Posts by andrea

    FIVB decided to limit the number of players in rosters for VNL. Original idea was that each team would call only 14 players but after protests of almost all NT federations the number was increased to 18 players. On February the final decision will be made.

    What a joke. On one hand, FIVB has just claimed that they would prioritize over athletes' health. On the other hand, they made such a decision to force each federation to send their A squad to this tournament 5 or 6 weeks in a row.

    This is kinda expected, not to mean that Prandi is a bad coach, but because of all the drama happening in the NT and with the federation.

    Bulgaria during the qualifier showed us that when they concentrate and stay motivated, they actually can compete against the strongest teams in the world. They made far less errors; you can see a big contrast when you watched their performance during ECH how they made those low-level mistakes in covering their spikers, and how they lost easy points due to miscommunication. Their reception was indeed not bad. If the NT can be more disciplined and play with determination, their level is definitely higher than what they showed in the past 8 years.

    With the best collection of OHs (Skrimov, Atanasov and Penchev brothers) Bulgaria has since Kaziyski's departure, unfortunately the team has to suffer from the retirement of Yosifov and Salparov. If Ivanov isn't back to NT, I can't believe how big the hole is when their new libero is on court.

    I think Yakovlev is the best MB in the league at the moment. He and Kurkaev (coming from an injury) will be fighting for that 3rd MB spot to Tokyo.

    Speaking of injuries, Poletaev has yet to return to court. Russia will be in big trouble if he does not play in Olympics, Mikhaylov will only return playing Opp after the season.

    Who are the first two MBs of the Russian team at the moment?

    Does anyone know how much money each volleyball federation has to contribute to FIVB to participate in the VNL each year? Is there a difference between the core teams and the challenger teams in terms of the "admission fee"?

    Belated comment on Lube vs Milano game as I've just watched the replay... How would Lube's coach opted for this opposite over Ghafour at the beginning of the season? He's really weak as a spiker. Before the reinforcement comes, I'm wondering if Lube has any OHs that can serve as a receiving opposite, and Leal will focus more on spiking.

    He had an interview about why he opted not to play. It's in French or Italian.

    Maybe he needed the rest. If I am correct, He incurred this back pain problem during the World Grand Champions Cup in Japan.

    Was that played in 2017? That means he has never fully recovered for over 2 years?

    I don't recall Zoran Gajic once coached Iran! It sounds like Iran's volleyball federation has an affinity to Serbian coaches :-)

    Forgive me if I sound exceedingly negative but I disagree that Iran established itself as a major power. On the contrary, I think it's the biggest case of wasted potential of this generation.

    Iran has been one of the top teams for the last 6-8 years but they won extraordinarily little compared to their quality of play. If I recall correctly, a 5th place at the world championships, a 4th at the world league, Olympic quarterfinals, some success at the Asian championships which are to be completely honest the weakest after Africa.

    Germany with far less talent, national support and media coverage won a world championships bronze, a silver medal at the European championships and an Olympic quarterfinals after beating teams way stronger than them (Cuba and Serbia).

    I'm not sure about that. My point is that compared with where Iran was a decade ago (a nobody at world stage), they have established to be a well-known, competitive team. I don't quite get the impression that Iran has far more talents than Germany, but never mind.

    Iran's achievements "are to be completely honest the weakest after Africa" sounds like a joke to me. There are many decent teams from Europe and America that achieved on par with or less than what mentioned about Iran NT.

    This Chinese team needs a psychologist to work with. When you watch lower-tiered teams playing at a critical match, it's understandable they would feel pressured, but no other teams would show the level of fear close to the Chinese team who were totally not themselves. They simply didn't put a fight. This psychological barrier is growing with them, as they continuously lose in important matches. They really need professional help in resetting them, not letting themselves overwhelmed with history, and aiming to show what they're capable of.

    Culture, past history with the team, and a weak technical level of the team all contributes to the team's mentality. If the players are in an environment where the result of a team wouldn't make a difference between the heaven and hell, they would carry less pre-built pressure to a critical game. For instance, if the players have high education, they'd have another way out if the sporting result is not as satisfactory. In a highly competitive society of China with the world's highest population, players easily get suffocated with the mindset that success is tantamount to a gold medal.

    That's a long story but he was treated like a very very bad coach here by media and some so called "experts"

    I know he probably didn't do anything super great with Iran but he wasn't that bad. I totally understand his reaction. some of those bad results weren't really his fault, when he came 3 years ago he was told to change the generation and use younger players without being worried about the results, he did that and used so many under 20 players but then the head of volleyball federation changed and told him to go another path. beside that he was told to completely change his plans for 2018 World Championship and send the A team to the Asian Games only few days before the WCH.

    just to give you a better idea, according to those experts whenever Iran wins, that's because our players are good and whenever we lose, that's because our coach is bad ! the first thing TV commentator said before the final was "we beat Korea yesterday only because of that smart move from Marouf, our coach did nothing"

    Thanks mosi for the additional context; that's very helpful for understanding the situation hidden from the limelight.

    I wouldn't believe the promise from the authority about focusing on the growth of the new generation and not to worry about the results. The Iranian team has already established themselves as a real force at the international level when Kolakovic came. Even though Iran is not strong enough to be a serious medal contender at world tournaments, unless volleyball is pretty much neglected within the country which is not the case, there's no reason they don't want to maintain the team's standard in the near term. The situation is different from 10 years ago when Velasco was invited to coach the NT. Back then, Iran was gradually progressing but still unknown at the international level. Also, based on what happened to Slobodan Kovac, Kolakovic shouldn't take such a promise seriously. Kovac did bring good achievement in 2014 in his debut year at the Iranian NT, getting the fourth-place finish at WL and going to the final round at WCh. Even though the same result was not replicated the next year, Kovac shouldn't be fired so soon. After all, he didn't get the respect from the arrogant players.

    It's such a shame that the volleyball federation changed their mind suddenly and forced him to use the full squad for the Asian Games. That completely disrupted what's originally planned for such a long and important WCh tournament. No wonder they were so out of shape at WCh, after a decent performance that summer.

    Anyhow, although I'm not a fan of Kolakovic with his coaching achievement, he seemed to bring Iran on the right track. The team has been aging during the Rio Olympic cycle. The team is now a good mix of young and experienced players, and the depth has improved. Such credit should really go to Kolakovic.

    Yali is obviously better than Mahmoudi who's out of shape after a hiatus from NT for many years. Why did Kolakovic use Mahmoudi instead during the playoffs? It wouldn't make a difference in the final result, though.

    I watched the last match of the South American qualifier, and found both Chile and Columbia decent teams. Hope that they could get more chances to play at the world stage; that experience could accelerate the growth of these teams already with a foundation of modern volleyball. It's a pity that the once legendary Agamez was so close to the Olympics and had to face the relentless fate in the end.