Newin thanks fans for their support
OK let me do my Victor Meldrew moment first to get it out of the way. I was none too impressed at being evicted from my usual spot in the stadium simply because PEA bought down a very large crowd. Why should I move from the spot I pay for just because someone else got paid to sit there?
Yes, PEA had a suspiciously large proportion of young to middle-aged women and others travelling down to support them. I don't approve of the methodology but they behaved very well and made a tremendous amount of noise. When Newin strolled on to the pitch, you'd think God himself had appeared. My only other gripe is that the overspill of away fans walked into our corner of the North Stand. Despite being told to remove their team colours, some did not. All this coupled with my dislike of politicians made me very motivated for this one. OK, grumble over.
Muangthong lined up with Kawin, Pakasit, Piyachart, Jetsada, Panupong, Sylla, Siaka, Datsakorn, Yaya, Christian and Teerasil.
The noise from the away fans generated a very edgy atmosphere in the match, though in hindsight perhaps the run of three games without a win and just one goal was more responsible for the nerves.
I won't bore you with every play in a goalless draw. Both teams had chances, both teams squandered. Burriram looked very well organised and got men behind the ball and timed their breakaway attacks well. On the other hand, we repeated a problem that has plagued us all season.....
When your team are playing well, you tend to gloss over any weak spots, but now we are on a weak patch, I must mention the over-hit balls and wasteful corners. We seem hellbent on trying to curl in corners that go out of play before they reach the box, or on over-hitting corners or early crosses. We squandered so many chances in this way today and it strikes me as a sign of lowered confidence. We also simply gave the ball away too much.
In the second half Buriram had three chances and plenty of possession in the opening ten minutes. In response, we took off Sylla and Christian for Zaizen and Leesaw. I was pleased to see Zaizen, I thought his intelligent movement and passing would be exactly what we needed. Sadly he didn't make much impact.
Although we enjoyed more of the possession and Buriram started the stretcher theatrics until the goalie was booked for taking an eternity to take his kick (that seemed to put a stop to the time wasting) we still could not break through. I did feel that one player of our team was lucky to stay on the pitch after a very rash challenge and in the dying moments, a Buriram defender was given two yellow cards in one incident. His first was for a foul, his second for walking away from the ref when he wanted to book him and then ignoring the calls to return. The resulting free kick was played to the head of the three foot tall but now unmarked Leesaw....it was a good cross........he lined up to connect it.....he connected........every Muangthong fan drew breath........the goalie caught the shot....the ref blew for full time. Bugger.
Four games without a win, three without a goal. I think a slight bit of nerves is creeping in to the squad. The loss of Kone has made it worse and although I believe no team in the TPL is good enough to last a season without suffering a shaky patch, I really do hope we recover soon because Chonburi are due to visit this month and our away game at Al Rayyan is next. No more early crosses or looking for penalties lads, it's time to man up.
Man of the match:
Many of my MOMs so far have gone to attacking players because we've enjoyed a goal glut in the opening weeks of this season. Of course that wasn't the case today. There was no outstanding performance, but I will give this one to Jetsada Jitsawad who staked his place for a return as a first team regular with a strong showing in every header, good positioning, full commitment to every challenge and good teamwork with his fellow centre back, Panuporn.