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ajsr1982

The Magnificent Magyars - Recreating Hungary's 1950s Golden Team

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Being something of a football geek, I did some statistical analysis recently to try to derive the greatest international team ever to have walked the face of the earth. If you're really interested in the full results, by all means send me a private message. Anyway, I digress. The results were perhaps not that surprising, it should be said. Quite remarkably, though, there was a joint winner. Two sides that were completely inseparable on a statistical basis: Spain's World Cup and European Championship winning team of recent years; and the legendary Hungary team of the early 1950s. The Magnificent Magyars. Lots of people have tried to recreate the Barcelona/Spain tactics on here, so I'm going to have a go at the other.

So, who am I going to take on this brave venture? Well, I never liked an easy ride, so where better to try this than the birthplace and cradle of the system, MTK Budapest?

A small history lesson, first. Between the start of 1951 and the end of 1955, this Hungary team had the following record:

Played: 40

Won: 34

Drew: 5

Lost: 1

Scored: 172

Conceded: 49

The '1' they lost was, of course, the 1954 World Cup final, to West Germany, after completely routing them in the group. It remains one of the biggest shocks world football has ever seen. Check out the goals scored column, though. This team scored an average of four goals a game.

Of course, football is a very different beast to what what it was back then, with the W-M formation prevalent. Hungary changed this up a little bit, to come up with something that looked more like an 'M-M'. The key to this was a deep lying centre forward - at the time, completely unheard of.

The question now is how to set this up! This system is completely alien in today's game, so this should be interesting to say the least.

Let's start with the mentality. This is a tough one to call. It's clear that this Hungary team had some serious firepower in it, and they scored a frankly ridiculous number of goals. It's hard to say whether this was due to an exploitation of space, whether they simply had better players than everyone else, or whether they attacked so relentlessly that other teams couldn't cope. Maybe a combination of all of the above. Football matches of that time were high-scoring affairs. Let's try to super-impose that onto today's football though. A team that is happier to win 7-5 than 2-0. A team that has Rafa Benitez having kittens. To that end, we'll start with an attacking mentality, with the caveat that I might have to temper this, as I'm not sure I want to play that direct - build up play was certainly more gradual in the 50s.

Next, the structure of the team. This is an easy one.

"Sebes encouraged his players to be versatile – the ideal would be for any of his players to be able to play in any position. This was a revolutionary idea – most players were used to playing in one specific position. This was an early form of Total Football. Ferenc Puskas commented, "When we attacked, everyone attacked, and in defence it was the same. We were the prototype for Total Football."

That's 'Very Fluid' then. Making this work is going to be very interesting!

Now, the formation. This is where it becomes even more interesting. The shape of the team has been described in various ways. It evolved from the W-M, which is essentially a 2-3-5, to become M-M, which can be loosely described as 2-3-3-2. After doing some research, I've seen this drawn out in various ways. I'm going to use the framework of a 2-3-3-2 to start with. However, it will end up looking quite different to that, as you'll see.

Goalkeeper

Nothing to say here, really. Just a regular keeper. He won't be rolling it out to his defenders, or lumping it long. I'll let him make up his own mind.

The Defence

I'm not only going to talk about the '2' part of the 2-3-3-2 here, but I'm going to incorporate the '3', so we're concentrating on the '2-3'.

The '2' are often described as full backs, but that terminology is confusing. In the 1950s, a full back was largely what we describe as a centre back today. However, it's still not quite that simple. They nominally looked after the opposition's inside forwards (again, ignore what a FM inside forward means). However, they also operated with a half back in between and just in front of them. The half back in a W-M formation operated largely in the same way as the half back in FM. Note, however, that the Hungarian system is in fact M-M. The base of the 'M' is wider than that of the 'W', and the point is deeper.

Also, consider this, from Inverting The Pyramid.

"He (Sebes) encouraged the two full backs to advance, meaning the centre half (the half back) dropping even deeper, into a position not dissimilar to the sweeper in Karl Rappan's verrou system."

That gives us the shape of the defence. I'm not going to put a sweeper in there! However, I am going to set it up as follows:

Left back: FB/S

Centre back: CD/C

Right back: FB/S

Bear in mind that I'm playing with an attacking mentality already, so I don't want to go crazy with the full backs. A support duty should be enough to see them get up the field.

The Midfield

This is where it gets really tricky, and somewhat open to debate. I'm happy to hear any alternative points of view.

The left half - this guy is essentially an LCM. Or is he? I won't drag out the quote, but essentially, the deep lying centre forward in the team, Hidegkuti, would drop into the space occupied by the left half. Therefore, the left half would drop deeper into midfield. So deep, in fact that Johnathan Wilson notes him "almost operating as a fourth defender." Does that sound like the Half Back in FM? I think it does.

The right half - This was the position filled by Jozsef Bozsik, who was known to push up to support Hidegkuti. Lots of ways to interpret this, but it's important to remember that this guy needs to have some defensive responsibility. My options are: CM/S, remembering that my attacking, very fluid system should take care of the rest; BBM; or maybe even an AP/S. I think, to begin with, I'll go with the BBM, but this is earmarked for tweaking.

Wingers - It was quite normal for the wingers in these systems to be the furthest players forward, essentially standing on the half way line, waiting to receive the ball, before running at the defence. Think Stanley Matthews. However, Sebes was know for deviating from this norm and 'pulling his wingers back into the midfield.' Remember as well that this Hungary team defended as a unit. To that end, I'm going to have my wingers in the central stratum with an attack duty. I reserve the right to change this, as there are lots of options here, ranging from wingers pushed further up the pitch, to defensive wingers to complete wing backs.

Forwards

The deep lying centre forward - Let's deal with him first, because he's the joker in the pack. I've seen him described in many ways, but he was essentially the pivot for the attack, dropping deep to receive the ball and supplying the inside forwards with passes. It's also been remarked that he created space for the other forwards because opposition centre backs would follow him deep. This was largely due to ignorance, however, because they knew no different. Interestingly, Johnathan Wilson describes him as 'effectively an attacking midfielder in today's currency,' which suggests a deeper starting position. So, there's lots of potential fits for this guy. Remember as well, that he utilised the space vacated by the left half. Personally, I like the idea of him dragging opposition defenders out of the way, which fits the description of the False Nine perfectly. My very fluid system should ensure that he has creative license, but if this doesn't work, I might look at dropping him into the AM positions as some sort of playmaker.

The inside forwards - Wilson describes these to as 'sitting narrower than in the usual W-M formation' which makes my mind up in terms of whether to go with FM-style inside forwards, or a more traditional front two. What roles, though? Well, the two incumbents of these positions in the 50s were none other than Puskas and Kocsis, who scored a quite ridiculous number of goals between them, with the former being one of the greatest players to don a pair of boots. To start with, I'll go with a CF/A, AF/A combination, but clearly this could be any number of things. I toyed with the idea of a poacher, but I want some fluidity here. The front three were known to change positions. I may also tone down the CF/A to a DLF/A if my players aren't up to it.

So, we end up with something that looks like... this! Holy chorizo, Batman!

QqVdLzv.jpg?1

It's worth noting that this formation was the link between the 2-3-5 of the W-M and the 4-2-4 that Brazil used in 1958. Indeed, Wilson describes it as 'a hair's breadth from 4-2-4.' It's not hard to see, actually, with the half back dropping in to defence and the false nine dropping into midfield. When I look at my average positions, I'll be looking for something that vaguely resembles a 4-2-4, certainly when I'm attacking, and it should be something close to 4-4-2 when I'm defending.

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One thing that becomes immediately obvious: the Half Back thing isn't working. Look at this screenshot below. There is so much space in behind him! As much as I'd love to adhere to the system by the letter, that is simply asking for trouble. Amazingly, I won this game 1-0, but I have no idea how.

WJS6OTr.jpg

At this point, I'm not quite sure which direction to go in. I have a few options.

I can revert to a narrow back three and play an asymmetrical midfield. I sacrifice the full backs moving up the pitch, however.

I can play with a wide back three and maintain the half back, or even another type of defensive midfielder. The CB in this back three would be central.

I drag the LB in to make an extra CB, and drag the LM back to become a CWB.

I maintain the system, but instruct the LB to Sit Narrower to provide extra defensive cover.

In an effort to keep the system as it is, I'll try the last option. My hopes aren't high, however.

EDIT: Just to say that my HB actually won the man of the match award! Incredible.

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One thing that becomes immediately obvious: the Half Back thing isn't working. Look at this screenshot below. There is so much space in behind him! As much as I'd love to adhere to the system by the letter, that is simply asking for trouble. Amazingly, I won this game 1-0, but I have no idea how.

WJS6OTr.jpg

At this point, I'm not quite sure which direction to go in. I have a few options.

I can revert to a narrow back three and play an asymmetrical midfield. I sacrifice the full backs moving up the pitch, however.

I can play with a wide back three and maintain the half back, or even another type of defensive midfielder. The CB in this back three would be central.

I drag the LB in to make an extra CB, and drag the LM back to become a CWB.

I maintain the system, but instruct the LB to Sit Narrower to provide extra defensive cover.

In an effort to keep the system as it is, I'll try the last option. My hopes aren't high, however.

EDIT: Just to say that my HB actually won the man of the match award! Incredible.

I did a Strikerless Magyar tactic in FM15.

Like this:

Sweeper.

RB. CB next to RB. Gap. LB.

In front of the gap put your HB.

A Roaming playmaker in the CM slot to represent Hidegkuti.

Then a RW, AM, Engache, IF

If that makes sense? Was fantastic for me in Argentinian leagues. Won the title with little Temperley. The Fullbacks and RPM were immense.

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Have you tried the Libero role? It has been fixed this year and you can get some more defensive solidarity with that rather than a HB

I've considered it, though it would be almost the wrong way around, and also leave one guy in central midfield. I tried a few things, and I ended up going with a CB but he's now central, along with two full backs with instructions to sit narrower, with the HB still in front and slightly to the left. It offers a better defensive solution, but I'm relying on some pretty heroic defending.

I may tone down the mentality from Attacking to Control to get a slightly narrower overall shape.

The good news is that I'm creating chances. Lots of them!

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I did a Strikerless Magyar tactic in FM15.

Like this:

Sweeper.

RB. CB next to RB. Gap. LB.

In front of the gap put your HB.

A Roaming playmaker in the CM slot to represent Hidegkuti.

Then a RW, AM, Engache, IF

If that makes sense? Was fantastic for me in Argentinian leagues. Won the title with little Temperley. The Fullbacks and RPM were immense.

Interesting. I guess the issue is, which player is representing Bozsik? It looks like you've dropped a midfielder in favour of an extra defender. I suppose if you had the sweeper as a Libero/Attack, it is almost there.

I wonder if I could go with an extreme version of this, and go defenderless! Operating with two wing backs and two half backs at the back!

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Interesting. I guess the issue is, which player is representing Bozsik? It looks like you've dropped a midfielder in favour of an extra defender. I suppose if you had the sweeper as a Libero/Attack, it is almost there.

I wonder if I could go with an extreme version of this, and go defenderless! Operating with two wing backs and two half backs at the back!

For me the roles were:

The Boszik role was the HB.

The Lorant role was the Sweeper.

The Zakarias role was of centre CB set to Stopper.

The Hidegkuti role was Roaming Playmaker bang in the middle.

The Puskas role is the Engance,

The Koscis role is the Attacking Midfielder on Attack

The Budai role is either a Winger or and IF

The Czibor role is an Advanced Playmaker (wide) as he is the Left Winger

The Lantos role is Full Back on Support (left)

The Buzanszky role is Full Back on Support (right)

hungary-1950s-mighty-magyards-4-2-4-formation-player-positioning.png

Sure the HB leaves a gap behind him but that is why i chose to use a Sweeper. Just make the sweeper a quick player.

Defenderless really doesnt work. I tried with Wing Backs on Defend, 2 x Half Backs either side of a DLP on Defend.

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playing this as a Strikerless formation allows for better movement from the front 4 and compresses the formation, meanign you can play a more accurate Hidegkuti role and play the Boszik type as HB instead of CM.

Ive tried all sorts of different ways of ding this tactic, and this is the best way.

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What is youre information basis OP?

I am freely translating the German "Inverting the Pyramid" (2014 edition) content.

"Puskas had total freedom of movement"

"Lorant and Buzansky were motivated to make runs forward, because of that Lorant droped deeper and played from a Sweeper-ish position."

"Bozsik was allowed to run forward to support Hidegkuti"

"Zakarias should be present in the defence, especially when Bozsik made a run forward"

"Zakarias would nearly sit as deep as the Fullbacks"

If wanted I can make a screenshot from the tactical formation the author took out of Sebes notebook. That could even clear more things up, e.g the right Full Back was more attacking than the left.

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BTW, What were the PIs and TIs of your tactic, OP?? I feel like firing up a save a trying my own interpretation

Ah, yes, I omitted this.

No PIs, other than the default ones. That's usual for me though. I then start to tweak things.

As for TIs, I have...

Shorter Passing

Work Ball Into Box

More Expressive

Run At Defence

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What is youre information basis OP?

I am freely translating the German "Inverting the Pyramid" (2014 edition) content.

"Puskas had total freedom of movement"

"Lorant and Buzansky were motivated to make runs forward, because of that Lorant droped deeper and played from a Sweeper-ish position."

"Bozsik was allowed to run forward to support Hidegkuti"

"Zakarias should be present in the defence, especially when Bozsik made a run forward"

"Zakarias would nearly sit as deep as the Fullbacks"

If wanted I can make a screenshot from the tactical formation the author took out of Sebes notebook. That could even clear more things up, e.g the right Full Back was more attacking than the left.

Well, I think I have most of that covered, actually.

The Puskas role gets a CF role, which will by defaut roam from position. I have however dialled this down to a DLF/A because my player isn't good enough to play as a CF.

The RB gets forward, and the CB is the deepest player on the pitch.

Bozsik is a BBM, and gets forward from there.

Zakarias is the HB, so will drop into defence when I'm in possession.

The HB sits marginally higher than the FBs, as seen in my screen shot.

My LB now has an instruction to play narrower, so he should be slightly more defensive than the RB.

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I tried to recreate the Aranycsapat's tactics very recently in this thread:

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/433242-The-Aranycsapat-Mimicking-the-Magic-Magyars-in-Football-Manager-2015

I'm sure you'll find plenty of it useful and still applicable in FM16. Post #25 is pretty much how I ended up keeping things as it was pretty darn faithful to the style and shape employed by the Hungary side of the early 1950's (from what i've read).

I suspect you will encounter many of the same problems that I did, with the hole at the heart of the defence difficult to manage at times as well as acres of space to be exploited all over in transition (something also inherent in a system with three forwards). Something key to note is the role of Hidegkuti, he really needs to be the deepest of the three forwards and was the lynchpin in the centre of the park so you really should consider playing him in the AM slot and giving him a playmaking role. Apart from that, your roles seem pretty reasonable, though the left winger (Czibor) was more inclined to overlap the forwards than the right winger. Also, the full backs were actually very defensive minded and would rarely venture beyond the half back.

Obviously a lot depends on how far you want to be faithful and how far you want to use the Aranycsapat as inspiration. I came to the conclusion that I would use a back 3 if I was to try it again as it would give the tactic a much more stable foundation without being too detached from the original.

Good luck anyway! :thup:

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I tried to recreate the Aranycsapat's tactics very recently in this thread:

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/433242-The-Aranycsapat-Mimicking-the-Magic-Magyars-in-Football-Manager-2015

I'm sure you'll find plenty of it useful and still applicable in FM16. Post #25 is pretty much how I ended up keeping things as it was pretty darn faithful to the style and shape employed by the Hungary side of the early 1950's (from what i've read).

I suspect you will encounter many of the same problems that I did, with the hole at the heart of the defence difficult to manage at times as well as acres of space to be exploited all over in transition (something also inherent in a system with three forwards). Something key to note is the role of Hidegkuti, he really needs to be the deepest of the three forwards and was the lynchpin in the centre of the park so you really should consider playing him in the AM slot and giving him a playmaking role. Apart from that, your roles seem pretty reasonable, though the left winger (Czibor) was more inclined to overlap the forwards than the right winger. Also, the full backs were actually very defensive minded and would rarely venture beyond the half back.

Obviously a lot depends on how far you want to be faithful and how far you want to use the Aranycsapat as inspiration. I came to the conclusion that I would use a back 3 if I was to try it again as it would give the tactic a much more stable foundation without being too detached from the original.

Good luck anyway! :thup:

That was a very useful read, thanks.

I'd already made the change to a central CB (if that makes any sense).

I also dragged the Hidegkuti role back into the AM, as a Treq. I had him to the left of the other two forwards though, and it looked unbalanced, so I've changed it to a more recognisable shape.

I don't have the game fired up right now, but I'll report on progress over the weekend with some screenshots.

It's not producing the silly scorelines I thought it would, but my U19s appear to have it cracked, losing their most recent game 7-5!

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Any updates on this? As a Hungarian I want to kick up a save for this and your posts gave me a grip where to start.

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I'm afraid I abandoned it after almost a full season. In the end, I found it a bit too difficult to do, while keeping the bones of the original system in place.

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