We’re definitely not the newborn king…
After the embarrassing debacle in North Bangkok last week against bottom side Police, the Port faithful were hoping for a bit of a bounceback against Bangkok United who have been a thorn in our side for some time.
Port came out in a 4-3-3 with Bodin (10) finally getting a well-deserved start. With Todsapol (6) back it looked as if the defence might be a bit more solid.
After a tentative start Port had a nice flurry of two corners, but like so many times in the last few matches, the opportunities went to waste. The game was soon to jump to life, getting its legs when Boskovic (23) was carded for an elbow to the face of Manuel. The crack on the big German awakened the Angels who began a physical onslaught against which Port cowered like Mary to the Angel Gabriel in Simone Martini’s Annunciation. Another two yellows were to follow – one to Anthony A and another for a very silly challenge by Siwakorn (16). Moments after Rattanai (17) was forced to make an excellent save and the groans from the crowd could be heard. BU had come to play football.
Mere minutes later while Port defenders were slapping their hands calling for handball off a corner; BU decided to continue playing and were rewarded with a goal by Everton, Port again showing just how not to defend and BU playing disciplined, organised, physical football.
Port’s run of abysmal finishing continued with Nurul (31) and Bosk missing what should have been fairly easy goals, and they were then again punished for poor defending when Robson broke free for a one-on-one with Rattanai and made it 0-2.
Nurul again took a spill in the box and was given a well-deserved card for diving. Ekapoom still holds the Port “Sack o’ Potatoes” trophy for going to ground easily, but at this rate Nurul will surpass him in one season.
Just a few minutes from half-time Jadet decided to make a double substitution with Bodin out and Arthit (29) in, and Siwakorn out and Athibodee (35) in. Very perplexing moves so close to the break.
The second half saw BU let up a bit, and Port took some decent shots all stopped by BU’s keeper Falkesgaard, who might be staking a claim as the top keeper in the league. The final nail came from a beautiful long-range strike from Sumanya. 0-3, Port crucified, no heavenly ascension. With Port done, Terens (28) was brought on and actually provided a bit of a spark, but again that did not translate into a goal. I was glad to hear the final whistle.
Port’s level of play is no better two months into the season than it was in the first match. While other teams are coming together, we are still a collection of very talented individuals who do not play as an organised unit. There appears to be no real system and there is only one tactic employed; play the ball wide, cross it, and hope the one or maybe on occasion two in the box can fight off the four opposing players and get a chance. This of course is not working. Our squad is talented. If every player were instructed in their role and executed it, knowing exactly where they needed to be and making sure they were there, we’d be very hard to beat. Instead we pass, hesitate, look for someone, and then play on. We’ve always played this way under the current regime, and I really don’t see that changing. If Port are serious about wanting to win a title the entire culture surrounding the team needs to change. It needs to become more professional and more serious. I don’t think it’s ever been that way at Port. At least it hasn’t during my time as a supporter. The team is underachieving. Players with proven track records at other teams are not excelling and long-term Port players are not developing. Truthfully I think we need a wholesale cleanout of all coaches. There are still some folks hanging on that have been there since I started supporting 6 years ago. We need to update from tip to toe: dietician, statistician, fitness coach, scouts, etc. In addition the new regime needs to stress team play above individual play and sit players that won’t adapt. There are a few models in Thai football we could follow, BU being one of them.
Yes, we had some shots, yes their keeper was great, but the bottom line is we lost 0-3. Was it the worst Port performance? No, it wasn’t. We’d beat a mid to low level T1 team if we play like that every week, but we are supposed to be entering the realm of the elite and we are most certainly not there yet.
The Sandpit Man of the Match: Michael Falkesgaard
We might have actually had a goal or two if it were not for this man. Best keeping display I have seen in a long time. Perhaps the second coming?