Could we keep our title? Were we a one season wonder? Time to find out
There was just one new face before the transfer window slammed shut as i loaned in 19 year old Serbian Striker Milan Panovic for the season with a view to purchasing him if he turns out as well as the scouts expect.
Other than that, a few unwanted youth were moved on alongside the customary loans of potential youngsters.
I left you after our first leg with Dinamo having fought for a 1-1 draw leaving our hopes in the balance. All i can say is that we were ripped apart in the 2nd leg. Going down to 10 men in the 2nd minute was never going to help and in the end we were destroyed 6-1 leaving me hurt and on the brink of destroying my computer.
OTP Bank Liga
That 6-1 defeat hurt and it took me awhile before i could face picking up the save again and its been an interesting first 11 games of the league season. We haven't played that well, yet we have only lost once and despite my general unhappiness with the football being played we somehow see the league table like this
24 points from 11 games is a decent return and we are 1 point better off than we were last year. In fact we were 3rd this time last year with 23 points so to be top is a good start. However, if you look at the previous two seasons, being top at this stage has often signposted disappointment towards the end of the season so we will need to keep pushing into the middle 11 matches.
The main surprises of the season though have been Haladas who normally are floating just above the relegation zone who came out all guns firing and considering they have a goal difference of +9 having won 4 and lost 3. Nyiregyhaza, who have had back to back promotions are also surprisingly high sitting in 5th.
It looks like the usual 4 though who will fight for the title and i suspect it will be this pack that pulls away from the rest.
A season that has felt very weird if i am being honest. The usual suspects from last year have just not turned up. Djordje Kamber, Goncalo and Matt Derbyshire all look like completely different players. At left back we are having a mare with both Migliore and Sosa determined to get themselves sent off in every match whilst the right side partnership of Prosser and Ikenne-King are playing with a light fizz rather than their sizzling form the last two years.
There has been some positive play for sure. Endre Cekici the star man with 9 goals and 6 assists and he is already well on his way to beating both his goals and assists tallies from last year. Vladimir Koman and Junior Eteme Mbatama are the other two players who have impressed so far.
Hungary U19's October Check-in
As per my last update, the save has become a semi club and country save as i took over the U19 side. I started my reign with 3 friendlies in quick succession against Albania, Iran and Germany. These friendlies nearly spelled the end of my time as we were awful drawing 0-0 to Albania, losing 1-0 to Iran and losing 3-0 to Germany.
The level of player at my disposal is pretty poor to be honest as any half decent U19 talent is already featuring for the U21 side. I toiled with resignation but decided to press on to see how an U19 European Qualification campaign will pan out. We were drawn in a tough group of Turkey, Romania and the Faeroe Islands. First up we had the Faeroe Islands and our torrid performance in front of goal was still there in the first half as we went in 0-0. A big rollicking was given out and the boys turned into men as we went on to score 4 to win 4-0.
With Romania beating Turkey in the other game, it meant avoiding defeat against the Turk's to put ourselves in a strong position of qualifying. The whole game saw us under the kosh and when we went 1-0 down we just had to regroup and hold on. A quick breakaway though and a poor Turkish keeper decision gave us our chance and young Latakos rounded the keeper to equalise. We held on and a 1-1 draw was ours.
It meant there needed to be a big swing in goal difference in the final round of fixtures for us to lose our qualification spot. Romania were clearly the strongest side in the group and they comfortably beat us 3-1 in the final game. All of their goals came from set pieces (Corner, Penalty and Free-kick) but losing by 2 goals was enough as Turkey managed a 3-0 win over the Faeroe Islands and we went through thanks to scoring 2 more goals than the Turks.
In the next stage we have a group of Austria, Belgium and Slovenia with only the winners able to go to the European Championships. Is that a stage too far?