Sunday, 3 July 2011

Signings review

While the mid-season break continues on, punctured by only by cup games featuring mostly reserve players, I thought now a good time to look at some of the players signed in pre-season and assess their “hit or miss” status to date....

Ahnon Sangsanoi:
Probably the most exciting acquisition of the close-season, the two-time TPL Golden Boot winner has seen those boots turn to plimsolls since his arrival at MTU. Most fans have, like myself, hoped that the occasional goal - such as his strike against Hanoi T&T - would spark a run of goals but it simply hasn’t happened yet.

Ahnon hasn't found his feet yet
Why the drought? It could just be bad luck, or it could be a change of role. It’s very notable that Ahnon plays behind Teerasil in attack, which strikes me as very unusual, since normally the poacher would play ahead of the target man. Could it be that BEC Tero were prepared to build their style of play around a prolific striker, while a bigger club like MTU expect him to adapt?

In any case, someone with Ahnon’s record doesn’t lose his class overnight and we’ll continue to get behind him. Perhaps his ironic selection in the national side will give him the boost he needs.

Verdict: A miss, but definitely capable of turning it around.

Jakkapahan Pornsai:
The little guy from Police United looks like a winger, plays like a winger and calls himself a winger...... so it was surprising and frustrating to see him played in central midfield on so many occasions after his move to MTU. When played in his natural position, he troubles defenders and puts in telling crosses, such as the set-up for Issofaou’s first goal in last week’s cup game. I hope he’ll get more chance to play his own style in future.

Verdict: A hit when allowed to play his own style, a miss when not. (Yes I’m copping-out!)

MTU's air-traffic controller
Zesh Rehman:
As if adjusting to a very different style of football wasn’t enough of a challenge, Zesh was publicly introduced by the club as the “record salary player” (no pressure there, then) and like his teammates, was thrown into a bizarre and confused system of play by coach Carlos. The ensuing time away from the first team was probably a blessing in disguise and it’s not by chance that Zesh’s return coincided with a run of clean sheets and very low rates of goals against the champions. He’s now well-established in a rotational system of centre backs along with Panupong and Nattaporn.

Verdict: A hit.

Bobubacar Issoufou:
Should I stay or should I go now?
The unknown quantity of Bobuacar immediately leapt out as the “Will he or won’t he make it?” head-scratcher for this year in place of Jakkaphan Keawprom, who answered that same riddle last season by joining Buriram PEA. He looked strong, fast and motivated. Unfortunately he also looked erratic, uncomposed and a frequent liability. The debate looked to be over when the shock of his introduction into the game against PEA was matched by his withdrawal shortly after. He disappeared for a while amid reports of a loan/sale (there seems to be little difference in Thai football) to Suphanburi but returned with a great cross to set up a desperately needed goal against Police United and followed that with two MOTM awards in a row in TLC games. Too little, too late? You’d have to ask Calisto and the board. And in case you’re wondering, yes I have given up trying to spell his name correctly.

Verdict: A miss, that might just have turned into a hit.

Miroslav Toth:
The white boy from TOT was never going to be the signing to sell season tickets, but after seeing his early chances limited, Miroslav has proven himself consistent and able. The eastern-European may not be the fastest or most prolific scorer, but he has a good first touch, a good reading of the game and can play as a supporting striker while banging in a few classics of his own like this one. A very good squad player, why would we want to lose him to Bangkok United for the sake of Kris Bright?

Verdict: Hit.

Weera Koedpudsa:
Bangkok United’s player of the year was designed to replace Kawin, but the number 26‘s broken hand and subsequent recovery have prolonged his stay with MTU and limited Weera’s chances to date. He's dropped no clangers but I did notice he seemed to prefer punches and parries in last week’s cup game. I hope that was just down to the very watery conditions.

Verdict: Way too early to say.

Other players:
Diarra Ali: A return from Phuket FC. Like everyone else involved, he suffered from the Community Shield debacle and disappeared from first team view. Played last week and looked more composed. Not enough exposure to reach a verdict

Phaitoon Thiamba: A Thai signed from an Indonesian team, I think. Plays right back but it’s hard to see what he has to offer over Arthit or even Pakasit. Could be of value as a reserve player if the economics are right.

Santi Chaiyaphuk: As above, except he’s a left-sided player from Pattaya United.

Khapfa Boonmantoon: A highly-rated player from Osotspa who hasn’t really settled in, though I felt his performances have been good. Now transfer listed by the club.

No comments:

Post a Comment