Wilmots need to really improve himself and be realistic.

Football coaches are a unique breed. They seem to know everything about football that others don’t know, they are most stubborn, do not accept defeat easily and blame the earth and the sky for the losses. It is exceptional to find a coach who admits that he screwed up and is to be blamed for bad performances or defeats. They live in denial and it seems that Marc Wilmots is doing just that … in denial.

“We did not deserve the losses against Bahrain and Iraq,” he said in his press conference, forgetting that results of matches are based on a team scoring goals and not willful thinking. Yes, Team Melli never deserves a defeat, after all Iranians are proud and passionate people who do not take lightly for being second best in any competition. So, what is new?

The reason for the two defeats might be a bit foggy for Mr Wilmots but down deep inside a person who has been in football for 30 years should hopefully know the points of failures that lead to the defeats, even if he would not admit to it in public.  Of course, Wilmots is correct not to blame one or two players for such a defeat, but that is an old and worn-out cliché. However, we all know the blame nearly always is on the shoulders of the coach. Is that fair? Perhaps not, but that is the way it is, after all, he picked those players. In these two matches, then, Wilmots is culpable and accountable for the losses no matter how much he blames luck.

There were contributory circumstances before the match that aided these defeats like lack of sufficient training sessions which would lead to a lack of understanding and failures to implement game plans. Only two days of training sessions for a crucial match does not cut it. Coaching and communicating with players are the essence of football training. It is really essential to know your players especially when you are new and there is a steep learning curve in the job. Those inept FFIRI managers who refused to pay his wages leading to a dispute are also culprits.

The role of Wilmots in both defeats is evident.

Against Bahrain in a hot and sticky humid weather when energy conversation and control of the midfield and defence is very essential away from home, Wilmots elects to have 3 forward and leave the midfield quite thin using a defender in Hajsafy, and a rookie player Mohebbi to assist the lone real midfielder Omid Ebrahimi!

The three attackers, Azmoun, Taremi and Ansarifard were stuck in traffic of Bahraini defenders and were even crowding each other upfront. The coach outlook to the game plan was poor and substitution late and ineffective.

The lineup against Iraq was much improved, but what was Shojaei doing there? Against a youthful, energetic and physical team like Iraq, the 36 years old veteran was sticking like a sore thumb, lost and hence became a liability. It is interesting to view Shojaei’s full data in the match, his pass completion rate would have not exceeded 50%, yet Wilmots never saw that and insisted on leaving him in the game until he was red-carded, while the team desperately needed a dynamo in this post! Let us not beat around the bush, it is the coach’s fault and no one else for having an ineffective midfield player in the twilight of his career while Iraq was operating with 5 full midfield players and taking control of the game.

These are just two examples of many that lead to the loss of Team Melli against Bahrain and Iraq. For good measure and ego, everyone can blame luck but the reality is the team did not play well at all. A win or a draw would have covered all the shortfall of the team and falsely showed a capable team while in reality there are many flaws in personnel and tactics.

Change yourself, and your luck will change.” ~ Portuguese Proverb