Gama quits Muang Thong after Trat defeat

Muang Thong United head coach Alexandre Gama has resigned following the Kirins 1-0 loss at home to Trat FC on Thai League (T1) Matchday Nine.

The result leaves Muang Thong sitting in 10th place, having taken just 10 points from the first nine games of the 2020-21 campaign.

Gama had confirmed he would leave the club when his contract expired in November but Saturday’s defeat seems to have hastened his departure.

The Brazilian may be leaving on a sour note but he will be remembered by Muang Thong fans for turning around their fortunes in 2019. He took over from Yoon Jong-hwan with the club in the relegation zone almost halfway through the season.

Gama’s impact was immediate as the Kirins surged up the T1 table, eventually finishing in fifth spot. Over the final 20 matches of a 30-game season, Muang Thong were the top team.

However, Gama would not have the opportunity to build on this impressive achievement as the club allowed many of its most experienced players to leave. Heberty Fernandes, Adisak Kraisorn, Adisorn Promrak and Charyl Chappuis all joined T1 rivals Port FC, Teerasil Dangda left for a second stint in Japan, while two key foreign players – Oh Ban-suk and Bruno Gallo – also moved on.

At the beginning of 2020, Gama faced a huge rebuilding job with a decent core of young players, in addition to the more experienced goalkeeper Dang Van Lam, defender Wattana Playnum and striker Derley. The foreign players brought in were striker William Popp, attacking midfielder Sardor Mirzaev and centre-back Lucas Rocha. They have had their moments but none have impressed consistently.

In a disrupted season, there hasn’t been time for the team to gel, but Saturday’s home defeat to a struggling Trat was the low point of an underwhelming campaign to date.

Gama’s successful spells at Buriram United and Chiangrai United, in addition to his impressive early impact at Muang Thong, will ensure that there is plenty of interest in his services. It is unfortunate, however, that his time at Muang Thong has ended on a low point.

Paul Murphy

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