jeudi 13 octobre 2016

1954 World Cup Lineups

Tournament held in Switzerland.

WINNER : WEST GERMANY (1st title).


WEST GERMANY 1954

Runner-up : Hungary.


Hungary 1954 (as in the Final)
Often descibed as a 4-2-4 since Zakarias operated like a stopper within this team, that Bozsik was a very peculiar half-back as he was the true conductor of the team and that the centre-forward was withdrawn behind the two insides who were Kocsis and Puskas. Indeed, the veteran player Hidegkuti (by the way ranked behind Palotas prior to the tournament by the public opinion) generally started his actions from a deep position. He was however a real striking force able to score goals (a bit like a Platini later if we want to, on the contrary of a Kopa, at the same epoch, who was more a dribbler and a passer than a finisher, Hidegkuti was a good passer too...Di Stéfano, he was everywhere at everything).
With that long parenthesis now ended, we obviously take note of the unusual positioning of Czibor on the right wing for this match, instead of Budai II, the starter in the semis but who was in balance with Mihaly and Jozsef Toth during the competition. And it is finally M. Toth who found a spot in the XI that lined in Final, so on the left.
The left-footed Czibor surprised the West German defense in the very beginning of the match when he intercepted a back-pass from a defender to its goalkeeper to score the opener, before to quickly fade away and disappear of the game.

Another important point, Puskas was in a poor form during this tournament at which he arrived injured (probably that he delivered his best perfomance in the Final, where he tried everything).
So here are the different lines of attack from match to match :

Hungary - South Korea : Budai, Kocsis, Palotas, Puskas, Czibor.  Score : 9-0
Palotas started the competition. Not Hidegkuti who is the starter in the next game. In order to test Palotas? In order to preserve the quite ageing Hidegkuti? In order to have both players, Hidegkuti and Palotas on alert in the case of a forfeit of Puskas? Possibly for all of these reasons, but how to know what it was in the Sebes' head. There was also that debate in the opinion about Hidegkuti judged "finished". Probably that Sebes played with that. But Hidegkuti was well the starter against the biggest rival in the group stage, West Germany, in the second match anyway.

Hungary - West Germany : J.Toth, Kocsis, Hidegkuti, Puskas, Czibor. Score 8-3

Quarter-finals :  Hungary -  Brazil : J.Toth, Kocsis, Hidegkuti, Czibor, M. Toth. Score 4-2.
Semi-finals : Hungary - Uruguay : Budai, Kocsis, Palotas, Hidegkuti, Czibor. Score 4-2 a.e.t. Palotas and Hidegkuti play together this time, still in the absence of Puskas. Hidegkuti fill a position of inside left that he knew well in club.

Puskas is back for the Final Hungary - West Germany : Czibor, Kocsis, Hidegkuti, Puskas, M. Toth. 2-3.

At last, back to this story of the formation used, a 4-2-4, a 1-3-3-3 with Lorant as a sort of "libero", Bozsik, Hidegkuti and Puskas in support of the front-three including the wingers, why not a 3-2-5... all of that was true.
We'll simply exclude the idea of a 4-4-2 (that often goes with the 4-2-4) as Czibor did not defend much and the idea of a WM with a withdrawn centre-forward as the WM system goes by definition with the idea of individual marking and that it was not the case of this team which, whitout talking about an eventual zonal marking approach, was first of all a team which was strong when attacking (on built attacks or counter-attacks).
And maybe feeble when not in a situation where they dominated.

Semi-finalist and 3rd : Austria.

Austria 1954
Dienst played at the centre forward position in the very first match (against Scotland) and left winger in the very last (the third place match). Schlegler played against Scotland, numerically instead of Happel and in the semis instead of Barschandt.

Semi-finalist and 4th : Uruguay.


Uruguay 1954
Between brackets : they played instead of the usual starters in the semi-final against Hungary.


Quarter-finalists :


The hosting nation, Switzerland

Switzerland 1954

England, that reaches the second round for the first time in its history :


England 1954
Owen only played in the first match, Taylor in the two firsts, first as inside left then as centre forward in the second instead of Lofthouse, a match into which the two wings were Finney on the right ad Mullen on the left, one match in all for Mullen, Wilshaw played against the Swiss and the Uruguayans.


Brazil :

 

Brazil 1954
Between brackets : they played in the quarter-finals - against Hungary, the "Battle of Bern". The players who were replaced had played the two group stage matches.


Yugoslavia :

 

Yugoslavia 1954
Dvornik played instead of Bobek against Brazil in the group stage. Mitic was the inside "more of support" and Bobek a "spearhed forward" (not precised every time for every teams, here like in other articles).







 

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