The winter break is upon us in Hungary, but before Sylvan starts planning any holidays let’s review how things have gone so far.
How on earth did this happen? Things started pretty poorly after our last update and Kozarmisleny hit bottom of the Nemzeti Bajnoksag II. However, a few tactical tweaks and a bit of good fortune have turned things around quite nicely for us. Since the opening day loss to Cigand (now 17th) Misleny have only been beaten by 1st, 2nd and 4th in the league and somehow find themselves in the promotion picture. A pretty decent turn around for Sylvan after being sacked by Rupel Boom just 7 months ago.
The Hungarian Cup was a mixed bag of excitement and disappointment. The second round saw Misleny see off Gyirmot (at the time 4th in the 1st division) quite comfortably 3-1, only to lose to a 3rd division team in the 3rd round.
So here are the tweaks we’ve made to our tactic so far:
We’re still tinkering with the centre backs, having moved from two central defenders to two limited defenders now to one limited one ball playing in an attempt to try to persuade them to retain possession a bit more whilst also not forcing them to do something they’re not comfortable with (Tar is not a great passer but Lantos is a natural defensive midfielder so at least somewhat capable with the ball). We also have a couple of player instructions, both centre backs are asked to close down less and the goalkeeper tries to throw the ball out the flanks to bypass having to bring our less offensively gifted defenders into tricky situations. Finally we have generic opposition instructions to close down teams full backs and show them onto their inside foot, hopefully forcing them to either hoof long or give it to their centre backs who are likely as terrified of the ball as ours.
While things have admittedly gone a lot better than expected, there is still room to improve. Particular concerns have been Daniel Fejos (RB) and Gabor Papp (CB) who both have really under performed, despite being two of the top five earners at the club. They’ve also been very vocal in complaining about their lack of playing time so we will be looking to move them on if possible during the winter break. Centre back Attila Csaszar has also struggled and at 32 appears to be deteriorating pretty rapidly attribute wise so we’ll also look to move him on if there are any takers. Add to this current starting centre back Levente Lantos announcing his plans to retire at the end of the year, so we’ll likely find ourselves in the market for a young centre back who can contribute right now and then hopefully take over from Lantos in the ball playing defender role at the end of the year.
The familiar ’40 points’ has been thrown around a lot in press conferences this year and with Misleny sitting at 27 points after 15 of 38 games it’s time to look beyond that. So considering the league structure, there are no playoffs and no prize money to make finishing 3rd better than finishing 17th and given the position we’re currently in it would be foolish for us not to set our sights on promotion to the top tier. With that in mind, not to mention our sizeable overlay in current wage budget, we could look to make a few high profile (at least in terms of the Hungarian Second Tier) signings to push us forward in pursuit of those top two spots.
After gearing up for the season prepared for a relegation dogfight things have changed pretty drastically. Can Sylvan do something special in Kozarmisleny? Next post we’ll return a few games after the winter break to check out how any additions are settling in and whether the team still remember how to play football!