Sunday, August 15, 2010
The best team in South East Asia
Dez Corkhill has been covering football in South East Asia since long before I started this here drivel. I was still fretting over how the Arse did the night before and Dez was talking about the likes of BEC Tero and Tampines Rovers.
In a recent interview with Dale's Chonburi site he was asked who he felt was the biggest team in the region and surprisingly gave South China. OK, putting aside the small geographical point that South China, in Hong Kong, is not part of South East Asia, why South China?
Not a lot of people know this but they hold the record for an attendance in the AFC Cup, pulling in something like 36,000 for one game during their run a couple of years back.
I of course would disagree with the esteemed media chappy not that anyone asked me of course! Being a big fish in a small pond doesn't always translate into success on a wider stage. Just look at the two Glasgow clubs in the Scottish Pointless League.
Personally i would say that there are two clubs with the potential of being regional powerhouses. One is the slick production that is Muang Thing United. You get the impression with them guys that everything has been choreographed long in advance and the only thing spontaneous about the Yamaha Stadium on match day is the weather.
Even the colour schemes are subtle inferences of Manchester United and Real Madrid.
A marketing man's wet dream come true and judging by the way fans are flocking to follow the Thai champions it seems to be working.
The other team with a claim to greatness would be Arema. If Muang Thong are Manchester United then Arema are St Pauli. 'Nuff said.
Arema is rough and ready. It's Satu Jiwa, one soul, it's Arema or nothing. It's a five hour walk home after a home game.It's football of the people, not the marketing men and it's real.