Closing the books on the 2019 Thaileague (3/4)

Already done with the bottom half and into the upper regions we go, four sides that stayed clear of any real risk and performed about as expected with one big exception. Whether they will be happy or not with their season, here comes teams 5, 6, 7, and 8:

8.Ratchaburi Mitr Pohl FC(10)

Despite the customary chaos and changing of head coaches that the club has become somewhat famous for, perhaps also responsible for the poor start to the season, Ratburi significantly improved on their disappointing 2018, very much thanks to the outstanding performances of Martiniquais attacker Steven Langil. Even came close to some silverware and a place in the ACL qualifiers but finally lost the FA Cup-final against Port FC after VAR made a spectacularly poor return to Thai football.

7.Chonburi FC(6)

Like Ratchaburi, and despite a promising open day draw away to Buriram United, Chonburi started out 2019 looking like they would struggle to survive. mid-season managerial change resulted in the many new players finally starting to function as a unit, even though the outstanding individual performer Lukian Araujo was lost to Japanese Jubile Iwata for basically nothing after a former chairman decided to try to help out and epically messing up, and the team shot up the table, finally landing just one short of the predicted 6th place.

6.Samut Prakan City FC(11)

Overall a very successful first year, not only in T1 but in any competition, for the club who took over Pattaya United’s license. Punching far above their weight and fighting for the top spots for quite some time, before losing their manager and starting to perform more in accordance to the individual quality in the squad. It was a season of two halves, the first so good that SPCFC secured 6th place, despite playing like a relegation candidate for the second one.

5.Muangthong United(4)

Just like Samut Prakan, MTU had a season of two halves, but a reversed one. It took two managerial changes before a true expert in Thai football success, Alexandre Gama, came in to sort out the mess that a complete and utter disaster that was the first half of the season. With 13 points at the halfway point, it actually looked like the four-time league champions were in danger of relegation. After Gama put his magic touch to the squad, they played like title contenders but it was too little, too late, for 2019 to bring any real success. Still, more or less meeting expectations over the course of the year.

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