Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Story So Far (Part 3) - Business as Usual

Part 3 features the clubs that aren't expected to win the title but at the same time are far too good to go down.

Army United

Current Position: 4th
Optimism wasn’t high at the Home of Gentleman pre-season but so far most of the Army support have been pleasantly surprised with what they have seen. In hindsight, I really should have included Army in the 'surprise packages' section rather than this one. Matt Elliott has his side playing decent football and the unexpected emergence of Tanakorn has boosted his side’s goalscoring options. With Goran Jerkovic upfront as well, Army are guaranteed goals provided the Frenchman is provided ammunition inside the box. New signing Wellington Priori has become a fan favourite and similar to Anderson dos Santos at Chonburi, he is just as comfortable in the back four or playing the slightly more advanced defensive midfield role. Army finished 7th last year and they won’t finish far off that spot again. They will face a stiff test in the month of May as four of their next five games are against the top 4 sides of 2013.

Osotspa Saraburi

Current Position: 7th
Osotspa have a decent roster of players and are looking good for a top six finish. The only hindrance appears to be their temporary home at the Rajamangala. Apart from a 7-0 thumping of Songkhla, they’ve had a lean time at the national arena. On the road, Osotspa are unbeaten and have enjoyed more success on their travels. With Chananan, Komenan and Aron da Silva, the Saraburi club have no shortage of firepower.


Current Poition: 12th
The Hornbills apparently have one of the biggest budgets in the league yet they still linger in mid-table. Defensively they have been relatively sound but they don’t score enough goals. They'll need to capture a striker or two to provide them with sufficient goals if they are to attain a top half finish. Unfortunately for Chainat, the only award they look like they’ll be winning in 2014 is the worst shirt in the TPL.

Bangkok Glass

Current Position: 11th 
Bangkok Glass have continued to be consistently inconsistent. On their day they can beat the best and then follow that up with a dire performance against one of the weaker sides. They have struggled away from their astroturf and have lost four out of six away days. BG are good going forwards but a couple of new defenders must be a requirement when the transfer window reopens.


Current Position: 9th
After a fourth placed finish last year, Suphanburi were expected to kick on and were considered title candidates. They brought in Mano Polking as coach from Army who then proceeded to bring Bjorn Lindemann and Jung Myung Oh with him. The fact that their position is no better than Army’s in 2013 shouldn't come as a big surprise. In all honesty, Mano has a tough act to follow after the club exceeded all expectations last season. Nonetheless, not even the most optimistic of the Suphanblood contingent would have predicted their 5-2 humbling of Muangthong last Sunday. That result coupled with Dragan Boskovic's imminent return from injury indicates that brighter times are ahead at Suphanburi after their sluggish start.

Chiang Rai United

Current Position: 13th
After their flirtation with relegation last season, the northern side are back into their more accustom mid-table position. Leandro Assumpcao has returned from Chonburi and is the club’s top goalscorer. Pichitpong has brought grit and experience to the middle of the park and home form should see them finish somewhere in the middle of the pack.

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