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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
8 games played, 5 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses

Our best player of the qualification was Reza Goochnanejad

We've defeated Korea back to back already. Strong accomplishment considering this team was a nightmare in recent years.

I'd like to see this new team progress further in the Asian Cup.

Iran hasn't faced Japan in a really long period of time. Would be a good test to get either Japan or Australia sometime to see where this team is at in Asia.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Upcoming friendlies:

We'll participate at the Austrian camp in May against Belarus (18th) and Montenegro (26th). Confirmed.

May 31st at home we'll play either against Angola or another African side (some say South Africa).

June 8th another possible match against Montenegro as a safety net though Quieroz will try to find a Latin American side instead (should any be available for us).


We haven't played a defensive side in quite awhile, so Belarus isn't a bad first test. The decision to play Montenegro not so surprisingly had to do with Bosnia. Though with that said Montenegro has decent players that will show up for a good test. We rarely get a chance to play European sides so I hope our team makes the most of both these friendlies.

Angola is a good physical side but they've been in decline and haven't shown anything close to their 2006 form. Though based on form I think South Africa or a similar side would be more challenging and thus preferable. Plus we've played Angola numerous times.

For the final leg to complement our preparations a South American side would obviously be preferable, no guarantee given the limited amount of countries. Montenegro is a great safety net, but we also need familiarity playing a South American side at Brazil, maybe we can get one of Bolivia or Venezuela to play us. We have good relations with these countries so it might happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I missed the Asian qualifying match against Kuwait a team that usually has been giving us shit/problems in the last few years, but checked out the HLs and that has to be our team at its worse. I've permanently lost all hope for the World Cup, I'll still be watching out of moral respect, but seriously when you play piss poor like that against Kuwait and make them crap on your defensive line with own goals and unable to stop a weak pass that led to the striker for an easy put away, you can't expect to have any hopes against Argentina a major player on SudAmericano soil, Bosnia an up and coming strong European team that finished their campaign strongly with only one poor campaign game, and Nigeria who are African champs. This could arguably be the worst World Cup performance in our history if we don't step it up.

For those interested our best players were Sadeghian and Karimi, two younger guys hoping to be the next best things for Team Melli. Surprisingly it seems like our Azeri-based players showed up the most :D as even Ansarifard grabbed a goal with a well placed header in the final minutes. I hope this winning goal by him can inspire him to get back to his old form, a good target man is necessary in South America because we need as many corners, crosses, as possible as our midfielders won't be able to get anywhere near the opponent's box.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There's a fair chance we could get blanked in the group stages at the World Cup; something like 3-0 3-0 2-0 if our guys get surprised, but even if that is the worst situation, I hope Quieroz's contract is extended for Asian Cup. I've liked the results under him compared to previous coaches. He's also not afraid to bring players from the domestic league and has done a remarkable job grabbing two if not three major players from abroad. Really revamped everything under him. Hopefully our FA will back him even if our situation might get a tad ugly at the World Cup, especially considering our FA has barely arranged friendlies these last few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Iran A team played Guinea. First half was very poor but the second half picked up a bit.

Kevin Constant and the goal from the other player Traore I believe were left unchallenged. Fault shouldn't be strictly on our keeper whose still getting familiar with tougher teams (Davari), but on the defensive line who took absolutely no responsibility for marking the players. They looked clueless out there. This issue needs to be addressed. Davari will also bounce back. He thwarted a dangerous free kick to prevent the gap from becoming 3-1 near the end of the game. The monkey is off the back now.

Pejman Montazeri will definitely not be starting right back (strange experiment by Quieroz), he struggled a lot in this game. I think at this point Beitashour, though still young and inexperienced, will be the default at our right back position. He's been much better in the few caps he's had compared to anyone else in that position. Sometimes passes well, sometimes misplaced passes, but he's all we've got.

Haddadifar did a great job in for the injured absent Teymourian.


Nekounam had a solid game. Some nice shot attempt as well.

Shojaei should not even be going to the World Cup, he's not the Shojaei of old, he's just plain bad. Jahanbaksh is easily the best domestic product we've had this year. Kicking ass every time he's on the field. Not a big guy but he's really an effective winger and whenever he's near Dejagah or Gucci it feels like that attacking display becomes very fluid. An added bonus is that he's not too selfish compared to past talents in this position, he's willing to find the man with the better angle if he's marked.

Come World Cup time its best for Quieroz to go with the usual 4-2-3-1. We need as many midfielders as possible to prevent our midfield from getting dominated. It will also make up a bit for our average defenders.

Preference for potential starting 11 at the World Cup or at least tested before the World Cup:

GK: Davari
LB: Pooladi
LCB: Hosseini
RCB: Sadeghi
RB: Beitashour
DM: Nekounam
DM: Teymourian
LW: Jahanbaksh
CAM: Sadeghian
RW: Dejagah
CF: Goochannejad

Subs:
Khalatbari (for any winger)
Heydari (back-up for Beitashour)
Ansarifard (for Goochannejad)

Debates:
Beitashour vs Heydari= Beitashour is better defensively, Heydari usually is the better crosser/wingback type but his crossing has been terrible as of late, hasn't been that good after injuries, Beitashour is younger, can only get better and the World Cup would be a huge transition in development)

Jahanbakhsh vs Shojaei vs Khalatbari= Shojaei loses the ball more, sometimes carelessly gets booked, passes are going nowhere, he's definitely out of the picture. Not sure what Quieroz sees in him. Jahanbakh and Khalatbari are both solid wingers, great movement, can finish, great incisive passing abilities, but Jahanbakhsh deserves the nod, he's younger full of energy, plays in a tougher league, has better stamina, makes less mistakes and doesn't hold the ball too long compared to Khalatbari.

The CAM position is the biggest hole in Iran's game, more so than the lack of quality in the DM department. Most of our best midfielders are unfortunately strictly wingers. Although Dejagah or Khalatbari could be put in this position, neither would be consistent enough during a duration of a long game and unfortunately, would be beaten.

Jabbari shows success in the IPL but he's not able to translate that same level of play for the obvious reasons the competition is much more fierce in international games. The best solution would be to give Sadeghian the spot, as there really isn't many options in this area anyways. Sadeghian is very young, has an excellent youth track, gets assists and grabbed sufficient goals in his youth. He'll probably struggle which is natural, but much like Beitashour and our other younger players, the experience would be invaluable and could payoff in solidifying Team Melli's future core.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
shiaben, have you seen much of the Rubin striker Serdar Azmun? He just scored a goal against Rostov. Pretty good day for Iranians abroad with he and Dejagah scoring today.
I've seen some of Sardar. He has some potential to be a very top player for our NT, especially a lot of it demonstrated in his youth games. Iranian Turkmen have been kicking ass lately in our sports (like volleyball). He might not be called up to the World Cup (Ansarifard will probably be back-up to Ghoochannejhad on experience) , but I'm sure he'll get a call-up immediately after the World Cup to prepare for Asia Cup. We use to be poor in this position a couple of years ago. But with Goochannejhad established, hopefully Ansarifard develops to become more consistent, and with a young potentially hot talent in Sardar, we finally have options at the forward position.

I will be honest Jeff, I hope Sardar can become a regular at Rubin, and if there's interest to move to a higher league, I'd hope he'd join a Bundesliga team first rather than a lower level EPL team, as the rotations usually tend to be thinner (unless its a major team like Borussia), while the EPL might be a bit overwhelming for young talent and there's little room for mistakes. The Bundesliga really developed Dejagah and now he's playing in the EPL after many years of experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks!

I just remembered, the Asian Cup draws came out 5 days ago. Missed it.

But here they are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_AFC_Asian_Cup

Group A
Australia
South Korea
Oman
Kuwait

Group B
Uzbekistan
Saudi Arabia
China
North Korea

Group C
Iran
UAE
Qatar
Bahrain

Group D
Japan
Jordan
Iraq
Challenge Cup Winner (???)


Wow...what can I say. Plenty of pros and cons (especially pros this time around).

The good news is our team will have experience going into this tournament after the World Cup. Unlike the last Asian Cup, we won't be relying so much on rotated talent from our domestic league, but more proven talent from abroad, few veterans, and the actual talent from our domestic league that will probably have actual impact this time around. So the material we're working with is pretty solid, there are rumors Quieroz will stay until the end of Asia Cup, I think that's a big possibility, and I think if that happens, that's huge for us as our previous coach was much weaker.

Australia, South Korea, Oman, and Kuwait, were teams that gave us a problem in the past, the good news is we avoided at least Australia and South Korea from Group A.

Group B is like a group of death for teams that are usually a level below South Korea and Japan. I think we'd have our chances against most of those teams but I'm glad our group isn't anything like that at all.

Group D also has Japan, Iraq, and a Jordan side that's been improving under a good coach.

Now let's take a look at our group.

UAE usually gives us less trouble than Kuwait. We have an overwhelming h2h against them and the time we narrowly defeated them and drew them was in qualifiers for I believe the 2010 World Cup. I don't know if they've improved much, but we're considerably a much greater team than we were then.

Qatar is a more dangerous team in comparison. They have a few naturalized talents who have shown up in bigger games for them recently. They've played physical with us especially in hot weather where we've struggled creatively against them but eventually after some ugly draws we were able to get a victory over them for our 2014 WCQs.

Bahrain is a team in crisis. They're no longer a threat to us like they were a decade ago. They're arguably one of the easier teams you could face out of the 16 teams.

The most important thing here is that Australia is pretty damn hot in January. So if our guys are not able to handle the heat, playing any of these 3 Arab-based teams, could be just as awful as having to play them away at their homes. Realistically I think at the very worst, we should be able to grab a win over Bahrain and UAE. I expect Qatar to be the first real test in this group because of the heat, they play well in hot weather, so they might play defensive and retort to counter football and grind out a draw.

Quieroz believes this would be one of the best opportunities for Iran to place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd after having a long drought in Asia Cup. I think it would be a realistic goal considering we reached the QFs with a poor team and a poor coach and only lost 1-0 to Korea. If that's the case it would be ideal to go further, especially if Japan and South Korea, are still in crisis, and if we're able to avoid Australia in the KO's. But I think weather will be the biggest factor in this tournament. If we're able to cope with that, it should be a fun interesting tournament (I hope).
 

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Just noticed this thread.

I think Azmoun is on his way to Arsenal or Milan before World Cup. Great opportunity.
 

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Thanks!

I just remembered, the Asian Cup draws came out 5 days ago. Missed it.

But here they are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_AFC_Asian_Cup

Group A
Australia
South Korea
Oman
Kuwait

Group B
Uzbekistan
Saudi Arabia
China
North Korea

Group C
Iran
UAE
Qatar
Bahrain

Group D
Japan
Jordan
Iraq
Challenge Cup Winner (???)


Wow...what can I say. Plenty of pros and cons (especially pros this time around).

The good news is our team will have experience going into this tournament after the World Cup. Unlike the last Asian Cup, we won't be relying so much on rotated talent from our domestic league, but more proven talent from abroad, few veterans, and the actual talent from our domestic league that will probably have actual impact this time around. So the material we're working with is pretty solid, there are rumors Quieroz will stay until the end of Asia Cup, I think that's a big possibility, and I think if that happens, that's huge for us as our previous coach was much weaker.

Australia, South Korea, Oman, and Kuwait, were teams that gave us a problem in the past, the good news is we avoided at least Australia and South Korea from Group A.

Group B is like a group of death for teams that are usually a level below South Korea and Japan. I think we'd have our chances against most of those teams but I'm glad our group isn't anything like that at all.

Group D also has Japan, Iraq, and a Jordan side that's been improving under a good coach.

Now let's take a look at our group.

UAE usually gives us less trouble than Kuwait. We have an overwhelming h2h against them and the time we narrowly defeated them and drew them was in qualifiers for I believe the 2010 World Cup. I don't know if they've improved much, but we're considerably a much greater team than we were then.

Qatar is a more dangerous team in comparison. They have a few naturalized talents who have shown up in bigger games for them recently. They've played physical with us especially in hot weather where we've struggled creatively against them but eventually after some ugly draws we were able to get a victory over them for our 2014 WCQs.

Bahrain is a team in crisis. They're no longer a threat to us like they were a decade ago. They're arguably one of the easier teams you could face out of the 16 teams.

The most important thing here is that Australia is pretty damn hot in January. So if our guys are not able to handle the heat, playing any of these 3 Arab-based teams, could be just as awful as having to play them away at their homes. Realistically I think at the very worst, we should be able to grab a win over Bahrain and UAE. I expect Qatar to be the first real test in this group because of the heat, they play well in hot weather, so they might play defensive and retort to counter football and grind out a draw.

Quieroz believes this would be one of the best opportunities for Iran to place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd after having a long drought in Asia Cup. I think it would be a realistic goal considering we reached the QFs with a poor team and a poor coach and only lost 1-0 to Korea. If that's the case it would be ideal to go further, especially if Japan and South Korea, are still in crisis, and if we're able to avoid Australia in the KO's. But I think weather will be the biggest factor in this tournament. If we're able to cope with that, it should be a fun interesting tournament (I hope).
At least we do not have to play South Korea in the quarters. I am pretty confident at this point of time in the group. I think we can make semis as long as we avoid Japan in the quarters.

Let us see how many of our players can get into European team, or better ones after the World Cup.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Payam Sadeghian didn't make the cut. No Ali nor Yaghoub Karimi either.

Most of the same core is there. From 28 players it will be cut down to 23 eventually...

Seems like Bakhtiar Rahmani now has a good shot at getting the playmaking spot we've long desired.

I have a feeling Sharifi might not survive the cut considering Ghoochannejhad, Ansarifard, and Azmoun are ahead in the pecking order for strikers. Sharifi would have to make the most of the remaining friendlies if he starts or comes off as a sub.

I think Rahman Ahmadi might not get the final goalkeeping spot.

I don't see Mahini making the cut either when there's already Beitashour and Heydari available.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We're playing Belarus pretty soon. That is going to be a solid test for our strikers. They're a team that plays mean defense, it could push us to try to get in some crosses, through passes, attempt free kicks, see if we can make the most of our midfield. I like this kind of a friendly. Hopefully Belarus throws in a solid option up front like they had in the past in Kornilenko to test our centerbacks.
 

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I watched the game. Quite boring tbh. I think Montenegro should be a better test for us. At least most, if not, all the European-based players will be playing. Sharifi might make the cut after today, but I rather take Ansarifard, who at least has tournament experience.

Also did not like Mahini today and like you said, Beitashour and Heydari will make it in front of him.
 

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Reza Haghighi claims he has interest from a Bundesliga side. Who knows if he just bargaining with IPL clubs to get a good deal or if this really true. I hope at least 2-3 IPL based players get moves after the World Cup. Furthermore, I also hope the European players will be able to improve their clubs, also.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I watched the game. Quite boring tbh. I think Montenegro should be a better test for us. At least most, if not, all the European-based players will be playing. Sharifi might make the cut after today, but I rather take Ansarifard, who at least has tournament experience.

Also did not like Mahini today and like you said, Beitashour and Heydari will make it in front of him.
I'm glad I missed the opportunity to watch it. I was about to download it too. It seems both teams played with their B squads which is quite ridiculous considering we need quality matches entering the tournament. I did notice in some of the extensive highlights that Khalatbari didn't look too bad, but then again we have to take into account that Belarus opted for their inexperienced talented core.

Sharifi looked decent. But I'm on you with this one. If I'm a manager, I'd go with the guy who has more experience under his belt just for the sake of being "safe" in these moments. We've never been this deep in strikers in our history at all. If we can start producing playmakers like in the past the future will be great. We have too many wingers as well and they have to cut inside which against good teams won't be allowed to happen.

I believe this match was just experimentation to see who potentially can make the cut. Montenegro match will probably be taken more seriously. I'm assuming both teams will go with the A squads at this point or at least an A/B type of squad to see if any of the inexperienced players with few or no caps can impress Quieroz to get a bye to the World Cup.
 

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Yeah Khalatbari was good in the first half, but I am a little biased and always like him. He will be a great spark to bring off the bench to mess with tired legs.

Will be interesting to see who makes the nod for Queiroz in the first xi regarding the wingers and strikers. The spot behind Reza is up for grabs with Azmoun perhaps able to make a claim if he does well in the friendlies. Also, the 2nd winger spot after Dejagah is probably a three-way race between Shojaei, Khalatbari and Jahanbasksh. Of course some of these players can play behind the forward, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah Khalatbari was good in the first half, but I am a little biased and always like him. He will be a great spark to bring off the bench to mess with tired legs.

Will be interesting to see who makes the nod for Queiroz in the first xi regarding the wingers and strikers. The spot behind Reza is up for grabs with Azmoun perhaps able to make a claim if he does well in the friendlies. Also, the 2nd winger spot after Dejagah is probably a three-way race between Shojaei, Khalatbari and Jahanbasksh. Of course some of these players can play behind the forward, too.
I seriously hope Shojaei is not a starter. It is going to hurt our performances badly. He's no longer the same player he use to be 3-4 years back. After the injuries he's been terrible. I want to see Dejagah and Jahanbaksh start during one of those tournament matches at least. I feel Jahanbakhsh is up for the challenge. But I seriously doubt Quieroz will start him unless he surprises big time in one of these friendlies like Montenegro or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Iran vs Montenegro later tonight at the Austrian camp.

I'm sure both teams are putting A squads and I hope we get a good result out of this or at least create some good attempts to see where we're truly at against the better sides.
 
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