Thursday, May 19, 2011


You Couldn't Score In Patpong

The first year I started writing about Thai Premier League was back in 2008 and I recall mocking endlessly the lack of goals in that now unrecognisable league.

There were 16 teams in the league that year, the TPL was won by PEA (before they moved to Buriram) with Chonburi finishing second.

Just three teams scored more than 40 goals in that year (BEC Tero 50, Krung Thai Bank & Chula Sinthana 47) while eight teams averaged a goal or less per game.

Well, fast forward three years and it looks like not a whole lot has changed beyond a few names and more fans and the fact that Chonburi are still second!

There are now 18 teams in the league and, after 13 rounds, fully half, that's nine for the mathmatically illiterate, average a goal a game or less.

And just two teams have managed more than 20 for the season; that's leaders and Champions elect Buriram PEA (21) and eternal bridesmaids Chonburi top scoring with 32.

The leading scorer is Wasan Natasan, from newly promoted Chiang Rai United, who has scored eight of his team's 16 goals this season.

This shortage of goals has long been an issue in Thail football and has a knock on effect in the national team. With Teerathep Winothai off form for so long, a reluctance to use Anon Sangsanoi who has been perhaps the most consistent scorer in the TPL over the last few years, the Thai national team were forced to turn to the consistent but less mobile Sarayuut Chaikamdee.

The failings in front of goal were highlighted during the last AFF Cup when Thailand were surprisingly held 2-2 by Laos, mullered Malaysia 0-0 and lost 2-1 to hosts Indonesia.

It's another busy year on the international front with World Cup qualifiers beginning in July, Thailand face either Afghanistan or Palestine, and the biennial SEA Games Under 23 in November.

Thai FA chief Worwai Makudi has come in for a lot of criticism recently and is up for election this year. He cancelled the last one and is due to give a press conference later this week giving his views on Thailand's travails as well as accusations he asked for personal favours during England's failed World Cup bid.

While al that nonsense goes on, on the field fans expect goals. and they're not seeing many.

We're doing our bit. 71 goals in 20 matches so far this season. And they're coming from all over the park. :)
Goals for = 52 : Goals against = 19
as was metioned matey
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