Magyars still the masters

Andy Munro reports on his continued international career.

The England over-65s football team travelled over to Budapest with the sort of unwarranted optimism that accompanies most England squads on their travels. Unbeaten in the last three games perhaps gave grounds to such optimism but the England ‘lads’ were outdone by an outfit full of players who had played at international and European club level when Hungarian football was renowned. In fairness one or two of their players could have been accompanied by chants of “Who ate all the goulash?” but their touch was still sublime

Preparation for the England squad on match day had been a relaxing cruise down the Danube followed by an obligatory afternoon kip before travelling to the ground, possibly not a schedule Gareth Southgate will be adopting, anytime soon.

Hungary dominated the match with the help of several suspiciously fit and quick individuals and the pedigree of their players showed throug,h although the England outfit made them fight every inch of the way. The game remained a tight one-nil to Hungary affair for over an hour but then some killer goals left the Hungarians 4-0 winners.

England played a surprisingly modern 4-4-2 formation and the phrases ‘wing half’ and ‘inside forward’ were never uttered during the pre-match talk. However, the team struggled to make an impact with the Hungarian centre half a many capped player, aided and abetted by a Hungarian linesman who had obviously been affected by the country’s continuing close relations with the Russians.

In the post-match reception, it was revealed that Hungary had to field a number of under age players due to ‘unavailability’ of other eligible players; continental cunning perhaps but either way the goalposts had been undoubtedly moved, figuratively speaking.

The picture above is of the victorious Hungarian team with the Stanley Matthews/Florian Albert Friendship Trophy, designed and supplied by Crescent Silver in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The individuals hold over 100 Hungary international caps between them.

A return is planned during the autumn in Blighty.