It looks like another few weeks of crisis for Thai football and, as ever, the blame is on individuals rather than systems. After the defeat in the SEA Games (the men were knocked out by two late goals from Malaysia who went on to win the title while the women were defeated on penalties in the final by Vietnam), much misery has descended and manager Steve Darby has been ‘suspended’ by the Thai Football Association (FAT) – it is not clear what exactly this means and full team manager Bryan Robson still expects that Darby will continue in his role as Assistant.
All now hinges on the January 6th Asian Cup qualifier with Jordan – failure to win this game probably means the end of qualification hopes and probably the long-term end of Bryan Robson (about whose appointment I have expressed reservations elsewhere).
FAT leader Worawit came out to demand the players be fitter for the match (as indeed they should be – it is no coincidence that so many late goals have been conceded recently) but would be better employed trying to organise a competitive league that would require fitness. Players do not seem to be anything much these days so it is difficult to keep them on their toes since I doubt Robson is given the resources to keep monitoring all of them – and certain Thai players have the impression that they are slightly better than they really are and so can behave as they see fit.