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Becske, 17/07/1937: International football
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-07-22 14:48:23
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Frigyes Becske | 17/07/1937, Vienna
The progressive critics in Budapest were very impressed with F.K. Austria's defensive play last Sunday. Our modern football teachers (who are huge authorities on the subject, based on their active sporting history and practical successes) gave F.K. Austria a flattering critique. In the opinion of malicious souls, this criticism of the modern party, dripping with excessive goodwill, was not entirely devoid of well-conceived self-interest. We do not, of course, share this malicious and highly tendentious attitude, because we are convinced that nothing could have been further from the minds of the stylistic revolutionaries in Budapest than their attempt to construct a compelling argument for the vehemence of their own stylistic position by praising F.K. Austria's security tactics.
But the notorious bullies go even further in their sick desire for assertiveness and unproductive aggression. They claim that in Budapest F.K. Austria did not even follow modern styles, but simply continued the unconventional defensive tactics that their predecessors, the great old Amateurs of the Konráds and Schaffer days, repeatedly employed when the opposition put the team under greater pressure or when special tasks had to be solved.
There are also some stubborn quarrellers who recall with some malice the times around 1923 when the Amateure played the Cutti-Konrád II-Hierländer-Schaffer-Wieser attacking chain in the 'W-formation' for a whole season as an experiment, and then, realising the inferiority of this then truly modern system, panicked back to the open forward play that had brought them world-famous success.
In their boundless arrogance, these impudent litigants also contradict the view of our more than a few modern critics that F.K. Austria played good football last Sunday and deserved to win. Their reasoning, which borders on the tragic in its simplemindedness, is as follows: Újpest played with arrow-holes and forced their opponents into a concentrated defensive game in the first half hour. Újpest's open forward play led to a series of goal-scoring situations. So it was not the better tactics of F.K. Austria or the worse tactics of Újpest that led to the 2:1 result. In Vienna, Újpest's forwards, who betrayed a formidable shooting ability, put four goals into F.K. Austria's net from unfavourable situations. Wonder what the style revolutionaries in Budapest would have thought of F.K. Austria's safety tactics if Zsengellér, Kocsis and Tóth had scored those 4-5 goals, worked out at 80 per cent, into the net of the not exactly unlucky F.K. Austria?
Should they still sing hymns about the triumph of modern football and their own triumphs? Of course they would! Because in this case, throwing up logical stumbling blocks they would have explained that Újpest won because they played modern football!
For the sake of curiosity, we only mention these criticisms, marketed under the guise of expert company, which are really not worth debating. To the critics in Budapest who propagate the Latin style, the W-formation, the "British method", "lion football" and other modern systems of play, should continue to work for the development of Hungarian football with the scientific rigour and modesty that has always characterised their work. And let them unenviously hand over the ugly personalism and the spasmodic adherence to slogans to the titular critics who know the sporting establishment and the game of football only from the press box.
7.000 spectators at a Mitropa Cup quarter-final would be too few even in Graz. In Vienna it is unprecedented for its kind. Why did the 40-50.000 spectators at the Vienna Cup matches sabotage the Vienna-Ferencváros meeting, given that the clash between the Austrian Cup winners and the hero of the Vienna Easter tournament, Fradi, was a serious sporting event? This question is aptly answered by M. L. Leuthe, former national team player and distinguished pundit. The English-born Viennese critic concludes, first and foremost, that the responsibility for the crowd's absence lies with the two teams. The public learned about Ferencváros through the newspapers that Sárosi would be in the half-back and that the Hungarian team would therefore be unable to repeat the forwards's play that was so admired at the Easter tournament. And everyone in Vienna knows that First Vienna are an excellent and talented team, but their attacking play lacks that certain something that captivates the audience. Visitors to Vienna are not interested in a football tactic that adheres to the principle of no goals first and foremost The Vienna crowds had the right idea when they sabotaged a match in which, apart from the last ten minutes, seven thousand sports fans were bitterly bored.
"We have seen once again," writes the critic, "where it would lead if we, following the example of other football nations, were to switch to the W-formation or so-called safety football. Vienna has no room for such stylistic innovations."
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