At the request of the AFC, the head coaches must send a preliminary list of players participating in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in Asia before August 18.
And after Vietnam, the Thai team also announced the preliminary list. Accordingly, the 33 best players have been named in this list by coach Akira Nishino.
It is very remarkable that the Japanese strategist only summons 2 strikers, while there are 16 midfielders. Seasoned striker Teerasil Dangda is also absent.
Thai media and experts have had many speculations about the decision to summon coach Nishino. In which, coach Nishino found a way to defeat Vietnam:
Journalist Gof Natthakorn of Siam Sport shared:
“Mr. Nishino is probably trying to renew the Thai team. This military leader is expected to apply a tactical scheme with a “virtual 9″ to defeat Vietnam. The fact that Coach Nishino summoned many midfielders made that intention clear.”
Fox Sport Asia reporter Phairat MLee also shares the same opinion about the virtual number 9 that the Thai coach is trying to create:
“The media is confusing with Mr. Nishino’s choice. Thailand still has many players who deserve to be promoted like Teeratep Winothai, Charyl Chappuis or Apiwat Pengpakon.
However, I believe Mr. Nishino is considering using a virtual number 9, similar to what he did with Japan at the 2018 World Cup. At this point, Supachai Jaided can play the same role as Yuya Osako. The idea is quite bold, but Mr. Nishino has no other choice.”
Tactical chart with “virtual 9” is no longer a strange diagram for modern football.
The person who plays the role of “virtual number 9” is a striker who plays at the top of the attack, but often goes deep to participate in the team’s overall play. Typically the case of Eden Hazard, Roberto Firmino and even Lionel Messi.
This is the scheme that is considered the most appropriate of Thai football at the moment when their key strikers are in poor form in domestic leagues.