Bad news: No Tim Krul against Hungary tomorrow night.
But the good news is, we do have Ferenc Komlodi.
Ferenc is one of the die-hards on this blog. A old-time Oranje and Barca fan. He has seen all the greats play and is extremely passionate about good football. And he happens to be a great guy :-).
I asked him to write a guest post for us, as he is in Budapest and is in the thick of things over there….
So, here is Ferenc:
“Expectations in Hungary before the Oranje game
Oranje and Hungary met three times in the last two years and the statistics don’t predict any good for Tuesday game’s home team – during 270 minutes the Dutch scored 15 goals (6-0, 4-0, and 5-3). Circumstances are different now, but the difference remains. It seems Hungarian players, coaches and newspapers all are aware of this.
One day after their first qualification game against Andorra (5-0) and three days before playing Oranje, in a Nike store in Budapest three Hungarian players answered to the questions of two dozen football fans.
For Dzsudzsák Balázs (Dinamo Moscow, ex PSV) playing against the Netherlands is always important and very special. “I feel extra motivation because I spent three and a half years there, and some of my former club mates will be in their starting eleven. On paper, they’re favorite, it’s not a shame to say this, but in our team everyone is in good form. I expect a much closer game than two years ago (when Hungary was beaten 6-1) or one year ago in Budapest (4-0 for Oranje).”
Szalai Ádám (FSV Mainz, Germany): “I hope we can accomplish a small miracle. On the other hand our main rivals are not the Netherlands. No problem if we won’t be successful against them. We obviously want to win, but I’m not living in illusions.”
Juhász Roland (Anderlecht): “The Netherlands are the absolute favorite of the group. We don’t plan to fail against them, but if we cannot get a good result, we won’t lose anything. It seems Oranje are not in their best form, and Friday we played well. But we must not forget that Tuesday we’ll meet a totally different team than Friday evening.”
László Csaba (ex manager of Ferencváros, Ugandan national team, Heart of Midlothian, current coach of Lithuania) said in a Sunday interview: “My heart says we can win, but avoiding defeat is the most important.” He’s one of the most popular and controversial football pundits in Hungary.
Egervári Sándor, the coach of the national team is convinced that despite the European Championship the Dutch remain one of the best teams in the world with top class players like Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben. “Even for a draw we should play very good football”, he told to journalists.
The Hungarian sport press is also realistic. The most important daily sports newspaper, Nemzeti Sport expects zero point against Oranje, especially “if they score first, we’re screwed.” But on a good day and if Oranje play like in the first half against Turkey, Hungary can get a result, probably a draw. The question is that on Tuesday evening the Hungarians will be able to demonstrate that they are good enough for playing a balanced game against the Dutch team. Every football fan in Hungary is convinced that Oranje want to regain prestige and do everything for it. The prestige they built up over many years and destroyed over a period of a few summer days…
The press thinks Oranje will win the qualification group with at least three-points advantage, but Sneijder & Co. won’t be able to repeat the 100 percent 2008-2009 qualification campaign however at the end the Netherlands will have 24 points or more. Summarizing, expectations are not high sky in Budapest, but the press is more optimistic than before the last qualification campaign.
Personally, I think the Hungarian team is stronger than the one Oranje beat 6-1 before the 2010 World Cup. Don’t forget, the 2010 game was a meaningless friendly for Hungary; the players were almost on holiday, while the Netherlands were in the last phase in their preparation for South-Africa. This time the circumstances will be different.
I expect a comfortable Oranje win; let’s say 2-0 or 3-1. Oranje are far better in every aspects of the game: they are faster, more physical, technically and tactically superior, bar Dzsudzsák Balázs and captain Gera Zoltán (West Bromwich Albion) none of them would be in the current Oranje squad. The defense is even more error-prone than Heitinga and his colleagues, most of the players are in German, Dutch, English and Russian clubs, but at least half of them are benchwarmers. The midfield and the strikers are more talented than the defenders; this talent might be enough to beat Turkey and especially the current Romanian team in Budapest, but certainly not the Dutch. Nevertheless the Netherlands have to take seriously this game – after so many years Hungary (37th on the September FIFA Ranking) really wants to qualify for the World Cup and a surprise victory on Tuesday evening would boost the team morale. If Oranje won’t take it easy they will easily win.
By the way, the last time when Hungary qualified for the World Cup (Mexico, 1986), they were in the same group with the Netherlands. They surprisingly beat them 2-1 in Rotterdam, and it was the first time when I saw Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten. In Budapest Oranje won 1-0 (substitute Rob de Wit scored a beauty), but already qualified, this last game wasn’t really important for Hungary.”
In the EC qualifications 1987:
And because it’s such a beaut: Rob de Wit, in 1985….
And to make sure we’re on the same page: