With 11 supposedly great new players in the squad, many fans were expecting a good result on Saturday evening, however, Coach Panipol Kerdyaem was adamant on keeping pretty the same system as in previous games with Doumeng and Giorgi being the preferred attacking players pairing up with new signing Ludovick ‘Bulldog’ Takam. Unfortunately, it was pretty much of the same as in previous games with few chances, and Giorgi looking like he was going for a chance to win in next year’s Oscar’s Best Actor category with his usual rolling around on the floor after any tackle made on him (something someone really should tell him he needs to stop). There was no real surprise after the first half performances of both teams it finished goalless.
Fans were confused as to why two near worlds class Brazilians in the squad were not in the starting 11, something only the coach knows. However, it was at the start of the second half that Phuket’s latest signing; the Brazilian Cristian Alex Da Silva Santos came on for Giorgi and immediately had an impact on the game. His skills and talent left Lopburi not knowing what he was going to do next. Unfortunately, his ability is far more advanced than many of Phuket’s players and they were clearly left in the same state. In my opinion it is great to have a player of this caliber in the team, but it is wasted if there are no others that can think and play the same way. Within 5 minutes of taking to the field he had put Phuket 1 up.
As has been the case in pretty much all of Phuket’s games under Coach Panipol, it didn’t take long for Lopburi to take advantage of Phuket’s lack of concentration and they leveled the game to 1 – 1, which was how the game ended.
However, the excitement, or lack of, may have finished on the pitch but it certainly had only just begun in stands with many fans staying after the final whistle and demanding the exit of Coach Panipol. And it was later that night when they got their wish with Coach Panipol posting the following message on the official Phuket FC Facebook page ‘’I would like to thank Khun Pamuke, Khun Eam, Management, Khun Niwat, staff, Phuket footballers and fans for your support. I have been very happy to work here. But I have resigned from my position as head coach. Thank you. Panipol Kerdyaem.”
Media have reported club Chairman Pamuke Acariyachai as being disappointed at the fans reaction after the game, but unfortunately the fans, who have continuously been promised promotion to the Thai Premier League this season, saw early in the season that what should be the best team Phuket has had for a long time, played the worst, with no visible teamwork and definitely no system. Unfortunately, this has been the same for the whole season and there is only one man who this can be down to, and that is the coach.
So with Phuket now in 7th place in the league, managerless, and slowly losing any chance they had at promotion, all the fans can hope for is that the team gets a decent manager who doesn’t rely on the colour of shirts for results, the team starts to revert to playing in the strip so many of the fans have invested in, and that Khun Pamuke will continue to back the club financially and hopefully next year will have his and the fan’s dream of Phuket playing in the TPL kept alive.