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Broken Glass Everywhere: Port FC vs. BG Pathum Utd Preview

 

Well this preview was never going to be simple after the farcical circumstances of last weekend; in case you missed it, the stadium generator went on the fritz at the end of the match and turned a dour, laboured 1-1 draw into a default 0-2 defeat and a 50K fine. Maybe we can install an exercise bike next to the power supply and ask Rochela to pedal for 90 minutes to safeguard against these things happening again? Anyway, there’s another home match on the horizon and this time it’s against one of the big guns: BG Pathum United FC or, to the layman, Bangkok Glass.

Glass suffered a surprising relegation 2 seasons ago, a definite case of a team too good to go down, and then proceeded to romp T2 last season. Even though they are newly promoted they have recruited well and are a solid outside bet for the league, but more likely will have some influence over the outcome instead. They are unbeaten so far this season and Port will certainly have to raise their game against this bunch.

 

BG Pathum Utd

Players to Watch

 

Some canny transfers both preseason and during the enforced break have improved their backline. First they brought in Brazilian man mountain Victor Cardozo (5) from the now defunct PPT Rayong who, with 5 years experience of this league, knows how to put himself about and instill confidence in his defence. Next they took advantage of Andres Tunez’s (30) shameful treatment by Buriram United and brought the Venezuelan over to Rangsit during the shutdown of the league. Even at 33 this could be the transfer of the season; a serial trophy winner and master practitioner of the dark arts of defending. Expect the shithouseometer to be fully cranked up to 11 with these two. Ex-Port midfielder Sumanya (10) will probably feature after leaving PAT Stadium following a lacklustre season playing in the same space as Suarez, and will definitely have a point to prove to his former paymasters.

 

You and us both, Victor

 

The jewel in their midfield is Thitiphan Puangjan (8) and stopping his rhythm will be key to a Port victory. Too good for a lower league, Glass wisely loaned him out to the J-League last season and now have him back for this campaign. A big favourite of seasoned hacks at The Sandpit, this guy has great passing range and is a classic box-to-box midfielder. Although a little light on goals, expect to see him driving the ball through the middle and pulling the strings for the front line. Speaking of their frontline, they went all out and poached free-scoring goal machine *checks notes* Chenrop Samphaodi (19) *checks google* from *rubs eyes*… Port FC. Yep, the second coming of Tana was unceremoniously shipped out of Khlong Toei after a stellar 7 appearances and 0 goals. It’s more likely other forwards such as Surachat (9) or Siroch (35) will start but knowing Port he’ll probably come on and bag a goal. Or give us a bloody good laugh with his headless chicken routine.

 

 

Port FC

The PAT Jigsaw

 

Port will hopefully welcome back key personnel for this encounter, with Go (8) returning from his ban for gonad pulverising, plus centre-backs Dolah (4) and Adisorn (20) coming in to strengthen our defence. The rest of the midfield should pick itself barring last minute injuries, but there will be a decision to make up front. Bonilla (99) is clearly weeks, maybe months away from full fitness so do we gamble on him or go for Adisak (9), who despite his detractors has had a decent start to his Port career in my humble opinion. The final decision will of course be Pang’s and Jadet will accept it as normal so key criteria such as form, fitness and tactics will not be considered and the big, expensive foreign marquee signing will most likely start. Whatever the starting XI, a performance better than last week is required from every individual on the pitch as fans will not tolerate more of the same, especially after so much recent investment in the squad.

 

 

This will be my first game back at the PAT which, on the face of it is great, but from my armchair position last week I was struck by the lack of atmosphere generated during the Police match. Sure, a quarter full stadium will never be able to replicate the intensity a full house (with suitably lubricated fans) brings but the constant encouragement/barracking has always been the ace up our sleeve and definitely affects the opposition. Teams might no longer fear coming here, and now free from being under the cosh from start to finish, that might have a detrimental effect on Port’s results. I also need to work out a new strategy for Toby Time© as there will be no beer sellers outside the ground. This might possibly involve stashing cans up a tree (not a natural climber tbh), maybe a sprint to the 7-11 across Sunthon Kosa Road (no bridge anymore so will have to chance it Frogger style) or wear some elaborate MC Hammer style pants filled with delicious, but potentially warm, Leo. Anyway leave that dilemma with me. Football is thankfully back, and let’s pray to the footballing gods, and local electricians, we’ll get 90 minutes this time around.

 

Fuck this, I’m going for a Leo or 6

 

Prediction

Well it has to be better than last week, but the opposition will be much tougher. Can’t see past a score draw at this moment. 2-2.

 


 

The match will be shown on True 4U and True Sports 2 at 19:00 on Saturday 19 September, 2020. For the many of you who won’t be able to get your hands on tickets, The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 will show the match on a big screen with sound. Don’t forget to wear your Port shirt for a 10% discount on drinks.

 

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…

 

Know Your Enemy: Buri Bury Bangkok

 

T1 fans enjoyed a breathtaking weekend of action this week in undoubtedly the season’s most exciting gameweek so far. The upshot of all the hectic action is that the cream is slowly starting to rise to the top, although The Killer Wasp once again defiantly refuses to adhere to the natural order of things. For once I have a longlist rather than a shortlist of players who impressed enough to be considered for player of the week, inspired by a small clique of T1 goalkeepers’ collective decision to finally do something besides flailing around and spilling crosses.

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