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Your Name’s Not Down, You’re Not Coming In: Port FC vs Muangthong Utd Preview

 

Port take on another team on Saturday, with both coming into the game in absolutely flying form. Port you don’t need telling about I imagine – needless to say 5 straight wins have seen an unusual sense of buoyancy, free from crisis or a sense of impending implosion. The other team have themselves constructed (probably by fluke or bribe) a 3 match unbeaten streak in which they have notched 10 goals, and came from 3-1 down to secure a 4-3 win against unstable fence owners Sukhothai. This comparatively inferior winning run to our own shining path of victories followed a total 4-0 drubbing by the farmhands out at Buriram.

So before we bathe in adulation of Port players and try to figure out what tactical nuances Jadet the Hutt (I can say that, I’m fat too) will employ on the battlefield, I suppose we should take a minute or two to consider the opposition.

The Opposition

10 goals in three games is no mean feat for a bunch of triers from the conference hub of north Bangkok. Obviously it pales into insignificance against Port’s blitzkrieg of…er…10 goals in three games, although ours will certainly have all been a result of free-flowing football played with gay abandon, whereas they probably pinged them in off the goalkeeper’s arse after a goalmouth scramble, or some hopeful toe poke or some other such nonsense.

I thought I’d approach a quick rundown of this other team by way of attack, defence, weaknesses, tactics and ‘any other business’, before then moving on to Port.

Attack

Heberty Fernandes De Andrade (7) is the man of the moment for the under-the-flyover, corrugated-tin shack dwellers, bagging an outrageous – yet certainly undeserved – 16 goals in 19 games. He probably nicked half of them from his team mates as the ball was rolling over the line anyway. See how flukey he was with his efforts here (https://youtu.be/BbjIqeTDeLE?t=82) and here (https://youtu.be/BbjIqeTDeLE?t=108). He’s also chipped in with 7 assists. The boy from Brazil or Timor, depending on which fake baptism documents you wish to believe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heberty_Fernandes_de_Andrade#Eligibility_Controversy ), is undoubtedly the danger man for Rochela to have in his pocket for this game.

 

 

Thankfully the Timorese wannabe isn’t really being ably assisted by anyone; you need to go a long way down the goals tally before you’ll find Do (19) (6 goals; 5 assists), Jaja (50) (4 goals; 1 assist) and Samphaodi (4 goals; 0 assists) who are the other main ‘threats’. Admittedly, Samphaodi has got his 4 in 8 games but injured at the moment. Haha! So, do we just need to keep ol’ Hebbers quiet?

Tristan Do (19), the French-Thai right winger, has provided much of the impetus and creative menace for the team we play on Saturday. He’s certainly one to contain and we need to press his defensive duties into action more than allow him to release his attacking capabilities. Somewhat confusingly he is listed as a right back, but this team’s line ups show that this is patently not the position he’s been put into lately.

Looking amongst the rest of the squad, danger does not seemingly lurk in the shadows.

Defence

These lot shipped goals early on in the season, and are still figuring out how to plug leaks. Sukhothai put three past them at the Rusty Tin Shed only 3 weeks ago. Who can forget that Prachuap game when they were hit for six? They also had an affinity for the 2-2 draw which they seem to have shaken off lately. Seven goals against in the last 4 games suggests a defence that is still not at its peak, should they actually have a peak to find. Bosko and Suarez may be in for rich pickings.

One of their regular centre backs – Promrak – is suspended for this game having got himself sent off inside 15 minutes of the game against Pattaya. I can only assume some VD-riddled skank from the night before showed up and he had to leg it posthaste (is that libel editor?), as there is no video evidence of the game to be found. His card was nominally for violent conduct.

Tactics

They tend to flip-flop between 4-5-1 and a more traditional 4-3-3, and much like a 70 year old retiree flip-flops between hating continental Europe or dark-skinned folk, they can’t seem to settle on one or the other. Even the 4-5-1 could be a 4-3-3 depending on where you draw the line. In short if they come to attack you will see Do and Thinjom pushed on, and if they come defensively (fnarr, fnarr) then you will see one or both of Yooyen and Chappuis dropped back from centre midfield to defensive midfield.

Weaknesses

Weighing up the above comments it looks on paper that their weaknesses are an over-reliance on Heberty and Do, and an inability to shore up their defence with any consistency. Although when someone has put away 16 absolute, undeniable flukes, you can nearly be forgiven for relying on him. Providing Port can shackle Heberty, and Kolossal Kev™ and Nurul can keep Do pressed back down that flank, I feel we are in with a good shout of seeing victory.

Likely line up, assuming some sort of 4-5-1

GK: Padungchok

Def (L-R): Notchalya, Auyamo, Inthanee, Plainum

Mid (L-R): Panthong, Yooyen, Chappuis, Thinjom, Do

Att: Heberty

It’s worth noting than Thinjom has played across all midfield positions except right-wing in recent weeks.

Any Other Business

Let’s tackle it. This is them lot. This is the biggest grudge match in Thai football by some distance. The voluntary ‘stay away’ by away fans on both sides robs Thailand of one of its most boisterous and colourful nights. Sure, PAT will still be rocking, but who can we gloat at and gesture to as Bosko dances his way through the massed ranks of utter c*nts (dear editor, you are lucky it took this long) to leather the ball into the top right corner to cap a glorious victory? Well, it will now all be directed at the players.

Given the…ahem…’heritage’ of the game, what would it take for one of those players to do something stupid (or measured) to incite reaction from the home crowd? We are going to have to police ourselves seeing as the Royal Thai Police cannot give a single flying f*ck about deploying their crowd control unit in any meaningful way.

The longer this frankly ridiculous lack of away fans goes on, the longer it takes for the pressure to mount and the release, when it eventually happens, will only be greater. You see it the world over when two old enemies meet after time apart. By ducking their responsibilities for an extended period of time, the authorities (in which I include the Police, FAT, and – to some extent – fan representatives) are only exacerbating the eventual problem.

Anyway, off the soapbox now, and to look at the kings of Khlong Toei.

Port Lineup

Is there a need to change anything? Five wins on the bounce, a tight defence, goal-happy strikers. It’s almost impossible to see Jadet swapping anyone out, despite individual performances against Air Force. So bollocks to it. I can’t be arsed to trawl through all our players and heap praise upon praise on them (see recent articles ad nauseum).

What I will say is that Kim and Siwakorn need to pull up their socks a touch in order to make midfield a tough place for Chappuis et al. Kevin might have a need to be a little more defensive given Do’s threat, although as previously noted, with Nurul running the same flank I think the other team will have their hands full. Bosko and/or Suarez will certainly find the net, with a depleted central defence hopefully being run ragged.

Rochela and Dolah need to be alert to anything Heberty tries on and keep a lid on secondary threats wherever they may emerge from given the lack of likely candidates.

Likely Port Lineup

 

 

 

 

Pangwatch

Personally I’d love to see her in her iridescent spangly jeans again, they really caught the eye on that steamy night against whoever it was. I forget, as I was too busy looking longingly across to the soul of the club perched like a bird of paradise on the end of the bench. This coupled with a sheer white blouse perhaps. Her hair loose, with a shine that confirms both her fine health and burning inner fire. Divine. However, this is likely to be a blood and thunder encounter and she will want to look like she means business. If I was to dare second-guess our most benign and splendid maharishi, I believe she will opt for a pastel tracksuit, possibly eggshell blue or baby pink, with a filigree baseball cap – simultaneously implying “I’m hard me, but you can feel my feminine warmth before I smash this plant pot over your head, you mug”. Footwear – not a night for heels, probably all white K-Swiss.

A prediction to finish with

We’ll win 3-1, get thoroughly smashed on Leos and roll home in the early morning.

 

Port FC vs Muangthong Utd, Saturday 9 June, 17:45 at the PAT. If you can’t make it, the game will be shown on True4U.

 

Dave Barraclough

Dave Barraclough

Dave has followed Port since 2013, smitten by the full scale riot he witnessed in his first ever game (Bangkok FC away). Hailing from deepest, rural northern England, his footballing allegiances were influenced/dictated by his family ties to Sheffield, and therefore he is an ardent Sheffield United fan, for which he has never truly forgiven his father. Pre-match, post-match, and invariably mid-match you’ll find him rat-arsed in the sandpit, chewing on Isan sausages.

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2replies
  1. Dave's dad says:

    Nah nah nah nah he’s a blade and he’s a blade.
    Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah we’ve got Billy Sharp. Billy Sharp. We’ve got Billy Sha-arp.
    You fill up my senses, like a night out in Bangkok.

    Reply

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  1. […] Big thanks to Gian for his contribution! You can read Dave’s somewhat less balanced, some might say unhinged, preview here.  […]

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