Baptism of Dire (Siofok vs. Vasas)

The latest sacrificial lamb in the Vasas dugout: Szabolcs Schindler.

Going one-nil down against Siofok within a minute was probably not part of new Vasas manager Szabolcs Schindler’s pre-match plan. Going 2-0 down after 15 minutes was probably a fair indication of what managing this ragged and panicky team is going to be like for him. He’s probably a nice fella – he doesn’t deserve this.

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Bye Bye Bene, Bene Bye Bye

At this point it’s not really worth my time learning their names.

So despite seemingly having the Hungarian Second Division equivalent of a Man City budget and a team containing pretty much every top scorer of every tier for the last four years, Vasas had started this season with a resounding “meh”.

Well sadly, that “meh” was downgraded to a “ffs” yesterday, as the 13th District boys managed to lose 3-1 at Budaors: a town in a landlocked country that’s primarily famous for its fishmarket.

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Balajti’s Vasas Start to Click (Szentlőrinc vs. Vasas)

Ádám Balajti makes it 3-0. (photo from http://www.vasasfc.hu)

Depressed though I am that Middlesbrough legend George Friend is leaving for the perennial mediocrity of Birmingham, I have a match to watch. We’re four games into a new campaign and before today it’d been anything but smooth sailing for big-spending Vasas. Two utterly turgid draws dented the fans’ (and my) pre-season optimism, before an unconvincing victory against Csákvár finally saw the Ironworkers get one in the win column.

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Corona Ends Vasas Promotion Hopes

On the long list of important things affected by Covid-19, a late promotion push by Hungarian second division team Vasas FC is probably not foremost in your brainspace, nor was it in mine. Football is not just secondary right now, it’s so low down the list of priorities as to be near-irrelevant given the loss and disruption inflicted by Coronavirus. Still, I started this season so I’ll finish it with a quick update.

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Don’t Call It A Comeback (Yet): Vasas’s Benedek Murka Talks Corona, Injury and The Future

photo courtesy of http://www.vasasfc.hu

Vasas midfielder Benedek Murka hasn’t had a great few years. A promising start to his young career (he’s still only 22) saw him play for the Hungarian National Under-21 team and cement a place in the Vasas starting lineup. Sadly, this early success was brought to a halt last year when a knee injury landed him in the one place no player wants to be – ACL surgery.

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Budapest’s Coronavirus Shutdown

As expected, the government here in Hungary have introduced swingeing new measures to halt the spread of coronavirus, the biggest ones being a ban on entering the country from Italy, Iran, China and South Korea, and restrictions at the Austrian and Slovenian borders. Universities will hold remote classes, whilst making false statements about viral infection could result in prosecution. Employees have been asked to work from home where possible.

For life within Budapest though, it’s the ban on public events of 100 people (indoor) and 500 people (outdoor) that will have the biggest day-to-day effect for us sociable go-getter types, especially those without family here.

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Especially the Icy Bear… (Vasas vs. Nyíregyháza Spartacus)

Yesterday was a huge day for Vasas. Nine points off the promotion places but with the top two to play this month, it was vital that they kept up their glorious 4-game winning streak to keep pace with the leaders. First and second placed MTK and Budafoki both had tricky away games, while Vasas faced an eminently beatable Nyíregyháza. And what a day it proved.

Mike and I perfecting the anarok look.
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It’s Audi-town (Vasas vs. WKW ETO FC Győr)

A bout of sickness left me bedridden most of the weekend, so it’s was slightly groggy Englishman that headed over to the Illovszky Rudolf Stadion on Sunday to see Vasas-Győr. Győr is one of Hungary’s bigger cities and is known for its Audi-centric economy (there’s a big factory there). They’re also one of the teams nipping at Vasas’ heels for 3rd spot.

On the bus Mike and I end up talking to a 13 year old Chinese boy, who’s on the way to the game but has no idea which stop he needs to get off at. He seems to be jumping on and off the bus at random (narrowly missing the closing doors, no doubt to the ire of the ever-jolly BKK bus driver), but after hearing us discussing Vasas in English he approaches us and proceeds to demonstrate an encyclopedic knowledge of the NBii league.

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Mad Scientist Beerfest and The Rubber Meets the Road (Vasas vs. Duna Aszfalt)

Photo by Fay Hanrahan

While I aspire to be cultured gent, give me a beer festival and football and I’m happy as the proverbial swine in its own feculence. So this weekend we headed over to deepest darkest Kőbánya (that’s Budapest’s notorious District X) to visit the Mad Scientist Brewery Party.

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Massive Hunks of Meat (Vasas vs. Békéscsaba 1912 Előre )

The great Anthony Bourdain at Pléhcsárda

Pléhcsárda has been on my bucket list ever since I saw Anthony Bourdain trying manfully to finish one of their hubcap-sized schnitzels on his wonderful Parts Unknown travelogue. The place – which is little more than a shipping container full of meat – has become semi-legendary in Budapest, not just for Bourdain, but also as the “Tin Gundel”.

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