Tag: Gareth Southgate

ENGLAND v IRAN : Match review

England v Iran
FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022
Group B Qualifier

16:30 Iran Time
13:00 GMT, Monday 21 November 2022
Khalifa International Stadium – Dolha

Team Melli begins the 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign against the Three Lions in what will be the first-ever meeting between the nations at the senior level.
Iran, was drawn out against Gareth Southgate’s England, USA and Wales at the draw in Doha on 1 April.

  • ● This will be the first-ever encounter between England and Iran. Team Melli has never beaten European opposition at the FIFA World Cup (D2 L6).
  • This is the third time in a row that Carlos Queiroz has coached Iran in the World Cup.
  • Iran has qualified for the third World Cup in a row since WC2014. A first in the Team’s history
  • ● England have qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the 16th time. It’s their seventh appearance in a row, their longest streak in the competition.
  • ● England set the best goal difference in the group stage of European qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring 39 goals and conceding only three (+36).
  • ● England are the only European team to have reached the semi-finals in each of the last two major tournaments (FIFA World Cup + EURO).
  • ● 12 of England’s last 18 goals at the FIFA World Cup have been scored from set-pieces. In fact, 75% of their goals in 2018 came from dead ball situations (9 out of 12).
  • ● Iran have never progressed past the first round of the FIFA World Cup, winning only two of their 15 matches (v USA in 1998 and Morocco in 2018). This is their sixth participation in the tournament, including their third in a row.
  • ● Iran have scored nine goals in 15 FIFA World Cup matches; at 0.6, it’s the lowest goals-per-game ratio of any nation to play more than 10 games in the competition. They’ve only netted more than once in one of their 15 games, a 2-1 win over the USA in 1998.
  • ● Gareth Southgate has guided England to the last four in each of his two tournaments as national team head-coach. Only Sir Alf Ramsey can boast a similar record as England boss (WC winners in 1966, Euro semi-finalists in 1968).
  • ● England striker Harry Kane was the top scorer in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with five of his six goals coming in the group stages. No player has ever been top/joint-top scorer at two different World Cup tournaments.
  • ● Despite only playing six times, no Iran player was involved in more goals during the third round of Asian World Cup qualifying than Mehdi Taremi (4 goals, 2 assists).

Coach: Carlos Quieroz
Qualified from: First in AFC qualifying group
Qualifying top scorer: Mehdi Taremi (Porto)
FIFA World Cup best performance: group stage (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018)

Form guide

After consecutive defeats to group rivals Bahrain and Iraq respectively in late 2019, Iran looked like they wouldn’t even make it through to the last round of Asian qualifying, let alone reach a third straight World Cup finals. Then COVID-19 hit, and Iran were able to push the reset button. Coach Marc Wilmots was replaced, Iran won their four remaining second-round games – all played in neutral Bahrain because of the pandemic – and never looked back. They won eight out of ten games in round three to qualify alongside fellow AFC big hitters South Korea.


Off the back of seven years coaching in Iran’s domestic leagues, Dragan Skocic was seen as a safe pair of hands when he took over from Wilmots in February 2020. Although Iran’s demanding fans would prefer their team to play on the front foot, defence was the bedrock of their success under the Croat, with just five goals conceded in 14 qualifiers. Skocic – who had experimented with a variety of attacking shapes in front of his favoured back four – was dismissed as head coach in July, only to be immediately reinstated. But his stay of execution didn’t last long and, in early September, the new president of the Iranian Football Federation, Mehdi Taj, replaced Skocic with Carlos Queiroz, the former Manchester United assistant and Real Madrid coach who led Iran at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

World Cup pedigree

Despite qualifying for the finals six times, including four of the last six, Iran have never progressed beyond the group stage, although they did come close in 2018, beating Morocco and drawing with Portugal in a tough group also containing Spain.

Stars on show

In front of a compact defense and industrious midfield, Iran relies heavily on the mercurial attacking talents of Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun – who have been prolific goalscorers for Porto and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, and the creativity of Feyenoord’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who Premier League fans might remember from his three seasons with Brighton & Hove Albion. During the qualifiers, the central back duo Shojaá Khalilzadeh and Hossein Kananizadegan created a formidable defense in front of the goal.


Iran: Top star Sardar Azmoun is doubtful for the England game. It is not clear if he has trained since arriving in Doha to join the Team Melli squad. There are no more injuries reported amongst the players since the match against Tunisia was played behind closed doors, and little if any information is available.

England: Kyle Walker is traveling with the English team while not fully fit. It is almost certain that he will miss the first match against Iran. James Maddison is also a doubt as he missed training today in favor of some light work in the gym.



England World Cup 2022 squad announced

GARETH SOUTHGATE has named his 26-man squad for England’s World Cup campaign with Conor Gallagher and Callum Wilson the shock picks.

The Three Lions manager has whittled down his 55-man provisional list to the special 26.

After announcing his selections, Southgate said: “We’re excited by the group. We think there’s a lot of talent within it.

“But the group has to come together. We’ve got to adapt better than anybody else in the coming period.”

Harry Kane will once again spearhead Southgate’s troops, looking to win his first competition.

The Spurs man was the top scorer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Jordan Pickford has never let anyone down for England, and he will be given the gloves in Qatar. The much-maligned Harry Maguire might not have found much form for Manchester United this season, but he is one of Southgate’s favorites in the squad.

James Maddison’s inclusion is arguably the biggest talking point. He appears to have finally won over Southgate after his stunning form for Leicester dragged them off the bottom of the Premier League.

Iran is the first of England’s opponents on 21st Nov 2022.

GARETH SOUTHGATE has travelled to Vienna to watch Iran play Senegal.


The England manager is busy preparing for the Qatar World Cup after the Three Lions’ Nations League campaign concluded with a 3-3 draw against Germany.

And with England set to take on Iran in their opening World Cup fixture, Southgate is doing his homework in person. He was joined by his assistant manager Steve Holland at the behind closed doors match. Southgate, 52, was likely casting an eye over Iran’s dangermen to work out how to nullify Carlos Queiroz’s side.

The England boss looked in good spirits despite mounting pressure on his team and took time to pose for photos with fans ahead of kick-off. Despite a run of six matches without a win Southgate has belief in his squad and is re-assured by the leadership qualities some players have shown in recent days.

He said after the Germany match: “Some of the more senior players have been outstanding. “They asked for a meeting on their own to talk things through. For me, that was such a positive sign. The best football teams have a real core of players that drive things.

“To have the right sort of messages filtering through to the group to keep people on track is crucial. We need to stay calm. “We have been through times like this before but they are all learning together. The message is we must stick to what we do. “You will have pressure in a World Cup. It may be in a group game or in a quarter-final. It is better we feel it and learn how to feel about it.

England are joined by Iran, Wales, and the USA in the Group. Iran and England have never met at the international level.

There was no word from Southgate after the end of the match.

England boss Southgate could be forced to axe unvaccinated stars from his World Cup squad.

England coach Gareth Southgate could leave out several players from his World Cup squad due to their refusal to take the Covid vaccine.

Sportsmail has learned that a handful of players who would expect to make Southgate’s 26-man party for the tournament in Qatar have yet to be vaccinated, which under current regulations means they will have to isolate for five days following their arrival in the country in November.

England’s first World Cup fixture is on the tournament’s opening day, November 21, just six days after their scheduled arrival in Qatar, so any player forced to self-isolate will realistically have to sit it out as they will have barely trained with their team-mates.

Southgate is therefore contemplating an unpalatable choice between leaving some vaccine out of his squad entirely, as Chelsea and Crystal Palace have done on their pre-season tours, or going into England’s opener with reduced numbers.

The issue of vaccine refusal is also affecting other World Cup sides, such as France, with N’Golo Kante one of several international stars who have yet to be vaccinated, but England’s problem is more acute as they have been given an opening-day game.

FIFA are understood to be lobbying Qatar to relax its Covid vaccine rules ahead of the tournament. There are a number of players expected to be in his group for Qatar who have yet to receive the Covid jab. The issue of player vaccination has been a hot topic in the Premier League this summer.

The Premier League revealed back in late January that 80 percent of top-flight players in England are fully vaccinated, but they have not provided an update since then.

Any ‘refusenik’ will be forced to isolate for five days on arrival in Qatar – meaning they could be at risk of missing the opening game

Iran will meet England in its first FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Khalifa Internationa Stadium on November 21st, 2022.

IFFHS : Dragan Skocic candidate of world best National Team coaches

the International Federation of History and Statistics announced the names of the top 20 national coaches in the world in 2021 today, Friday. Among the names mentioned is the name of Dragan Skocic, the head coach of the Iranian national team. Skocic, who has won 10 consecutive games with Team Melli, is on the list alongside top coaches such as Mancini, Frank de Boer, Shevchenko, Southgate, Didier Deschamps, Scaloni, Tito and others. From Asia, in addition to Skocic, the names of the coaches of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Japan are on the list.



Roberto Mancini (Italy)
Vladimir Petković (Switzerland)
Roberto Martínez (Belgium)
Kasper Hjulmand (Denmark)
Frank de Boer (Netherlands)
Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine)
Gareth Southgate (England)
Didier Deschamps (France)
Luis Enrique (Spain)
Jaroslav Šilhavý (Czech Republic)
Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)
Tite (Brazil)
Reinaldo Rueda (Colombia)
Ricardo Gareca (Peru)
Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
Mondher Kebaier (Tunisia)
Hassam El Badry (Egypt)
Geraldo Martino (Argentina /Mexico team)
Gregg Berhalter (USA)
Danny Hay (New Zealand)
Dragan Skocic (Croatia/Iran team)
Hajime Moriyasu (Japan)
Felix Sanchez Bar (Spain/Qatar team)
Herve Renard (France/Saudi Arabia team)