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Super Power Port Ballads 2017: Super Power 1-3 Port FC

 

Wednesday Away

Tom on his portcasts always asks “You’re a Port Fan, is it more about football or more about the social side of things?” For me it’s a 40/60 split. The football is OK. Port are a decent T1 team with a potential for a good cup run, or in a bad year a quality T2 team chasing promotion. More importantly Port are a fantastically well supported club. And some of the best Port days are Wednesdays away. Wednesdays you have to nick off work early or be free to mission to whatever far flung part of Thailand the season throws up. There are no part timers on a Wednesday away. Some regulars can’t make it, this week Hockers was stuck in the library with a trainee librarian, we’ll have to ask him about that on Saturday. Tim Russell was forced to leave the country, because he’s a jinx for away games. Sorry Tim, your Thai Port Visa has been revoked, we’ll let you back in the country for Sisaket Home, and you’re allowed Ratchaburi Away as it’s the last game of the season.

Those of us that did make it converged on Samut Prakan in various different ways like a Thai Port version of Wacky Races. Keith driving, Costa flying in, I went for the bike, then BTS, then taxi, then walk combo. It reminded me of the old Paul Simon Song. “There must 50 ways to Support Port…”

 

There must be 50 ways to support Port,

Get to the PAT Matt,

Head to Klong Toei Boy,

Stand in Zone B Vee,

Set yourself free

 

Jump on a bike Mike,

Check out the save Dave,

Support the Lion Brian,

Listen to me

 

Arrange to meet Pete,

Check out the Sandpit.com Tom,

Get a Port sim Tim,

Kick off is on John,

Stand in Zone B Vee,

Set yourself free

 

Come down and cheer Bank Frank,

Have some belief Keith,

Sort out your biz Giz,

And set yourself free.

(to the tune of “There must be 50 ways to leave your lover”)

 

I believe Paul Simon re-wrote it and had a small hit with the song a few years ago. I still think his first draft was the best version. Paul Simon, Thai Port hardcore since ‘67.

On the way to the ground most of us noticed the nasty smash up about two miles down the road from the ground. Passing it I thought this might be an omen of the carnage that was to come, Port’s party bus might well obliterate  the Super Power Fiat Punto with an head on collision of goals. Super Power Samut Prakan have only won once this season, could they make it two tonight? Surely not. Pre-match predictions in the taxi were, Costa 3-1, Kenny 3-1, Me 6-4. With Super Power relegated a long time ago and Port safe already, this game had no jeopardy, just one last Wednesday Away in 2017.

 

 

Port went up after 15 minutes, a great pull-back from Pakorn (9) blasted in by a resurgent Sergio Suarez (5). The Wednesday Away crowd rewarded for all our troubles. One goal up, Port established the natural order of things, but it was Super Power that had the majority of the chances over the next 60 minutes. With a slim lead we were scared we might slip up and make a sad footnote in Thai football history as one of the teams to give up points to the worst T1 team ever. Josimar (30) popped up with a good chance half way through the second half. Then Super Power came back with a good long range shot turned over the bar by Rattanai (17). We were not worried as Port fans we know…

 

“Rattanai’s in the goal was is he gonna do?

Rattanai’s in the goal was is he gonna do?

He’s gonna save that shot, that’s what he’s gonna do

He’s gonna save that shooooooooot,

Woo Woo Woo Yeah

Woo Yeah.”

(To the tune of “There’s a rat in me kitchen” by UB40)

Genki always smiling, never tired. Pictured here in Chiang Rai enjoying the Genki Song.

Genki managed to play most of the game for a change and we were given ample chance to sing…

 

“You were working as a winger in Ratchaburi

When we met you

We picked you out, we signed you up,

We cheered you on

We turned you into something new

 

Genk

Gengki Naga

Genki Nagasato, Genki Nagasaaaaaaatoooo

Genki Nagasato, Genki Nagasaaaaaaaaaaatooo

 

Oh, Nagasato – you know I don’t believe you when you say you can play football

You’d better step it up or we will sign your sister,

Genki Nagasato, Genki Nagasaaaaaaatoooo

Genki Nagasato, Genki Nagasaaaaaaaaaaatooo

(to the tune of “Don’t you want me baby” by The Human League)

 


 

Eventually with the minutes ticking over Genki was subbed off for Pummared (41). I’m not sure why we always sub him off, I think the Jadet just looks at his work rate and figures he must be tired after all that running. He’s not tired he could go for another 45 minutes and then some.

If there are two players I can’t stand to see coming on the pitch it’s Tana (99) and Wuttichai (14). So it was only fitting that while I was hurling abuse and both of them Tana scored in the 82nd minute and Wuttichai set up Pakorn for a Port’s third three minutes into injury time. In between these two footballing aberrations, Super Power got one back to confirm Costa and Kenny’s pre-match picks of 3-1 at full time. And it also confirmed the fact that I should never gamble with predictions like mine.

Post-match beers and cheers saw Pang pushing Jadet forward to receive the adoration of the away end. I think this shows he’s going to be our coach in 2018 and Pang will back him for the long term. When I say long term I mean at least 6 games into the 2018 season.

Oh I almost forgot…

 

The other night dear while I lay sleeping

I dreamt we won the FA Cup

But when I woke dear, I was mistaken

So I had another beer

 

You are my Thai Port

My only Thai Port

You make me happy when skies are grey

You’ll never know Port

How much I love

Please don’t take my Thai Port Away

(to the tune of “You are my sunshine” by Johnny Cash)

 

That’s all for this Wednesday Away, See you on Saturday.

Powering Down: Super Power vs. Port FC, 8 November 2017

 

It would take a heartless super-villain not to have cracked a smile at the news that Super Power had finally, after 27 consecutive defeats, broken their T1 duck. At long last the league’s longest-suffering fans, who have earned more respect with their tireless singing and dancing on the terraces than the players have on the pitch, had something to cheer about. After a season in which they had twice conceded 9 goals, and racked up a goal difference of -94, that 3-2 win over Navy was probably the feel-good moment of the season.

Sentiment aside, though, Port travel to Samut Prakarn on Wednesday to face a side at the peak of their Super Powers. Seeing as their season has consisted of a solitary victory, two draws and twenty eight losses, this should still hardly be a concern for a Port side who are undefeated in the league since Jadet returned to the helm.

 

Super Power

Players to Watch

 

In my last preview I tried and failed to choose my usual 4 or 5 players to watch, admitting defeat due to an assumed overabundance of quality throughout Muangthong’s starting XI. How wrong I was! This time I am in a rather different situation. Super Power’s current top scorers are Brazilian attacking midfielder Moreira (80) and Thai left winger Suradech (2). They each have 3 goals. So these two might be half decent footballers. All the other ones probably suck.

What I did find quite entertaining in my research is that no-one seems to have any idea where half of their players play. Take Moreira for example, who has started in 6 different positions this season. Ironically, the one position their top scorer hasn’t featured in is striker. Maybe try that one out, guys?

Even more baffling is their use of Keon-Pil Lee (33), who has started games as both a centre back and an attacking midfielder. And as a left-back and defensive midfielder, obviously. I’m imagining Jadet looking pensively at his tactics board, perhaps smoking a pipe for effect. The plump prodigy slowly but deliberately switches Dolah and Suarez’ positions in the starting XI while his assistants nod in silent approval.

 

Suradech, Moreira and Lee Keon-Pil

 

Hilariously, Lee isn’t even the only player to play in both left-back and attacking midfield. Thai-Italian Antonio Verzura (69) has also played in both positions. Jadet adjusts his monocle, takes Panpanpong and moves him slowly further and further up the pitch. His assistants look on in disbelief as he tucks Panpanpong alongside Dolah in attacking midfield. The spherical sensation begins to chuckle. His assistants look uncomfortable, not knowing how to react. The massive mastermind finally breaks out in to a full belly-laugh, and those around him follow suit. The hysterical hooting continues unabated, before eventually subsiding as the voluptuous virtuoso wheezes, apparently choking on the brilliance of his own idea. As quickly as a T1 referee brandishing a yellow card to Siwakorn, the room once again falls silent. Was he… serious?

 

Form

As mentioned previously, Super Power are in their best form of the season. Whilst with any other team in the league that might be concerning, with Super Power it means one win, one draw and four losses in their last six. The four losses were against Sisaket, Ratchaburi, Suphanburi and Bangkok United, the incredible 3-2 victory against Navy and finally the 2-2 draw against Thai Honda.

Super Power’s form could also be affected by the fact that they have now been bought by Capital Group in Maha Sarakham, and will be renamed Jumpasri United in 2018. The players can now be certain that the club will remain afloat, and so they have something concrete to play for. Admittedly, it’s a T2 spot for a club in Isaan, but it’s better than nothing! As an aside, check out their promotional video here. Pretty in pink!

 

The Sandpit Meets Batman

 

I am lucky enough this week to have been joined by Super Power supremo Batman bin Suparman, the mastermind behind some of the revolutionary tactical decisions at SAT Stadium this season. He showed me just how he would set up the Port side with the XI expected to start on Wednesday.

 

 

Batman also briefly described why he made each of the choices.

 

 

Rochela (GK) – Rochela is Port’s most important defensive player, so he should also be Port’s last line of defence. It’s not difficult you know, this management lark.

Piyachat (RB) – My plans to play Siwakorn in central defence have been thwarted by his suspension. Instead I’ve got some hipster I’ve never heard of playing right back. Oh, well.

Josimar, Genki (CB) – I’ve been very impressed with the understanding between these two all season, and where is it more important to have a good understanding than the heart of the defence? One thing I’ve never understood is why you would play your top scorer up front. In my experience, your top scorers should ideally be playing at the back, if not in goal.

Suarez (LB) – Anyone with even a passing interest in the beautiful game know that attacking midfield and left back are completely interchangeable positions. Suarez will therefore feel perfectly at home in his new position. Just ask James Milner.

Nitipong (LM) – Fairly straight-forward, this one. Nitipong has been used as a right back all season, but has been struggling for form. What he needs is a move to the opposite side of the pitch to freshen things up.

Pakorn (DM) – I actually heard this suggested in one of The Sandpit’s Zone F interviews and I thought ‘That’s brilliant. Brilliant!’

Rattanai (RM) – Rattanai is a promising talent, but needs to be more involved in the action. Also, playing him outfield means he will be a threat from set-pieces where he can do that thing he does when he uses his hands to kick the ball. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know you were allowed to do that. This lad could revolutionize football, I tell you.

Dolah (LAM) – This fella has impressed me with his speed, skill and dribbling all season. He will be the creative fulcrum of the side.

Panpanpong (RAM) – A player with as much positional awareness as Panpanpong should really be putting this talent to use in the opposition half. How many times have we seen him lose his marker this season, resulting in a goal? I rest my case.

Adisorn (CF) – The crux of my footballing philosophy is that players who have scored two or less goals in nearly an entire season belong up front. Adisorn is the best option available to me, because he has zero goals and zero assists.

 

The match will be shown live on True Sport 2 at 17:45 on Wednesday 8 November, 2017. For those who can’t make it to SAT Stadium, The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 will show the match on a big screen with sound if you ask them nicely. Mention the Sandpit or wear your Port shirt for a 10% discount while you’re at it!

 

A Loki Affair: Port FC vs. Super Power FC, 21 May 2017

 

Having won the mid week “war of heroes” against the villainous Muangthong United, the Port super heroes will return to fortress PAT, on Sunday, with the distinct possibility of finding a Batmobile or two parked up outside, as they welcome Super Power Samut Prakan. Whilst the name may allude to powers above that of mere mortals, the start to the season for Super Power has been more of a Loki affair for the team previously working under the alias Osotspa, as they’ve collected just one point after 15 rounds.

So, a game that in preseason jumped out as potentially the first genuine relegation six pointer feels significantly less important, with Super Power appearing to be close to a reunion with former sponsors M150, who now sponsor the lower leagues. Port are closing in on enough points to stay up, two rounds short of mid-season and on the back of beating the reigning champions and league leaders. Surely a simple 3 points for the home team?  Yet it’s never certain which Port will emerge from the metaphorical phone booth come kick off. Supermen or meek Clark Kents? As our own Josimar pointed out in his interview with the Sandpit, against smaller teams often something hasn’t quite clicked like it does when facing a gang of oddballs in ugly costumes and vague animal links (beetles, lizards etc.), funded by megalomaniacs with designs on world domination (I like to think such characters run each and every Thai club). Our boys march into their evil den, give them a lead before firing off 3 goals and victory in the name of truth, justice and the Khlong Toei way.

 

Form

While Port won the Bangkok el khlas iik-o, Super Power were playing in the “surely this can’t still be Bangkok” derby in front of only slightly larger crowd, as 722 people saw them go down to Thai Honda by a single goal, scored by the Bane of Port that infamous night in Ladrabang: Rafinha. In a scrappy game on a cut up pitch, Super Power in fact were handed a chance to double their points tally and secure an injury time equalizer via a penalty for handball, but Komenan’s spot kick was nowhere near the corner and became a routine save with keeper Natchanon Jothavon guessing the right way.

The season as whole has been a slog for Super Power and holy defence statman the numbers don’t look good for them. Their sole point came in round two from a somewhat unexpected source as they held Bangkok Glass to a 0-0 draw. Since when things have Gotham bad to worse with 13 straight defeats.

So, there really aren’t a lot of high points to point out or variations on ‘turned up and lost,’ sadly. All season they’ve scored just 10 goals and conceded at an average of over 3 a game (46 in all). Away is slightly worse (having played 8), scoring an average of a goal every other game and conceding an average of 3.25 (26 in total). Only once have they scored more than 1 goal in a game, which occurred when they bagged 2 v Bangkok United, however they were already 5-0 down when they started their mini fight back.   The only teams they’ve managed to stop scoring twice were fellow basement dwellers Sisaket and Thai Honda who have recently moved out of the relegation zone thanks to back to back wins over Muanthong and the 1-0 win mentioned above. So, things look tough for the team from the SAT stadium, such that even manager Jason Withe told the Sandpit a result on Sunday would count as a surprise.

 

Players to Watch

Korean defender/midfielder Lee Keon Pil (33) had played every game until recently but a red card and suspension for massing 5 over yellows have seen him miss 2 matches. Expect to see him back in the team and charged with trying to stop Suárez.

At the back Withe has taken to pairing Thai Tanapol Udomlap (99) with Bulgarian Lyuben Nikolov (5) a product of Levski Sofia who came to Thailand 3 years ago via Belarus. He started his time in the Land of smiles with Sisaket, making it into the Thai league’s top 11 transfers of 2015 in his first season. The only time they’ve not started recently was when Nikolov was serving a suspension for a red card and can expect to have their work cut out handling Josimar.

Up front they have one of those enigmas you find in Thai football in the Namibian Sadney Urikhob (10), who arrived into Thai football with Saraburi scored 3 great goals almost immediately, one of which was in a 2-2 draw with Port (Ed – I remember that vividly, he was electric!) and another the only goal in a 1-0 win away to Suphanburi. Come the end of the season Port were relegated with 33 points while Saraburi stayed up on 35 only then to resign from the league and fold. How different it could have been for Port without Sadney’s goals. Last season he moved on to Super Power scoring 10 goals in 22 games. This season has been much more of an in and out affair (with more out recently) and his only goal came back in February, in the form of a last minute consolation away to Sukhothai with the score 5-0 to the home team but if decides to be the player of 2015 he could cause a few problems at the back.

However, the more regular start up front is Ivorian Anthony Moura Komenan (11), who has been with Super Power in their various guises and bases since 2012. A man who received a standing ovation whilst on trial at Huddersfield for his performance in a reserve game, however despite some glowing comments from then manager Lee Clark the move to Yorkshire never materialized and Komenan return to France for a few years before heading to Thailand. Not much of a big scary foreign striker, he’s a mixed bag of tricks and pace. Who hopefully isn’t inspired to inflict revenge for that penalty miss and can be handled by mister fantastic and rest of the fantastic four (the barrel is being scraped for a super hero pun).

Christmas Sompen (3) sadly wasn’t born on the 25th of December and has been limited to just 3 appearances this season but if nothing else he has a wonderful name.

 

Port Line up

It appears that unless any vocal cords went down strained or hands broken banging on the walls at the Lego Stadium post match, Professor Jadet Xavier has a full rota of Xmen to pick from. Wishful thinking has him going all out attack with a partner for Josimar but realistically he’ll probably go with his standard 4-5-1.

 

The match will be shown live on True Sport 2 at 19:00 on Sunday 20 May, 2017