Rumours of Thai National Team arrivals have followed Zico to PAT Stadium, as we could have guessed that they would. The first two rumours making the rounds are about wingers Kroekrit and Mongkol.
The first and most persistent of those rumours centers on 26 year old Kroekrit Thaweekarn, and actually these rumours have been around since long before Zico became manager. The Chonburi left-winger was a National Team regular until Zico’s switch from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 last year, which saw Kroekrit and right-winger Mongkol dropped in favour of wing-backs Theerathon and Do. Kroekrit has long been thought of as a favourite of Zico, as his club form had been thought by many not even to merit a place in the squad, although more often than not he has been put in the First XI.
He hasn’t done badly, mind you. Highlights of his included a stunning left-footed piledriver from outside the box in a World Cup qualifier against Vietnam in 2015, and a tournament-winning brace against Jordan in the final of the 2016 King’s Cup. Kroekrit had a stint at Port in 2013, where his obvious talent shone through at times, but he was not as consistent as perhaps he could have been.
Rumours about 30 year old right-winger Mongkol Tossakrai are more recent, and perhaps a result of Zico finally getting a good look at Pakorn. Mongkol is a hard-working player who far from endeared himself to Port fans earlier this season when he threw a sly elbow at Captain Rochela as Muangthong went on to suffer a historic 3-2 loss at the SCG. It’s an incident typical of Mongkol, who isn’t a particularly flair or talented player, but gives everything he has, including whatever he can squeeze past the referee, in an attempt to win. As mentioned previously, he was also a victim of Zico’s switch from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, and has been on the fringes of the national team this year.
Just as I have been writing this, new reports have suggested that Mongkol may already have secured a switch to Chiang Rai, but no official confirmation has been made as of yet.
Piyachart Tamaphan (23) has been loaned to Ubon UMT for 6 months in what should be the first of many transfers out of Port in the coming week. The experienced left-back was fourth in the pecking order, and was highly unlikely to see any action in 2017, so it makes sense for all involved that he has moved on. We expect that he will have to find a new permanent home when his 6 month loan deal is up.
Self Congratulatory Note
Klairung Treejaksung – one of Zico’s new assistant coaches – has been quoted saying something that sounds more than a little similar to an article I wrote last week…
“We have 35 players and they all train together, but only 25 are in contention for places. We should separate out the two groups and maybe release the players we don’t need.”
You can send me a cheque for the consultation fee any time, mate. I’ll even tell you who to send packing if you ask nicely!