Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 Player review

A look at how MTU players performed this season in the view of your humble blogger.


Kawin Thamasatchanan
I've said it already and I'll say it again: Kawin is the best goalkeeper - probably the best player - in Thailand. This young number twenty-six is definitely the top shot-stopper around, but what takes him to that other level is the command, positioning and timing this man has for such a young goalie. On more than one occasion, Kawin has adjusted the defensive wall by a couple of crucial inches, collected a swerving corner kick or reached a long through-ball outside the area just a split-second before his opponent. Throughout the marathon 2010 season his concentration never lagged and throughout the "Man United" hype he has remained friendly and humble with fans.
The saddest thing about his recent injury is that it's probably caused by the excess number of games dumped on Muangthong through the year. Whether that injury changes his future plans remains to be seen. What is certain is Kawin will always be a very popular figure with Quilins fans.
Season rating - 10/10

Thongsak Phanphipat
The experienced head of 'Chai' Phanpipat took some criticism when he stood between the posts during the difficult close period of the season for Muangthong United, but to blame him for some of those poor results is just plain wrong. 'Chai' also played in goal for crushing wins against Thai Port, Bangkok United and Sisaket. When results faltered, he was by no means the only - or most - to blame. Moreover, he put in a very sure and steady performance in the FA Cup final.
Rating - 6.5/10


Jetsada Jitsawad
It was the proverbial game (or season) of two halves for Jetsada. He began the season as club captain and was considered the most reliable centre-back by many fans. It stayed this way for about two-thirds of the season until a string of rather strange performances and other factors caused him to be dropped. He was recalled for some late games but it just wasn't the same. Without having any inside knowledge I'd be surprised if Jetsada was with the club come the start of the 2011 season. (Edit - this article was typed before Jet signed for BEC Tero).
Rating - 7/10

Nattapron Pannarit:
Although initially rated as "the second defender" behind Jetsada or Panupong, Nattaporn has proven himself one of the most consistent and dedicated centre-backs in the TPL. Never afraid to get in where it hurts and never one to complain, 'Oat' proved his worth by taking on the captain's armband whenever he was asked. He may be an inch slower and a little lower in the jump than his defensive partners, but you can always rely on him.
Rating - 7/10

Panupong Wongsawa: 
He started as, arguably, the second-highest rated defender of the squad but throughout the season, Wongsawa grew in confidence and mental stature, ultimately proving himself the most reliable defender of the club, arguably of Thailand. He's sharp in the area, tactically aware and showed no fear when faced with some physically intimidating opponents in the AFC cup. We can only hope this won't be another case of another club reaping rewards from the excellent player produced by a great attitude and MTU coaches.
Rating - 9/10

Pakasit Saensook:
A regular choice in the opening half of the season, Pakasit was most unfortunate to lose his place to Keawprom when he became sidelined with an injury. Although not the fastest or most offensive-minded of right-backs, his positioning and crossing was of a good standard. With the departure of Keawprom, he can perhaps take heart from the return to form of teammate Pitchipong who reclaimed his place in the squad in impressive fashion when his replacement (Sylla) moved on.
Rating - 6/10

Jakkaphon Keawprom:
Jak probably caused me more headaches than any other player last season. His early days as right back exposed some worrying positioning and some gifted passes to opponents, yet for all my bawling I could see there was some hope for the young man from the north, and his determination was never in doubt. Sure enough, over time he became a tough tackler, good passer and a decent offensive asset, if not the paciest or most powerful. It's a shame to see him go but no doubt Rob and Rene have a replacement in mind.
Rating - 8/10

Piyachart Thamaphan: 
Although he rarely stood out as a star player, Piyachart quite possibly featured in more games than any other player in the squad. A good worker and a decent crosser - though he still needs to practise his corners - Piyachart is clearly the left-back of choice and is MTU through and through. I hope he gets some well deserved rest and remains a Muangthong player for next year.
Rating - 7/10


Pitchipong Choeichiu:
Despite being a regular player in the previous season, Pitchipong found himself frozen out for the earlier part of the 2010 season. A spate of injuries, suspensions and transfers saw him make a return halfway through and he took his chance with relish, even receiving a MOTM on this blog in the epic 2-0 AFC Cup victory.
Rating - 7/10

Piyapol Bhuntao:
A bit-part player who featured mainly in league cup matches or as a substitute. Steady but nothing more.
Rating - 5/10

Amorn Thummanan 
Pacey and skillful player that can play central or wide. However he does seem to drift in and out of games which may be why he is used more often as a sub. Perhaps he'll find consistency next year, then he'll be a real threat.
Rating - 5.5/10 

Coulibly Abdoul:
Sylla's replacement was expected to take his time to settle. He didn't really need it. The young African almost instantly looked comfortable in his role. He resembles Peter Crouch in that his thin, lanky frame always looks fragile yet seems to come out of every fifty-fifty challenge or sliding tackle looking stronger. His ability to cover as a defender and his aerial goal-scoring makes this guy a potential gem in the "next generation" of Africans fans will see next season when we will watch a lot more of him.
Rating 6/10

Dagno Siaka:
Featuring in almost every match of the season, Dagno's contribution can be summarised by his receipt of the "Player of the Year" award he collected after the FA Cup Final. "Danny-O" is fast, powerful, sharp, confident, fit and motivated. The attacking-midfielder's goal tally was boosted by the number of penalties he coolly slotted home, including a pivotal spot-kick at home against Chonburi.
Rating - 10/10

Datsakorn Thonglao:
Datsakorn arrived with some expectation on his shoulders as a high profile Thai player signed for relatively big money. The jury took some time to reach their verdict on "Goh" until he scored a screamer against Thai Port early on in the campaign. From there he never looked back as his mesmerising long-range thunderbolts were usually matched by his work-rate and short passes. Not only were his goals always impressive to watch, but they always seemed to crop up when they were most needed, such as away to Bangkok United, at home in the AFC campaign or, as mentioned, away to Thai Port.
Many of this year's squad have already agreed deals with other clubs. The Quilins' ability to defend their title next season may yet hinge on Datsakorn's decision.
Rating - 10/10

Narongchai Vachiraban:
Signed to big fanfare (and big money) from Police United, Narongchai Vachiraban has really yet to prove himself. Most often featuring as a sub, his vaunted sharpness in front of goal has yet to show itself in MTU colours. It may be partly down to a change of role - the midfielder has played deeper for MTU than Police - and with luck he may discover his form and favoured place on the park next season in a new look line up.
Rating - 5/10

Played a few games - mainly in the Toyota Cup - and impressed a few fans if not yours truly. Perhaps he'll have more of a chance to shine next season.
(Edit: at the time of typing I didn't realise Kavem is only seventeen years old. No doubt he will improve greatly over time.)
Rating 5/10 (not really enough games to for him to impress)


Teerasil Dangda
The spearhead of 'The Quilins' attacking line has been this big, lanky target man in the number 10 shirt. Two-footed and still deadly with his back to goal, his goalscoring record speaks for itself. Yet the number of flick-ons, headers and pressure put on defenders by his smart positioning was the root cause of our purple patch early in the season when many teams got demolished at the Thunderdome. I personally felt the whole team was weaker when he was played on the wing towards the end of the season.
Let's hope like crazy he stays on next season.
Rating - 10/10

Ronnachai Rungsiyo
Regular readers of this blog were probably bored senseless by my calls for this man to be given a run in the first team throughout last season. You can't blame me though - if you saw his excellent first touch and clinical finishing such as the game away to Army FC, you'd say it too. But when the chances did came, he didn't seem mentally right. A few times he seemed to be relying on body-checking defenders off the ball or playing one-touch passes  simply to look good. The transfer to Tero came as no surprise, but if they can succeed in getting his head right, they'll have an excellent striker in their ranks.
Rating - 5/10

Kone Muhammed
A thorn in the side of any defender. Kone's pace, power and deceptive footwork combined brilliantly with his friend and teammate Dagno. The two players proving so similar in style that opposition players were often exhausted by them. A consistent stream of goals proves the case in point. Also covered well in other positions when asked.
Rating - 8.5/10

Christian Yao Koukou
The new boy signed from a Belgian side was a quick hit with fans. Like his fellow Africans he had pace and large stride, but his footwork was slightly more skill-based and his first touch and dribbling was that much more deadly for it. At home on the wing or in a more central role, his youthful enthusiasm kept him consistent throughout an exhausting season. If only he could become more determined and show a little more mental maturity on and off the pitch he could become a respectable top flight player in Europe. That learning curve may be about to start soon.
Rating 9/10 

Theratheep 'Leesaw' Winothai
A high profile winger and forward who lost form early on in the season. The reasons for that loss of form depend on who you ask but before going on 'loan' to BEC Tero, he left us with a glimpse of the player of old by scoring a delightful last-gasp winner at home to Thai Port. Now a permanent Tero player.
Rating - 5.5/10 

Ibrahim Kanoute
Signed alongside Coulibly Abdoul midway through the campaign, Ibrahim had to wait a little longer for his debut but boy did he take the chance when it came! In the few games he played last season the Ivorian showed he is almost as fast as Yaya and almost as tricky as Christian. That's a heck of a combination and he's still young.
Recent transfer furore has confused the situation surrounding this forward. I'll be very disappointed if he is not an MTU player come next season.
Rating - 6/10
All picture credits: 


  1. Nice blog Greg, but just for the sake of argument, I'll challenge you on one point :); Teerasil's goal-scoring. He only scored 7 goals league this campaign. I think he's a fantastic player, with good touch, strength, passing and all the rest. However, at this stage of his career (and he's still young), goal-scoring is something I feel he could improve on.

  2. Thanks for the review Greg!!!

    I enjoyed reading it very much ^_^