Sunday, 14 April 2013

Intensive schedule for Nottm Forest

Dear blog readers,

Forest story continues and very entertaining season #5 has passed the 1st of April in a calendar. Here are the latest results for you to evaluate my club’s performance in all the tournaments:

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I have already reported about success in the League Cup against Arsenal in the separate post. So now I’d like to concentrate on other tournaments. In total, it was an emotionally great season period because of victories over many grand clubs and progress in Europa League into the quarterfinal stage.

Premier League

League

Nottm Forest is not that high in the table as one could expect. There’s a 6-point gap between Champions League zone and my club…but look at the number of played matches. I have 6 deferred games to play! Potentially, winning in all the matches may give me +18 points and transform Nottm Forest into another title contender :) But we should consider the situation more pragmatically because my players will have a very tight and complicated schedule in April and May. That’s why the 4th position is the most probable in my opinion.

Worst match: Tottenham – Forest 3:1

Tottenham - Forest

The only game when I felt totally helpless and any tactical tricks failed against angry Tottenham that had been knocked out from FA Cup by my team previously.

Demba Ba came from substitution bench and made a hat-trick. Andre Villas-Boas was tactically better than me. He changed wide 4-1-2-2-1 onto 4-4-2 after the half time and got a serious advantage on the pitch we weren’t able to cope.

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Best match: Nottingham Forest – Manchester City 3:1

My Forest won 2 matches against Man City with the same 3:1 score. Interesting that I consider the home PL win as more valuable than the one in FA Cup. It’s significant in context of morale recovery after hard Europa League loss in Spain. It’s really inspiring to beat the title contender once again!

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Europa League

Don’t consider two draws with Groningen as negative results. Just look at the match stats, Forest attackers were totally unlucky.

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Another, I should say, unexpected events happened in Spain.

Defeat with hockey score against Granada

GranadaMatch stats

Despite the match stats equality, my defence and goalie managed to concede 5 goals. It was the worst performance by defensive line in the whole season. Why the hell did it happen?!

First of all, Granada have very high total teamwork of the squad and use attacking 3-5-2. They were really good during attacks and seized all mistakes made by Forest defenders. Additionally, it was very unlucky day for my team because of numerous mistakes:

  • two similar goals during corners when I was missing one footballer in area to cover near post
  • penalty area fault by Carlos Villa
  • poor opponent player covering again by Carlos Villa
  • goal after lost struggle in air by Yaroslav Rakitskyi

So it’s not a miracle my defenders and Samir Handanovic have such low match ratings.

Poor ratings by defensive players

Here is Granada’s regen striker who stunned me with the hat-trick.

David Britez from Granada

It will be a complicated game at home. But hopefully, Nottm Forest will be able to repeat performance shown against Nurnberg two rounds ago.

Forest players

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After winning second League Cup in row, price values of many Forest players grew quite much. In particular, Mitchell Hewitt impresses being evaluated in $28.5M. Pay attention at the outstanding number of man of the match awards he has!

Joe Allen and Gylfi Sigurdsson convinced me they don’t need a time for blending into squad. Both experienced midfielders started to make assists from very first games. Both have average rating of around 7.5 mark.

Mason Bennett somehow managed to break Forest goalscoring record.

Mason-Bennet

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Enormously tight schedule

Tight schedule

Matches[5]

Nottm Forest have been playing so many matches this season… FA Cup made things more complicated due to numerous replay matches. We had draws and had to replay against Huddersfield, Tottenham, Manchester City. It influenced the schedule very much making it enormously tight for April and May. Success in Europa League complicates everything as well.

Whether will my team cope with a wild rhythm when there is only 2-day or even 1-day delay between matches?

That’s a huge question for me. It depends much on youngsters, and I am also going to bring several guys from Forest reserves…

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

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Author: Vitaliy

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