Tag: Rouzbeh Cheshmi

Evolving Perspectives: Amir Ghalanoei’s Squad Selection and Team Melli’s Future

Amir Ghalanoei, under significant public and media scrutiny, has made a pivotal decision by introducing eight new players to the squad facing Turkmenistan in Azadi, a crucial step in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers. The inclusion of these fresh faces reflects a notable shift in response to public demands for younger talents in Team Melli, along with a strategic move to diversify player selections from various league clubs, breaking the monopoly of the dominant three clubs, ESteghlal, Persepolis, and Sepahan.

Acknowledging the coach’s results-driven approach, it’s evident that Ghalenoei prioritizes experience to secure victories, a sentiment shared by many Iranian coaches. However, this strategy raises concerns about nurturing young talents within Team Melli, a responsibility Ghalenoei emphasizes falls on the shoulders of clubs due to their limited resources and focus on immediate results. Such a situation is tricky, creating a challenging cycle for the national team.

Despite the infusion of new talent, expectations for significant changes in the starting lineup remain low, reflecting Ghaleneoi’s conservative coaching style and reluctance to embrace change or take risks. This conservatism is evident in the retention of senior players like the 36-year-old central defender Shoja’a Khalilzadeh and the persistent presence of underperforming players in key posts like Saeed Ezatollahi highlighting a reluctance to explore alternative options.

In midfield, the absence of versatile midfielder Rouzbeh Chesmi raises eyebrows, given his abilities and impactful contributions to Esteghlal. Chesmi’s wonder goal in the league a few weeks back, would have surely guaranteed him a place in the 29 players list, but it was not to be. Meanwhile, players like Ghoddos and Jahanbaksh, despite club-level challenges, maintain their spots in the starting lineup, showcasing Ghalenoei’s trust in their abilities and potential impact.

Looking ahead to the offensive line, Azmoun and Taremi are expected to lead the charge, despite challenges faced by Azmoun in securing regular playing time. Taremi is experiencing his worst season in |Portugal, but his starting lineup is virtually assured. This reliance on established players underscores the persistent reliance on familiar faces within Team Melli.

While the additions to the roster are promising, doubts linger about Ghalenoei’s commitment to rejuvenating Team Melli, with skeptics suggesting that these changes might be superficial rather than substantive. However, the upcoming match against Turkmenistan presents an opportunity for Team Melli to demonstrate their quality on the field and secure a convincing victory, potentially silencing critics and satisfying fans’ expectations.

In conclusion, Ghalenoei’s squad selection reflects a delicate balance between experience and rejuvenation, highlighting ongoing challenges in nurturing young talents and embracing change within Team Melli. The upcoming match serves as a litmus test for both the coach’s strategic decisions and the team’s performance, offering insights into Team Melli’s trajectory in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

Iran vs Wales: Player Ratings

The players rating against Wales in which Team Melli achieved a convincing win 2-0 scored by the two unlikeliest players.

  • Rouzbeh Cheshmi : Substituted in with 12 minutes remaining of the match. His major contribution was the goal he scored from about 30 meters in added time. Not only it gave Iran a deserved lead but boosted the morale so effectively that the second came soon after his goal. 8.0
  • Mehdi Taremi: He was overshadowed by Sardar Azmoun, yet his moves disturbed the Welsh defense. Slow in transition and missed a few good opportunities to create possession for his teammates. Provided the assist for the second goal to Rezaeian 7.60
  • Sardar Azmoun : His presense was immensly felt in the team. Always willing to run and tackle while doing defensive. duties Provided the pass to Gholozadeh to score the disallowed goal after VAR review. Hit the post too. His contribution was helpful to the team but the injury was worrying. 8.10
  • Ali Karimi: Came in as a late sub without contributing much in the few minutes.6.20
  • Mehdi Torabi : As a sub, he had limited time on the field but a good attempt to open the scoring deserves a good rating. 7.3
  •  Karim Ansarifard: A sub for Azmoun with limited time and contribution to the game 6.6

  • Ali Gholizadeh : Was one o the better player on the field. He was slightly offside when he received Azmoun’s ball to score. His dribbling and ball control was a breath of fresh air. 7.95
  • Ramin Rezaeian: Started the match badly with some wayward crossing that irritated the forwards. Slowly he came on well and started gelling with the rest. Defensive work. His delightful dink to score the second was all class. Got himself booked unnecessarily for useless protesting 7.85
  • Alireza Jahanbakhsh: A bench player for this match who came in with 12 minutes to play. Not only he had no effective contribution, but he also got another yellow card and is hence suspended for the next match against the USA. 6.00
  • Ehsan Hajisafi: Solid defensively and hardly put a foot wrong. It seems that he is not a 90 minutes player and more but for the time he was on the field, he was reliable and did a good job 7.80
  • Saeid Ezatolahi: A much better performance than the last match yet still missing some vital skills in his play. Defensive work from the midfield was fine when combining well with other players 7.45
  • Majid Hosseini: More confident and less error-prone. He combined with Pouralganji to create a solid wall in front of Hosseini preventing the Welsh penetration from the heat of the defense. 7.70
  • Ahamad Noorollahi: Lacks the speed and agility for fast transitions however, he played his role well and prevented the Welsh from taking hold of the midfield areas. 7.70
  • Hossein Hosseini: Was not really threatened by the Welsh player thanks to a solid defense. His Aerial work was fine and had no problem catching most of the crosses aimed toward his goal. Kept a clean sheet. 7.78
  • Milad Mohammadi: Had a calm day and did not need to exert lots of pressure on defensive duties. His incursion into the Welsh half on the wing was limited. 7.78
  • Morteza Pouraliganji : Did a fine job in combination with Majid Hosseini despite the lack of playing together for many years. 7.75
  • Carlos Queiroz: Must be credited for the changes he made in the starting lineup including playing with two center forwards, Taremi and Azmoun. On the other hand, there was no sign of a definitive game plan for ball distribution from the midfielders as he opted for route one football, balls directly sent from the back directly to the two forwards. Although some of the midfield players were capable of distributing the ball more efficiently. Had no solution for the slow transition from defense to attack and for the lack of pace. A player such as Torabi would have been ideal for that purpose. 7.8