Iranian domestic coaches.

Since the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Team Melli has had no coach or program. It is in fact, disbanded.

Mehdi Taj hinted recently that the FFIRI will be looking much closer at domestic coaches for Team Melli citing difficulty in wages payment and bank transfers.

The problem is, there are NO suitable, competent Iranian coaches who can effectively lead Team Melli.

Iranian candidates for Team Melli

Of the domestic coaches’ names, there are several that can be considered but are not necessarily capable at this time to coach at the international level. Beginning with Ali Daei and Amir Ghalenoei. They are the only two who have led Team Melli and are qualified to do so again. Daei however is in the bad book of the regime, and he himself has no interest whatsoever to coach the team again. He has also been away from football for some time. Ghalenoei, on the other hand, is active and coaching a flourishing club in Gol Gohar. Ghalenoei however, has never been popular with the establishment, and a person whose demeanors and constant finger-pointing at others for his own failures and defeats, have ranked low in popularity and competence.

On the newer generations, we have Yayha Golmohammadi, Javad Nekounam, and Alireza Mansourian. The latter is out of work since he parted company with Sanat Naft Abadan, while his coaching career is not considered successful in general. Nekounam, former Team Melli captain and record holder of most games played for Team Melli, currently is the head coach of Foolad Khuzestan. Nekounam, attitude, antics, and general lack of leadership skills, controversial, ill-spoken, and on the technical side, uncertified coach, he cannot possibly be a serious candidate.

That leaves, Yayha Golmohammadi as the most serious candidate. The current coach of Persepolis has a successful CV which includes two Persian Gulf Pro League titles in the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons with Persepolis. Political dissent and possible reluctance by the club to release him might create difficulties in getting the job at the helm of Team Melli.

Apart from these five aforementioned, no other coach comes even close to making the mark.

But national coaches are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Lack of domestic Iranian coaching talents.

Jalal Chiragpour, the former head coach of Iran’s Team Melli, rejected the idea of an Iranian coach or Queiroz or Bronco to lead Iran’s national football team. In justification,  Chiragpour said: “We want a coach who can educate the players and teach them the style and mentality of modern football; Not a coach who does not allow anyone to see the training sessions, play friendly matches behind closed doors, and not allow journalists to attend the training. Team Melli team needs a “teacher-coach”.

With less than two months left until the next FIFA day (20–28 March 2023) the window of the national team’s games, the FFFIR continues to proceed slowly and calmly and seems in no hurry to choose a head coach. Some coaches and experts believe that the federation can choose a temporary coach (Caretaker) for Nowrooz at least and finally, after the end of the current season of club competitions, can make its final decision.

Jalal Chiragpour said “I have to say a few things about the Iranian coach. If we had an Iranian coach who had received coaching degrees from outside Iran, we could count on him. In this case, we would say that this Iranian coach is more educated than FFIRI’s Education Committee.

Referring to the state of the football federation’s Education Committee, whose task is to promote local Iranian coaches,  Chiragpour said: “Iran’s Education Committee is 30 years behind the modern science of the world football. Our resources are 30 years behind the world. We still teach handouts from 1974 and earlier. That’s why I say that no Iranian coach can become the head coach of the national team because they all got their coaching certificate from an outdated, archaic training institution. If FFIRI had sent a number of coaches to five or six countries like Germany, Portugal, Brazil, England, Spain, or France five or ten years ago and paid for their training, we would have a cadre of competent and certifies coaches. Our football would have changed for the better, but because they have not done anything to train the future coaches, and the football federation does not care much for coaching education, our domestic football has fallen behind even smaller neighbors.”

Teacher-coach vs. Manager coach

Chiragpour said: a “Teacher coach” is the type of coach whose work ethic is like a teacher, educator, or instructor. “Manager-coach” is  manages the team in a professional and commercial way. He deals with ready made, skilled players who need or require only little guidance. If he does not have quality players, he buys talent and brings it to his team. Queiroz is a “Manager-coach”,

Queiroz was a manager and ordered to summon such and such a player some of them with dual nationality. Or he would find talent in Manchester. No one knew why, but he made good choices about talent. The technical committee or the board of the football federation should specify whether they want a “teacher-coach” or “manager coach”?

“Team Melli requires a Teacher Coach”  Cheraghpour stated. “the foreign coach of the national team should teach Iranian footballers. We want someone to teach these players skill sets and tactics that they are not exposed to at club levels.