Friday, May 2, 2014

The Story So Far (Part 2) - The Surprise Packages

Part 2 has a look at four of the sides doing slightly better than anticipated.

Singh Tarua

Current Position: 3rd
If you’d have offered any Singh Tarua fan 20 points after 10 matches in February, they’d have bitten your hand off. The goalscoring form of Leandro Luz in the first month of the season propelled Tarua to the top of the table. The Brazilian’s form tailed off in April but other players stepped up and hard graft has seen them grind out three gritty 1-0 wins recently. The big concern now is the long term injury loss of Leandro. The TPL leading goalscorer isn't expected to return until the latter weeks of the campaign. In this season of unpredictability, it’s difficult to envisage where Tarua will be positioned in the table by the time he returns. The back up strikers of Joo Sung Hwan and Thierry Fidjeu have yet to impress and a big onus will now be on the effective central defensive pairing of Lee Sang Ho and Jakkapong to keep it tight at the back.


Current Position: 4th
In the second half of last season, TOT were atrocious. They only managed to stay afloat because they had collected a decent haul points in the first half of the season. During their woeful run, they were without the duo of Lee Junki and Takahiro Kawamura for long periods. The fact that they are both back to full fitness is no coincidence on how well TOT are doing this term. They aren’t pretty to watch yet they should avoid any relegation scares this time around.  A top ten finish and a year away from danger would be seen as progress.


Current Position: 8th
The Dragons came flying out of the traps and they were being considered as serious title contenders after six matches. The fact that they had travelled to Suphanburi, Buriram, Chonburi and Muangthong and remained unbeaten astounded the Thai football public. The manager of the month award for March was given to new boy Ricardo Rodriguez but since then Ratchaburi have stuttered through an easier batch of fixtures dropping to 8th in the process. A top 6 finish is a realistic target for Ratchaburi

BEC Tero

Current Position: 2nd
The Minburi club are the only side yet to suffer defeat and they are probably the second favorites in the title race. Their chief goal hawk Cleiton Silva departed for Mexico in the New Year and it was highly anticipated that his goals would be a huge loss. However, Tero have been defensively sound so far and their goals have been shared around the squad. The news that Cleiton Silva may return for the second leg could be the final piece in the jigsaw to end Tero's 12 year wait for a top flight title. In my opinion, they need to add another couple of quality signings if they are to lift the TPL trophy in November.

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