Sweden Hungary Review plus San Marino Preview
This is probably the hardest post I have had to write so far. When you are as big of a fan of a team as I am of Sweden, then a game like the one against Hungary really hurts. Lets start things off: I really thought we were going to win this one. All signs prior to the game had pointed in that direction. We were all in decent shape, we´d beat Hungary the last couple of times in Budapest, and to be honest we are still a better team player for player. None of that matters though when it’s an away game at this level: that is to say that anything can happen.
I didn´t get to watch most of the game due to my work schedule, but the last 25 minutes that I did watch didn´t make for easy viewing. Things started off bad, got worse, mellowed out, and then went haywire all over again. Before the game we had everything in our own hands and maybe that was part of the problem: we thought we could just go in there and impose our will on the Magyars. I remember last time we were qualifying for the European Championships that we had to take a little trip to Belfast that was going to be a walk in the park and ended up costing us three points. Ditto for Budapest.
In the end the score was 2-1 for Hungary and they were celebrating as if they´d won the world cup. I have to think that they should be pretty happy about it. Given all their injuries and problems going into the game, they did exactly what they had to do. They also did a much better job than we did at spotting our own weaknesses. They knew that a back line with Lustig and Wendt on the outside positions was going to have some problems. They knew it and they exploited it. Especially Wendt. His left side was like a highway for the Hungarians and it was on that highway that both goals were carried to term. Wendt also caused the penalty that Hajnal hit the crossbar with. I doubt we will be seeing much of Wendt in the next couple of games for Sweden. Martin Olsson should get his chance now in our game on Tuesday. I also think that Daniel Majstorovic is not the same person he used to be. We need to start developing solid defenders who can back us up when we try to play so much going forward. That brings me to the midfield. Anders Svensson had the worst game in a long time and the parts of the game that I did see, was like watching a team with only strikers and only defenders. We should have stayed calm, let the Hungarians do most of the work and then when we did go on the attack, do so at a decent pace and not give away the ball with any anxious passing. We aren´t Barcelona and we shouldn´t forget that. Finally I have to be fair to the Hungarians: they knew what to do and they got it done as well. Props to them. As for rating the Swedish team, the whole team has to make due with a big F.
It was the worst time to have our worst game of the year. Lucky for us we can still take the second place in the group because even if we finish with the same amount of points, we will beat Hungary based on our two meetings goal differential (away goals are always good for something). That means however that we have to win our next two games. Next up is San Marino (Tuesday) and then we take on Finland in Helsinki on the 7th of October. San Marino is a definite win for us, but we have to remember that we still have a date with the Dutch on the 11th of October that only a miracle will see us win (or a very unmotivated Dutch B-side that is already done qualifying). That means that the Finland game just became our own private nightmare. Sure the Finns won´t have anything to play for, but they will still be out for some blood after that debacle they suffered in Stockholm in our summer goal celebration.
What will our starting line-up look like against San Marino? Here is my wish:
Lustig, Granqvist, Olsson, Olsson
Svensson (Elm?), Källström
Larsson, Elmander, Bajrami (Wilhelmsson)
We should score as many goals as possible and like I said above, we need to start thinking about what kind of team we are going to need against Finland. If things go our way in the other groups (which is too much to hope for), we could still end up with the best second place. We need a couple of miracles for that to happen, but nothing is impossible in football, which is why I love it.
We beat San Marino 4-0 and then go back to our respective domestic leagues and stay match fit for Helsinki. The only thing we need to watch out for is picking up too many yellow cards in San Marino. Hamren will have some soul searching to do, but if you don´t learn from mistakes then you will never grow.
Rasmus Elm´s return to the national team was quite possibly the only positive thing about this game!
From article: “In the end the score was 2-1 for Hungary and they were celebrating as if they´d won the world cup.”
There’s your keypoint, their guys were mentally ready for this match, your guys were not.
They almost did it to us too, at our own homegrounds. The signs were there, it’s not often lately that a team can score 3 goals against us in a homegame (Netherlands-Hungary 5-3) but our guys were a bit more on their toes/alert/prepared for an upset/surprise, we’ve had complacency issues enough in the early 2000’s.
Posted from Netherlands
What I mean with mentally ready is they wanted it more.
Posted from Netherlands
Well, and having players like Sneijder who doesn’t want to lose and has the quality to do something about it helps a lot obviously. We were also 2-1 behind until the 60th minute Sneijder equalizer.
Posted from Netherlands
completely agree with the mentally ready part, but when I think about the match picture, without the horrible first half on our part and the counter goal at the end, had we put one away early like we should have it would have been a different story.
Comments are closed
MORE EUROPE BLOGS
1,026 articles | 12,643 comments
201 articles | 1,850 comments
196 articles | 324 comments
1,035 articles | 5,228 comments
687 articles | 5,278 comments
1,063 articles | 32,761 comments
2,566 articles | 75,913 comments
489 articles | 23,635 comments
562 articles | 11,588 comments
208 articles | 1,511 comments
347 articles | 3,327 comments
227 articles | 386 comments
271 articles | 452 comments
119 articles | 57,914 comments
237 articles | 217 comments
139 articles | 1,370 comments
129 articles | 124 comments
112 articles | 166 comments
16 articles | 8 comments
49 articles | 314 comments
78 articles | 281 comments
111 articles | 122 comments
72 articles | 149 comments
4 articles | 8 comments
49 articles | 59 comments
62 articles | 17 comments
52 articles | 112 comments
33 articles | 28 comments
18 articles | 20 comments
43 articles | 133 comments