Buriram’s Need to Move from Coach Tak to a Coach With Tactics.
Buriram’s single goal defeat away to Kashiwa Reysol last night restored some pride, especially after the brainless second yellow collected by Ekwalla after forty minutes meant they were often forced to chase shadows by a negative and complacent home team. Despite now sitting in bottom place in the league, they also have a chance to enter the next stage if they win their final game against Guangzhou and Jeonbuk don’t lose to Kashiwa in South Korea.
The worry is that they have an inferior head to head record against both Jeonbuk and Kashiwa. The other worry for me has been the tactics of coach Tak in the last two games. Yesterday Kashiwa showed very little interest in seeking out a second goal, offering the opportunity for a three man Thai defence to put more pressure on the Ray Wilkins style midfield passing and constant recourse to back passes by the Japanese. A 3 – 4 – 2 second half formation would have put far more pressure on the Kashiwa ball carriers and denied them the comfort zone of their own defensive third. After ten second half minutes, Tak should have made some bold decisions knowing that a generally profligate Japanese strike force were unlikely to respond by a tactical shift of their own before at least one decent chance was created for the Thais. Considering the home team were later to take both of their strikers off, it seems that even Kashiwa coach Nelsinho Baptista agreed.
The concern in the previous game against Jeonbuk was the shape of Buriram’s defence, particularly down the left. It took Attaphol a long time to address this narrow, lopsided formation, by which time Buriram’s
defenders, particularly Ekwalla, were nervy and error prone. It also fired up the home team, forcing Buriram midfielders onto the back foot. As the game progressed there were too many examples of ragged tactical decisions that pulled the team out of shape and lead momentum to drain from the team. Coach Tak has an excellent record in Thai club football both here and at Muang Thong United, but the Champions League has revealed his shortcomings. His passive pitch side approach allows games at this level to get away from his team as tactical shifts and technical decisions carry more weight, and errors are punished without mercy or chance of redemption.