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Tom’s Transfer Talk: Tanasith Lord

 

One of Thailand’s best foreign players will be available on a free transfer this year as PTT Rayong’s dissolution means that formidable central defender Victor Cardozo is now without a club.

 

 

Having dropped David Rochela for the second half of 2019, Port chose to prioritize attack and sign an extra foreign striker, but it would be no great surprise if that policy was reversed in 2020, with either Rochela restored to the squad or an established star like Victor filling the role.

Of course there will be competition for his signature, and some of the biggest names in Thai football could well be interested. Buriram will doubtless respond to their failure to lift a trophy this season with some eye-catching transfers, and Muangthong manager Alexandre Gama could be in the mix too, having coached Victor in his double cup winning Chiang Rai side in 2018.

At this stage it’s still speculation, but we’d be mad not to be thinking about signing one of the best defenders in the Thai game. Then again, would he even get in to our starting XI ahead of Tanaboon?

 


 

We don’t just have to pre-empt rumours though, we have a real one to talk about. The subject of an apparent tug-of-war between Port and Samut Prakan, Tanasith Siripala is a player I’ve written about quite a bit in the past, as he was one of Thailand’s hottest prospects a few years back. Playing alongside a certain Bodin Phala for Bangkok Glass, who by the way was considered an inferior talent at the time, Tanasith tormented Port’s defence and scored the game’s only goal when BG defeated Port in 2016, and he was a worry for Port’s full-backs whenever he faced us.

 

 

His form has dropped off quite a bit in recent seasons, though. The reliable end product that you always hope will develop in young players has never quite materialized for Tanasith, and during his time with Suphanburi he’s been in and out of the starting XI. There’s still undoubted potential there though, and as with the signing of Bodin, things could turn out very well indeed.

Known to some as ‘Taodinho’ for his nickname Tao and his physical resemblance to Ronaldinho, Tanasith can play on either flank, although he saw most of his action on Suphanburi’s right wing this season. Whether or not Tanasith would add firepower to our squad is a no-brainer – of course he would – but is it really necessary for Port to sign another winger? With Bodin, Pakorn and Nurul already on the books we have more than enough options in those positions. Career-wise it’s probably a no-brainer for Tanasith NOT to join Port, as he would be much more likely to see significant game time elsewhere.

The state of the deal is unknown at the time of writing, with some saying the move to Port is confirmed, and others saying it is close. We’ll let you know if he pops up on Madame Pang’s Instagram feed!

 


 

As we have known for some weeks now, Port have secured the services of Go Seul-ki on a permanent deal, while Martin Stueble has also told us he will be staying with Port in 2020. Both made important contributions in 2019, and will surely play important roles once again next season. First though, there’s the small matter of a cup final…

 

Just Plain Rayong: PTT Rayong 1-0 Port FC

 

Pressure makes diamonds” opined one of our travelling party as we discussed Port’s current situation on the way to the Meccano-esque PTT Stadium. The rest of the suitably lubricated gentleman and additional beer monitor carefully considered this statement until I offered a well thought out counter-argument; “pressure can also make you piss yourself.” Wise words indeed but sadly I was proved right as Port continued their alarming dip in form that has seen them go from top of pile to mid-table mediocrity and possibly something much much worse.

It all started so well with a midweek cup victory against The Scum which many had hoped would propel the team back to some decent form and retake the initiative in the league. None of our rivals had pulled away from the chasing pack and Port could take heart that it wasn’t just us fucking about. Also it was set up as a cracking away day; a bit of beach action followed by an early evening kick off at a decent stadium, so this had expanded from your normal football trip to 2 minivans, an additional car and several others on the Thai coach.

 

 

The highlight of the day was Bang Saray beach; a beautiful spot at a good arm’s length from Pattaya that isn’t too overcrowded and a great place to spend a few hours doing sweet FA. We split into 2 groups; those who wanted to eat in chairs (and sand-phobic) and those who prefer to be a little more horizontal while they dine. Moving between the 2 groups, it was a charming afternoon and really we should have stayed all day there if we had known what “entertainment” was in store for us. On a side note, my afternoon was rudely interrupted by a rogue mussel that made me evacuate the contents of my stomach and get a standing ovation from our group upon leaving the roadside toilet; a touching moment I will never forget.

 

 

The first half was a tepid affair only punctuated by 2 things; Bodin’s (10) behind the halfway line shot that keeper Peerapong (30) tipped onto the crossbar and someone spotting a reasonably attractive woman in the home stand which prompt a group of us to wave furiously at in a desperate effort to get her attention. Oh, Rayong’s Big Scary Bastard Victor (5) missed a tap in from a set piece. The lack of quality from both sides was clearly evident and many of us voted with our feet to nip off for very early beers.

 

“Hello, you!”

 

The second half was not much better; the game’s only moment of quality was the goal. Dennis Murillo (92) was given time and space due to Martin Steuble (15) being out of position and he sent a delicious curling shot into the far top corner over Worawut (36). Jadet, sensing the knives sharpening, sent on Pakorn (7) for the totally ineffective Sumanya (11) and Josimar (30) for the woeful Blackburn (99) and things got a little better. Pakorn’s shot forced a smart save and seconds later the ball was fizzed across the box by no Port player could turn it in. Then Josimar missed our best opportunity, running smartly onto a free kick which he placed the wrong side of the post.

And that was that, Port fell to yet another defeat with a performance of zero merit in a game that was frankly painful to watch. Jadet’s diamond formation offers nothing; Siwakorn (16) is uncomfortable playing to the right, Bodin doesn’t have license to roam in order to effect play and Sumanya, effectively the same player as Suarez, has been playing bollocks for far too long and doesn’t justify a starting place. Players we normally depend on like Dolah (4) and Suarez (5) aren’t performing to their usual standards and the new players seem pretty “meh”. Steuble had been solid but was at fault for the goal, Tanaboon (71) seemed very nervous at centre back and “El Toro” Blackburn put in a 1/10 performance and that’s me being very generous. We might as well have played with an actual bull up front. Credit to Dolah for talking to the fans at the service station after the match and also Watchara (1) who said a very brief hello to me and the missus. We must also call out Go (8) who swerved us when he saw a large group of us in Burger King; not cool and I hope you were gutted you didn’t get your whopper.

By the end of the weekend it was confirmed that Jadet has been relieved of his coaching duties and shunted upstairs, just like the ill-fated Zico experiment, and in comes Choketawee Promrut as coach while Spencer Prior becomes team manager. Again it looks like Madame wants to experiment and keep Jadet around as an insurance policy in case it all goes south, but something, anything needed to be done to stop the rot. New people bring fresh ideas to the table and hopefully there won’t be too much meddling in the background (stop laughing at the back), although 3 senior roles means there are already a lot of cooks ready to spoil the Port broth and Madame and her lackeys are standing right behind them armed with extra ladles.

 

Man of the Match: No One

 

Nope, none of them deserve it. I’m not even going to give it to the fans because all we did was bitch and moan then bugger off to drink outside. The opposition were just as bad and Murillo isn’t getting it for the goal because he was an absolute shithouse with a top knot. It was that bad an afternoon.

 

Playing Ratch-up: Ratchaburi FC vs. Port FC Preview

 

Port face their worst crisis this season, having suffered their third loss on the trot last Sunday. Before we get too down on ourselves though, it’s also worth pointing out that it’s our only crisis this season. Port had enjoyed the best start to a season in recent memory, and until just three matches ago, were top of T1. Having been beaten by champs Buriram – predictably if you weren’t getting swept away with the unlikely predictions that we would be champions – the next loss against high-flying Samut Prakan hurt more, and the third against a particularly objectionable Chiang Rai side more still. But remember, all three of these sides are currently in the top 4. Yes, we lost 3 consecutive games, but it’s not the end of the world. We’re not going to be champions, but an AFC place is very much still within our reach.

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