Tom’s Transfer Talk: Thit or GTFO

 

Well, once the midfield rumours started, the genie was never going back in the bottle. Port’s search for a new engine room has been revving up, or at the very least, speculation surrounding Port’s transfer dealings has been.

Once again there are two rumours to report, and once again I find myself loving one and hating the other. Let’s start with the good stuff this time, shall we?

 

 

Anyone who has listened to me drone on about the Thai national team will know that I am absolutely enamored by Thitipan Puangchan. He’s my kind of footballer. But before I start the love-in, let’s have a look at where things stand career-wise.

One of the senior members of Thailand’s ‘golden generation’, Thitipan started out – as almost all of them did – with Muangthong. Between 2011 and 2016 he played over 100 top tier games – including a loan spell with Suphanburi – but towards the end of his time with Muangthong he was seeing very little action, and finally in 2017 opted to move to Chiang Rai in search of more regular football.

It was a timely decision, with Thitipan’s impressive exploits at youth level becoming a more and more distant memory, and it took him just one game to launch himself back in to Thai football’s consciousness with a stunning hattrick. He would go on to be named in the T1 team of the season, before Bangkok Glass made him their 30 million baht marquee signing in 2018.

It’s fair to say that things didn’t go quite so well from there. It probably didn’t help that Thitipan appeared to have embarked on a competitive eating career in the off season and at the start of the 2018 season was looking rather more like a football than a footballer. It didn’t take one of Thailand’s hardest working footballers long to shed the Pakorn bodysuit, but it didn’t make much difference to Glass’ fortunes. Thitipan’s performances were certainly not to blame for BG’s eventual relegation – his 5 goals and 6 assists were a pretty reasonable return – but neither he or his team played anywhere near their potential, before relegation was confirmed on an insane final day of the season.

 

 

But whilst Thitipan was struggling for his club he was absolutely excelling for the national team. He was the player of the tournament in Thailand’s 2017 King’s Cup victory, and was again among Thailand best performers in 2018. He has become absolutely indispensable to coach Rajevac, who trusts Thitipan enough to stick him just about anywhere on the pitch – he played central midfield, right midfield and right back for spells in the recent Suzuki Cup semi-final.

This brings us up to his current situation. Apparently, 25 year old Thitipan is on the hunt for a J League club to take his career to the next level, but right now no deal has been signed. The reporting over the last couple of days is that if no deal is reached with a Japanese suitor then Thitipan’s fall-back option is a season-long loan deal with Port. GET IN!

Now, what kind of player is he? The quintessential box-to-box midfielder. He has a superb work rate, he can tackle (and does so in an overzealous way every 30 seconds or so) and he is always on the lookout for an opportunity to drive the team forward with a searching pass or a powerful run. A little known fact about Thitipan? He has never not been on a yellow card. He spends entire games wincing and looking as tired as a fat kid who has just ran a marathon, but never stops going and never gives up. He shouts at his team mates and gets pissed off when they don’t put in the work. He is also capable of the most magnificent moments of laughably awful football you’ve ever seen. Sometimes when he shoots, he misses. The corner flag. When he scores he celebrates like Marco Tardelli. Sometimes he trips over the ball and falls on his arse. He’ll be on the right wing, and 5 seconds later he’ll be playing in goal. You never know what you’re going to get with Thitipan, but you can sure it’ll either be good or it’ll be funny.

Can you tell that I kind of like the guy? Come on Port, sign him up!

 

 

The other rumour is about a bog-standard left-footed right winger from Chiang Rai called Sivakorn Tiatrakul who would have no business joining Port, and would be behind Pakorn, Nurul and Bodin in the pecking order. Blah.

Can you tell I’m not particularly enthused? Come on Port, sign Thitipan!

Please.

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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4replies
  1. James Baxter says:

    Definitely a fan of the potential signing of Thitipan. Would probably take away a little bit of the frustration that Kim feels when he’s anchoring the midfield, which then makes him take on more responsibility than his fitness levels can handle! I rate Siwakorn, but if we’re going to try [keyword being ‘try’] to compete for the league: this is a necessary upgrade.

    And speaking of upgrades… our visa CB is another place we should be looking! Don’t get me wrong, Rochela has been stellar since his arrival. But he’s not the defensive brute that is a Cardozo [now at PTT, he would’ve been gettable!] or a Túñez, and they’re the types of guys that we need.

    PS. I’m not totally against the signing of Tiatrakul if it means Nurul on the right, and Pakorn having to work harder to keep his place 😉 Pakorn contributes a lot of assists, but he’s also the most frustrating player in the team with his selfishness and lack of work ethic..

    Reply
    • Tim says:

      Kim is definitely not an anchor (there’s a joke in there but I’m not going to make it) and rumour has it he may be on his way before the season starts. Defo need an upgrade on Siwakorn who went backwards last season and is not as fit as he should be.

      Agree we need a big nasty brute of a CB and hoping that the ever-improving Dolah can become that player. His post-red card destruction of the Chiang Rai dressing room last year suggests he just might!

      Reply
      • James says:

        I think he’s meant to be!! When he signed, I thought he was going to be the type of ‘6’ that would break up the play and hassle the opposition, but he didn’t really light it up for me in all honesty. Towards the end of the season he definitely improved, but I think we could get better. The way I see it, the signing of Korean players is very ‘hit and miss’ in Thai football, but they seem to be very popular signings for one reason or another. Regardless: I wouldn’t be sad to see Kim go, provided a better player is signed of course.

        Dolah is definitely someone I’m looking forward to seeing more of in future years, I just think he needs someone next to him that can guide him at times. Rochela just isn’t the player to take us to the next level if that’s where we want to get to, which is a shame, as he’s a very likeable character.

        In regards to the upgrade on Siwakorn: could Anon possibly get more minutes this year and take his place you think?

        Any word on our ASEAN signings either?

        Reply
        • Tom Earls
          Tom Earls says:

          We all hope Anon will play a bigger role next season, although with the signings we’ve had along with those we are expecting, both Siwakorn and Anon could easily both find themselves on the bench this coming season. I already rate Anon more than Siwakorn, but these things take time with Jadet!
          Not even a hint of a rumour re: ASEAN signings, which is bizarre. There are several useful looking players out there that we know of, and probably many more half-European half-ASEAN players that we don’t who would make excellent signings.

          Reply

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