We’re Money and its Time to Show it. Big Scary Bear (Port) V Sea Fang (SPD): A Preview

 

“You know what? You’re like a big bear with claws, with fangs”

 

 

You could be despondent about last weekend’s defeat to Buriram and it was certainly a bit of a low. Having got ourselves excited about getting back into a 25% filled PAT stadium and a good run giving hope we could finally beat Buriram. Come the final whistle we were reminded that shorn of drums and ultras the atmosphere in the stadium, just as it was last time at 25%, isn’t much of anything. While good run or no good run, Buriram always seem to find a way to win against Port.  However, I hope Dusit has taken an unusual route this week to give the team their mojo back. As I’d just stick seminal 90s movie “Swingers” on at a team meeting.  Because the main thing the team needs is the pep talk given to John Favreau’s Mike, who has just failed to get the number of a woman in a bar, by his friend Trent (Vince Vaughn) from which the above quote is taken(watch it here). Quite simply Port need to realise that they are capable of mixing with anyone in the league. As Trent would put it….. Port “I’m tellin’ ya, you’re money”. There’s nothing to be scared of on the evidence of the league so far this season and Port have all the tools to beat anyone, it’s just a matter of learning to use them and the “rules” to the maximum.

 

“You got these f***ing claws and these fangs, man. And you’re looking at your claws and you’re lookin’ at your fangs and you’re thinkin’ to yourself, ‘I don’t know what to do’, man”

 

We weren’t any worse than Buriram last weekend as a footballing side, but we were a million miles behind them in the dark arts. Although even here there were signs of improvement. At the outset virtually every time a challenge resulted in physical contact and a Port player emerging with the ball, the opposing Buriram player would crumple to the ground. In expectation of Port putting the ball out of play or the referee stopping the game. Neither showed any willingness to do so and remarkable the propensity for Buriram players to need treatment for having been tackled soon became non existent. Good. More of this.

 

Buriram have travelled south to face two of the five teams that were widely tipped to be clear at the top of the league. Twice they’ve strangled the game, making it a tight ugly affair devoid of flair. Each game could have gone either way until it was decided by defensive errors. In Bangkok United, they found the only team that can out filth them and lost, in Port, they found a team that hasn’t quite mastered the parts of the game that exist between the rules as written and what you can get away with once the game starts and emerged victorious. After last weeks game and due to the events at some others (including Bangkok United’s you’ll be shocked to learn), there was a bit of a Twitter discussion re the time wasting and gamesmanship, with the majority across the league feeling the onus is on the clubs, coaches and players to take the lead in cleaning up the game in Thailand. Personally, I don’t think that can ever be the case. As professionals, the staff and players are paid to win games and as such pushing the rules to the limit will always be part of that. For example, there’s nothing really gained by having the ball a couple of mm’s over the line when taking a corner, yet while they’re allowed to get away with it, you’ll seldom see a ball that isn’t placed trying to gain the tiniest of margins. However, if self-policing is the way it’s going to be fixed, so be it, I can get behind it. Just rather than leading the way as one of the nice guy clubs it’s time for Port to be at the back, one step behind Buriram and Bangkok United (ok, maybe no need to ever be quite that bad). To quote Vaughn again, Port “I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s really hopin’ makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man.”

 

So tomorrow at Samut Prakan Dons if we find ourselves a goal up with 10 mins to go, I hope we barely see the ball in play before the final whistle is blown. Obviously, l’d rather we were blasting them halfway back to Pattaya as the goals fly in but if it’s necessary it’s time to get dirty. There’s a chance the worst bloke in the league is on the field, if ex Chiangrai man Chaiyawat lines up for them tomorrow, if he does, let’s use the nasty toerag as a benchmark, rather than make him the villain, as we take the moral high ground. For more about Chaiyawat and the rest of the Samut Prakan Dons (for some reason he prefers City) team and their season so far, the Sandpit got in touch with one of the best know faces in the world of Bangkok twitter and the foreign teaching scene in Thailand as we got the rundown from Ajarn.com owner and Sea Fang season ticket holder Phil Williams (read his preview of the match here).

 

“After taking just one point from their last three games, Samut Prakan have slid down the table to 8th position. Defeat against Port on Saturday could see them hovering just above the relegation zone if other results go against them as well. Although various Thai football pundits were getting excited about Samut Prakan being top of the league after a handful of games, I was under no illusions. Our squad is looking a little lightweight at the moment. You can’t let four of your best performing players leave (Peeradol, Ernesto, Teerapol and Tardelli) and there not be consequences. Those players were always going to be difficult to replace like for like. The reality is that we are probably a mid-table side at best and a mid-table finish would probably represent a decent season. Coach Ishii is doing a great job with limited resources but incoming signings have really just papered over the cracks. Eliandro has shown flashes of what he can do up front but relies on good service. Chaiyawat Buran from Chiang Rai has looked terrific but seems injury prone. I said at the start of the season (when all our big name players went off to pastures new) as long as there are three teams worse than us, we won’t go down. And my opinion hasn’t changed. I’m just happy to see us continue to play top-flight football. But at the moment, it feels like we are some way off emulating the top six finishes that we enjoyed in our first couple of seasons.”

 

Cheers Phil.

 

Port head out to Samut Prakan with some serious issues in attack. While the defence spent the early part of the season seeming to rotate itself via injury and suspension just as the back four looks settled. Our attacking options have taken a serious battering last weekend. The rejuvenated Nelson Bonilla (9) only made it to half time before succumbing to what appeared to be a groin issue, so is unlikely to feature.  While definitely out is Sergio Suarez (5) who was red carded for slapping the very slappable face of Chitipat. As a result he misses this match and next weeks home fixture against Prachuap. I’d expect them to be replaced by Patino (30) who came on at half time for Bonilla and was limited in opportunities to get into the game as Buriram killed it as an event. While the battle to take Saurez’s role is probably between Nattawut (45) and Sarsern (69), personally I’d go for Nattawut but given that Sarsern was the one of the two to get on last weekend, he might have edged ahead in the pecking order. Equally a rather disappointing showing in that substitute appearance could have handed it back.

 

Prediction.

Having been given his pep talk Mike goes back to the bar and this time succeeds in getting a number. And so it should be with Port. 2-0 to Big scary bear from Klong Toei.

 

  Fans can attend the game, with capacity limited to 25%. Tickets for the away section are currently still available from ticket melon (link). The match will be shown live on AISPLAY (possibly limited to AIS network users) at 1730 on Saturday 15th October 2021. If you don’t have a ticket or don’t fancy the trip out of Bangkok, the best way to watch with fellow Port fans is to head to The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 who will show the match on a big screen.

 

 

James Clarke

James Clarke

Originally from England, James first came to Thailand in 2010 to escape big cities and spend time on beaches away from crowds. He now divides his time between living in Bangkok and wishing he was living in Bangkok.

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