Tchau Tchau Maranhao


Amidst all the excitement over the arrival of new Port coach Zico yesterday, one bit of bad news crept out almost unnoticed. For several weeks now many of us at the Sandpit have been calling for the return of Brazilian forward Rodrigo Maranhao to liven up Port’s somewhat moribund attack, and last Saturday at Suphanburi we got our wish. Maranhao started the game like a greyhound let out of the traps and was a constant menace to Suphan’s defenders, creating plenty of chances for his fellow Brazilian Josimar, and generally giving Port’s frontline a big boost of energy and skill.

So, this being Port, it seems only logical that yesterday he was moved on to T1 strugglers Sukhothai FC on what we believe is a permanent rather than a loan deal, thus bringing his 18-month spell at Port – during which he finished as the club’s top scorer in 2016 – to a somewhat abrupt and shabby end.

Following on from the ridiculous Niran Hansson situation, it’s further evidence that Port – or at least the pre-Zico regime at Port – don’t seem to place much value on young players (Maranhao is only 24), and also don’t seem to have any kind of recruitment strategy for foreigners. Meanwhile, as Tom Earls pointed out yesterday, we have a bloated 40-man squad stuffed with ageing players who will almost certainly never pay for the club again, and a distinct lack of attacking talent. So why on earth has a player like Maranhao been allowed to leave?

We can only hope that, in the remaining week of the transfer window, Zico manages to bring in some more attacking quality because Josi is looking pretty lonely up there, and as we saw last week, he’s the kind of player who thrives on through balls rather than the hopeful crosses he’s been presented with all season.

Anyway, all of us at The Sandpit would like to wish Rodrigo all the best in his new career at Sukhothai. We hope he gets the regular football he deserves and bangs in plenty of goals (apart from on 10 September of course!) Boa sorte amigo!

Damn it’s hard being a Port fan sometimes…


Tim Russell

Tim Russell

The founder and editor of The Sandpit, Tim has been in SE Asia since 2003 and in Bangkok since 2012, where he runs a travel tech business. Tim has followed Port FC since 2014, and is also a fan of his hometown club Coventry City, and French club AS St-Etienne. He has written for the likes of Football365,, NME and The Quietus, and is a regular contributor to God Is In the TV. He's a keen photographer and his work can be seen on his website.

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