Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Ex-player Manafi worries about Persepolis’ future

November 2, 2021 - 19:7

TEHRAN – Former Persepolis and Iran national team football player, Javad Manafi, says Persepolis' loss against Aluminum was one of the worst performances of the Reds in recent years.

Yahya Golmohammadi's side went down 1-0 to Rasul Khatibi's men in Matchday 3 of the Iran Professional League (IPL) on Monday.

Titleholders Persepolis were far away from their best day in Arak's Emam Khomeini Stadium.

“It was clear that condition is not good in Persepolis. Their performance was disappointing. Nobody expects the IPL champions to play like this,” said Manafi in his interview with Tehran Times.

Speaking about the technical issues of the Persepolis- Aluminum match, Manafi said: “In the first half, Persepolis couldn't create even a single goalscoring chance. Persepolis have always been the dominant team in the recent years against any team in the Iranian league. But in this match, we saw Aluminum had possession of the ball most of the time and dominated the game in the best way possible.

“Persepolis team are full of talented players, as it should be given that they are Iran's league champions for five consecutive seasons, but they showed lackluster performance against Aluminum.

“Aluminum's coaching staff had analyzed Persepolis, and they knew how to benefit the Reds' weaknesses,” he added.

Golmohammadi is now under more pressure to recover and rebuild his side.

“Yahya has more difficult job comparing the previous season. The management’s problems are still in the club, and it seems that the situation is getting worse day by day. In such a condition, Golmohammadi must hold his nerve and get the team back on track,” he added.

“Persepolis team should be strengthened by signing some new players. They need a playmaker and an international-level striker. Golmohammadi changed both of his forwards in halftime against Aluminum because they didn't do their tactical tasks. However, the main problem was in the midfield, where the midfielders could not create opportunities for the forwards and assist them,” the former Iran defender stated.

“In defensive tasks Persepolis have been weak and incoherent as well. They have conceded goals in all of their matches in the new season, while their defensive strength has been one of the keys to their success in recent seasons,” Manafi concluded.

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