Tom’s Transfer Talk: You Cannot Be Serious


“It is impossible to have a squad of 35 players.” Jose Mourinho

“Ideally, you would want 23 or 24 and then have academy players of a ­sufficient quality to back them up.” Mark Hughes

“It has become all about resources. Clubs can now buy so many players that 10 or 20 guys who could be top players ­elsewhere cannot play.” Johan Cruyff


Above are the opinions of some great managers, and Mark Hughes, on squad size.

Jose Mourinho is known to insist on a squad of no more than 24 players, Luiz Felipe Scolari aims to have between 23 and 25, while Hughes suggests that 23 or 24 is the ideal number. Why is this?

In 2009, Hughes said “If you have more than 25, it is difficult to have a meaningful training session.” Last year, Mourinho added his two centavos, saying “I believe in smaller squads because you need perspective, otherwise the motivation is a doubt. I have always preferred small squads. I think I have the smallest squad in the Premier League.”

So why am I dredging up quotes from the previous decade on squad size? Well, according to my squad list there are currently thirty eight players at the club. Take that, Jose! This is Thailand, and anything is possible. So it’s difficult to have a meaningful training session? Stop being a Negative Nancy, Hughes, and just play 19-a-side! So what if we have five left backs? You can use one as a doorstep, one as a paper weight and you’ve still got 3 left over!


Transfer Rumours


So, with that off my chest, it’s time to announce our latest rumoured transfer. Once again, the Port Lions are tearing the leftover meat from the rotting corpse of the Pink Panther, and the latest pound of flesh is Chad Chaiyabutr.

Chaiyabutr has a Thai father – former Thai national team player Cherdsak Chaiyabutr – and an American mother. He spent his youth career at the Portland Timbers in The States, before joining Chonburi at the age of 20. He spent a year at Chonburi without making an appearance, then moved on to TOT where he also failed to get on to the pitch.  After a few years in the semi-professional wilderness (stints in the lower leagues at Kalasin, Chaiyaphum and Trang), Chaiyabutr moved to BBCU in T2 where he has played 9 games, scoring a solitary goal.



This is not a confirmed transfer yet, but Chaiyabutr has been pictured training with Port, so it could well happen. Will he get anywhere near the starting XI? I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen him play. Surely he can’t be any worse than Wuttichai…


You Cannot Be Serious


This is getting ridiculous…

The latest rumour – and let me stress that this is just a rumour – is that Kaludjerovic (10) could well be back in the frame for a place in the squad, with Maranhao’s (92) inclusion once again a doubt. It sounds so ridiculous that I can’t bring myself to take it seriously, but I’ve been shocked before.

The Sandpit’s scouts at Wednesday’s friendly were again impressed with Asdrubal (27), but didn’t think too much of new signing Jadue (32). Suarez (5) sat in the stands, despite not having played on Saturday, while Kaludjerovic exchanged heated words and game of charades with Mme Pang. The conclusion seems to be that once again the pendulum is swinging towards Asrdrubal, who could join Maranhao (assuming sanity prevails), Rochela (22), Josimar (30) and Genki (18) as Port’s 5 foreigners in the T1 squad, with Jadue playing only in the cup competitions. Can the madness please just be over?!


Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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  1. […] my last Transfer Talk, I quoted top managers who subscribe to the ‘less is more’ theory on squad size. Managers like […]

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