On 23 May 1954, the international football match between England and Hungary took place. The football team of Hungary was ranked number one in the world at the time, and they faced off against the Olympic-ranked England. It was England’s worst defeat ever at home. This article explores the match and its key players, as well as the formations and set-piece routines. It also looks at how Kane was key in the game.
England’s worst-ever home defeat to a side from outside the old “home nations”
The 1975 Home Internationals were a rare example of a match between England and a side from outside the old “home countries”. This was a match in which England had been well-beaten at Wembley but the game was much more open than it had been for several years. Scotland had recently struggled at the European Championships but had impressed at the World Cup in 1974. This match was also England’s worst home defeat to a side from outside the old “home nations” – and arguably their worst defeat to a side from outside the “home nations”.
This match was England’s worst home defeat against a side from outside the old “home countries”. The Hungarians were a side renowned for their offensive style and outpaced England seven-nil. The match ushered in a new era of football. It remains the worst home defeat in England’s history. Although the match was a shock, the performance showed the new-look team of the era and relegated the old “home nations” to the third tier.
Wales, who had not beaten England at home since the 1972 Home Internationals, were a much better side than the Scottish side. The Welsh had failed to score in three successive tournaments, and Wales had twice been defeated by England. Despite this, Scotland took full advantage of the extra home game and had only to win the game to share the title. Northern Ireland finished third in the tournament.
England’s set-piece routines are starting to look rusty, but they have displayed some good flashes of play. They are applying pressure, but they are not generating clear-cut chances. For example, in the first half, they have a corner awarded to them when Stones is pushed into the box by a soft foul by Bowen. England then release Saka, who heads towards his own goal but Dibusz makes a great reaction save.
On the other hand, England’s corner routines have been largely successful in the recent games, with their players completing moves with a great deal of dynamism. They are especially effective when several players follow. One corner routine that is particularly effective is when a single player makes a run to a back post and creates space for the rest of the team. This set-piece routine can be easily replicated, and England have shown that it can be done.
The second half of the match saw England concede four goals from just five shots on target. As a result, the team had a lot of trouble finding a way through the low block of Hungary. Roland Sallai’s goal came off of a sloppy free kick. In the end, England had no answer to Hungary’s attack and were left reeling. It was a lopsided defeat, and the team are currently bottom of their UEFA Nations League group, with only three points from twelve.
The team selection for this afternoon’s international game is in some doubt as England struggle to find a rhythm in attack. After an open first half, England are starting to show flashes of attacking quality, but lack structure. A double change for Hungary sees Adam Nagy replace Harry Styles and Mount replace Gallagher. But England’s first real chance comes from a dozy pass from Kane, which is headed towards his own net by Orban. A superb reaction save by Dibusz means the hosts are not conceding!
While England could technically field a back three, it is likely to be a four-2-3-1. The England bench also contains four uncapped players, with Zalan Vancsa and Trent Alexander-Arnold set to start. With the absence of left-back Ben White, Gareth Southgate is likely to stick with the three-four-3 formation. However, with Denes Dibusz likely to miss the game due to a positive Covid test, the midfield could be boosted by the presence of another player.
The English team’s disastrous display against Hungary was a result of tactical inexperience. The English WM formation, which was supposed to mark the opposition’s centre forward, failed to cope with the fluid Hungarian tactics. Hungarian players continuously drew England players out of position, and often managed to evade their markers. In the same manner, England centre-half Harry Johnston had trouble deciding whether he should man-mark or stay deep, a move that could have cost them the game.
The England midfield is looking dynamic. England have had a handful of set-pieces, but there is little in the way of clear-cut opportunities. England have an early corner awarded after a soft foul on Harry Styles. England’s second chance comes when Saka heads a corner delivery into his own net. But Hungary keeper Dibusz pulls off a brilliant reaction save to prevent Kane scoring.
At the start of the second half, the hosts were chasing a goal and a lead. England’s defense looked shaky and lacked depth. The midfield was also ineffective without Foden, Kane, or Mount. And when the home side broke through, it was difficult to defend against a counter-attack. And when England did manage to break through, there was little they could do to stop a goal.
Despite the shaky start, England were generally enterprising and did not concede an early goal. The England captain fell awkwardly on the ground inside the Hungary penalty area, controlling the ball before collapsing to the ground. Kane was screaming and appeared to make little contact with the ground. The incident is now causing a storm on Twitter and in the media. But the England fans‘ reaction will no doubt be enlightening.
The 4-0 loss to Hungary is the most embarrassing result for the Three Lions since their World Cup qualifying defeat by the same opponents in 1962. Reece James was harshly penalised for a soft touch in the penalty area, resulting in a spot-kick for Hungary. The goal came after Reece James had fouled Dominik Szoboszlai. Unfortunately for England, the defeat is only the first of many tough tests ahead for Gareth Southgate and his team.
After England’s early goal, the team is under pressure with set-pieces but fail to create clear-cut chances. Jarrod Bowen misses a good chance to convert a cross from Reece James, but England’s midfield configuration looks dynamic. As a result, they are unable to create clear-cut chances, and eventually concede the game. After the break, England win a corner after a soft foul by Hungary’s defence. Then, James scampers forward from his unfamiliar left-back role and scores. Hungary’s goalkeeper, Dibusz, makes a superb reaction save.
In the second half, England dominated possession, but could not convert on their opening goal. A well-played long pass from Sterling into the right channel was cleared off the line by Conor Coady. At the other end, Reece James played well and intercepted a cross from Zsolt Nagy, nudging him in the face. The referee, Artur Dias, awarded the penalty, and after a lengthy review, confirmed the penalty. Adam Szalai slotted the penalty and made no mistake with the rebound.
After a poor performance against Denmark, England deserved a point against Hungary in their Nations League match. Hungarian fans were homophobic and racist. As a result, thousands of Hungarian schoolchildren booed the England players. Hungary managed to get round the Uefa fan ban by allowing under-14s to attend free of charge with an adult. But England failed to match Hungary’s purpose, and ended up falling further behind.
The hosts began with a stalemate in which the English failed to create any clear chances in the final third. A booing mob was heard when the Hungarian national anthem was played, and chants of “you racist b*****ds” were directed at the travelling support after the game. The booing stopped after the first leg, however, as England’s apologists were able to convince the Hungarians that they can win the World Cup.
The hosts were in no position to score a winning goal, but they were lucky not to concede further goals. In the second half, Bukayo Saka came on for the injured Justin, and Nego continued to shine. A free-kick by Domonik Szoboszlai was headed out of play by Reece James. Then, England’s defenders were unable to deal with the threat.
Danny Welbeck has hit back at Troy Deeney’s recent comments about England and he is sure to feature in the game against Hungary. The Manchester United defender is one of the premier scorers in the European Qualifiers having scored six times in as many games, and he was the only player to score a brace in the 4-0 win over Lithuania. He leads five goal-scorers Thomas Muller and Kyle Lafferty, with six and five respectively. Danny Welbeck also scored braces in the qualifying match against Switzerland and Slovenia. The 5-0 win over San Marino was another impressive performance from Welbeck, who has been a key player for England this season.
The Arsenal striker has been a key member of the England team for the last four years, and his injury history shows that his persistence and tenacity have paid off. Although his injury history is impressive, his current fitness levels do not match his performance levels in recent years. Welbeck missed seventy-two games during his time at Arsenal, but he has made a complete recovery. The former England striker is managing his training load with mobility exercises and is ready for the final match against Hungary.
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