Three weeks of the Persian football League 2014/15 has produced one of the lowest ever goals tallies, a fact that has alarmed many experts while raising some heated debates amongst the concerned. 4 teams have yet to score a single goal in 3 matches, while four of them have scored less than 1 goal per game. Thanks goodness, Sepahan is an exception , with a perfect start leading the table with 9 points and 7 goals scored.
Many of the experts opined that this is a classical reflection of Team Melli’s performance in the World Cup , where sheer defense was the name of the game , leaving very little for imagination , attractive football , offensive plans and individual show of skills to be displayed .
Alireza Mansourian , a coach of Iran’s U23 until recently and currently the head coach of Naft Tehran , was one of the coaches who blamed the World Cup. “ In the World Cup , we witnessed South American teams challenging the Europeans and taking the game to the last minutes. The most successful coaches where the ones that closed their defenses well and then targeted quick counters where they hoped to snatch a goal. It seems that our coaches in Iran have quickly picked up this strategy. Their defensive game plans have something to do with Job Security as well as none wants to be beaten and get the sack!” Mansourian , however , was diplomatic in his approach , refraining from commenting on Team Melli’s defensive strategy while many others openly pointed the finger at Team Melli
There was one defender of Team Melli game plan amongst the crowds and that is Morteza Mohasses. The Coaching instructor and lecturer, who is also a leading member of the Federation’s Technical and football development committee, rebutted the claims that the Team Melli is setting the example and laughed off the suggestion that dearth of goals in the league is because of the defensive plans as played in Brazil.
“The fact is , our national coaches are just not good enough. They have failed to implement offensive plans preferring instead to build up their defenses. Even in the midfield, they prefer holding or defensive midfielders rather than the offensive type. With such mentality, year after year, the end result would be lack of goal scoring and shortfalls in producing quality strikers. It has nothing to do with Team Melli that played a wise defensive game plan in its first two games!”
Mohasses’ logic , however , is found wanting. As a lead instructor in FFIRI, he bears much responsibility in producing what he refers to as “not good enough coaches”. In fact he is largely condemning himself as it appears that his year of guidance, tactical planning , lecturing , and teaching these Iranian coaches, has failing to yield the optimal results. His defense of Team Melli’s game plan seems to be blatantly off side too. What the clubs are copying from the national team, in itself is not a bad practice as many countries are on such approach. However, If the National Team game plan is fine and admirable, why does it become ugly if the clubs are following the same game plan?
There has been various articles in the newspapers and news agencies criticizing the standards of football displayed by the league teams this season. Of course m, there are some genuine concerns, but this is only the start of the season where most teams are not at their optimum because of changes in personnel or other factors. Like everything else in Iran , there has to be some political agenda behind these veiled attacks.
Talks of the Parliamentary investigation committee finding a wide range of corruption in football, has not raised much eyebrows amongst the elite in the Iranian football. Corruptions of all types , is one of the worst kept secrets in Iran, but naming Kaffashian as a possible culprit , has raised the level of interest in the press zone. The final report will be submitted to the Head of the parliament for his