Vaskó da Gonners (Vasas FC vs. Gyirmot FC Gyor)

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Full of innocent hope…

One of the unfair things about dipping into a team’s story is that you don’t get the whole sense of things. Take Tamás Vaskó for example. I’d never really given him a second thought before this season. I now know he was a Vasas youth product and played for Bristol City for a bit. I know also that he’s the definition of a journeyman (12 clubs in his career, barely time to paint the bathroom). I know that he has one of those slicked-back mohican hairdos that immediately unravel into a wet duck’s arse on the football pitch. I know that he’s a committed tackler and seems to be one of the few players who’s consistently given his all this season for the team…

Unfortunately, what I’ve never seen him do is play particularly good football in the 10 months I’ve been watching Vasas. The Vasas defence has been abysmal this season, held together by blind luck, poor finishing and the occasional heroics of (as I am contractually obliged to call him) 19-year-old rookie keeper Balázs Bese. But tonight the elastoplast that was desperately clinging to the gaping wound that is the Vasas back four finally gave way and, oh boy, did the blood flow.

The first half was – for the most part – so far, so Vasas. No real threats, a few half chances, some sloppiness at the back. About twenty minutes in Gyor break and Vaskó dives in, Lee Cattermole like, to stop a breakaway. But while Cattermole would have left the oncoming opponent in a heap of mangled tendons, Vaskó gives away a needless free-kick, barely feathering his opponent in a full-length diving tackle, and receiving a booking for perhaps the softest midfield cruncher seen in the Szusza Ferenc Stadium.

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Cattermole does not approve of Vaskó’s tackles.

You know what’s coming next. On the stroke of half-time, another mistimed lunge by Vaskó, this time in the box. Another yellow card. A penalty. 10 men. Fucked. Perhaps I’m being harsh on Vaskó (who is captain today by the way, perhaps more by way of experience than form). He’s been left dangerously exposed to the marauding Gyor left-winger on several occasions tonight, but his wild tackling is costing Vasas this term, either by exposing the defence or – like tonight – by giving away costly dead balls.

The penalty is tucked away with ease.

In the second half the word procession doesn’t do it justice. Gyor demolish a dispirited home side and knock in three more easily. The defence can’t cope and even the introduction of the battling brickhouse Ádám Martin Ádám (I never know which is his surname or forename so here’s the compromise) can do nothing to stem the tide. It finishes 4-0.

What is clear is that Károly Kis is not going to lead this team back into the NBi. His tactical shortcomings have been disguised somewhat in the past by wondergoals, poor opponents and the like, but today they were laid bare. There seems to be no plan B, and barely a plan A. For a squad badly needing direction there is evasion. His usual first-half presence on the touchline turning predictably into his customary second-half absence. Dark days indeed, and perhaps Vasas need to plan for a long stay in the second tier.

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The harsh reality of the NBii

Vasas FC 0-4 Gyirmot FC Gyor (Attendance 600)
Vasas fall to a season-lowest 10th, with a 9-point gap opening up between themselves and the promotion slots and only one win in the last 5.

Gyor

Notes on other teams I’ve followed:

Tokyo Verdy continue to do well. Back in the playoffs in the J2 League and closing the gap on the top 2.

Middlesbrough should be top of the Championship, but a home draw against a resurgent Derby County sees them slip to third. The Championship is its usual toss-up, with nobody yet able to escape the pack.

In Bahrain, Al Shabbab’s are hit and miss at the beginning of the season. A loss, win and a draw in their last 3 sums them up right now.

Hungarian football words learned: What’s the Hungarian for “Kis out”?

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