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

 

 

Toby Knight

Toby Knight

North Londoner, Arsenal fan and believer in lucky cigars, Toby happily stumbled upon Port FC 4 years ago. The rest, as they say, is history.

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