Hungary’s national team is in a state of upheaval. The Swiss Group is no longer in third place.
The question to Hungarian national coach Bernd Storck was astonishing. “Does the result of the game of Faroe Islands against Latvia affect their tactics against Switzerland?” A journalist from Hungary wanted to know. The answer was brief and clear “No!”, But still requires an explanation: Hungary feels in the battle for 3rd place the Faroeians in the neck. And the Hungarians in Group B are determined to be third. This is important because of the division for the Nations League next year, they say.
On Saturday, therefore a Ferndule with the Faroe Islands, on Tuesday then the “final” against the NorTH europeans. This is the current rating of the Hungarians. And not even a year and a half after the qualification for the European Championship round. “We do not have the international experience, they can only get the players in the national team, which is not possible with the clubs”, says Storck. He spoke of the desperate state of Hungarian club football. Also in 2017/18 no club in the Champions League or Europa League. In the UEFA club ranking, Hungary is not ranked in the top 30.
In addition, the selection of Storck is in a state of upheaval. A few veteran players have not played since the European Championship, and in the World Cup qualification important players have always been missing because of injuries or barriers. In Basel, Storck has to make do without the blocked wing Balazs Dzsudzsak, the Top scorer Adam Szalai as well as Zoltan Gera are injured, and Nemanja Nikolics is no longer an issue since his transfer to North America. In the World Cup qualifying, Hungary have mostly competed with at least five players who had not yet been part of the squad at the European Championship.
Despite 14 points behind Switzerland, Storck is optimistic. “The team needs time, but we are on the right track, and I’m not quite unhappy with our qualification, and we were close to the game against Portugal and Switzerland. Switzerland’s 3-2 defeat in the 89th minute was the result of a 3-0 defeat.