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Tom’s Transfer Talk: Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off

 

It is now official that the deal for Thai national team winger Mongkol has fallen through. Earlier this week it was widely reported (including by us) that he had joined Port on loan, but Mongkol has instead opted to join Pattaya United.

It’s little wonder Zico was unable to convince him to move to Khlong Toei considering the chaos of Port’s transfer window. Early on, there were several arrivals, but almost all were players who were never likely to be regular starters at PAT Stadium. Transfers like Pummared and Narakorn from BBCU are hardly inspiring. The real chaos has been regarding Port’s foreign players, though. T1 rules state that only two foreign player swaps are allowed mid-season, and by swapping Maranhao in for Kaludjerovic for the Suphanburi game, then Kaludjerovic back in for Maranhao for the Bangkok United game, Port’s two swaps have already been made. Unbelievable incompetence, which for our more sensitive readers can be read about in fairy tale form here.

As well as the Mongkol deal being off, Supachai has said he wants to move somewhere where he will start regularly, and the deal for Ratchaburi winger Rungrath has also fallen through. For all the excitement and rumours of last week, not a single signing has been made, and with Josimar picking up an injury, Port’s dearth of options going forward is really being put in focus.

It seems likely that either Kaludjerovic or Suarez will start in place of Josimar in today’s crucial clash against Thai Honda. If they don’t perform, Port’s management during this crucial part of the season will surely come in for some deservedly heavy criticism.

 

Mong the Merciless: National Team Winger Joins Port

 

Mongkol Tossakrai has become the first big-name arrival of the mid-season transfer window. He joins on loan from Army, although it is not yet known how long the deal is for.

Known as one of Zico’s favourites from his time with the national team, Mongkol is a hard-working right winger who has a knack for turning up in the box at the right time to get on the end of crosses. He’s not the most flair player in the world but is a reliable contributor to the team, which puts him in stark contrast to the potentially brilliant but very inconsistent Pakorn.

Mongkol is expected to go straight in to the starting XI, but it is not immediately obvious whether Zico will use him on the right wing or in the hole behind Josimar. His more natural position is undoubtedly on the right, but with Port having struggled to find a player who can operate productively with Josi, it is also possible that he will be used as a deep-lying forward. In his brief time at Muangthong, he was more often than not used in that capacity.

Regardless of how the manager plans to use him, Mongkol is not only an excellent addition to the squad, but also a very positive indicator that the Zico revolution is in full swing at PAT Stadium. One of the potential benefits of hiring the former national team manager was his relationships with Thailand’s best players, and those relationships are already starting to bear fruit for Port. With rumours also swirling around about fellow national team stars Kroekrit Thaweekarn and more recently Sarach Yooyen, it could be a hectic week. Let’s hope it’s a fruitful one!

Welcome to Port, Mongkol. An apology to Rochela and a promise to turn those elbows on Muangthong would be a good way to introduce yourself!

 

Tom’s Transfer Talk: National Team Gossip

 

Rumours of Thai National Team arrivals have followed Zico to PAT Stadium, as we could have guessed that they would. The first two rumours making the rounds are about wingers Kroekrit and Mongkol.

The first and most persistent of those rumours centers on 26 year old Kroekrit Thaweekarn, and actually these rumours have been around since long before Zico became manager. The Chonburi left-winger was a National Team regular until Zico’s switch from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 last year, which saw Kroekrit and right-winger Mongkol dropped in favour of wing-backs Theerathon and Do. Kroekrit has long been thought of as a favourite of Zico, as his club form had been thought by many not even to merit a place in the squad, although more often than not he has been put in the First XI.

He hasn’t done badly, mind you. Highlights of his included a stunning left-footed piledriver from outside the box in a World Cup qualifier against Vietnam in 2015, and a tournament-winning brace against Jordan in the final of the 2016 King’s Cup. Kroekrit had a stint at Port in 2013, where his obvious talent shone through at times, but he was not as consistent as perhaps he could have been.

Rumours about 30 year old right-winger Mongkol Tossakrai are more recent, and perhaps a result of Zico finally getting a good look at Pakorn. Mongkol is a hard-working player who far from endeared himself to Port fans earlier this season when he threw a sly elbow at Captain Rochela as Muangthong went on to suffer a historic 3-2 loss at the SCG. It’s an incident typical of Mongkol, who isn’t a particularly flair or talented player, but gives everything he has, including whatever he can squeeze past the referee, in an attempt to win. As mentioned previously, he was also a victim of Zico’s switch from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, and has been on the fringes of the national team this year.

Just as I have been writing this, new reports have suggested that Mongkol may already have secured a switch to Chiang Rai, but no official confirmation has been made as of yet.

 

Confirmed Departure

 

 

Piyachart Tamaphan (23) has been loaned to Ubon UMT for 6 months in what should be the first of many transfers out of Port in the coming week. The experienced left-back was fourth in the pecking order, and was highly unlikely to see any action in 2017, so it makes sense for all involved that he has moved on. We expect that he will have to find a new permanent home when his 6 month loan deal is up.

 

Self Congratulatory Note

 

Klairung Treejaksung – one of Zico’s new assistant coaches – has been quoted saying something that sounds more than a little similar to an article I wrote last week

“We have 35 players and they all train together, but only 25 are in contention for places. We should separate out the two groups and maybe release the players we don’t need.”

You can send me a cheque for the consultation fee any time, mate. I’ll even tell you who to send packing if you ask nicely!