Overall, a very poor game from TEAM MELLI, …. A DIRECT result of an extremely poor starting line up, and then, poor strategy after our goal.
Allow me to start with the starting line up.
This was a line up based on NOT technical matters or the needs of this game.
It was based on a lot of peripheral domestic matters, grudge and basically factors that had NO RIGHT to be considered when a national team is concerned.
Following Niki’s very poor game against UAE, many expected to see him on the bench, and to see a new face, like Mani’ee in the starters.
Not only Mani’ee did well during those minutes he played, Niki’s extremely poor performance should have been indicative of this much needed change.
Niki , except on a couple of occasions, was the ABSOLUTE poorest player we had.
Not that the player in front of him, Madanchi was any great shakes!
He also, apart from a couple of moves, was quite poor and inconsistent.
I believe inclusion of Niki was NOT a technically based decision.
It had more to do with GHALE NOEI trying to show a moderate and unbiased face ( considering his rows and problems with Niki, which led to Niki leaving Esteghlal ) and to show his personal problems with Niki do not interfere with his TEAM MELLI decision makings.
A very wrong thought process, as GHALE NOEI in the process, closed his eyes to Niki’s very poor present form, and deprived TEAM MELLI of a far better option .
I suspect keeping the poor performing Madanchi for 70 minutes had something to do with pleasing the red club’s supporters.
At least to some extent.
Again, the wrong process in selection of starters.
And I wonder if Kaabi's benching is not an indication of the said "grudge" against the former coach, and the present coach's desire to "show him right" !!
Because by all logic and sense, a home game, against a weaker team, would have been sufficient reason behind using an attacking and experienced right back like Kaabi, instead of Shakouri.
Such decisions and selection carves a negative notch against GHALE NOEI.
I must vehemently question the coach and the team’s decision to pull back after Nekounam’s goal.
This is exactly how we suffered under branko; an overcautious approach to games that normally and by all laws of logic should be in the bag for our much stronger team.
TM’s retreat reminded of the nightmarish retreats under branko. And that cant be good.
We ( sort of ) had the Syrians pinned back, and were ( sort of ) in control of the game. Now, why a team of our stature, INSIDE AZADI, should take their foot off the pedal is a mystery to me.
At one point, we had 3 defensive midfielders on the pitch!
Teymoorian, Nekounam and Kazemi !!!
Another notch against GHALE NOEI.
Lack of a "playmaker" really plagued our team in almost 3/4th of the game, until Mobaali and Kazemian came in.
Granted, neither of these two are at the top of their form, and they certainly can do far better.
But our Goal should serve as enough reminder that no team can win a game with no playmaker.
Now, onto some of the performers.
First of all, Mr. Khatibi.
Why such a speedy player should ever get caught in offside trap is beyond me.
I can imagine a slower forward who does not have the pace to outrun his mark, to stray in and out of the offside line and get caught repeatedly.
But a pacey forward like Khatibi?
Wasting chance after chance with wrong positioning?
The highlight was when he wrongly ( while in the offside ) intercepted a lovely forward pass by Mobaali intended for Kazemian, who made the correct run from inside right.
That denied the team of a very good opportunity.
And then, to argue with Mobaali on this?
Not a good game, Mr. Khatibi.
Not a good game at all.
Subbing him out was a good decision. But it should have been with another forward or at least an attacking midfielder. Not yet another defensive midfielder !
I wont discuss the defenders, as almost 90% of the game, they were not put under any kind of pressure, as Syria had adopted a very very compact defensive formation.
But that does not excuse them of laxity in Syria’s goal and another occasion where they allowed the Syrian forward to get one-on-one with Talebloo.
Another game like this, will mean a lot of neutral observers start to take position against the defensive strategies and even the line up.
A big surprise was how ineffective Shakouri was, especially after his bright game against UAE !
On the positives, Nekounam seems to have gained in confidence and performance, compared to his world cup games.
His long balls and passing reminded me of the good old days of his stardom.
Hope this is for keeps and continues to progress in the future.
And another one is seeing the captain’s armband around Mahdavikia’s arm.
A great sight to see, of a very deserving captain for our dear TEAM MELLI.
Mr. GHALE NOEI has to do something about his decisions, …. And fast.
Not only his opportunities to show how deserving he is of the job, are very limited, but also our game against one of asia’s best teams, Korea is no joke.
Especially for our overhauled TM, who are really taking their time to get into the required rhythm.
I’m afraid another poor showing by GHALE NOEI, and it is a rather quick hello and goodbye to him, at TEAM MELLI camp.
on the side, allow me to express my utter disgust and repulsion for the fans at the stadium, who not only failed to support their team properly, and were very quiet during most periods of the game, but also , once again allowed their inane and pathetic "color orientations" to take precedence over the national team jersey !
a direct victim of this repulsive and deplorable behavior was Niki who got booed and jeered everytime he touched the ball !
No wonder he is not performing well !