The legendary Heshamat Mohajerani , the first coach to lead Iran to the World Cup back in 1978 , believes that Carlos Queiroz contract should be extended with some conditions attached .
“Although the result in the FIFA World Cup 2014 was not very successful, the AFC Asian Cup is only months away and we require a big name coach to lead Team Melli in the competition” Mohajerani said
In an interview with ISNA , Mohajerani added “ The defense of the Team in Brazil was not bad but it had a serious problem up front , therefor we cannot categorize the team’s participation and result as successful. Although, if we push it and consider the overall situation, you may call that participation as satisfactory.”
“When a team focuses on defense, it dilutes the function of the forwards making their job secondary to the defense. We have played a good defensive game and managed to certain extent to prevent the opposition from scoring. However, we also had a very difficult job scoring ourselves. I strongly believed that we could have arranged a better team balance. In any case, I think what we did to Argentine was a great achievement, despite the heartbreaking result. Saying that, I believe that in the other two matches, Nigeria and Bosnia, we could have done much better.”
Lack of a creative Midfield player.
“One of the obvious shortfalls of Team Melli was the lack of a creative midfield player. The work of the midfield players in the World Cup was not satisfactory because we really did not have a creative midfield player. Unfortunately, many of the experts and coaches in Iran have different opinions before and after the World Cup. When Khalatbary was omitted from the list, most people said that we have to respect the Coach wishes. That is fine, we will respect the coach, but the reality is something different.” Mohajerani commented.
“Because Team Melli was built of a defensive strategy, a creative player like Khalatbary had no place in the team. Khaltbary’s has many attributes including his ability to run with the ball with pace, we simply had no one like him in the team when it was needed. The official figures published by FIFA showed that we had the worst passing data. Our players passing were poor. They simply wasted many passes. Overall , we cannot say that the team was 100% bad nor can we praise them as a successful team.”
Velasco left a permanent legacy in Iran.
Asked by the reporter if he thinks that Queiroz should continue with Iran , Mohajerani said “Querioz has not managed to change our football to the better, but he managed to change Team Melli mentality. I expected that if Queiroz had problems with the Clubs coaches, and these are the people who really matter , he should have spent more time and effort to meet, discuss and communicate with them. In reality the opposite has happened. He had continual verbal war with the club coaches each accusing the other. When the great Velasco left Iran’s Volleyball team, our national team continued playing at the highest level because Velasco left a legacy within volleyball not just on the national team. I wish it was the same for football.”
Queiroz is currently the best option.
While analyzing all the circumstance as and the situation, the decision makers must respect the public opinion in their verdicts and should pursue extending the contract with Queiroz. The Football federation is to be blamed for failure to seriously act in the negotiation with the coach. Their attitude seems to be happy-go-lucky . At least they could have forcefully searched for an Iranian coach to replace him if there was no or little intention by FFIRI to continue with Queiroz. They also failed to have an Iranian assistance working with Queiroz (1)
“They (FFIRI) say that Queiroz demands is beyond acceptable. In that case they should have done their homework not to fall in such a situation. In any case , I believe there is little time to waste and Queiroz to me is the best option at the moment, but the federation must learn from their shortfall and mistakes.”
(1) FFIRI has actually nominate an Iranian coach Majid Saleh to work alongside with Queiroz who would not entertain any such appointment. When he was forced to accept Salih , Queiroz made life so difficult for Salih even sending him to the stands , instead of sitting ion the bench, which resulted in the Esteghlal coach resigning his post. Mohajerani is perhaps not aware of this point.
Note: The two other creative midfield footballers left in Iran are Ali Karimi and Mojtaba Jabbari. Karimi was not selected while Jabbari opted not to go to the World Cup.