Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Forest. Two series

Today is the day for Nottingham Forest story. I called the post “Two series” because I had very different periods. The first of them lowered my club into Premier League relegation zone. The second one raised Forest quite high making 6 points distance to the 18th position. Here I marked the series of matches with red and green lines:

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Forest matches

There were 6 matches among those I marked with the red line. 3 of them were played against Manchester clubs, so it’s not a surprise that I got negative results and morale decrease after all. Thus, Forest’s break-through in League Cup stopped at semi-final stage. That was predictable when we got Man City after draw… Anyway reaching semi-finals is a brilliant achievement for a PL debutant.

The worst game in total was against Premier League champions and current season leaders Manchester United. The Red Devils have a merely fantastic attack. The trio Neymar + Van Persie + Rooney managed to score 4 goals. The best attack in the world!

Worst-match

No luck against former club in previous Football Managers

I was a head coach of Southampton and Q.P.R. in FM 2008 and FM 2012 correspondingly. That is why matches against them are always something special. Unfortunately, the last games with them appeared in the “red” series. My boys were inefficient during attacking moves while the whole team had a slight advantage in both cases.

Poor-defense-vs-Southampton

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Best games

Two grand clubs were beaten. It’s brilliant result for me in the debut Premier League season, definitely more than I expected!

Counter-attacking narrow 4-1-2-1-2 tactics worked out in the both cases providing efficient offensive moves together with solid defense. Forest’s couple of young talented centre backs Jamaal Lascelles and Alexander Milosevic got match ratings ranging from 7.9 to 9.0.

The both matches are described at my FM Crowd blog, and you are welcome to check out the details:

PL table standing

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I feel safe and secure now. 6 points dividing my club from relegation zone give me that feeling. Seemingly my Forest will finish nearby the 14th position which is of course considered as success.

Players

Loans out

Loans out

There were not transfers apart from signature of wonderkid Ole Kristian Selnaes reported in the previous Forest story post. The reason of that: I don’t have free wage budget anymore… The board declined my request of extending budget for salaries, so I should wait till the next season.

However, I made pack of loans out of the team as you see. The most noticeable is a Lewis McGugan’s leave. He had no match practice due to high competition among central midfielders.

Players’ performance

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Jamaal Lascelles and Alexander Milosevic play better and better every month. I’m starting to be proud of this pair, especially young Lascelles who has been Forest captain since the season’s start. Pay attention to the price value of Jamaal – $11.75M!

Mattia Destro is almost perfect at the final stage of attack. He deserved to be among the best Premier League goalscorers. Hope he will beat Rooney, Dzeko, and others in this competition.

Destro

Thomas Drage

Thomas Drage in FM 13

I would like to single out Thomas Drage as the best player of January, February and March. Thomas is an absolute leader by key passes in the league. Very keen attacking midfielder with great passing abilities. Look at his stats below:

Key Passes in Premier League

Stats of Drage

Looking at the squad, I see the largest negative thing is a long-term injury suffered by the main goalie of Nottingham Forest. I was pretty happy about Sifakis and his performance, and now I should set Lee Camp in a starting line-up instead. Sounds a little bit risky.

Sifakis-injured

Last fixtures of the 2nd season

Future matches

Despite the loss of the goalkeeper, I can still feel good because the schedule looks pretty easy. There are only 2 matches against big English clubs: Tottenham and Man City. Other games should bring my club many points because we’re in fairly good form now. It will be a calm ending of the debut season, I predict.

What position do you see Forest to finish at?

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

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Author: Vitaliy Mokosiy

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