Buriram Thong-king no shock

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Updated: April 29, 2016
Gary Stevens Cleiton Silva

It was not really a shock that Muangthong United went to Buriram’s backyard and beat them on Wednesday night (the score was 3-0). The signs were there that this could happen. They really miss their focal point of last season up front, Diogo. They have not been clinical in attack at all. I saw their previous match against Sukhothai, and even though they had plenty of possession, they did not look like they could put away chances. They were fortunate to win that game 1-0. On that same day, I travelled on to see Muangthong absolutely murder Sisaket 4-0. So it’s not really a shock that Buriram got beaten in hindsight.

Muangthong seem very strong going forward. They’ve got Cleiton Silva and Adisak Kraisorn looks like he has an eye for goal. Buriram looked dazed. They had to chase the game after going 2-0 down early on and that’s not always easy. It’s difficult to keep calm as a player when you are in a game like that and a few Buriram players did lose their heads (sub Weslley got sent off). The young coach at Muangthong, Totchtawan Sripan, is highly rated and has got off to a flying start. It is a huge job for him after coming from Police United but he’s started well.

But remember, we are only eight matches into the season. You can’t write off Buriram. I picked them at the start of the season to win the league and I still think they will be right up there challenging for the title. They have only lost one game. People have very short memories in football. Only a few weeks ago people were writing off Barcelona and then they went on to win their next game 8-0.

Alexandre Gama will look to pick his players up very quickly, and they have BBCU next up, which should be easy for them. Gama’s been at the helm for some time. He’s had a good run at it as Buriram were known for getting rid of managers quite rapidly in the past. You need that stability. I took my Army team up there in 2014 in one of my first games as manager. We drew 1-1 and they were distraught at the result, but they still won the league that season.

When the season started I thought Bangkok United would be among the favourites for the league, and they will be very, very close. In their first game of the season they looked poor against Buriram, but they have done well since and are current leaders. Mano Polking didn’t change the squad from last season too much. He’s brought a few in (including star man Mario Durovski, pictured), but it’s been a gradual evolution of the squad over a few seasons.

Mario Durovski

Durovski celebrating his spectacular second goal against BEC Tero on Wednesday

I see sacking season has started and four managers have gone already. The latest was Somchai Subpherm, who stepped down at Osotspa. Last season he was sacked at TOT and he took over from me at Port before being sacked again. So that’s three jobs in the space of a season. It’s crazy really. It’s very tight at the bottom, with six teams averaging less than a point a game. Teams need stability, but you just don’t get that in football.

I was reading Thai stars Theerathon and Chanathip want to play in Japan. It’s the best league in Asia now. Japanese football has really come on over the years. My old Spurs team-mates Ossie Ardiles and Steve Perryman have both coached out there. Arsene Wenger came to Arsenal from Japan, but it’s clearly taken off even more since his day. It’s a growing powerbase in football, and there is big money in the league, although China seem to have the most cash at the moment in Asia.

As for me personally, I’m enjoying doing some punditry work. I’ve been out in Malaysia with Astro covering the English Premier League, and next week I’m off to Singapore to cover the AFC Champions League. I’ve done a lot of pundit work in the past so it’s nice to keep my hand in.

I still believe Spurs can win the title. It’s all to play for and I’ll be watching closely. There’s still three games left and even though they are seven points behind, they can overhaul Leicester. Come On You Spurs!

 

Gary Stevens is a former England international and two-time manager in the Premier League of Thailand. He currently lives in Bangkok.

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Thai Goals, ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One

Thai Goals

Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures

Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC
Thai Goals, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup< ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
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