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All right, Port, give me a showstopper – Chiangmai United v Port Preview

Now we’re rolling. After the slip up at Suphanburi, Port avoided a banana skin on an absolute dog of a pitch in the Bangkok derby, which saw plenty of individual slips but collectively the team stood tall and proud running out one nil winners. However, there was little time to enjoy the victory, with the first midweek round of the season meaning we find ourselves heading up to Chiangmai for a Thursday night encounter with the White Elephants.

As it stands, with two games played on Tuesday night, Port sits third in the table with a return of 8 points from 5 games, two points behind current leaders Buriram, who we face this coming Sunday at The PAT.  Suddenly it’s not looking like such a bad start to the season.

So what to expect of our encounter with the newly promoted side…..GOALS. Only Chonburi games (4.33 ) are averaging more goals than our hosts (3.4), while only Khon Kaen United (14) have conceded more than Chiangmai United’s 10. Also, there’s a fair chance they come early, nobody in the leagues is averaging more first half goals than Port games. Adding weight to the theory that Dusit looks to defend the lead when he gets it, our games also see very few second half goals, infact there have been just two, with only NongBua Pitchaya matches, with a solitary second half goal producing less.

 

Chiangmai United.

 

Yannick Boli – he wont play but l like him and have the picture saved

Last time out the White Elephants bagged their first win of the season travelling to Samut Prakan Dons, as Port loanee Yannick Boli (7) starred in a 3-1 win. In a game that looked to go in spells of dominance for each team, Chiangmai were initially under the cosh before taking the initiative in the latter part of the first half. A momentum they maintained into the second half. Which was just a couple of minutes old when Boli was picked out with a though ball that allowed him to skip past Zarifovic and with the aid of a deflection, fire home. A slice of luck he probably deserved having created numerous chances in the game. The momentum then switched again as Dons went in search of an equalizer, but it was Boli who would score next, getting on the end of a cross to head home. The game was kept alive, as the fragile Chiangmai back line was denied its first clean sheet of the season when Eliandro pulled one back. However, there was to be no comeback as Boonmatoon (54) scored a second headed goal for the visitors to end the match as a contest.

Whilst that result will have come as a shock to many, the rest of the Chiangrai results have gone the quite predictable route, as having taken the lead against Bangkok United in round 1 they went on to be defeated 2-1, their other meeting with one of the expected contenders was somewhat more one sided, as a trip to Buriram ended in a 4-0 humbling. While they’ve dawn away at Suphanburi 2-2 thanks to an injury time equalizer from ex Port man Todsapol (6). Alongside facing Korat at home in round four. Where they surrendered a lead given to them by Boli in a 1-1 draw.  Who after not starting the first 3 games of the season has forced his way into the side and shown his manager what he was missing with three goals from those two starts.

 

Now with any normal club you’d be thinking great they figured out Boli’s their best attacker a few weeks into the season, it doesn’t really matter as he can’t play against us. However, this is Port and the Thai league, so don’t be shocked if there’s no rule or clause in place to stop him lining up against us and then for full comedy effect scoring the winner (I could probably check but I’m not going too).

 

Nont saves!

 

As for the rest of the team. Big things were once expected of keeper Nont Muangagam (20) and he remains on the books of Chiangrai United, who’ve sent him for another season on loan, having in recent years spend time with Police Tero and the other ChinagMai club before arriving at his current home last season. He’s a bit of a favourite with the Sandpit team as he’s capable of some stunning stops but is held back being equally prone to absolute howlers. He played regularly for the Thai U23 team before becoming too old, at some point hes either going to become really good or forever yoyo between T1 and T2. Expect a few world class saves but you get the feeling that if we give him enough chances he’s more than capable of a Somporn moment.  At the back they have what could become a decent combination of centrebacks including the aforementioned Todsapol, Brazilan Evson (30) and Sirisak Faidong (15).  

 

If Boli misses out the attack will be let by Melvin de Leeuw (9), my expert on T2 recently said of him…”he’s scored a ton of goals in T2 (more than wiki says) but whether he can do it in the top flight remains to be seen”. He’ll be supplied by, midfielders Sergio Escudero(26) , the 33 year old arrives having played extensively in Japan and Korea and Saharat Kanyaroj (18)  who moved from Muangthong n the closed season.

 

 

Port

I don’t expect us to change a winning system too much. The reinvention of Tanaboon (17) was continuing before he limped off in the derby and assuming he’s fit, then l’d stick with his partnership with Rochela who also had a fine game. Given that the team seem to like to get lead and hold it, l’d start the same 11 as the weekend and then rotate later in the game if we get a cushion. Of course with what could be a massive top of the table clash to come on Sunday, Dusit may have other ideas. Regardless in Dusit we trust.

 

Prediction

Surely the kiss of death but I’m going for a nice and comfortable 3-0 win to Port.

  The match will be shown live on AISPLAY (possibly limited to AIS network users) at 1900 on Thursday 7th October 2021. So 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.

 

Siv-a Me Timbers – More aggression required in midfield Bangkok United v Port Preview

 

Another weekend: another game! Thai football is back, and all fans will be hoping for a much improved performance on matchday two. Personally, I was left with mixed emotions after the opening game of the season, largely due to the fact that I was quite proud of how we’d recovered after finding ourselves 2-goals down. My annoyance: the fact that we’d been 2-goals down in the first place. Considering that the club had the advantage of a somewhat competitive pre-season due to the Asian Champions League, there should be no excuses for some of the performances that we were forced to endure.

There were close to a handful of players who let us down on the weekend, and although I’d like to name them, I think it’ll be quite noticeable who I was less than impressed with when selecting my preferred team for the weekend.

 

Coach Dusit with issues to address in training.

 

For a moment though, let’s travel back for the ‘key moments’ of our game against Police Tero:

5’ – A sloppy pass from Tanaboon results in a cheap turnover, with Evandro receiving a penetrating pass from Honey. Port players jog casually in their attempts to close him down, nobody actually moves towards him to block his route to goal, and the Brazilian lets rip from range. 1-0, and whilst it was a good strike: Worawut should’ve done better. It went straight over his hand!

22’- After Bordin was unable to connect with a Pakorn cross/shot a little bit earlier, a lovely cross from Bonilla is met by the head of Sergio Suarez. It wasn’t the most powerful header that you’ll ever see, but it was placed perfectly, and it was a deserved equalizer for us. This would be the only moment of the game that you’d notice Bonilla actually on the pitch for us, apart from him appearing to almost cause the Tero players to erupt later in the game.

24’ – He’s done it once already: surely he won’t do it again..? Every time I watch this back, it just makes me angrier. The tracking of him from Tanaboon when Evandro received the ball was… pathetic. He’s not even sprinting, trying to catch him, and simply put: it was unacceptable. Again, I think that a defender should’ve broken the line to try and shut him down, but this was an even better strike than the first. Nothing Worawut could do about this one, it was a cracker.

29’ – VAR is called upon for the first time. Personally: I didn’t think it was a penalty. Firstly, I’m not sure about the contact, but more importantly: Sergio was never reclaiming possession of the ball. The right decision was made, so all the “Port get dodgy pen, after dodgy pen” conspiracy theorists can put away their tinfoil hats.

32’ – Hands down some of the worst goalkeeping that I’ve seen in the past 5-years, and it enables Tero to double their lead. I won’t talk about this too much, as it just makes me want to throw my laptop out the window. At least my decision to call Honey a key player for Tero in my season previews was vindicated! 3-1.

40’ – A decent ball in from Roller eventually ends up at the feet of Bordin, who has an effort on goal. Ekkachai attempts to block the ball, and in my opinion, his arms are far enough away from his body for it to be a penalty. Let me be clear: 5-years ago this wasn’t a penalty. The rule changes, interpretations, and all the other nonsense that has crept into the game have made this a penalty, and although I’m glad we got it… it’s still somewhat farcical to me.

44’ – So the VAR and subsequent protestations took 4’: what a great addition to the game it is! Anyway, the pen from Rochela was bang average, and the ‘keeper knocks it into the post. Cue a goalmouth scramble, and we’ve got ourselves back into the game at 3-2.

54’ – Bordin forces a good save out of the Tero ‘keeper, Roller gets the scraps, cuts it back to Sergio, who places the ball brilliantly into the back of the net. 3-3, game on, and if the fans were in the stadium: an atmosphere that would’ve made the Tero players crumble.

 

That’s the end of the goalscoring action, and though there were other moments worth noting, I probably delved too much into the game already. My apologies! I only hope that Dusit had a fair few stern words for the players in the change-room after the game, because although we came back to draw: those are the games we need to be winning if we’re to have any chance of silverware this season. Do I think silverware is likely? Not really, no, bar maybe a cup competition. Do I hope we win the league: of course! I’m just trying to be realistic, and although we now have a good coach in the dugout, there’s still the issues that we’ve been speaking of on the terraces since I began going to games in 2016.

Let’s touch upon Bangkok United in their game against Chiangmai United for a moment. Firstly: their away jersey looks horrendous. Secondly: the goal they conceded was as comical as the 3rd goal we conceded to Tero. Thirdly; Heberty might’ve scored a nice equalizer, but he took the ball off his teammate’s foot in order to do it: meaning he’s still extremely selfish. Fourthly: his penalty miss was a delight, so thanks Nont! Fifthly: Heberty scored the winner, which gets a major BOOO from me. He’s shown more emotion for Bangkok United in 1 game this season than he ever did for us. My memories of him in a Port jersey, are just of him sulking, shooting from 40-yards at least 4-5 times a game, and popping up with a few goals… he still looks like he’s sulking for Bangkok United.

 

 

Nont saves!

 

 

WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE FROM US AGAINST BANGKOK UNITED

Simply put: better organization. I’m hoping that the majority of our work on the training pitch this week is focused on our defensive shape, as we all know how capable we are in front of goal. The goalscoring potential in this team isn’t an issue in the slightest, and on another day… we score more than 3 against Tero. We hit the woodwork, forced a few saves, and so on. Our attack isn’t our weakness at all. It’s what we’re doing at the back that’s the main concern for me, and I’m confident that over time… it’ll be fixed. I do think that we’ll need to make some changes mid-season to fix it properly, and I’m of the opinion that Dusit will be looking forward to the mid-season transfer window very much.

All I ask of the lads against Bangkok United is they just look competent defensively. Track your runners, shut the opposition players down before they’ll shoot, and my god: PLEASE don’t concede from a set-piece for a little while.

Oh, and if we can give Heberty a bit of stick over the 90’, that’d be great too!

 

HOW I’D LIKE US TO LINE-UP

 

GK – Watchara or Rattanai. Basically: anyone but Worawut. Let him sit on the pine for a few weeks.

 

RCB – “Baresi” [Worawut]. Shift him over to the right side.

CB – Dolah. Charge him with organizing the backline, and allow him to break the line if someone is going to shoot from range.

LCB – Thitathorn. Natural left-sided player, get him in the XI, and place some trust in him.

 

RM – Roller. No complaints about his performance at all.

CM – Siwakorn or Kannarin. Never start Tanaboon again, hopefully, that performance was enough to convince Dusit to sell him again.

CM – Go. Whilst it wasn’t his best performance, he was much better in the second half in my opinion. He’s still a quality player, and if we don’t ask him to babysit his midfield partner: we’ll be better off.

LM – Bordin. He was a delight, but PLEASE OH PLEASE, NEVER SUB HIM FOR NURUL AGAIN. In my opinion, it’s time to ship Nurul out: he’s finished.

 

AM – Pakorn. HOW GOOD WAS HE!? I’ve never seen him in such good shape… EVER. I thought he was great in the ACL, and I thought he was good on the weekend too. His set-piece delivery and crosses were threatening most of the time.

AM – Suarez. The amount of times he’s gotten us out of a mess is remarkable. A great performance, he’s the first name on the team sheet.

ST – Nelson [begrudgingly]. His assist was nice, but if he could actually be a menace for 90’, that’d be great. He’s [probably] auditioning for his spot in the second leg, and his performance against Tero wouldn’t have helped his cause.

 

IN CONCLUSION

With the game to be played at Thammasat Stadium with no fans in attendance, I’m assuming that the best port of call to watch the game will either be at home, or at The Sportsman. I apologize for the long write-up, the somewhat “rant-iness” [yes, I made up a word] of it all, and I hope to see us get 3-points on the weekend! It should be a good game to watch, and I only hope that Thitiphan doesn’t make us regret not getting a deal over the line for him during the transfer window with an imperial performance against us. Regardless: susu Tarua!

The match will be shown live on AISPLAY (possibly limited to AIS network users) and NNU-5 at 18:00 on Sunday 12 Septermber, 2021. Fans are not allowed to attend the game, so 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.

you all knew it was coming

 

 

 

Every Little Thing Port Does Is Magic : Port Vs Police Tero FC Preview

 

 

Watching all the recent pomp and fanfare global sports channels force down our throats at the beginning of a football season, it’s hard to get excited about the return of Thai football, especially given the ongoing pandemic and the inept manner the authorities have handled it but here we are. It’s back and from this weekend until late May there will be 240 games to decide which team is top of the pile. Originally scheduled to be played in Buriram, Port’s first match is now back at The PAT thanks to the recent drop in COVID-19 cases but sadly no fans will be allowed in to roar on the mighty lions of Khlong Toei.

Police Tero…… Criminal Merch.

 

Our opponents this weekend represent a national organisation doing excellent public relations work in recent weeks to win over the hearts and minds of ordinary Thai folk – it’s Police Tero. If you’re able to cast your mind back through the thick COVID haze you might remember the farcical scenes at last season’s clash when the generator’s blew and a dour, laboured 1-1 draw was converted into a 0-2 defeat awarded by a panel at the Thai FA. Great times, but a lot has changed since then (the new electrics for starters) and Port fans should be feeling a little more positive about the forthcoming fixture. More on that later, first let’s take a look at some of the key men in red and black representing the boys in brown.

 

Isaac Honey

 

For me a class act in defence, normally operating as a full back but happy to maraud forward, Honey is one of the top defenders in the league and also captain of the team. 13 goals in 30 goals is a great return and underlines how dangerous he will be. It’s a position that has evolved into a much more offensive role over time and offers opportunities for overlaps and an additional attacker in quick breaks. Thinking about how offensive Port’s full backs like to play, and possibly a new formation for this season, will Honey be able to tie up our attackers and bomb forward? He likes the ball in front of him (and open space behind opposing full backs) so hopefully we will press him early.

 

Isaac Honey versatile defend, attack, point at the correct side of his shirt.

 

 

Arthit ‘Pele’ Boodjinda

 

A sandpit favourite from his time as a Port player, very much in the ‘marmite’ category, Pele has gone on to establish himself in the Police starting XI and get called up to the Thai national team. What he lacks in technical ability is made up by his physical approach to forward play. His style is similar to an old fashioned number 9 from decades past but it does reap rewards, and he bagged a goal against us in the return fixture last season. Let’s hope his ex-teammates get a better hold of him this time around.

 

The boy Pele in training

 

 

The Home Team

 

It’s all change in the hot seat and last year’s championship winning coach Dusit Chalermsan is at the helm guiding Port this year. Unceremoniously dumped into BG’s feeder club before the AFC group stages due to a lack of coaching credentials, La Pang seized the opportunity and brought him to Khlong Toei. His Glass team was pretty exceptional, losing only one match all season and, more importantly, getting the best out of his squad. Can he work his magic here? Well he has already left a mark on the squad by dropping diminutive Malagasy wide man Baggio and bringing club captain Rochela back in from his barren spell in the wilderness. Striker Bonilla has signed on for another season and in comes seasoned Filipino Javier Patino to bolster the attack. The group stages of the AFC have hopefully served as a decent form of pre-season and Dusit has since had a chance to implement his ideas on the training ground.

 

Going by his tactics from last season (solid back 3 and 2 strikers) and squad selection, we could be moving to a new formation, perhaps a 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2. Our attacking options are still a little thin on the ground so we could see 2 attacking midfielders supporting Bonilla up top. Pakorn’s stock increased from several strong performances in the AFC matches and could partner Suarez in the hole, or maybe Dusit will select the technically more skillful Bordin. The fullback selection will also be interesting as we now have 4 decent players fighting for the 2 spots. Recent signing Philip “Paint” Roller is the form man and should play on the right with Jaturapat hopefully getting the nod over one of the Thits.

 

Prediction: Port win by the odd goal. Let’s say 2-1.

 

The game kicks off at 1730 on Sunday and can be viewed on AISPlay. Whileif you fancy watching with fellow Port fans why not head along to the Sportsman on Sukhumvit Soi 13

 

 

(Less) BAD VS. (Close to) WORSE: PORT FC VS. PRACHUAP PREVIEW

Port travel to Prachuap for this evenings fixture, well given that I’m writing this at lunchtime on match day, you’d hope they’d already travelled. Maybe even been rewarded with a night by the sea by the club, for ending a run of six games without a win last time out against Rayong. The game will be part of the first round to allow fans to attend since the most recent restart, with stadiums, allowed 25% of their capacity to be used. Good news for this weekends home match v Bangkok United.

Tonight’s host find themselves in what increasingly looks like a three way battle to escape the last relegation spot along with Suphanburi and Sukhothai. A relegation battle which is looking like a disaster for those of us who like a beach based football away weekends, with Rayong and Trat’s plight looking beyond salvation, the possible of Prachuap joining them would be somewhat of a disaster. Sadly the T2 promotion race offers absolutely nothing in the way of possible coastal replacements.

 

Prachuap Form

Since the league returned at the start of February, they’ve managed 11 points from 7 games. A repeat of which from their remaining 7 fixture would almost certainly be enough to stave off relegation. The highlight of which was a 1-0 home win over Chiangrai United. The Killer Wasp’s sole victory against top 7 teams this season, against whom their record is 1 win 2 loses and 7 defeats so far. Scoring in just 3 of those 10 games. Although that does include their visit to (not) the PAT, as Port emerged victorious 2-1 in a home game played at the Leo Stadium, way back in the floodlight failure period of this protracted season. The last week of February saw a bit of a dip with a 4-0 defeat to the Samut Prakan Dons, followed by back to 1-1 draws with Ratchaburi and Police. The match v Ratchaburi being particularly remarkable, set for 4 minutes of second half injury time, it saw penalties scored in the 98th and 103rd minutes. As you may have guessed the wonder of VAR arrived to once again improve everyone’s match experience, first giving one of its ball to hand penalties to Prachuap converted by Mota (30). There was still time for Ratchaburi to earn a penalty of their own, with Roller’s spot kick saved by Nattapong (13), resulting in a joyous pile on of Prachuap players. Sadly for them, Filiposyan(16) had entered the penalty area before the penalty was taken and given that it was he who hacked the rebounding ball clear, there was no option other than a retake. Converted by Langsil, some 13 minutes after the scheduled end of the game.

Players to Watch.

 

Thin Bill and his little shorts, still striking fear into defenders across Thailand.

To be honest, I’ve not seen a whole heap of Prachuap this season and given the limited time I’ve got to write this preview, I’ll not be diving deep into the youtube highlights. So in classic style its based on a couple of games, one of which is their last match against Port and some outdated opinions from past seasons.
Hence the obvious starting point Wiliam (10) aka Thin Bill the former Chiangrai player. A well know menace to Thai defences, he did miss the last match but if he plays whoever gets the nod in Port’s problem left back role can expect a tough evening. He’s performances appear to have maintained the level of past seasons to the point, l recently saw Prachuap described as William plus 10 others. Fellow Brazilian forward Willian Mota (30) has managed a respectable 12 goals so this season.
Which means the Brazilian striking due have managed 18 out of a total of 27. The next best is Chutipon (6) who is the only other player to score more than once.
Keeping duties have recently been taken over by Nattapong (13), the one game he’s missed since getting his first start, saw the Wasp’s concede 4, while he has conceded once in each of his 3 league starts. However, the real reason for mentioning him is he A) wears a Petr Cech style scum cap and following on from yesterday’s report he is the only keeper to wear 13 to face Port so far this season.
We next come to their pair of hulking centrebacks the earlier mentioned Uzbekian Atyom Fliposyan (16), who signed for Prachuap when they joined T1 in 2018, returning in January this year having departed before the start of this season for Indonesia. Alongside him is Montenegrin Adan Orahovac (22). What you get from these to is classic physical centre back play, such that you couldn’t rule out them continuing their partnership beyond football making a career in low budget action movies credited as henchman 4 and 5.

 

Port

Siwakorn (16) and Bordin (10) picked up yellow cards against Rayong. While Dolah (4) has served his and is available for a return. Will we rotate ahead of the bigger challenge of Bangkok United at the weekend? Should we, given the lack of form shown by some? Do those who offer their opinion and influence on team selection even take these things into account? I’d personally start Suarez (5) and Go (8) on the bench for a bit of a rest and start Nattawut (45) and Kanarin (31).

The match kick off at 1900 Thai time and is being broadcast on T Sports and 1 play. As well as being shown by The Sportsman on Sukhumvit soi 13.

Bad vs. Worse: Port FC vs. Rayong FC Preview

 

It’s that time of year again. After foolishly holding out hope that Port might be reinvigorated by a trip to the SCG, there is no longer any room for doubt that Port are deep in to our traditional mid-season slump. Five winless games is troubling enough, but two of those results – the 0-2 loss against Police and the goalless draw with Trat – came against poor teams who were themselves struggling.

So what do Port need in order to start looking like the team who were challenging for the title just a few weeks ago? Well, the easiest fixture on the calendar might be just the ticket. Port may be winless in 5, but Sunday’s opponents Rayong have lost 7 on the bounce. Port may have failed to find the back of the net twice in our last 5 league games, but Rayong have failed to score in 6 of their last 7.

That’s not to say we’re not capable of accommodating an upset. When we’re bad we’re really bad, and Rayong have beaten a couple of half decent sides this season. So let’s see who we should be looking out for in opposition colours.

 

Rayong FC

Players to Watch

 

At the back they’ve recently brought in English centre back Adam Mitter (6). Having played non-league football in England, Mitter has gone on to tour some of the world’s least fashionable leagues: a semi-professional club in Australia, an Indian third tier outfit and a handful of teams in the Philippines. And those are just the highlights; he’s gone through 16 teams in his 10 year career. I believe ‘well-travelled’ is the appropriate euphemism. Since arriving in Thailand. It’s taken Mitter precisely 4 games to get 4 T1 yellow cards and get himself suspended, but he’ll most likely be back in action against Port. Boli will be quaking in his boots.

 

 

In midfield they’ve got a Japanese fella who has actually played to a good level in Thailand. Several years ago. He’s now 34. Goshi Okubo (40) has still got some tricks up his sleeve, though. He fired in an absolutely audacious strike from the centre circle as well as a well-struck penalty in their 2-3 loss to Chiang Rai last week, proving that he’s still got something to offer at this level.

 

 

There’s not a lot else to talk about in terms of attacking options. The magnificently named Agaldisio Pitbull (10) is comfortably the pick of the bunch, but he’s been out for a few weeks, while fellow Brazilian Bruno Paulo (36) looks thoroughly unremarkable. In the bits of highlights I’ve caught, Mehti Sarakham (92) has been the only other bright spark. He’s quick, likes to run with the ball and could cause us some problems. Although he hasn’t managed a goal or an assist this season. So his end product might need a little work.

 

 

Form

 

It’s ugly for both sides, but Rayong’s results are truly noteworthy for how bad they’ve been. They’ve scored in only one of their last seven games. Having said that, they did find the net twice last week, before only losing by a single goal against league leaders BG. It would be a stretch to describe them as ‘coming in to form’, but the way we’re playing any sort of performance from the opposition could be enough to secure a result at the PAT.

 

Port FC

On The Way Oud

 

In my last preview I touched on a few players who I thought needed to be dropped. They weren’t, and we were so poor at times against Muangthong that I’ve added to my list. Nitipong (34) has really regressed this season, and desperately needs a rest. Thitawee (2) is the only natural replacement, and he looked unreliable earlier this season, but could be worth a try.

Dolah (4) is suspended having picked up his fourth yellow on Wednesday, and the way he’s been playing since returning from injury that’s probably a good thing. Worawut (24) has continued to look decent at the back, but who knows who will be partnering him on Sunday. Todsapol (6) was the only centre back on the bench last week, so he’s probably the best bet. Let’s hope he lasts the 90 minutes.

Steuble (15) continues to look well below his best, and with their being far more value in attacking rather than defending full backs against Rayong, Jaturapat (21) should really be getting a run-out.

In midfield Siwakorn (16) hasn’t looked awful, but we need to instil a sense of competition among our squad, and rotation is one way to go about that. Kanarin (31) is the most deserving of a start in my book, but again I’ll take any old fresh legs at this point. Youngster Tawin (14) was on the bench against MTU. Give him a go.

Tanasith (11) was rotated in on Wednesday, which I was happy to see, but he didn’t do himself any favours on the pitch. Looking dangerous and failing to provide end product can only get you so far, and with plenty of other options on the wings, it’s likely that Port will give someone else a go on Sunday. Pakorn (7), who came off the bench only to balloon a shot in to the carpark, is one option, while Adisak (9) could also start wide on the right. My preferred selection would be Nattawut (45), but for whatever reason he is only being used as an impact sub.

Up top we’re in that spot we find ourselves in almost every year. We’ve signed one of the top-scorers in the league only for him to struggle in front of goal. Boli (94) is at least still contributing with some solid all-around centre forward play, but it would help if he also converted chances when they come his way. Suarez is doing his best to provide opportunities, but looks a little frustrated at the minute. Whether it’s his teammates, the officials or at times himself getting in his way, he isn’t quite firing on all cylinders at the moment.

The way things have gone I’d be very surprised indeed if Port are not in the process of finding someone else who is willing to take the blame when the team that is picked for them loses. Coach Oud had an exceptional start, but has hit the same bump in the road as all of his predecessors, so despite Mme Pang’s recent comments to the media, which could also be described as the dreaded vote of confidence, Oud looks very much to me like a dead man walking. To be honest I’m surprised how well he’s done and how long he’s lasted.

 


 

The match will be shown live on Channel 5 and AIS Play. Kick off is at 18:00. 

 

I Think We’re Alone Now: Samut Prakan City vs. Port FC Preview

 

In the hunt to keep within screaming distance of the relentless “nearly Bangkok” rabbits of BG Pathum United, the Lions of Klongtoey, nearly as relentless of late, make the trip to another “nearly Bangkok” side, the club formerly known as Pattaya United, now Samut Prakan City, or with a wink to the most beloved organisation in the English game, the SP Dons. It will be a short trip into the epicentre of one recent outbreak of COVID-19 that has put the entire league in empty stadium-mode and ruined what was possibly a great away day for many of our readers. Mask up lads!

 

Not sure that counts as a mask, boss.

 

Samut Prakan Dons

 

The new boys did well in their first ever season of football. Especially in the first half of the season, during which we found ourselves with the corresponding fixture right on a great run and lost 2-1. Going 2 down within 10 minutes and only able to pull one back right at the end. They have since seen star striker Ibson Melo move to Sukhothai and aptly replaced him with fellow Brazilian Tardeli, who’s already netted 8 goals thus far in his loan spell from BG and will be joined by another BG loanee in midfielder Toti for the second half of the season. As the league leaders brought in Diogo there was no room for the Spaniard. He’s not the greatest foreign player in the league, but he will definitely strengthen his new team.

 

Toti looking to help his former club on debut for his new one?

 

The Dons are currently sitting pretty in 6th place in T1, the very same spot as they finished in 2019. I must admit I have not seen enough of SP to make any in-depth analysis of their strengths and weaknesses, but looking at last season and what I have managed to catch this year, consistency is key to a side that can put up a fight to any team in the country. The only full game I remember getting into since the league started back up was the 4-1 thrashing of Chonburi two weeks ago. Although the score doesn’t really tell the story of the fairly tight margins I saw on the pitch that night, it is still an impressive win and it came right after travelling to Buriram and winning 3-1, and just before travelling to Trat and winning 4-0, so it’s safe to say we’ll be facing a side that’s in form and full of confidence.

 

Tardeli tries out for the next Zoolander film

 

Port

 

Since BG visited the PAT and Chenrop produced his only decent performance, ever, at his former home to hand us our second defeat of the season, we’ve been unstoppable and the random throwing of money at the most expensive players in the league is bearing fruit with an impressive 8 consecutive wins so SP will not be the only ones in form and full of confidence. The big thing will be to see how our latest big name signing, Ratchaburi top scorer Yannick Boli (94) , fits into the team. As Toby pointed out in his requiem to Heberty’s short time at the club, he may have only been playing for himself but he did back it up with some nice numbers and we all hope Boli will contribute goals without being completely useless otherwise.

 

Boli scores goals and runs about.

 

We’re free of suspension and only Bordin (10) seems ruled out with injury so Oud will have a nearly full squad to, theoretically, pick from. That means Pakorn (7) is likely to be the domestic addition to our otherwise foreign front line and the only question mark left to straighten out being whether Dolah (4) or Tanaboon (71) joins Worawut (24) at CB. I’ll go for Dolah as I not only hold him in higher regard myself, but also want to see the Swedish contingency remain regular starters. Writing this while looking out the window at a winter wonderland covered in the only two days of snow it seems my part of Sweden will see this month, I’m filled with an extra dose of Christmas cheer that leaves me convinced that the last present of the season, will be the one we get from Port tomorrow. 3-1, a brace for Boli and another goal from substitute Adisak (9) wrap up both the match and 2020, means we bring home 3 points to stay in the race when the much awaited 2021 finally rolls around.

 

Predicted lineup:

 

Too much striking talent?

 

As no fans are allowed to attend the game, we’re all watching on TV, the game is on NBT2 in Thailand and 1play around the world, kicking off at 1830 local time.

 

 

Who’s Trat? Trat FC vs. Port FC Preview

 

Another game, another manager.

It might not seem like it, what with the long break and the familiar figure of Jadet having been back at the helm, but by kick-off on Saturday Port will be on their third manager in just 7 games. And once again, new coach Sarawut’s tenure is unlikely to be a long one, with rumours already circulating about talks with Alexandre Gama, Jose Borges, Scott Cooper and just about anyone willing to wear a t-shirt with Madame Pang’s latest slogan on it.

Yes, Port’s enigmatic owner seems to have come full circle, returning to the wild early months of her tenure where she hired and fired 5 bosses in a single season. Assuming Sarawut, who incidentally was the assistant of the first manager Pang fired this season, is only intended to be in place until Pang finds a bigger name, we will soon be at 4 and in touching distance of Pang’s record.

So why was Jadet once again moved upstairs? Well, clearly Port weren’t performing well, despite having what many are saying is the best squad in T1. The problem is certainly not the talent available, so it must be the manager, right?

No. Whilst I’ve never been Jadet’s number one fan, limited as he is in terms of tactical nous and match preparation, he isn’t making signings, and he isn’t even picking the team. So what do you expect him to do? Give any manager in the league this surly, selfish, want-away incarnation of Heberty, a broken Bonilla, an injury-ravaged defence and the inability to do anything with them other then what they’re told, and see how much better they’d do. Also, let’s not forget that Port lost 0-2 in Jadet’s first match in charge because of floodlight maintenance, and were beaten by one of the top contenders (in my opinion) for the title in the other. What a shit-show.

Anyway, that’s my rant for this preview out of the way. Fortunately for Sarawut, our opponents on Saturday are just who you’d want to face in your first game in charge.

 

Trat FC

 

Rooted to the bottom of the table on zero points, and with an even worse goal difference than most people’s pick for last place Rayong FC, Trat look pretty hopeless this year.

It’s not all their fault though, with the club apparently facing severe financial difficulties over the last few months and having to let go some of their best players. There are even reports of the owner putting land up for sale to keep the club in business. There’s been a messy dispute over the contractual situation of their former winger Adefolarin Durosinmi, in which Trat look very much like the side in the wrong, and the contract of Wellington Priori has also been terminated, meaning that Trat are left with just one foreign quota player – Brazilian striker Ricardo Santos (11). A decent foreign striker by all accounts, capable of giving centre backs a tough evening and popping up with the odd goal, Santos will be the main man for Port to watch out for. Their Asian quota player is Mustafa Azadzoy (7) is also a handy attacker.

 

 

Combative former Muangthong and Thailand winger Mongkol Tossakrai (23) is a shrewd loan signing, and young forward Sittichok Paso (44) also comes with something of a reputation, despite failing to score goals almost everywhere he’s been. He’s young and he’s a forward, you see.

 

 

Their goalkeeper, Todsaporn Sri-reung (81) is a capable T1-standard stopper, and in front of him Amani Aguinaldo (12) looks half decent albeit with a pretty poor defence around him and little protection from midfield.

Bottom line is, if we get beat by this lot, we’re in real trouble.

 

Port FC

 

Did I say I was done ranting earlier? Sorry, I lied.

In my opinion Port’s main problem last Saturday was poor individual performances. There is also something missing from the team as a whole, but I’ll get to that later. In a game like this, it will probably just take a couple of decent performances from our forward players to get the job done.

Heberty (37) was, for me, the worst of Port’s forwards last week, and I honestly don’t hold any hope of him turning his form around. He just doesn’t look like he wants to be here, and seems to be playing badly as a protest. He’s that good that he can’t be this bad. I detest his attitude, and I wouldn’t be sad to see us just de-register him and send him back to where he came from.

 

 

Suarez (5) was also having his second consecutive off-day, but we’ve seen enough of the Spaniard to know that his poor form isn’t through lack of effort, and I’m sure he’ll turn it around soon enough. He invariably does.

Pakorn (7) wasn’t great, but he was mostly a victim of Heberty being more Pakorn than Pakorn. Credit to anyone who understood that. As we’ve said ad nauseum Pakorn is too lazy and too selfish, but last Saturday he consistently found himself in good positions only for Heberty to refuse to pass him the ball, preferring instead to take 30 yard pot-shots or using his weaker foot when he could have played Pakorn in on his stronger foot. Please never play them together again, and I know which one I’d pick given the choice.

Bordin (10) was excellent again when he came off the bench. God knows whose idea it was to put him there after being Port’s best player last time out. Starting Kevin (97) on the wing is a workable option against certain opposition, but I prefer to see it employed late on against teams with a tiring full back where Kevin’s pace can stretch the defence.

 

 

Go (8) and Kanarin (31) were uninspiring in midfield, but I have faith they’ll improve with match sharpness. The same can be said of the defence. Todsapol (6) and Dolah (4) both made blunders that we shouldn’t be seeing at a club with ambitions of winning the title, and those errors have to be cut out.

Rattanai (18) was excellent, and without him between the sticks we would surely have lost by more.

 


 

So what can we expect from new coach Sarawut? Well, I assume his remit is to bring back the boring but functional style that Choke employed, but doing so with a believable smile and a ‘Trust Pang’ shirt. Expect less attacking from the full backs, more discipline from the wingers and less fluid changes of position up top. It worked for Choke in the first four games, and against limited opposition, I can see us getting a win here, although I think it might just be by the one goal.

 


 

The match will be shown on True Visions 357 at 19:00 on Saturday 26 September, 2020. With it being a long away trip, we’re expecting out first big crowd since the restart in The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13, who will show the match with sound and a 10% discount on drinks for Port fans. See you there!

 

Assault on Thunder Castle: Buriram Utd vs. Port FC Preview

 

Port are sitting pretty as the league’s pace setters with a 100% record after 3 games, but their first real test of the season looms ominously on the horizon as the Lions of Khlong Toey travel to Thunder Castle (FFS am I supposed to be scared by that name?) to take on Buriram United this weekend.

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Fire Bats With Dire Tats: Sukhothai FC vs. Port FC Preview

 

Port embark on their first away trip of the season this Wednesday looking to do what they couldn’t last year and leave Sukhothai’s Talayluang Stadium with all 3 points. After last season’s debacle if we leave without one of our players having assaulted an official it’ll be a significant improvement.

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Number 1 vs The 1 Year Olds: Port FC vs Samut Prakan City Preview

We are top of the league, said we are top of the league… Well it is only week 1, but better to be top than bottom of the league. This week Port face the 1 year olds of Samut Prakarn City (est. 2019). The match kicks off at 5.45 p.m, Saturday 22nd February and is on True Sports 2.

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