Port return home this Saturday to face Nakhon Ratchasima after a disappointing run of form. I was talking with Hockers trying to remember our last win, anyone?…….. Trat away July 25th. Our last league win?…….. Police Tero July 21st. I know we’ve had a break, but it comes to something when you are struggling to remember the last win for a fourth placed team.
So where is the bright side? Nakhon Ratchasima are in town, also known as Korat and the Swatcats both are a lot easier to write so I’ll use those. Four months ago Port won 4-0 in Korat, oh the heady days of 4-0 away wins. If Port have confidence against anyone it should be these Swatcats. Korat are a better side now with two recent wins and a creditable draw against Bangkok United. These results have pulled them into mid table safety. But wait what’s that coming up over the Korat plateau to save Port? It’s a Wednesday fixture in the league Cup semi final. Korat vs Chiang Rai a definite highlight for the Swatcats in a difficult season. The semi final is on the Wednesday 19th. Korat rest them, rest them all, the big and the tall and the small. Has it come to this? Hoping the other team field a weakened side? Yes, Yes it has.
Eyes down for a full house
For those wanting to play “have they got their first team out bingo” the player numbers you are looking for are,
4, 11, 15, 25, 27, 32, 37, 77
If a player is not in the starting line up just cross him off your bingo card. If all of these players are not in the starting line up shout “BINGO WE ARE SET FOR A WINGO” and receive your free large bottle of Leo with an amaretto chaser. Be careful not to celebrate too much, check first their absence isn’t due to the Korat team bus crashing.
Dolah is out, those two yellows take his card tally up to 8 this year so he’ll serve a second suspension. More bad news on the suspension front Pakorn (7) is back. I guess he’ll be rested, so he will bound onto the pitch with nervous energy for three and a half minutes then settle down for a nice stroll. There were patches of decent play in the Chiang Rai, match Kevin proved he can take a decent corner, so we will see if there is any discussion around the corner flag at the weekend. Unfortunately Nurul’s wayward free kicks didn’t make the case for prising the ball out of Pakorn’s hands come free kick time. We’ll probably see a traditional Port line up. Anon(20) should get the shout to start but probably won’t. If Nurul’s injury was serious Jadet will probably start Bodin in his place.
The Likely Lads
Nittipong (34) ,Rochela(22), Tossapol(6) Kevin(97)
Pakorn (7), Siwakorn(16) Suarez (5) Kim(8) Nurul(31)
With this run of form you have to wonder how much the players are trying. If Jadet really wanted to do something different he could just pick the eleven players trying to do something.
Port effort 11
Rattanai (trying to get back from injury)
Nittipong (genuinely trying)
Rochela (trying to remember what it was like playing for a sane club)
Dolah with a huge false mustache (trying to play even though he’s suspended)
Kevin (trying to get in the national team)
Terens (trying to do remind Jadet he exists)
Kim (trying to communicate with anyone)
Adisorn (trying to tower over Terens in order to look taller)
Nurul (trying to win a free kick)
Boskovic (trying to play anywhere but up front)
Artit Bunyinda (trying to score, always trying to score not actually doing it)
My Prediction Port 5-4 Korat
A barnstorming game against a second choice Korat team and a Terens last minute winner. You can call me crazy for predicting this, but what do we have left in the season? Not much, a fading hope of 3rd place, a Terens winner would be genuinely worth celebrating.
I asked Korat fan Russ about the match and the Korat players to watch. Russ writes regularly about the Swatcats at http://russjohn1000.blogspot.com/
I also asked Russ what he thought of Port’s season, I should have just asked what he thought about the first half of the season.
Port v Nakhon Ratchasima – an away fan’s view
An intriguing match up given the relative current runs of form of the two protagonists. Port on an awful run of results and fading fast, the Swatcats, after strengthening the squad, resurgent with an encouraging set of second leg results moving them up to a respectable 8th place.
Whether the visitors will field a full strength team with next week’s League Cup semi final imminent is up for debate but the match should provide Port with a chance to placate their fans with a dominant display over a pretty ordinary Swatcat side.
Swatcat men to look out for? – well actually we have no real stars; we are just a hardworking set of players who give 100% and who play for each other. Samuel Cunningham(11) in goal has been a real hero at times this season and has undoubtedly saved the team a few points. Everyone knows Leandro Assumpcao (77), of course and now back after injury he will be a threat up front. My third pick for men to watch is an unlikely hero. Watch out for Yayah Kunath (27) (if he plays) buzzing around just behind the front men.
My views on Port’s season so far you may not wish to hear…. their season has been like opening a bottle of champagne – the cork is popped, lots of fizz, then everything goes flat. I have watched a few Port games on TV and performances have been erratic. In the recent game against Chainat I seriously thought that they had all been out on the pop the night before. The reality is of course they have stopped playing for coach Jadet.
I am no tactician but whenever I see Port, I see a team in a rush to get forward with men streaming forward in a ridiculously cavalier fashion. This will of course lead to the occasional super performance when individuals perform well but for a sustainable approach and success, they need to put their foot on the ball and build slowly from the back.
With the team in danger of finishing a disappointing 6th how long will Pang maintain interest? Jadet has to go of course, then hopefully the light bulb will come on and Port will attempt to temper expectations and build for a sustainable future….I suspect given the bumpy road that Port fans have learnt to expect, there is nil chance of this happening.
My match prediction Port 2 Nakhon Ratchasima 0
Port FC vs Nakhon Ratchasima FC, Saturday 15 September 18:00 at PAT Stadium and live on True Sport HD3