PDA

View Full Version : Iran Entering the Era of Modern Football (by Afshin Ghotbi)


IK COP
07-12-2005, 11:37 PM
http://www.irankicks.net/images/11.jpg
Iran Entering the Era of Modern Football

NOTE: Afshin Ghotbi is Los Angeles Galaxy’s first assistant coach. He was the technical analyst for South Korea during World Cup 2002 and USA during World Cup 1998. As a contributing editor, Afshin will regularly provide articles about modern football at large and Iranian natioanl team in particular to Irankicks.com.

Modern Football is a game of moving chess. The ball dictates the position of 22 players at any given moment. The ball is circulating at incredible speeds in international football requiring a higher priority on tactical organization of teams. Eleven players with a clear tactical objective on defense and attack can beat a team with better players. The goal is to build a team that the whole is greater than the sum.

Iranian National Team has been playing a traditional 1-4-4-2 organization in the last two home games in the World Cup Qualifying against North Korea and Bahrain. Based on the last two games, here are some observations:

When Defending
Defensively the back four form a linear block zoning their respective channels (Right, Central Right, Central Left and Left). In Midfield, the Iranians form a diamond with one defensive midfielder, one attacking midfielder and two wide midfielders taking compact wide positions. Iranian midfielders have high work rate and do a good job getting numbers around the ball in the midfield. The Strikers drop back and in establishing the first line of defense shrinking the passing lanes into the midfield.

http://www.irankicks.net/images/22.jpg
In principle, the objective is to deny the opponent scoring opportunities. Reducing the playing areas and placing pressure on the ball with numbers are the keys to defending success. Iranian defending success is based more on their individual effort, energy and team’s fighting spirit than tactical organization. The distance between lines of defense is too large leaving gaps between the defenders and midfielders and midfielders and strikers. Iranian defenders should keep their block of four higher on the field reducing the midfield spaces. The tendency to drop back as soon as the ball is lost is a common tactical behavior in Asia. The defenders are afraid of having the spaces behind them exposed. Well by dropping back, they make the midfield spaces only larger for the midfielders and hence, making the task for the midfielders harder. There are times the back four must drop back and retreat, then the midfielders and strikers must also drop back to keep the ten field players connected and compact. The idea is to make spaces as small as possible for the opponent. Keeping the team compact vertically and horizontally will be crucial in Iranian team success in World Cup 2006.

When Attacking

http://www.irankicks.net/images/33.jpg
In Principle, the objective in football is to score goal or maintain possession of the ball in attack. Maximizing the playing area gives the attacking team the space and time necessary to create the goal scoring opportunities. Creating depth by pushing the strikers as high as possible and width by positioning the side midfielders and outside defenders wide are principles of attack in many systems of play. The ball is also the best space maker in football. The higher the ball speed, the more space can be made in attack. The ball can travel faster than any player, and the ball will never get tired.

Iranian National Team possesses the players with great technique and ball handling speed. This is the by product of street soccer and “goal-koocheek” (small goal game) in Iranian football culture. We must use this quality as the foundation to our attack. Iranian players’ ability to win the one-on-one duels in attack, use combination football to get behind the defense, and our threat in the air in danger zones has distinguished us as one of the best in Asia for decades.

To achieve the same success in international football and the World Cup, Iran must improve by attacking with more tactical discipline and organization in front and behind the ball. Iran needs to improve in our spacing and angels we offer one another making it easier to keep possession. When you compare the speed of the ball in the top teams in the world vs. the Iranian National Team, there is a definite difference. This may be a small detail, but it makes a big difference. A ball arriving a second earlier gives our strikers one extra second in front of the goal. Football’s difficulty is seeking the simplest solutions in every action with the fewest precise touches in the shortest time.

Finally, Team a Melli can be more organized behind the ball offering support to the ball carrier and taking vital spaces with enough players preventing opponent’s counter attacks. In the next article, I will evaluate the individual players in more detail. In closing, Iran, aim high. We have potential for great things in the World Cup 2006.


------- Below, Afshin Ghotbi responds to Kaveh Mahjoob of Irankicks regarding the above article.

Kaveh – How do you view the speed of Iranian national team in today’s modern football? Where do we show good speed and where do we don’t?
Afshin – Speed can be broken down to three areas:
Anticipation Speed is defined by the ability of players to read the game and take early positions and actions in relationship to the ball, teammates and opponents. Players with good football brain and experience excel in this department.
Reaction Speed is defined how quickly players react to events around them. We can train our nervous system to decrease the time from seeing an event to reacting to the event.
Physical Speed is defined by the rate and length of our strides. Basically, the distance a player can travel in a time frame.

The present Team-A-Meli has average team speed in most positions, exception speed on the right column of the field with Kaabi and Mahdavikia.

Kaveh – You have talked about the gap among the lines. Based on the matches you have analyzed, where do we most see the gap?
Afshin - The gaps are between the defending block and midfield block. We also can reduce the gap between the strikers and midfielders.

Kaveh - How do you feel about the substitutions used in the games you have reviewed?
Afshin – Not knowing enough about the fitness, form, and qualities of all the Iranian players, it is better for me not to comment on this.

Kaveh – When you say that “we need to improve the spacing and angles we offer to one another,” what do you mean?
Afshin – Simply by creating diamonds and triangles all over the field in attack, we give each other options to play forward, right, left and back making it easier to possess the ball. The proper spacing stretches opponents creating spaces and gaps making it easier to possess the ball and penetrate into danger zones of opponent.

Kaveh – In the 4-4-2 system that Iran is using, you have identified that we use linear block zoning. Is this the right formation to defend the ball or do you prefer man-to-man over zone defense?
Afshin – In my opinion, zonal defending is the easiest way to defend. It will keep the team organized, reduced the work load on all players, place pressure and numbers around the ball, and in transition from defense-to-attack the team can take an attacking shape and organization much quicker

Kaveh – Thanks again for your time and we look forward to more articles from you.
Afshin – – It has been my pleasure.

Kaveh Mahjoob
Kaveh_Mahjoob@hotmail.com

KavehOC
07-13-2005, 12:00 AM
Guys,
I wanted to welcome Afshin Ghotbi to our site. He will be contributing regularly to Irankicks. This is the first of several articles by him and I hope you would find them as interesting and informative as I have found them.

Afshin jon,
Again, welcome to the site and thanks for the article.

Perjad jon,
Thanks for posting the article with such short notice.

RASHALDO
07-13-2005, 12:18 AM
very nice article; his point about the gap between our defensive and midfield line is good; however if u observe Iran's games in AC, u see the defenders trying to push up and close that gap, however they were exposed a few times, especially against China and Oman with balls over the top, and the defenders caught ball watching .......

so for the gap to be reduced, the man-to-man zoning defence needs to be employed, so basically meaning Iran changing its whole defensive stategy; and we are talking about a defensive which has only conceded 1 goal in 5 games ..........

the only way to find out which defensive option is the best is games against quality opposition which is IFF's job .....

dariush-44
07-13-2005, 12:21 AM
let me start off thanking everyone that has made this article and the last part (the interview) possible...

Afshin joon, welcome to the site...i am really excited to be around such knowledgeable guys such as NaderJan, Kaveh, and now you! I can't wait to see more of your articles afshin khan...you guys are the professors and i consider myself the student :)

Anyway great analysis, i saw a few points that i haven't really noticed and no one had yet mentioned before, and this article placed a finger on a few very important points...overall a great read...Afshin jaan, i can't wait to see you in Iran's coaching staff...hopefully you'll be there before world cup...you have my full support.

btw, perjad jan, i know you are busy but can you check your PM, i hope you recieved the PM i sent you...tnx!!

regards, dariush :)

Soroush
07-13-2005, 12:24 AM
Great reading and nice observations...welcome Afshin jan!

Sherwin
07-13-2005, 01:38 AM
Mr. Ghotbi analyzed the team in a way that a football fan like me, who never played organized football, can understand Iran’s tactics. Kaveh jan again asked the right question and Mr. Ghotbi answered in an honest manner. Mr. Ghotbi did not duck any of Kaveh’s questions and Kaveh jan asked the right questions as usual. This is one of your best works Kaveh jan because it contains some excellent information about TM. I would like to thank you sir and Mr. Ghotbi for all of your hard work.

Amir
07-13-2005, 02:34 AM
Mr. Ghotbi first of all welcome to IK.. we hope you enjoy your stay as much as we do!

Thanks for bringing us very useful information, especially to younger ones like me.. I always love reading detailed articles about TM .. we learn alot from this. Dametoon garm :beer:

Kaveh and Perjad jan, thanks for your efforts too :beer:

fakhfour
07-13-2005, 03:38 AM
That's really great having Mr. Ghotbi on board! After Nader and Kaveh, we are really lucky to also have Mr. Ghotbi. Believe me, IK will become a reference in Iranian Football and even IFF should one day admit that and pay more attention on what we can read here.
This problem of the gap comes from some of our lazy lions, in my opinion. I look forward to read the Mr. Ghotbi's second editorial.
Thanks Kaveh and other IK boys for organising this.

Keano
07-13-2005, 03:53 AM
Wow!
Thanx to Mr. Ghotbi and all you guys!

Afshin
07-13-2005, 05:48 AM
Fantastic work, I enjoyed reading the article, thanks Kaveh jaan and Perjad jaan for the parts you played.

Lets hope to see more of Mr Ghotbi on Irankicks, also haven't heard from Mr Zahab for a while, maybe Mr Zahab could do an article for us soon.

irani soccer
07-13-2005, 05:53 AM
Now only if IFF would listen to his advice

Kaiser Amir
07-13-2005, 10:15 AM
The ball is also the best space maker in football. The higher the ball speed, the more space can be made in attack.

The ball can travel faster than any player, and the ball will never get tired.


When you compare the speed of the ball in the top teams in the world vs. the Iranian National Team, there is a definite difference. This may be a small detail, but it makes a big difference. A ball arriving a second earlier gives our strikers one extra second in front of the goal. Football’s difficulty is seeking the simplest solutions in every action with the fewest precise touches in the shortest time.



First of all, a big WELCOME to Mr Ghotbi.
Know that you have an ADMIRER of your work here in Romania as well :)
After reading your above analysis, I have an EVEN BIGGER RESPECT for your work.
Hopefully, Team Melli can benefit from your EXPERT OPINIONS in the World Cup.

Also THANKS to both Perjad and Kaveh Jan for bringing Mr Ghotbi and his views to Irankicks.


I hope by adding Afshin Ghotbi to our Team Melli staff, our players can IMPROVE their tactical understanding of the game.

The above fragments of Afshin Ghotbi's analysis DEFINITELY need to be addressed to our players.

Ali Karimi take note ;)

Babak T
07-13-2005, 10:28 AM
"The ball can travel faster than any player, and the ball will never get tired. "

WOW .

naderjan
07-13-2005, 11:20 AM
:irani: First of all welcome Afshin jan!
It's a great honor to have such an educated, experienced and literally expert football personality here on Irankicks with us!
I should also thank Kaveh jan for taking another step for bringing Mr.Ghotbi closer to our audience all over the world.
What a fantastic and educational article indeed. I had no doubts in his ability and this was another proof of his complete understanding of the game.
Thank you for sharing it with us and I look forward to your next article in the near future.
Even though after reading this, my articles are going to look so bland! LOL :D

Thank you!

aliirooni
07-13-2005, 04:22 PM
wow i finally got a chance to read this.

thanks kaveh jaan

also welcome Afshin Ghotbi jaan.

i look forward reading more articles. we need more technical and detailed articles like this.

To Our TM :beer:

aliirooni
07-13-2005, 04:27 PM
Even though after reading this, my articles are going to look so bland! LOL :D


naderjaan, your articles may not be as technical as Afshin jaans articles but they have specially place here in IK and in our heart. They are indeed full of wisdom and love for our motherland, Iran. You write what we think, what’s in our heart, and what we want to say, except that you know how to put it together nicely. Keep up the good work, please.

Naderjaan rules! :cooldude: :beer:

KavehOC
07-13-2005, 05:14 PM
Guys,
You have been very supportive of and complimentary toward Mr. Afshin Ghotbi and we do appreciate it. Afshin will be on Daryoush Zahab program tonight and don't be surprised if he talks about this article.

Also, let me thank you for your kind words toward me.

Nader jan,
Your articles will always feel at home here!

KavehOC
07-13-2005, 05:20 PM
All,
This article was posted last night and Iran Varzeshi this morning had it translated and published it. Here is the link:
http://www.iran-varzeshi.com/1384/840423/html/footbal2.htm

Of course, our friends at IV forgot to include the source, Irankicks in their article. I am glad Afshin is getting the exposure but Iran Varzeshi should have given credit to the source as well.

The Persian translation of the article plus the interview will be published at Parsfootball later on this week.

naderjan
07-13-2005, 06:13 PM
Not to distract the attention for this wonderful article, I just have to thank Dariush jan, Vahid jan, Aliamrikaee jan and Kaveh jan for wonderful comments towards me. I got emotional reading them. I swear I did. :ang:
All I can say is; THANK YOU!
I really needed to hear that!
What a team we make!
MERCI! :irani:

HoomanYZ
07-13-2005, 11:30 PM
Wow. It is such a pleasure to read such a well structured article from such a professional. My warmest welcome to dearest Mr. Ghotbi, and also Kaveh, and Perjad for their hard work. Your efforts is greatly appreciated.

And a quick note to Naderjan. Stop this shekaste nafsi. Your articles will always be appreciated. har goli ye booii dAre, bro. MA montazere interview ye badi hastim. hich jA nemirim hamin jA hastim. :cooldude:

fakhfour
07-14-2005, 05:34 AM
I also saw the article in IV without the source. It's good to have echos, but I would have preferd to see IK on their page. I will write them an email.

Here it is:

دوستان و مسئولين محترم روزنامه ايران ورزشی
در آخرين شماره نشريه شما، مورخ پنجشنبه ۲۳ تير ۱۳۸۴ مقاله اي زيبا از قول آقای افشين قطبی چاپ شده. با توجه به اينکه منبع اين مقاله، سايت ورزشی ايران کيکز ميباشد، از شما تقاضا ميکنم، به احترام خواننده گان روزنامه ايران ورزشی و به احترام همکاران خود، منبعد، منابع مقالات خود را ذکر کنيد.
با تشکر
وحيد فخفوری

Afshin
07-14-2005, 11:36 AM
I also saw the article in IV without the source. It's good to have echos, but I would have preferd to see IK on their page. I will write them an emailIran Varzeshi always steal material from Irankicks, shame on them, I really feel like putting a statement on the home page and telling our visitors about IV stealing material from IK.

fakhfour
07-14-2005, 12:08 PM
Iran Varzeshi always steal material ...

That's a shame. We should show them that this is not respectful to their readers and their colleagues. I sent my email, other IK members can do the same.

fakhfour
07-14-2005, 12:10 PM
P.S. You can take my text if you don't want or have time to write your own. the address is:

iran-varzeshi@iran-varzeshi.com

Amir
07-14-2005, 12:21 PM
...... I really feel like putting a statement on the home page and telling our visitors about IV stealing material from IK.
please do that.. i loved the one about Mehr :)

KavehOC
07-14-2005, 12:33 PM
Guys,
Afshin Ghotbi will be registering on the site today or tomorrow and reply to you.

At the mean time, IK will deal with Iran Varzeshi. Please keep the remaining posts here focused on the article.

Thanks

shahriar
07-14-2005, 12:59 PM
It is great to have such an expert among us and I welcome you Afshin jaan ,you certainly know what you are talking about .I just hope that the right people hear and read you r material and use your expertise to our advantage ,but somehow I am not so sure about them ! :IFF: :D

good to have you you here buddy ! :D :6ta:

Kaiser Amir
07-14-2005, 05:43 PM
Really looking forward to Mr Ghotbi becoming a MEMBER of IK.

It will be GREAT to have him here among us and be able to read his opinions regarding different subjects involving Team Melli.

bsedighi
07-14-2005, 06:01 PM
Dear Mr. Ghotbi,

Indeed it was a pleasure reading your technical article. I have had the pleasure of knowing you through a Korean football fan & a friend who was ecstatic about the success of his country in the WC and wanted me to know then that they could not have done it without help of a true pro who happens to be an Iranian. Anyway, it is nice to see your picture and welcome to IK.

I sincerely hope IFF would offer you a similar position with Team Meli and do hope you accept it.

Kaveh jann, thank you for conducting such quality interview.

Regards,

Behrouz Sedighi, P.E.
Project Manager- KSG Consulting Engineers, Glendale CA

ssk
07-15-2005, 12:26 PM
Mr. Ghotbi - Welcome to IK. I have watched intensely your recent appearances on Mr. Zahab's show. Your achievements are a source of great pride to Iranians and Iranian football fans. The article and your analysis were great, and if I dare to say with my lack of expertize, represent the reality of today's game.
Kaveh jan and all IK staff - Thank you guys for always looking to add more quality to this great site.
Cheers!

iran64
07-16-2005, 12:44 AM
Dear Country Men,

I am honored and humbled by your support, kindness and love. Football is my life, and Iran is my country. To have an opportunity to influence football positively will be a privilege and my life mission.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

With Great Affection,
Afshin Ghotbi

KavehOC
07-28-2005, 11:47 AM
All,
This article's translation was published by Parsfootball.com, Jahanefootball and Iran-Varzeshi.

PersianPlaya408
02-04-2006, 10:00 PM
THis was a very good article... i think Ghotbi has some great points about our football, he explained some of our weaknesses and our tactics in the charts and analysis very well... looking forward to reading more stuff like this... good work

Ahmad18s
02-07-2006, 02:22 PM
Dear Country Men,

I am honored and humbled by your support, kindness and love. Football is my life, and Iran is my country. To have an opportunity to influence football positively will be a privilege and my life mission.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

With Great Affection,
Afshin Ghotbi

Salam Afshin agha,

As a proud Galaxy fan, I am honored that you have joined with the best team in the MLS. I remember several years ago when the Galaxy were talking to Daei about coming to L.A., but unfortunantely, the deal never worked out. However, with an Iranian with as much knowledge about the game such as yourself being apart of the Galaxy, I feel blessed and humbled by your presence on the team. With the addition of yourself, my team has become even more talented and will be one of the favorites to win the MLS Cup. I'll be looking forward to attending a couple games this season and rooting for you and the rest of the team from the stand. :iran2:

fakhfour
02-08-2006, 09:17 AM
Salam Afshin agha,....
Ahmad jaan
Afshin is now assistant coach (or analyser) in the Korean National Team. I don't think he is still involved with any American team.
BTW, long time no news from Afshin. I guess he is occupied but we will soon have a chance to see him on the bench (well the Korean side :() in the Asian Cup qualifications.
Good Luck to Afshin