Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Nottingham Forest in Football Manager 2013

Hello everybody,

It’s time for my first squad analysis post in Football Manager 2013. Your squad is the most significant thing for you as manager.

Taking look and thinking over players you have is the first step everybody should make starting managing some club.

As you know I have some squad restrictions initially including skipping first transfer window and bias to British players. This is why the squad analysis is very important for me as never. My following thoughts about players are not stuck to any tactics; however, I keep in mind a choice of formation and going to share my ideas at the end of the post.

Forest squad

Nottingham Forest squad in Football Manager 2013Nottingham Forest squad in FM 2013

Team report

Team report for Nottingham ForestAttackers Forest


Nottingham Forest has only one good goalie. His name is Lee Camp. Quite well-known name in English football actually. He is a guy who had played 5 matches for England U21 and then stated his wish to become a goalkeeper of Northern Ireland. Lee Camp has nice levels of Reflexes (15), Handling (14), Agility (14).

Unluckily, there are no event average substitutions for him. Karl Darlow and Dimitar Evtimov don’t reach Championship level of goalkeepers.

Lee Camp

Lee Camp in Football Manager 2013


Best defender Greg Halford  
Worst defender Brendan Moloney  
Best U21 prospect Jamaal Lascelles  
Most valued defender Greg Halford $3.8M
Highest wage Greg Halford $22.5K

First of all here we have a brave team player Danny Collins who has just joined Forest and got a captain armlet. Very experienced but slow. Anyway likehood of his apperance in starting line up is almost 100%.

There are also several candidates to play at DC position: Greg Halford, loaned Daniel Ayala, and 18-years old Jamaal Lascelles who is dubbed new Jamie Carragher. The last one is a person whom I should try to keep in Forest at any cost! Huge prospect! Hope to see him getting caps for England in 4-5 years.

Forest has only one decent left back Dan Harding who left Southampton for my club before the season. No real substitutes for him. Only slow Danny Collins and a bit faster midfielder Chris Cohen may cover this position if I play backs in my future formation.

Right flank of defence looks slightly better. Quick but very averagely skilled Forest academy graduate Brendan Moloney doesn’t look as the best choice for starting eleven. I would prefer alternative in the person of versatile Greg Halford with Sam Hutchinson from Chelsea as a sub.

Greg Halford

Greg Halford in Football Manager 2013

Jamaal Lascelles

Jamaal Lascelles

image   Lascelles has potential

Jamaal is one of the players represented in my FM 13 wonderkid list.


Best midfielder Chris Cohen  
Worst midfielder Jonathan Greening  
Best U21 prospect Henry Lansbury  
Most valued midfielder Adlene Guedioura $4.9M
Highest wage Andy Reid $24K

I see with the first sight Forest midfield is the strongest area. Here are many nice players especially central ones.

The most interesting player here is Henry Lansbury. I am singling out him because I am Arsenal fan :-) One of the most promising midfielders of Wenger’s youth left The Gunners loosing hope to deserve a starting line-up place. It’s time for him to become one of the Forest leaders! What I like about him is his readiness to play everywhere: MC, ML, MR and even all AM positions. Henry possesses very good technical level: Dribbling (15), First Touch (15), Technique (14), Finishing (14), Crossing (14).

Chris Cohen. Versatility, athleticism, good passing skills. One of Nottingham Forest leaders during last 5 seasons. Surely, I am going to use him in the first eleven.

Another hard-working central midfielder Adlene Guedioura is a starting line-up candidate as well. It sounds like a nice bonus that he can play on a right flank .

Loaned James Coppinger is another right flank footballer in the squad. Skilful player but not better than Guedioura or Lansbury.

Forest academy graduate Lewis McGugan was very prospective footballer 3-4 years ago. Now he turned 23 and won’t progress to Premier League level. Nevertheless, Lewis looks quite useful for current Forest team.

33-years old Jonathan Greening looks like complete backup player. He should start preparing for a coach job…

The most famous Forest player is probably Andy Reid. He is a former Tottenham and Ireland midfielder. However, his career seems to be going to the bottom now in the same fashion as Greening’s one. At the moment a lot of Andy’s attributes are at high level: Crossing, Dribbling, Passing, Creativity, Flair >= 15. But the Irish is very slow player having Pace (8) and Acceleration (9) thus creating a lot of questions of his future in the club.

There are no even decent wingers to play standard 4-3-2-1 system.

What else I noticed about Forest midfield is that there’s no serious options apart from Guy Moussi to play DMC. His backup Simon Gillett is quite decent due to his high Determination (18), Work Rate (16), and Teamwork (16) but still not enough for me. It hints me that I should not use defensive midfielder formation much during the first half of season.

There’s no competition among DMC position candidatesDMC position candidates

The last midfielder to mention is Polish Radoslaw Majewski. He possesses good passing skills and creativity. Looks like this guy can be efficient in attacking stage. However, I am not sure if he should play in the first eleven.

Now take a look at my two best midfielders.

Chris Cohen

Chris Cohen in Football Manager 2013

Henry Lansbury

Henry Lansbury in Football Manager 2013

By the way, Henry Lansbury is mentioned among wonderkids of FM 2013.



Best forward Simon Cox  
Worst forward Matt Derbyshire  
Best U21 prospect -  
Most valued forward Simon Cox $5.5M
Highest wage Billy Sharp $27.5M

Forest strikers in FM 2013

Nottingham Forest has 2 excellent strikers: Simon Cox and loaned Billy Sharp. Simon Cox bought from West Brom for $2M seems to be a team leader who will become efficient not only scoring goals but also in assisting. Billy Sharp looks more like a direct attacker who thinks just about targeting opponent’s goalie.

Simon Cox

Simon Cox in Football Manager 2013

Marcus Tudgay, Robert Findley, Matt Derbyshire don’t impress me at all. Backup players, candidates for sale in winter. Although they have to have chances to show themselves on a pitch.

The last but least, Dexter Blackstock looks slightly better than the above-mentioned trio. His strongest sides are Heading (15), Finishing (14), Jumping (14), Agility (14), Pace (14)

Squad strengths

1. Midfield

It was obvious after the analysis that midfield is the best Forest area. Lansbury, Cohen, Reid, Guerdiuora, Moussa should form a robust core in my first formation. My confidence is confirmed by team comparison with other Championship clubs.

Midfield of Forest

2. Cox + Sharp

Pair of forwards Billy Sharp and Simon Cox seem to be good enough to play together in starting line-up and resolve the most serious tasks like Premier League promotion. Although Sharp is just loaned footballer.

3. Two prospects

Jamaal Lascelles and Henry Lansbury. Both Englishmen should work hard during trainings because they can grow in excellent footballers, especially Lascelles.

Squad weaknesses

1. Defensive line

Almost all Forest defenders has low marking and tackling attribute values. Captain Dan Collins lacks speed, though I am not sure if his slowness is a crucial negative factor in the Championship. We’ll see.

Defense of Forest

2. No replacement for goalkeeper Lee Camp

Hope he won’t get injured till winter transfer window.

3. No good wingers

It causes limited opportunities in tactical approaches. I can only play Wide Midfielders with the current squad but not wingers.

Possible tactics

Gradually we have come up to the most intriguing aspect for every football manager. Before my suggestions of tactical ideas, I would like to remind you about one restriction by philosophy expected from the board. They want me to Play possession soccer.

Nottingham Forest’s assistant manager thinks this way:

Suitable formations in FM 2013

Well I agree. My first formation principles start to getting some shape in my mind:

  • 4 defenders at back. No alternative here.
  • Then I have options. There may be a classic line of 4 midfielders with wide ones or 3 MCs + 1 DMC (AMC). The latter variant would be more ball possessive.
  • 2 forwards. However, I can also use 1 forward and drop another one to AMC position for instance.

So you see I have some variants here. Therefore it would be great to have at least 2 different formations for distinct cases. I am tending to classic 4-4-2…

One more thing. Playing possession football expected from me by board means Short passing, Slow tempo, Goalkeepers ball distribution to defender…

In the end it would be awesome to hear from you:

What tactical approach would you use if you were me?


Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

P.S. If you do like the post, I would appreciate if you support it via Like, +1, Tweet buttons on the bottom bar.

Author: Vitaliy

Playing Football Manager since 1996. Blogging about it since 2007.