Monday, September 15, 2014

Jimmy Hogan


A relatively, unknown football coach by the name of Jimmy Hogan arrived in Vienna around 1911. Vienna in the 1910's was an interesting place.  It was the height of Viennese Coffee house culture where different ideas were exchanged.  Karl Kraus, Arthur Schnitzler, Hermann Broch, Egon Schiele, Stefan Zweig, Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Wittenstein, Gustav Klimt and Leon Trotsky were drinking coffee in cafes, developing their ideas.  This was the city where Carl Jung met Sigmund Freud in 1906.  Tito, Stalin and Adolf Hitler were also in Vienna around that period.

Jimmy Hogan was an Irishman from Lancashire who had a brief playing career.  He believed in the Scottish style of football, a game based in controlled, short passes.  His style of football was never appreciated in England. He had only brief coaching stints at the end of his career in England.  Perhaps under the free thinking era of Viennese Coffee house, his ideas were appreciated.   His arrival in Vienna would eventually lead to the evolution of both Total Football and Samba football.

A year earlier, he was coaching the Dutch national team, in which some credited him for setting up the foundation of Total Football.  Eight years after he left Holland, Jack Reynolds would take over the Dutch national team while managing the Ajax Amsterdam for 27 years.  He would build the foundation for Total Football.  At Ajax, he coached a player named Rinus Michels, who would be credited as the father of Holland's Total Football.  The connection between Jimmy Hogan and Rinus Michel's Total Football is perhaps stretched.  It was more about Jack Reynolds.

In Austria, Jimmy Hogan met Hugo Meisl.  Together, they would reshape the football system in Austria.  However, in 1911, war broke out in Europe. Hogan was forced to leave Austria as an enemy alien.  Hugo Meisl would take over the Austrian national team after Hogan's departure and held on the position for 28 more years.  The Austrians would later became known as the Wunderteam that went 14 games unbeaten between April 1931 and December 1932.  They played a beautiful style of football that were based upon Hogan's style of football, in which most historians believed to be the first Total Football.  Austria was heavy favourite to win the WC in 1934, but they were eliminated by host Italy in the semifinal by a questionable goal.  Ernst Happel who did not play under Hugo Meisl was a member of the Austrian national team from 1947 to 1958.  He later coached the Feyenoord team that won the European Cup in 1968 and then, Holland at the WC Finals in 1978.


Meanwhile, Jimmy Hogan headed to Hungary to coach the MTK Budapest in 1914. His style inspired Hungary's football.   In 1953, Hungary destroyed England at Wembley with short passes, which marked the end of England's supremacy in world football.  Gustav Sebes , the coach of the Mighty Magyars, said after the game: "We played football as Jimmy Hogan taught us."

In Hungary, one of Hogan's players was Bela Guttman, who would became the game;s first superstar coach.  In 1956, the Soviet Union invaded Hungary. Guttman was forced into exile.  A year later, he took a job with Sao Paulo FC in Brazil.  While in Brazil, he helped to popularise the 4-2-4 formation used by the Mighty Magyars.  Brazil would use the 4-2-4 formation to win their first WC in 1958. Brazil would also use variation of the 4-2-4 to win the World cup in 1962 and 1970.  The formation later evolved into 4-2-2-2, Brazil's iconic formation.

In 1925, Jimmy Hogan had a brief stay with Dresden SC, where he coached a young player named Helmut Schon.  In 1964, he would take over the West German national team in 1964. He took the Germans to WC victory in 1974 and an European Championship.  His team would play a German version of Total Football.  Again, the Hogan connection.

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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