Emperor without land and army
IranSportsPress.com - 7 months after his appointment as national team coach and after his first succesful campaign, Afshin Ghotbi's popularity is at an all time low.
The Emperor is still the Emperor, but not just that popular anymore. He blames it on politics and personal agenda of certain people and that they are out to get him. But the question is probably easier to answer than that and if he would be self-reflective for a moment, he would probably figure out that it's quite easy and he has no one else to blame but himself.
When Afshin Ghotbi came to Iran, he was a breath of fresh air among other coaches and managers. In win or defeat, he kept his cool, respected the opponent, hardly ever blamed the referee, the players, the illuminatis or anyone else. He was graceful in win and defeat, never looked for excuses but instead showed class. He went on TV to explain his work, how he analyses his players, how he works, he was a man of the people who won the people with his behavior and coaching style. As a coach, he was at times very bold in his substitutions, was probably the first Iranian coach that expected of his defenders to be able to play the opening pass, play high pressure, go for second balls, keep little space between the lines, keep passing the ball and everything else. He gave a new lifeline to the careers of Nikbakht and Bagheri and although he probably benefitted greatly from the work of Mustafa Denizli, it was still him who had to make the decisions and despite the past-last minute goal to win the title, without the 7 points deduction, he should have won the title with Perspolis rather easily. All of this made him popular among people and fans, popular even among Esteghlal fans and were the reasons for his popularity.
Flash forward to January 2010. What of all of that is still left? Where is his grace in defeat? Where is his defending of his own team? Instead he comes out and thrashes his own players because they don't do things well. Instead he blames fans, referees, illuminatis and everyone else for his own shortcomings.
As someone who grew up in the US, Mr.Ghotbi should be well aware of image and public behavior. Right now his image is so bad that it would probably be a tough task for Don Draper to right the ship. But he could do it himself. He would just need to go back and see his behavior from about 2 years ago.
Mr.Ghotbi, if your team doesn't do the stuff you have asked them to do, maybe you need to explain it better, work more with them, or make sure they listen or pick different players. To the public eye, your behavior at the news conference after the 4-country-tournament was that of a coach, who has no control over his players. If the public sees you now different than before, maybe you would need to correct that view yourself. After all, you were probably the first national team coach who got selected for his popularity among fans. If your lobby and those who made you popular are not behind you anymore, maybe you have to win them back. After all, the fans called and made you The Emperor, not some international conspiracy.