Friday, 30 November 2012

It’s good to be the third

Hi all,

I have another Forest story update for you today that includes matches of January and February. The half of them was played using the newcomers who joined the club during winter transfers.

So here are the latest results:

Matches

 

FA Cup failure

Firstly, I would like to explain the loss to Preston from League 1. Actually it was an occasion when I had several important players injured (Cox, Guardiora, Majewski) and the luck was against me on the last stage. My forwards were poor while finishing…

I had already made a report about Preston game at FM Crowd.

Championship matches

It was important to restore after FA Cup miserable match… Luckily, we had a weak opponent at home: Barnsley. Well the 5:0 crush became one of the best games in the season. Glenn Whelan scored the last goal in his debut match for Forest.

Afterwards Nottingham Forest played a draw with Crystal Place and amazing comeback thriller with Bristol City when we won the game loosing 0:2 at the 74th minute! Read a detailed report about it at my FM Crowd blog.

Stupid loss after heroic come back

Could I imagine my team on place of Bristol City?

Birmingham arranged nearly the same scenario starting from the 66th minute! I felt a victory in my pocket having a 2:0 lead and an overall advantage. However, shit happens. It’s hard to believe that my boys didn’t seize on the advantage they had.

My attacking 4-2-3-1 showed weaknesses in defence while playing against strong team. Birmingham was going 4-4-2.

Stupid loss to Birmingham

Derby with Derby

Another match I would like you to pay attention to is of course our local derby against Derby County. As you remember we had grabbed a win in the first season’s half. Derby arrived to the City Ground having minds of revenge. And it resulted in an entertaining show with 7 goals.

The match score was like a scales changing to both sides from time to time. But Chris Cohen brought Forest to the deserved win after all.

Forest played attacking 4-2-3-1, while Derby was resisting with 4-1-3-2 tactics.

Forest vs Derby

Inability to score

Our great mood after the win over arch-rivals Derby passed to the next match against Huddersfield.

It was the opposition of my attacking 4-2-3-1 narrow tactics and their defensive 4-5-1.

Unfortunately, Billy Sharp, Simon Cox, Chris Cohen failed their chances. They all made 7 shots and just 1 shot on target.

Huddersfield

Championship table standing

Table

I don’t feel fortunate anymore. At the moment it seems the 3rd line in the table is completely my merit. Yes, Nottingham Forest had a media prediction of the 14th position, and I didn’t do any transfers in summer. But I compensated not the best squad with a smart tactical approach that includes 3 different formations and styles.

However, the squad’s weakness is still being confirmed by number of conceded goals. My defence needs some kind of upgrade.

My squad

PlayersPlayers[7]

Of course I am interested to share the thoughts about debuts of Forest newcomers:

  • Thomas Drage has begun his career in my club excellently! 3 matches, 2 goals, 1 assist! It seems he doesn’t need a time for blending into squad. Though most likely it’s just a deceptive impression.
  • Thomas Lastuvka. The loaned Dnipro goalie started to play at the same level as Lee Camp. But I believe he can get more confident.
  • Glenn Whelan and Mikkel Diskerud. Both made decent starts and opened counting of the goals for Forest.

In short, I can say the debuts were more or less successful.

As for the other NF players, Billy Sharp stopped scoring that much and make me questioning myself whether I should spend $4M to buy him for agreed price after the loan. Chris Cohen and Simon Cox seem to be the most stable players of Nottingham Forest.

My defensive line wasn’t very well during the reported period. Nevertheless, central backs Ayala and Lascelles have the highest average ratings now. Instead wing backs Harding and Halford degraded for some reason.

Daniel Ayala – the best player of January and February

Daniel Ayala in FM 2013

Jamaal Lascelles got 2 Young Player of the Months awards

Jamaal Lascelles

Player rating in Championship

The rest of Championship matches

Future matches

If I want to struggle for the 2nd table position with Wolves, Nottingham Forest should grab 2 wins in the next two matches against Charlton and Wolves. Though most likely my club will remain fighting for Top-6.

Cant’ wait to play the upcoming matches!

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

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Author: Vitaliy Mokosiy

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