope —, said Mrs. Schlosser, — that you will be a better goalkeeper than your uncle.
Schlosser: and while we're on the subject of goalkeepers, let's stay here. Who is my ideal goalkeeper? Well, it's a Zsák, only Zsák. I agree with my son on this one. Zsák, yes. If anyone, I know how hard it was for to score a goal was against Zsák. Many times I shot him from five or six feet and he caught incredible balls. There was always quite a big difference in class between FTC or MTK and 33, but I could probably never score more than one or two goals against Zsák, no matter how hard I tried. When I started to play for Ferencváros after returning from Vienna at the beginning of my professional career, we beat the 33s 6:3 and I scored 3-4 goals against Zsák, but I don't remember that many goals and Karcsi was already past his prime. But before the finger injuries, before the injuries and before all the years had passed, no one could match him. He had such a sense of positioning, such courage, such speed and such agility that he often looked like a superhuman. At that time, nine Ferencváros players, Gyuszi Biró and Zsák, played for a long, long time in the Hungarian national team. Biró sometimes missed out, but Zsák never did. And what difficult games we won in Vienna...
Schlosser: He did not play the consistent form that Zsák did. He had his days. I remember one of his big days, when we made it 1:1 with Austria in Vienna, he was so big that after Zsák only he could come.
Schlosser: I've never seen him at home. He may have been big out there, but from what I've seen I can only put him third in the line-up.
— What do you think of the full-backs?
Schlosser: Well, let me say up front that I've always had a high opinion of the role of the full-back. The most responsible post in the whole field. The forward will attempt that shot up to 31 times, if he's missed 30 times the half can trust the back to do it, but if the back has kicked a luft or made a similar blunder, the goalkeeper could be the best goalkeeper in the world, only luck can help there. And then you have the biggest operational area of the full-back. I once saw an English book where they marked with rectangles the areas through which some players usually have to cross during the match. Needless to say, the full-back was the largest. I have also observed in the English teams I have visited that their full-backs were always the best class. They knew best, the English also considered this post to be the most important. I can't forget Rumbold. His immense class often stood out from the field even when we were playing against England. He was an ideal full-back. It didn't matter if he was right or left footed, he was strong and didn't lack great technique.
Mrs. Schlosser: Imrus, you mustn't forget Fogl Karcsi, who also spoke very highly of you.
Schlosser: Well, please, after Rumbold it's definitely Karcsi. Unfortunately, I can't place before Rumbold. But the fact is, there's no one to match them. Karcsi Fogl is also an absolute two-footed player, which I think is the main requirement. I know how hard the forward had to work against Karcsi if he wanted to break through. Because in vain, Karcsi was a believer of the "splashing" school and certainly many forwards have his traces.
Mrs. Schlosser: I don't want to point fingers.
Schlosser: Well, what's true is true. I have some memories of Karcsi, once, when I scored the winning goal for MTK in a UTE game, Karcsi collided with me and I was taken out, my leg was in plaster, the doctors had already paramed me. But the good guys have to "splash" today, it's their duty.
Mrs. Schlosser: But please, it's only now that it's really a question of bread.
Schlosser: I'm sorry, the full-back must not be Rázso. He must have authority. And Karcsi had that.
— And what about Payer? — we asked.
Schlosser: He wasn't bad either, but neither he nor anyone else was up to the task. He was right-footed. Not like Rambold, who didn't care the position he played. That's why my team has Fogl II. on the right and Rumbold on the left.
— So why didn't Payer play right and Rumbold left?
Schlosser: That was something that we were also worried about at the time, but Payer wanted it that way. He said he wanted to play with his sure foot on the inside because he would be in trouble there if he made a mistake. If he kicks the ball wrong with the left foot, it's going to go in the dive. Otherwise they played in this position. Also together and especially (when it was necessary for Csidör and Szendrő or something else) in the national team, separately.
— Feldmann. Mandl?
Schlosser: Feldmann was only a one-legged man, if he could do well with that one leg. Oszkár Szendrő was the same. Mandl has a great technique, is fast, has excellent positioning, but doesn't "splash". And the forwards knows how much easier it is to play against a fine full-back than against a splashing one.
— The half-back line? Isn't the case of the left-half the easiest?
Schlosser: Yes. Certainly, no Hungarian left-half has come close to the form of Zoli Blum. I got a lot of good balls from Gorsky at one time, maybe no one has passed as well for me since then, but Blum Zoli has stood his ground for much longer and in much more tough battles. He wasn't a full-armed cover either, though, because he was more of a first-rate defender. Me, if I had to put together a really good team today against some English national team or something like that, I would put Orth as a left half-back. At the peak of his form, Gyuri Orth was terrific all over the pitch, he could play football. He was one of the greatest footballers. And I feel that his real place was in the half-back line.
Mrs. Schlosser: Well, too bad for the boy.
Schlosser: Indeed, Gyuri himself is not to blame, he is a victim of sport. You know, Mr. Editor, what a great form Gyuri was playing in Vienna when Tandler kicked him. I saw it, I had just come to Vienna from Sweden. But I have never seen such an injury. I thought Gyuri's leg would never recover. And that he'd recovered. Thank God! I believe that Gyuri will be able to.
Mrs. Schlosser: Ah, Gyuri is old.
Schlosser: How old?
Mrs. Schlosser: Well, he's 28.
Schlosser: Oh my God, I wish I was only twenty-eight years old again...
After a short pause, we asked:
— And the centre-half?
Schlosser: There was a lot of good centre-halves.
» At the time when I was in my prime, poor Jenő Károly was the idol of all centre-halves and I don't think there has been a better one since. The whole team revolved around him, everything depended on him, he was the teacher. And he could play everywhere. I remember one time in a Corinthian Cup game we lost 4-0 to MTK. Károly played forward and scored all four goals. True, he was a bit slow, but a centre-half doesn't need to be very fast, it's technique and composure that counts for him. And this was something that Mr. Teacher had in abundance, he is the centre-half of my team.
— And the others?
Schlosser: Bródi had the best pace of any player I've ever seen, he could fight with heart, he didn't care if his head was bleeding or his tights were hanging down, but Károly could do it better. Nowadays Bukovi is undoubtedly a great class act, but Károly worked with equal tenacity in front and behind, Bukovi preferring to attack rather than defend. My ranking is Károly, Bukovi, Hlavay, Bródi.
» My right half-back is Gyuszi Bíró.
» Kertész II., tough and energetic, but he couldn't turn games around and decide the fate of the game like Gyuszi Biró.
— How is it, my dear Slózi, that the great FTC lost 9:0 to Sunderland and now Ferencváros beat Blackburn, who are of a similar standard in England, 6:1? Have the English forgotten, or do ours play better football today than back then?
Schlosser: Well, the football has improved, but the most important thing in that 9:0 win was that the pitch was muddy, and muddy it was, and we never played in a row back then. Because if it rained, the game was cancelled. Burnley were here at the time and on Saturday, after a storm, they beat MTK 7-0. The next day it turned out and then FTC beat the English 2:1 on a completely dry pitch.
— And what about the forward line?
Schlosser: Here the choice is easier.
» No comment on the inside left position.
Mrs. Schlosser: Let the public decide.
Schlosser: And my son. By the way, my forward line is Braun, Bodnár, Schaffer, Schlosser, Borbás.
» To start with the partner, I have to say that I have played with a lot of wingers, but I can say that Kohut was the hardest to menace. He had to be played so clean that he could get the ball to shoot, because that was his style. I am also very surprised at those who wish he had a different style. It can't be effective. Get or train a proper inside forward alongside him, who doesn't give him the ball straight away, but pulls the whole defence on himself and serves the ball cleanly to Kohut. Then there will be Kohut-bombs aplenty again.
— And Borbás?
Schlosser: Borbás was able to work his way through the half-back and full-back, he pushed the ball back from the line and we got it in from the goal. Now Admira can only do that style.
— And who else can be considered?
Schlosser: Petár Szabó. The big, very big MTK left winger. Well, my dear editor, that was the real forward play he made. Braun-Konrád-Schaffer-Schlosser-Szabó. At home we beat TTC and MAC by 18:0, in Vienna Rapid by 8:1, WAF, which was big at that time, by 11:2, DFC, also big in Prague, by 9:0 and 8:0. You couldn't keep that forward line. Szabó was also fast, penetrating and a good shooter, hard to choose between Borbás and Szabó.
» But Braun is beyond dispute. Sebestyén could be mentioned, but he could not come close to the old Csibi.
» Schaffer is the centre-forward. I played very little with Orth and we didn't really understand each other then either. He played a combinative style and I played more of a breakthrough style. Schaffer was like that. He could break through and shoot. Wow! Flat ball to the far corner...
» The inside right is Bodnár. The opponents, full-backs and goalkeepers were terrified of him. They were not so afraid of Takács II. I'll never forget the 4:4 Germany-Hungary game. At half-time the Germans were leading 4:1. After the break, Bodnár scored two goals. In the 43rd minute it was still 4:3. Then we made a corner on our side. I don't even know now suddenly who my winger was, but he let him kick. I kicked it, very accurately, right in front of the goal, the goalkeeper reached for it, but it didn't matter, Sanyi Bodnár put the ball in the goal, the goalkeeper, four more Germans. The equalizing goal. It was a match...
» I can't imagine a production like this from anyone else. Later on in the MTK we always talked about the need for Sanyi Bodnár to join us. Even then, Csámi was more of a combinatorial player than a pioneer. Wow, sir, what a forward line that Braun-Bodnár-Schaffer-Schlosser-Szabó would have been. Please tell me, Mr Editor, that this would have been a forward line to my heart's content.
He comes right in front, his eyes are shinning.
Schlosser: Write to me, Mr. Editor, if I could play in this forward line again when I was twenty-five, I'd show that England, or Uruguay, or whatever...
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