Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Thoughts so far

With the floods taking their toll on an already lackluster season in Thailand - though of course that is trite when considering the damage to many people's lives - there is little to do at this time but reflect.

The season as a whole
If I had to summarise the TPL season in one word, it would be "disjointed". To me, it's felt more like a set of exhibition matches rather than a running contest. For the most part I put this down to the elongated schedule and frequent postponements by the TPL and clubs alike. The TPL have overcompensated for last season's deadly overbooking by stretching the season to what was almost set as year-long at one point. Throw into the mix the postponements for so many reasons - especially by the top three clubs - and then the unavoidable flooding disaster and it becomes hard to keep focused on the big picture.

Our fortunes
For MTU a battle for second place looks on the cards. I believe our team from the first half of last season could beat this year's PEA, but Buriram started this season as they meant to go on whereas MTU have chopped and changed, as though looking for a winning formula can happen by changing the name of the coach. The difference is consistency and we have nobody but ourselves to blame for lacking it. Then again, the season is not yet over and PEA haven’t looked quite as strong since the elections, though I still think they have enough in the tank to do the job.

What went wrong
The moment our fortunes changed was when Rene left the club, personnel changes since then have essentially been a fallout of that decision. The reasons for his departure mark a crucial challenge/problem for MTU and perhaps even Thailand as a whole.
Muangthong have the ambition, resources and knowledge to make themselves a force in Asia and then the world, but key personnel struggle to accept outside cultures and influences that make those ambitions possible. I've heard that both Rene and Calisto had internal problems at the club because they spoke their mind. It mattered not if what either man said was true, needed to be mentioned and in Calisto's case was obvious to all (we defended badly in Singapore), all that mattered was that someone felt they'd lost face. The damage caused by going through so many changes in one year - especially the disastrous appointment of Carlos - should be crystal clear.

Robbie Fowler is an experimenting experiment. He wants a place to start his coaching career out of the western media glare and we want a big name to paper over the managerial cracks. However, that a friend of Robbie saw fit to declare his interest in the Northern Ireland job speaks volumes about the regard he holds MTU in. Still, so far his record is perfect and he might just prove to be a good coach. Strangely enough his second role has improved his first; he didn't look even close to scoring before landing his new position. In any case though, I'd put money on a press release announcing Milos Josic as head coach some time before next season.

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