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Can Iran qualify for World Cup 2018 without Queiroz?

The Portuguese coach is one of a kind amongst all the coaches that have managed Team Melli. He is unique in many aspects, some positive and some not. Arguably, he is the most divisive, vocal, antagonist, and niggling character that Team Melli has seen. When it comes to Carlos Queiroz, the events surrounding him are reminiscent of a Hollywood drama rather than sporting environment.

But the man is not all negatives. Queiroz can be extremely aggressive when demanding his personal or the team’s rights. There is certain lack of insensitivity of etiquette or diplomacy in his argument; nevertheless he does what he believes in to be right. Although not the pioneer in that list, Queiroz is the sturdiest coach that the federation has employed, ready to confront his peers and even the government demanding what he believes is right for Team Melli like better Training facilities, organized calendar, improved travel itineraries, and so on.

The no-nonsense former head coach of Real Madrid, Portugal and assistant to Alex Ferguson, has a vast experience in dealing with football stars, as he handled players who exhibited behavioral problems. Hence, he had no hesitation to rid Team Melli of disruptive and troublesome players for good, no mercy no returning back even if they repent. Such a unique discipline hardly existed in Iran football, let alone Team Melli.  No Iranian coach would dare be anywhere near such stern disciplinarian, although Ali Daei is coming close.

Tactically speaking and despite Team Melli winning no trophies at all during Queiroz 6 years reign, he managed to reform  the team to a tactically astute and defensively organized unit. He ventured across the West looking for Iranian players with dual nationalities who can add value to Team Melli and has done that with excellent result. He transformed an aging low confidence post Asian Cup 2011 team, to a formidable squad that is topping FIFA Asian Zone ranking months after months.

His style of football, mostly based on strong defense, is perhaps not an eye candy for everyone, but Team Melli under him has showed that it can also display beautiful modern passing game that delighted the purist among the fans.  

 Queiroz is also the most expensive coach that the federation has employed. His wages and those of his technical team are crippling the football federation already feeble finances.

Perhaps the worst side of Queiroz is that he is a walking controversy, full of threats and always ready to leave Iran and detonate. He is simply holding Iran’s football and Team Melli at ransom

Calling Queiroz the greatest coach in Team Melli history is a fallacy and based on emotion and nothing more. Several other coaches achieved much better results at a fraction of the cost he incurred.

Queiroz has resigned his post again. From all the conflicting news, it seems that he is not coming back anymore (famous last words). So, can Iran make it to Russia in 2018 without Queiroz?

Answer depends on whom you ask and certainly it will be biased. But logically speaking, there is no reason what so ever that this squad should not make it to the finals, bar a complete breakdown.

Any team that depends on a single character for success, be it a player or a coach for that matter, is simply not worth being called a team and certainly does not deserve to be in the world’s premiere show and that is the World Cup. Team Melli has enough quality and proved it on the pitch that it has the right material and style to make it to the greatest football show on earth with or without Queiroz.


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