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LEBANON - IRAN (WCQ's - 11/11/21)

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  • LEBANON - IRAN (WCQ's - 11/11/21)

    Some talking points, since I didn’t watch parts of the 2nd half.

    1- I’ll start with the best: Karma is a bitch, MF’er.
    Yes, it was karma that turned the knife inside the grassrolling time wasting maggots that they should concede the winner at minute 5 of the added time.
    If the MF’ers hadn’t grass-rolled (I’d say easily above 10-12 minutes of the game) for that long, the ref would have whistled the end of the match at 1-1.
    How sweet is that, I say? Sweeter than heavenly nectars.

    2- The game can be divided into 3 segments:
    A) prior to the freak goal
    B) Between the freak goal upto midway thru the 2nd half
    C) The remainder

    A) Prior to the goal we actually played some really good football (if we omit the last touch/finishing). We worked the field and flanks, we attacked from the middle. Some really good one-touch passing. Some really good positioning and space-finding by the players. All that against a very compressed bus parked in front of Lebanese goal.

    Yes, there were some negatives even during this period: Bad finishing, Poor Ghoddos performance (that we all expected far more from him) and Tm having little plans for SET PIECES. This last one is starting to worry as many have mentioned too. We just NEED to have a few good combos or plans for set pieces. However, it seems the WIND had a major impact on the entire game, set pieces included. Nevertheless, we should do better in this.

    B) I assume the wind played its hand in their goal. But it doesn’t take the blame away from Beiranvand for stopping to play, taking his eyes off the ball and actually asking for an “offside flag”(?????). Same thing with the defense. This is BASIC football 1-0-1. Do not stop playing until you hear the whistle.
    (Puts Skocic’s comments on our players’ “room for improvement in TACTICAL abilities” into perspective and underscores it. So much for all the drama we went thru by Taremi’s misplaced outrage)

    What was park the bus and eat up time, suddenly became “fall on grass even if someone looks at you”!! Disgusting and very frustrating. Referee’s decisions and calls also added to the stress for our lads. Somehow he never took our side in a 50/50 situation, while allowing deplorable time wasting by the opponents.
    No wonder we looked so stressed and out of focus, resulting in series of yellow cards, mistakes, some really poor moves and performances.
    Skocic did the right thing to take JB out as he looked he might get a 2nd yellow with mounting frustration and horrible grass-rolling.

    C) In come reinforcements Sayadmanesh, Karim and a reshuffle of our left flank with Mohamadi coming in for LB/LWB role, allowing Amiri to push up (seems a plan-B schtick for Skocic, seen in other games too) for stressed out JB, and very poor performing Ghoddos and Ezatollahi (the latter was just abysmal! Such a surprise after his Korea performance)

    This energized our attacks and more importantly, the midfield.
    I watched segment this one & off. So cant say much about the details of the plays. But clearly with injected pace and hunger the bus crumbled and paid the price for their dirty tactics.

    I cant say I’m happy with the overall Team performance. But if we manage to play like the first segment (upto the goal), I’d be very very happy.

    But the GREATEST thing I take out of this game is resilience of our team has improved. Not many teams can bounce back from such a stressful game (ref, time wasting, wind, poor ground, unnecessary drama of taremi/skocic, …). Certainly not our traditional TMs (even under CQ we cant find many instances like this).
    To come back from behind, not giving up and to score TWO goals in dying minutes is to be celebrated by all.
    This is the 2nd comeback of TM so we can say this with more assurance that we have become more resilient.


    Finally a note on the elephant in the room:
    I’m glad we won (aside from the 3 points & maintaining the lead in table), especially for the general idea of ”discipline
    Had we lost I’m sure a lot of ppl wld have brought up the Taremi angle and unfairly blamed the loss on staff …. Conveniently overlooking the fact that if Taremi hadn’t made those comments, NONE of this drama wld have taken place.
    But anyway, now this can be a case in favor of discipline and respect for norms of professionalism.

    Now, Taremi will come back. But hopefully with some shaving of his ego and learns to act like a pro player. And with his inclusion after Syria game, the whole team also becomes stronger.

  • #2
    Just watched some extended highlights (bcoz it's always more informative to watch after knowing the results. Makes observations stress free) and I am very impressed with the number & execution of the through passes in between or around the fullbacks.

    Some really nice ones too. Clearly the team has worked on these.

    In fact the number of crosses & balls sent OVER the defense (at least in the highlights) were executed rather nicely.
    How we didnt score more goals off these is perhaps the overcrowded 18 yard packed with Lebanese players.

    So I encourage all to rewatch the game or at least extended highlights. Gives you a new perspective


    • #3
      agree with most of this. given the conditions (pitch, wind, poor training grounds, controversies, etc.), i thought the performance was acceptable, if not even positive.

      in what you define as phase 1, minus some truly shocking (and surprisingly poor) play from Ghoddos, we were on top of them like white on rice. however, was very excited to see Ghoddos as a starter on the team sheet, and was left bitterly disappointed in his general decision-making and speed of execution.

      i take your point on phase 2, but i think your assessment is somewhat harsh. i mean ... the ball was well outside the camera's viewpoint... even as a spectator I assumed the play was dead, and even took a second to glance down at my phone to check for notifications, thinking that the ball had reached the stratosphere. it's simple to say in hindsight that everyone should have been more aware, but that is seriously one of the freakiest incidents i've ever seen on the pitch and i'm not sure how as a player you can prepare for that. and then consider the lewandowski-like touch / control / finish from the Lebanese forward ... pretty much put a cap on a truly bizarre sequence of events.

      phase 3 ... agree completely. the tactical changes and substitutions made by Skocic were freakishly on-point. pushing Amiri up, who was already having a stand-out game, and getting JB / EZ off the field was completely warranted. Amiri's energy and running, smart link-up play and superior vision was a consistent and constant threat. this guy is the real deal and our most consistent performer to date.


      where I disagree with you is on the Taremi issue ... as an international coach who is leading a (fairly) emotional team under difficult conditions to the world cup, you have to exercise extreme caution over what you say and who you say it to. having seen the fully translated quote from Skocic, i can understand why players would take offence. instead of "what they lack is tactical ability", he could have softened it with "there is always room for improvement with any national team—for us, we are working harder everyday to improve from a tactical standpoint and with the number of players we now have playing in Europe, the tactical side of the game is becoming a strength for us" ... or something to that affect. you's like those lame job interviews where you turn your weaknesses into opportunities and/or stories tied to your personal growth / development. seriously, for someone criticizing the "tactical" knowledge of his players, it appears he himself can use some "tact" when delivering messages in these interviews. i have to ask the question: why is it important in this moment of time to acknowledge publicly that Iranians "lack tactical ability", even we do? why say that? read the room. and the funniest thing of all is that really it's the coach that assumes the role of tactician and imparts that wisdom onto his players, so in hindsight it's like... well isn't that your job, you idiot? note - I am by no means a Skocic hater. he's put together a fantastic campaign and the results speak for themselves. in the next 2-3 games, we will be celebrating qualification. but what's wrong is wrong and what Skocic did was unnecessary.

      and in Taremi's defence, having read his tweet ... i don't actually see much wrong with it, especially as it didn't look like it was a criticism of Skocic himself (rather the federation). i think with the onset of these novel communication mediums, where tone and sentiment are often lost, you can't be quick to judge and/or act upon what's being said in 140 characters and a few words. and yes, it took a miracle (thank goodness) for us not to have the debate of "well, that's what you get when you take your best player off the team", which is bogus to begin with because if we seriously can't beat a team like Lebanon without Taremi, well then what in heaven's name are we doing.

      on a personal note—glad to see the old-timers are still well and good. hope you and your families are doing great.
      We thank and support Mr.Kamran Delan for many years of dedication and service to Iranian Football Community.


      • #4
        ^ On skocic's comment:
        he said exactly what you wanted him to say.
        he said there is room for improvement and with time they get the handle of it. I'd say he nailed it on the fact as well as the said it the correct, non-hurtful way.
        Problem starts when Iranian media come in with their poison!

        nevertheless a misunderstanding which could have been resolved much earlier.
        What I'm pissed off is why it took so long and why Taremi (as a player it is his responsibility to take the first step in resolution of this) never bothered to!
        and to make matters worse, he declined attempts by bagheri and others. with the very childish excuse of "not having bagheri, TM's coach's phone number!!!!!

        and if he wasnt addressing skocic, then when all this became a media frenzy with int'l media gettin in on it, he shd have clarified himself and simply said: "I did not mean this or did not address the coach".
        he did not.
        By allowing it to remain a wound, he allowed it to fester and become even worse.

        That's quite immature, foolish and extremely egotistical.

        and if he DID mean the coach, then the correct thing to do was LIE. Not for his sake or skocic's sake. But for the team's sake and for Iran.
        But he did not as it can only appear as his priorities are different!