Great Portents or Portending Badly : Dom’s 2020 Season Preview

In 2019 we won, yes we won the FA Cup. It was our first piece of silverware in 10 years and the crazy party was long overdue. The team that won weren’t newly promoted Port, or struggling against relegation Port. In the post Bosko-Kevin buying era Port are a team that splash out the cash and get slightly favourable refereeing decisions at home. We have to accept that even if the supporters of the club are based in Klong Toei the club is now in the top echelon of Thai football.  Along with this our expectations have changed. A loss against Ratchaburi in the FA Cup final last year would have been a massive disappointment, not a grand day out at the Cup Final.

Even though our budget and expectations have changed our, let’s make a random call to Mystic Meg approach at transfers stays the same. This is the same group of people that sold then bought back the same player in one mid-season transfer window. We see a big name then go all out to sign them, then turn around and think about where to play them.

An All New and Improved Type of Mess

Port have gone out and bought the best attacking right winger in the league when we have Pakorn(7) who’s great on the right wing but unhappy if he’s stuck anywhere else. With Pakorn and Heberty we have possibly the best foreign and best Thai dead ball specialists in the league. The one problem being football is a game played with just the one ball. In pre-season Heberty and Pakorn have stood over free kicks like two parents in a vicious custody battle. This clash of egos is not going to help the team come together.

Adisak(9) is really our only hope, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi he’s past his best. This team needs a reliable target man. As far as Thai strikers go there aren’t that many other options. The possibility of selling a foreign player and bringing in a striker looks less likely as the transfer window comes to a close. Another option would be bringing back Josimar but he did pick up a pre-season injury and still wasn’t convincing last year. Maybe, just maybe Adisak can find some form.

When you use a random clairvoyant inspired transfer policy the good thing is occasionally you hit the bull’s-eye. Thansit(11) has looked handy on the wing, cutting in creating space and opportunities. He’s been the highlight of the 2020 pre-season. Kanarin(31) also looks a good prospect in midfield but at 22 years old he’s likely to be overlooked for other more established players.

Santa’s Sack of Delights or Nutsack?

We still have a decent team, a team that can get it right on the night. The second half at Muangthong did show when Tanasith is on form much like Bordin early 2019 he can frighten teams, and Adisak can score.

Worawut(36) or Rattanai(18) in goal are both able keepers if not 100% reliable.

Nitipong(34) , Dolah(4), Rochela(22) , Stueble(15)/Kevin(23)  is still an ok back 4.

A) Heberty(37), Suarez(5) , Siwakorn, Go(8), Tanasith(11)/Bordin(10)

                            Adisak(9)

B) Pakorn, Suarez, Heberty, Go, Tanasit/Bordin

                            Adisak

Both A) and B) are good options but both really show why Adisak is our only hope. Suarez can get goals but can’t be pushed up front, he’s good attacking from midfield not as a striker. We don’t have a bad team but we have a disjointed team that could come together and form a decent unit. The pre-season has not offered up a lot of hope for this.

Pre-Season Choking aside

In the pre-season Choke started off attempting to move round the players in a sort of total football system that only proved that it is total shit when players just aren’t ready for it. Things have settled down a bit now, the team he picked for the Chiang Rai champions cup game was the strongest 11 we have. We just came up against a well-trained side who outplayed us and made our defence look average.

Chiang Rai played a good pressing game that works well against us and most T1 teams. Choke needs to look at these games and see how we can play against well organised teams who don’t give us time on the ball. Teams have seen Heberty is a threat and nullified him. If teams are going to put two players on Heberty we need to look at that and exploit it. Players need to move in to create short passing opportunities and Heberty can’t just dwell on the ball trying to take everyone on, or attempt the forced difficult pass.

We also need to learn from other team’s success and develop our own pressing game when we’re not in possession. A couple of times during pre season we have looked to press teams. It worked well but it needs to happen more often. A pressing game only works if all of the players know they will be backed up by the rest of the midfield closing down the channels. We can’t afford to have any lazy Pakorns err… sorry I mean lazy players not picking up an open player.

50/50 chance in 2020

If we are looking to step up to challenge for the league in 2020 it’s unlikely. However we have a chance with some games under our belt to gel as a team, if Heberty realises being double marked creates opportunities elsewhere, if Adisak finds some confidence then these two players can improve this team, these are very big “IF”s.

We can still finish top 5 and have a good chance of a cup win. However if we keep signing new players like a bull in a china shop this is always going to be the best we can hope for.

 

Dominick Cartwright

Dominick Cartwright

Originally from London, Dominick has been teaching English in Bangkok since 2006 and has been following Port FC since 2011.

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  1. […] than promising pre-season. Rather than labouring this point once again, I will point you towards Dom’s, Tim’s and my 2020 Previews, which examined our off-season shortcomings in excruciating […]

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