Friday, 15 February 2013

Transfers and season 4 expectations

Nottingham Forest story continues. My transfer posts are usually quite large and this one is not an exception. Thinking of future participation in Euro Cup, I decided to widen Forest squad to be able to cope with targets in all tournaments. Additionally, I decided to continue my youth transfer policy: more talented youngsters were bought and send into club reserve team…

Though my transfer campaign started with a search of several new coaches. I decided not to post there profiles here because it already contains many screenshots. I just can say I have 4 and even 4.5 star in almost all training categories.


Olexiy Mikhailichenko, former Dynamo Kyiv assistant coach

My previous assistant coach has decided to retire from football and I had to find a new one. It wasn’t easy task because of average reputation of Nottm Forest as a club and salary restrictions from board. Finally, I tempted another Ukrainian (recall I have Rakitskyi in the squad) to leave for Forest. Mikhailichenko is a very familiar person to me in real life as a former footballer and coach. Hope he will help me in the next seasons.

Olexiy has somewhat wondered face on photo. Maybe it’s because he saw Mattia Destro in Nottigham Forest ;)


Players out


There was no serious sells during the transfer window. Ryan Taylor and Carlos Kameni left the team as it had been planned earlier. David Buchanan asked for some first team football and was transfer listed and signed for free by Birmingham. Nobody wanted to pay money for him.

There are many loans out of my prospective youth which allows to give them real football experience and shorten the club wage budget.

Players in

1. Samir Handanovic (GK) - Free

Samir Handanovic in Football Manager 2013

My signature #1 this season! Samir Handanovic became a reason why Carlos Kameni left the team. He looks like a pivotal role player for my Forest during next seasons. Samir has no real weaknesses as for me. There is only Communication which equals 10. Other attributes have impressive values, particularly mental ones.

Samir Handanovic in FM 2013

It’s difficult not to boast his personality.

Iron Willed

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SC, AMC) – Free

Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Football Manager 2013

One of the best players in modern football joined Nottingham Forest! Zlatan was also signed for free as Samir Handanovic. However, his presence in our squad is contradictory due to high wage. The 2nd money earner in my squad is Tom Cleverley with $110K. Other players have salaries below $100K.

Another shortcoming is Zlatan’s age and speed, of course. But anyway I see how he may used in any of Triple C tactics. It’s great that Ibrahimovic can play as AMC!

Returning to high wage issue, pay attention I signed Zlatan for one season only. So most likely he will leave Forest next year. Though it depends much on his performances.

3. Mason Bennett (SC, AMC) – $11M

Mason Bennett in Football Manager 2013Abilities of Mason Bennett

Probably the most prospective English forward left Derby County and joined rival Nottingham Forest. Bennett followed a way carved by another English wonderkid and his team-mate Will Hughes one year ago. $11M paid for Mason is my investment in future. For now he won’t be a first eleven player of course, but some appearances from substitution bench are guaranteed.

By the way, there was an interesting post at the Rams to the Slaughter blog with marvellous goal by Bennett in FM 2013: 

Mason Bennett – the new Maradona?

4. Martin Kelly (DR, DC) – $3.3M

Martin Kelly in Football Manager 2013

Martin Kelly is a clearly defensive type of player. I am going to use him on a right flank as a backup and rotation option for Neil Eardley. His main strength is in good concentration and determination I deem.

5. Donald McDermott (MR, ML, MC, AMC) – Free

Donald McDermott in FM 2013

Super-versatile attacker who may play at any position in the midfield. Donald is a fast dribbler and efficient during attacking moves. It’s just my new backup player.

6. Alex Grimaldo (DL) – Free

Alex Grimaldo in Football Manager 2013

Prospective Alex Grimaldo from Barcelona joined the team. Hopefully, my coaches will help him to develop during trainings.

7. Adam Smith (DR, DL) - Free

Adam Smith in Football Manager 2013

Adam Smith is nothing else but another backup option for my flank defenders. A negative side here is that I feel I gave him too high salary…

Prospects: 5 best signings of youngsters.

I got group of new talents into my reserves during the transfer window. There’s no sense to share screen shots of all newcomers. That’s why I singled out 5 best youngsters bought in summer.

Mo Cairns (MC, DMC, MR) – $1.1M


Tim Witt (SC) – $1.1M



Christian Otto (DR, DC) – Free


Marc Dodds (DC, DR) – Free


Steven Kavanagh (DC, DR) - Free


All new Forest players

Players in

I was very careful with a transfer money given by board because it’s higher than club balance. Thus, both balance and transfer budget after all made transfers remain at $30M level.

Meanwhile payroll budget grew much and almost equals to $1.2M per week. Please consider my high wage budget is a stake on future success in Euro Cup. I want to qualify to semi-finals in our debut Europa League season.


A couple of screen shots regarding Forest youth

Several Forest players played for England U21s in European U21 Championship. Two my central backs managed to score 4 goals in the final game against Ukraine :)


Mitchell Hewitt and newbie Mason Bennett were one of the best players in the tournament.

Best players of European U21 Championship

Team report after made transfers

So now let’s get back to Nottingham Forest squad. Certainly it got strengthened with signatures of Handanovic, Ibgrahimovic, and Kelly. Mason Bennett is just a huge prospect for a while and can’t compete with Zlatan, Destro, Ademilson, and Defoe.

Team reportPlayers

Season expectations

Quite ambitious target is set I should confess. I had no “PL second season syndrome” last year but I suspect season 4 can be very tough in this sense. Nevertheless, I decided to claim target of achieving continental qualification again.


Forest current squad strength is rather high and allows media prediction of the 8th position.


Sky Bet is less optimistic giving Nottingham Forest 151.00.


Tough start ahead

Tough start

Five first season matches look very complicated and interesting at the same time. Man City, Chelsea, and Tottenham can drop my team into relegation zone at start. Fierce rivalry against Derby County is one of the most awaited encounters, that’s for sure.

It looks like it’s going to be really long and entertaining season for Nottingham Forest.

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

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Author: Vitaliy

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