By stephencon, Apr 15 2015 03:19PM
Yesterday afternoon in Malaysia the draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia took place as well as the first stage of the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE. Sitting at home in Cyprus I waited to see the draw live and online and was joined by my wife and the 3 girls. Waiting for your team to be drawn is almost as exciting as seeing the other teams drawn in your group and well am really looking forward to the challenge.
Starting with team Meli Iran what can you say about this team they are one of the giants of Asian football consistent and full of quality all over the pitch. I have had the pleasure of going to Iran several times; the warmth of the people is what strikes you the most although I don’t think we will see this at the Azadi stadium !!
Oman is for me another quality team and on there day they can and have beaten most teams; we open the qualifiers on June the 11th against them in India. My 20th Anniversary is also on June the 11th and both me and Lucy know where I will be! We may have to bring the anniversary forward or hold off until after the game!! Oman will be another difficult game as all the games will be for us but like everything else in life if you do what you need to do and do it right then anything can happen.
Guam although lower down in the ranking for me are one of the most improved teams and are managed by Gary White another Englishman and a friend. They will be organized disciplined and will not be an easy game home or away they have a good young manager who has been there for the last two years and they will be ready to play that’s for sure.
Turkmenistan is another one of those teams where you don’t hear too much about what is going on there but have a tradition of producing players and will be another team who on their day will cause teams problems.
At the end of the day though it really is all about us and what we do, we have as I have said before not done ourselves any favors these past few years and this year we had to qualify for the qualifiers. Looking forward I am really pleased that the AIFF is allowing me to change a few things and I am sure that in the coming weeks and months we will start to see the benefits. Of course there is a great need for everyone to pull in the same direction and so far so good. We of course need the support from the fans and really need to create an electric atmosphere at our home games so get ready folks the Blue Tigers are coming to play and may the long journey to Russia continue ………..