The Portlist is a new series of articles I will be writing throughout 2018, which will aim to evaluate the importance of all of Port’s players in relation to each other. Their importance is of course partly going to depend on their performance, and partly depend on whether or not Jadet is likely to pick them.
I will aim to be as objective as possible, or at least acknowledge when I’m not being objective, except with Tana, who will be ridiculed without apology in each and every Portlist.
Portlists will be written on an arbitrary basis throughout the season, charting the trajectory of every member of Port’s first team squad, as well as potentially some of Port B’s more talented youngsters.
1) Dragan Boskovic
Dragan may not have played a single competitive minute for Port yet, but more than any other player, his success will determine Port’s success. If Dragan can recreate last season’s 38-goal season then Port could even challenge for the title, but if he flops then we may be scrapping around in mid-table again.
2) David Rochela
El Capitan is often cited as the player Port would miss most if he wasn’t in the team. His leadership and reliability help keep Port’s back line in check, and although they are far from one of the best defences in the league, it would be much, much worse if Rochela wasn’t there to keep the troops in line.
3) Kim Sung-Hwan
I could be getting ahead of myself by putting Kim straight in at number 3, but I really think that the South Korean will turn out to be a supremely important player for Port. Replacing Adisorn with Kim might even be the biggest improvement to Port’s first XI in 2018. A physical presence, a leader in the middle of the park and potentially an attacking threat with his long throws, Kim ought to be a key man for Port this year.
4) Pakorn Prempak
Pakorn’s importance at Port should not be underestimated. Yes his attitude could be better, yes his decision making can at times be found wanting, but if you lead the team in combined goals and assists then you can afford to be a bit of a prima donna. As Port’s go-to dead ball specialist, Pakorn’s threatening deliveries are also sorely missed whenever he is absent from the team.
5) Siwakorn Jakkuprasat
A true player’s player who is never found wanting for effort and will be the first to sacrifice himself for the team, Siwakorn has been the key man in midfield for the last two seasons. Will his role change due to the presence of a real defensive midfielder in the side? Perhaps, and Siwakorn may well have to modify his game to fit in, which is why I have a feeling that The Thin White Duke will finish 2018 lower down the Portlist than where he starts today. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, though!
6) Nurul Sriyankem
Nurul may be Port’s marquee Thai signing, but he’s going to have to fight his way up my list with hard work and results. Most likely playing for the majority of the time on Port’s left hand side, Nurul will not be in his natural position, and will have to figure out how to adapt and thrive in the Port attack.
7) Bajram Nebihi
This may well seem a bit daft in a few days, as there is a strong possibility that Nebihi will not make it in to the T1 squad. If selected, he could play a hugely important role in Port’s campaign. Not only is he a more natural attacking midfielder than Suarez, but a decent option up front if anything happens to first choice Boskovic. I won’t be completely shocked if Suarez is chosen over Nebihi, but I’m sticking to my German guns for now. If he is selected he will probably start making his way up towards the top of this list.
8) Sergio Suarez
Suarez can be one of Port’s most important players when he’s at his majestic best. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as much as us Port fans would like. It doesn’t help that Suarez is perennially played out of position as a number 10 when his best position is central midfield. If selected and in form, Suarez will also probably climb this list, but with the uncertainty surrounding his place in the squad, it’s number 8 for now.
9) Nitipong Selanon
If a Portlist been made at the start of 2017, Nitipong would have probably been the biggest climber. Despite a few defensive lapses in the first half of the season, Nitipong worked hard on his game and cut down on the errors significantly. He was Port’s only man in the T1 Team of the Season, and his work rate would be sorely missed if he were not in the side.
10) Rattanai Songsangchan
Rattanai would be a few places higher on my list if he wasn’t made of glass. Port’s young stopper is superbly talented, but played fewer games than Worawut last season due to a string of injuries. His sharp shot-stopping and ability to pick crosses out of the air and hold on to them undoubtedly makes him first choice, but that isn’t going to mean much if he’s spending more time in the sick bay than on the pitch.
11) Todsapol Lated
Todsapol comes in at number 11 due to his goal scoring exploits at the back end of 2017. Todsapol and Dolah do a similar job defensively, but Todsapol’s attacking threat puts him a hair ahead of Dolah in Jadet’s pecking order. This could easily change during the season though, so his place on the Portlist is far from secure.
12) Panpanpong Pinkong
With the Nebihi/Suarez situation confusing matters, number 12 on the Portlist still scrapes in to the First XI. Panpanpong is on the thinnest of thin ice, having seen 4 goals conceded from his side of the pitch in the last 2 friendlies. The only thing keeping him in the team seems to be Jadet’s lack of confidence in his competitors Jetjinn and Yossawat.
13) Bodin Phala
Bodin is very unfortunate to miss out, but will have to make an impact from the bench in order to displace either Pakorn or Nurul. It’s a tough ask for the former Port futsal star, but after forcing his way in to the Thai National Team setup in 2017, Bodin will be confident that he will earn a run in the Port side before too long.
14) Elias Dolah
Dolah is another who is unfortunate to miss out on a place in the team. All he can do for now is train hard, wait patiently for his chance, and when it comes try and play his way back in to Jadet’s plans. There is always the chance that Jadet will rotate his centre backs depending on the physicality or pace of the opposition, too.
15) Worawut Srisupha
Why is a player who has started with the first XI all throughout pre-season at number 15? Well, Worawut may be first choice for the moment, but as soon as Rattanai returns to full fitness he will likely find himself relegated to the bench again. We’ve seen enough of Worawut to know that a calamitous punch is never too far away, and we are pretty sure Jadet feels the same way.
16) Adisorn Daeng-rueng
Adisorn is not expected to start a huge amount of games in 2018, but he should clock up quite a few minutes from the bench. Who knows, Port’s midfield terrier could even upset the odds and fight his way back in to the team again.
17) Arthit Boonychinda
Arthit’s importance in the squad is strangely connected to the fate of Nebihi and Suarez. If Nebihi is picked then Arthit slides down to third in the striking pecking order, whereas if Suarez gets the nod then Arthit will be second only to Boskovic. He has looked decent in pre-season, although the bar for Port back-up strikers has never been particularly high!
18) Terens Puhiri
Terens has impact sub written all over him. He is stupidly fast, unpredictable and should have tiring T1 full backs bricking it at the prospect of his introduction in the last 15-20 minutes of games.
19) Meechok Marhasaranukun
Getting the final place on the bench is Meechok. He is a good, young deputy who Port can be happy they have, although he isn’t likely to be threatening Nitipong’s place any time soon. He stays ahead of the reserve left backs by virtue of the fact that when the chips are down Jadet often prefers to switch Nitipong over to the left and bring on Meechok on the right rather than pick either of his other left backs.
20) Jetjinn Sriprach
Jetjinn misses out on the matchday squad, but moves ahead of Yossawat based on Jadet’s team selection rather than my judgment. Jadet prefers Jetjinn, so if he decides to replace Panpanpong at left back, it’s Jetjinn who gets the first bite of the cherry.
21) Yossawat Montha
Also missing out on the matchday squad and struggling to find a route back in to contention is Yossawat. What on earth has he done to deserve this? I have absolutely no idea. Widely thought of as one of Port’s brightest young stars, and a regular for Thailand at under 23 level over the last couple of years, Yossawat will surely be looking to move on sooner rather than later if he continues to be overlooked.
22) Athibordee Atirat
I have a feeling that Athibordee’s versatility could mean that he supplants Adisorn on the bench, but only time will tell. At home in defence or midfield, Athibordee is a seasoned T1 performer, and is at the very least a useful squad player.
23) Pummared Kladkleep
Pummared hasn’t done much wrong at Port, but has slipped down the midfield pecking order since the arrivals of Kim and Athibordee.
24) Thanakorn Saipanya
Being fourth choice centre back can involve a lot of waiting, and not much of anything else. This is what we expect Thanakorn to be doing. All season.
25) Chakrit Rawanprakone
As Narakorn discovered last season, being fifth choice winger is not going to get you an awful lot of first team action, either. He’s a little unlucky as he made his move to Port before Nurul and Bodin, but now seems set to have a very quiet 2018.
26) Watchara Buathong
Most Port fans are of the opinion that Watchara is an excellent goalie, but that doesn’t really matter if you’re narrowly behind two others in the pecking order.
27) Chanayut Jejue
Hopefully throughout the season some of the top performers from Port B in T4 will make their way on to the Portlist. Diminutive striker Chanayut will probably be spending the season with Port B, but has been training with the first team throughout pre-season, and although he has only played a handful of minutes this gets him on to the list.
28) Sarawin Phakdeekan
Young defender Sarawin has also been training with the full squad, but should return to Port B at the start of the season.
99) Tana Chanabut
I don’t care what he’s wearing number 11 this season, he’ll always be number 99 to me.