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28.09.2015, 11:00
Not everything will be forgotten
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BLOG: Tom shares his view of Saturday's Match of the Week, in which Veszprem rallied to win against Flensburg on the back of a long and tough week
 

Not everything will be forgotten

It was a tough week seemed to be the general consensus around Vespzprem on Sunday. That was the line from players and staff alike. My gut is that there were no winners in the "Ortega" saga, and only a long run in the VELUX EHF Champions League will ever placate the fans particularly. 

There was no major show of support for the former boss, but a rebellious "Ortega, Ortega" chanted by the aforementioned about five minutes into the game.

But the support here for the club is paramount and the fans got behind their team. The atmosphere, if anything, was even more raucous than normal.

The ins and outs of scoreline has already been covered beautifully on ehfCL.com, but what I saw had a huge impact on me. The game was marvellous, end to end with great goals and saves. But Sabate, the interim man, showed his capabilities in a game against a strong opponent. He kept control in the timeouts and made the calls during the game. Sulic was notable by his absence throughout the game. When Nagy broke his hand, Sabate went with the former Kiel back line (Ilic, Aron and Zeitz). It turned the game. Added to that the impregnable goal of Alilovic in the last ten minutes and the game ran away from Flensburg.

Both teams learned a lot. For Veszprem, it wasn't in any tactical sense as they continued playing the style of the last three years. But what they learned was that they need to fight, to hold strong, to work together in adversity. Where that leads them only time will tell, but for now the gossip mill that there was some player unrest has been put to bed by a group ethic. 

Flensburg probably learned more. Shorn of all but one line player, Ljubo tried a strange attacking concept. Too long to explain, it starts with no pivot, but 4 back court players. A surprise in a world of staples. It didn't quite work, but it was intriguing. He gave playing time to so many of his young players. The substitution of Eggert in the second half, had more to do with the constant attacking using Nilsson on his side. I think Ljubo will be happy with his days work, albeit they lost. This team can grow and grow and he is using games to manage playing time and give much needed experience. Clever long term coaching.

After the game the players were in good spirits. They have long memories at this club. A walk around the grounds sees a sign "Carlos Perez Street". They remember their great servants. A monument erected to Marian Cozma, so tragically taken before his time, shows that this club has soul. Time will heal all wounds I'm sure, but not everything will be forgotten.


TEXT: Tom O'Brannagain, ehfTV commentator
 
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