A look ahead to the NBI Round 4

Well Round 3 was a lot calmer than Round 2, not a single red card in sight and 3 penalties, only 1 of which came from VAR intervention, you could almost be forgiven for thinking that VAR had taken the weekend off. They hadn’t – they were there but were very much in the background this week. 24 goal reviews, 22 went unnoticed and 2 goals disallowed. 5 possible penalty reviews, 4 resulting in a no penalty decision and 1 penalty given. Yellow cards almost doubled this week though – 18 last week and 34 this week. It could of course also be argued that the players (and coaches!) more likely to see red were all suspended this week and that player behaviour had improved due to the strict disciplinary week a week ago.

DVSC 2021.08.21.

DVSC head into the game 4th in the table, 2 draws and a win so far. Their 4-1 win against Honvéd was convincing, the 2 draws not so. They fought their way back to a draw with Lilák in round 2, having gone 2-0 down to 10 man Lilák and this week let a 2-0 lead slip away, going 3-2 down to a resilient Paks side. Ugrai saving their blushes with a 73rd min equaliser. They don’t give up, which is very much to their credit. Their game v Paks was very entertaining, both teams playing some lovely football but DVSC have to find a way to stop being in the position of chasing the game if they want to maintain their current league position.

ZTE meanwhile are currently languishing in 11th place, with 2 defeats and a draw so far this season. On the plus side, how professional was their technical area this week with Waltner Robert’s playpen having been moved into the stands! The players seemed to be more relaxed as well without their coach throwing a toddler tantrum constantly to distract them. They were no match for a strong Felcsút and are already looking like early contenders for the drop. The game was disrupted, storm clouds rolling in after about an hour before, strong winds kicked in and an absolute monsoon hit Zala County! The referee wisely took the players off of the pitch in the 69th min for their own safety and after a 40 min delay it was announced that the game would not continue. The final 20 mins were played in bright sunshine on Wednesday afternoon.

MOL Fehérvár 2021.08.21.
Kisvárda Master Good

MOL Fehérvár, always amongst the title favourites, have made a slow start. Their game v Fradi was postponed in Round 2 and draws in Rounds 1 & 3 with ZTE & NBI new boys Gyirmót FC Győr. Even with the disruption of a missed game, it can’t be considered a good start for them. They face a likeable Kisvárda team who are having the time of their lives sitting pretty at the top of the table.

Kisvárda, well what can you say, they are emerging as the season’s dark horses. 3 wins out of 3 – I’m loving it. Their manager João Janeiro is very likeable, he comes across very modest and humble and seems embarrassed by the spotlight being thrown on him with this record breaking start. I like to see the nice guys doing well, football can be very cut throat so it doesn’t happen too often. The win in Round 3 came against one of the other nice guys, rookie manager Giovanni Costantino.

Budapest Honvéd 2021.08.21.

There is something very wrong at Kispest right now. My money is on the manager, who has already become this season’s bore, starting every interview with ‘yeah but the ref…’. Every single decision he has complained about so far has been correct, this week he mentioned ‘purple decisions’ implying the referee favoured Lilák in a game where 6 out of 7 bookings were for Lilák players and Kispest had been given a penalty. He really has lost the plot! A poor tactician always blames the referee, even when the decisions are correct. I fear for Kispest this season, and they are my team. All the while Horváth Ferenc keeps blaming everyone but himself things will not improve. He needs to wise up that it is his tactics, or lack thereof, costing the team, nothing else. Zsótér’s booking was spot on, it was a stupid, reckless tackle that he at least had the sense to commit just outside the box. Liláks goal was scored as a direct result of player stupidity not because referee favoured the opposition. Kispest’s equaliser coming from a penalty which came from another moment of player stupidity! It’s easy to see why Horváth got relegated with both of his last 2 teams & only just kept Kispest up last season and why Kispest are rooted firmly to the bottom of the table. Sad times indeed.

Paks meanwhile have to be the most entertaining club this season. They really are playing some lovely stuff out on the pitch and have a real never give up attitude. Their game v DVSC was definitely the highlight of the last round. To come back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 is a show of strength and resilience certain other teams (and managers) could learn from. Although DVSC fought back for the draw, it was a great team performance from Paks. A win, draw and defeat so far. They’re in 5th place currently.

Mezőkövesd Zsóry 2021.08.22.
Gyirmót FC Győr

Mezőkövesd come into this game on the back of a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Fradi. Despite that they sit 2nd in the table with 2 wins to their name from rounds 1 & 2. They started well enough against Fradi, taking the lead in the 6th minute. Fradi were relentless though and 2 goals in time added on at the end of the first half saw them go into the break 2-1 up. Mezőkövesd didn’t know what had hit them and the 2nd half belonged to the home team. They are likely to fancy their chances at home to the new boys though.

Gyirmót FC Győr are having a tough introduction to the NBI. They’re sitting in 10th spot but to their credit they have drawn with MOL Fehérvár and MTK Budapest, both strong teams. They’re playing some nice football though and hopefully will find their feet soon.

Újpest 2021.08.22
MTK Budapest

Lilák, my other team, have had a pretty grim start to the season. Carrying on from their poor end to last season, they currently sit in 9th. I like Michael Oenning as a coach though, he has a good vision in terms of style of play. Vasas were always good to watch when he was manager there, they still are actually but… Lilák are low on confidence, the loss of Vincent, who left the club this week will be a blow as he was a steady defender. Round 2 they held on for a draw despite being a man down for 75 mins, which showed a lot of character. This week, well it was a Budapest derby, granted not the big one but a Budapest derby none the less and was played very much in the spirit of a derby. Lots of tackles flying in, tempers getting frayed and some of the finest player stupidity you will see on a pitch! 6 players booked, none you can complain about. Banai David – handling the ball outside of the box – why? It wasn’t a matter of inches either, it was a couple of feet outside. Antanov – only he will know what was going through his mind when he decided to haul down a player going away from goal and who was no threat to give away a penalty. It was stupid, there was no need and just so unnecessary. To top it all he looked surprised that he also got booked for it! Sigh. I do believe Lilák can and will improve under Michael Oenning.

MTK, another good team to watch. Rookie manager Giovanni Costantino is another of the nice guys and still finding his feet. He has 1 win, 1 draw and 1 defeat so far. He’s very likeable, with a positive attitude and real ethos of togetherness. I like his vision and it’s going to be interesting to watch him grow as a manager as he starts to gain more experience. The draw coming against Gyirmot, a win in his first Budapest derby v Honvéd and defeat to the league leaders is pretty good going. This game could well be the tie of the round & I will save my abysmal predicting for the prediction league, where I am currently bottom of the table!

Puskás Akadémia 2021.01.26.

This game has been postponed until January to give Fradi the opportunity to prepare for their Champions league playoff qualifier. They go into the 2nd leg 3-2 down on aggregate but the 2nd leg is at home where the ultras will ensure there is wall to wall noise to spur their team on. They are capable, it is doable. I will only say this in relation to European games but Hajrá Fradi.

Felcsút might be glad of the break, they’ve had a very mixed start to the season. A humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Paks in Round 2 and a hugely disrupted game in Round 3. Mother nature won the day at the weekend so round 3 was spread across 2 dates for them and the extra travel and disruption to normal training that went with it. They are in 3rd though so maybe they would have preferred to continue the moment from 2 wins out of 3 games.

In relation to Fradi’s league game in Round 3, well they proved my point in the look ahead to round 3 that we needed to enjoy that rare moment of them languishing in 11th because it wouldn’t last and it was very much a hello, we are back performance from them with a 4-1 win. Boli loves a late goal 45+2 and 90+5 in this game!