Dragan Skocic’s fears and hopes

The Croatian coach’s survival and leading Team Melli in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is quite certain, but Skočić still has concerns.

Hamshahri newspaper, in an article about the current status of Team Melli, wrote: “The finalization of the friendly match against Canada on the morning of June 6th is a very good event; It is both technically useful for the national team and shows that the uncertainty of the football federation has not affected Team Melli after all. This game should be considered auspicious. Surely Dragan Skucic is happy too. The Croatian head coach of the national team felt the danger of being fired after the defeat against South Korea in the Nowruz ceremonial game, but now it seems that his position is steadfast and solid.

Even for some time after the World Cup draw, some saboteurs pushed the idea of a much higher profile world-class coach will is needed for Team Melli in Qatar instead of Skocic, but if there was a will to do so, it would seem futile and nothing more than feeble lobbying that found very little attention and consideration. . There are only six months left until the start of the World Cup, and the friendly matches of Team Melli are being fixed with Skocic. Therefore, the Croatian is relieved that he will lead the Iranian national team in Qatar and is focused on hard work.

However, that is not to say that Skočić is worry-Free at this stage, for the challenge is huge and far from simple. Is Canada enough? Many claimed that for various reasons, the game against Canada is a good and precious opportunity for the Iranian national team; Both their football is similar to USA’s and they are a good and strong team. Anyway, Canada managed to win four points from the United States in two games, and our game and theirs will surely benefit us. However,  just this one game to prepare for the biggest football show on the planet is not enough for Team Melli.

It is said that the rest of the package of friendly matches is supposed to be completed with the games against the likes of New Zealand and Albania, but these matches are not very useful. In fact, there is a concern that the federation will feel satisfied after arranging the game with Canada and will not leave much to be desired for the rest of the friendly matches. It is a pity if that is the case. Do not forget that we are playing against England, the most expensive national football team in the world at the moment. Wales or Scotland may be added to the Iran group and we need to play with a team that has such characteristics.

Which posts are missing?

Dragan Skocic, however, should also have concerns about some of the national team posts. For example, the right-back position is a very serious challenge. Skocic’s favorite choice for the post is Sadegh Moharrami who does not seem to be the fan’s favorite. Moharrami has long been lost in the club category. He has had a great performance at Dinamo Zagreb and even recently Branko Ivankovic criticized the club’s technical staff for benching the Iranian. The quality of Moharrami’s in Team Melli has been inconsistent. On the other hand, Ramin Rezaian returned to the Iranian league to show himself to Dragan Skoucic, but he was not very successful and failed to convince Team Meli selectors to include him in the squad. Rezaeian also has discipline issues. For Voria Ghafouri, his best years are behind him at this stage and almost done at the international level while Saleh Hardani lacks the experience that is required to help the Team in the World Cup.

If you have followed the Asian Champions League, you must have noticed the decline of Daniel Ismaili at that post.

Other positions of concern are defensive midfielders. Ahmed Noorullahi has not had an outstanding performance in the weaker team of Al-Ahly in the UAE League, while Saeed Ezzatullahi in the weaker team of Al-Gharafah in Qatar has only become in huge big margin defeats. Even recently, Milad Sarlak’s performance in Persepolis has had many critics. In general, Skocic should also be concerned about the decline of the Legionnaires. Alireza Biranvand, Ali Gholizadeh, Karim Ansarifard Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Ehsan Hajosafi, and some others have played very little these months.

Maybe the problem of some of these players will be solved by choosing a better team in the World Cup year. “In that case, we hope they will make an open-minded choice.” The reality is that Iranian Players do not easily integrate well n the western teams, the best problem being the language and work ethics. In the Iranian Domestic league, the way the players are developed and the relaxed and indisciplined attitude of the clubs, do not augur well for players to become legionnaires. Only a few percent of Iranians make it while most struggle and eventually return home.