Saturday, 10 November 2012

Defence fails, Billy Sharp scores

Dear readers,

Be ready for a quite long post today covering just one and half months of my Forest story in FM 2013. Defence failes, Billy Sharp scores - the post title completely describes state of my team during latest matches. Here are the results:

NF matches

Now you see what I meant emphasizing quality of defence and goals by Sharp.

Performance of Nottingham Forest in the Championship

I got two somewhat weird devastating losses having 5 goals conceded in each of them. Very similar matches actually because Forest played against similar teams that were not better by their squads. Nevertheless, our defence and goalkeeper made a lot of mistakes and made me really anxious.

Crushed by Huddersfield. 0:5

Vs Huddersfield

We had conceded all sorts of goals: goalkeeper’s mistake during free kick, own goal, long shot… But frankly speaking, Forest didn’t deserve such a painful loss. Read more at my FM Crowd blog here and here.

Example of bad defence


In the same manner another away game was lost to Millwall.



3:1 win over Charlton, hat-trick by Dexter Blackstock.

One of interesting matches happened against Charlton. It was recovering 3:1 win after disappointing 0:5 defeat to Huddersfield. Sounds funny but at that moment I was not happy with Billy Sharp who hadn’t score much in the previous matches. Therefore I replaced him by Dexter Blackstock. He thanked me with 3 goals in this match :) Afterwards Billy Sharp return to the starting line-up…

Tactical win: Leeds - Nottingham Forest 1:2.

Leeds United took a lead by means of beautiful long shot. Frankly speaking they played better during the first 30 minutes until I replaced 4-4-2 onto counter-attacking 4-1-2-1-2 which is my backup tactics.

Quick massive counter attacks helped to cope with their pressure and turn round a course of game.

Championship table

Championship table

As you see my club is located very highly even after those terrible 0:5 and 1:5 defeats. Surprize, isn’t it? The problem is in that all other Championship clubs slip making draws and losses often together with wins. What can we talk about if Watford leads the league, and Bolton, Blackburn, Wolves have problems in spite of their very strong squads?

I am quite sure that the situation will change much in 10 fixtures.

The owned 3rd line in the table is fantastic for Nottm Forest… Howerver, 34 conceded goals, +5 of goal difference disappoint me at all.

Of course, the board is happy with overall performance in the Championship.


Tactical adjustments

I had been 3 tactics from the very start: 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-1-3-2. Here are the latest tactical changes:

4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 - Time Wasting was set to Rarely. Hard tackling was enabled for all midfielders and forwards.

4-1-3-2 was transformed into 4-1-2-1-2 by moving MC to AMC position with support duty.It allowed to create counter-attacking triangle with 2 strikers. Tempo was increased.

This is how my new backup 4-1-2-1-2 formation which helped me to make a comeback against Leeds looks:

Backup 4-1-2-1-2

Nottingham Forest players

NF players


Finally I achieved that state when I feel and understand squad strengths and weakness in practice. In total, Forest has good attackers and midfielders and suffers from very average goalie and poor defensive line.

This is why I decided it’s time to change Forest’s first eleven. Captain Danny Collins was moved to substitution bench. Young talent Jamaal Lascelles is weaker but quicker, anyway he took place of the experienced Welsh together with captain’s badge. 2 last won matches were played with this replacement actually…

Danny Collins

Danny Collins in FM13

Jamal Lascelles

Jamaal Lascelles in FM13

Goal-machine Billy Sharp

Billy Sharp in Football Manager 2013

A separate passage should be devote to Billy Sharp and his great form during the last 6 games. Billy managed to score in all of them bagging 9 goals in total! He has been performing greatly in Poacher role.

The only sad thing about Sharp is that he doesn’t belong to my club and scored those goals being loaned from Southampton. I have just thought to buy him somehow. But original value of $4.8M seems very high. It means Sharp could have cost me around $10M. I am not ready to spend that money morally, especially taking into account that price of Mexican wonderkid Carlos Fierro is just $300K at the moment!

Next fixtures

Next fixtures in Football Manager 2013

3 fixtures more and the 2nd season's half will start. It will be extremely interesting to see December and January results. Stay tuned to blog updates also because of my trainings experiment which will be finished on December 31.

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

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Author: Vitaliy

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