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

Roozbeh Cheshmi out of the World Cup

FFIRI has announced that Roozbeh Cheshmi, Team Melli center-right defender, has suffered an injury during training yesterday and will no longer feature in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

It is a real blow for the defender who has pivitol in the defence of Team Melli against Morocco.

With that injury, Carlos Queiroz equation changes for the second game against Spain. Iran edged Morocco 1-0 in the their first World Cup match at the St. Petersburg Stadium on Friday following a stoppage time own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz.

“It was a great football match. Our strategy was exactly since the first minute to create a mental collapse in the Moroccan players. And now we tried to do that creating frustration and block all the playmakers, The players that can create something. The most open opportunities [to strike] in the first half belongs to Iran and since we were able to create panic in the defensive line of Morocco the game changed. Now it’s time to rest and think about the game against Spain,” Queiroz told at the press conference.

Roozbeh Cheshmi was in the heart of defence that frustrated the Moroccans.

In the game against Morocco, Cheshmi  alongside Morteza PouraliGanji in the middle of defense was able to protect and cover Alireza Beyranvand to keep a clean sheet. Now, with this injury, who should be seen as a substitute for a defender who has been labeled by Queiroz as “the most modern” defender of Iran in the past 10 years.

Queiroz , with all the criticisms that he sustained before the start of the Russian World Cup for playing from Roozbeh Cheshmi in the heart of the national defense, called him the most modern defender of the last 10 years in the national team. A strange claim since Queiroz has not been in Iran for 10 years. Now that Cheshmi is injured and can not play for the Team Melli, that piece of brief news has hit the team and considered as a great shock for some and certainly for the squad.

Majid Hosseini

However, it is not like a lost cause as Queiroz has three options for Cheshmi. Majid Hosseini, Pejman Montazeri and Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh.

Majid Hosseini, who was substituted in the final minutes of the game with Morocco, experienced his first appearance at the World Cup. The young defender of Esteghlal Tehran, who had developed quite rapidly from a youth team all the way to Team Melli senior team, was preferred to the much experienced of Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, who has been playing for a long time at club and the national team.

Of course, Queiroz has proven that he has tricks up his sleeve and not shy from taking bold decisions such as using a player with one cap only, in an important match in the World Cup. That is what he did with Majid Hosseini. A surprise that no one guessed.

However, It’s unlikely that Queiroz will opt for young Majid Hosseini this time against Spain. Most likely he will use Khanzadeh and even Pejman Montazeri instead of his modern advocate.