Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Nottm Forest - true cup fighters!

Dear readers,

Firstly I wanted to play the last season games and report about them all together. But now I understand I should divide it into couple of posts because of much of exciting information. Today it’s time to stress an amazing progress of Nottm Forest in cups: Europa League and FA Cup.

 

Europa League

Quarter final. Granada

The reply match against Granada was really complicated one despite the score. They used flat 3-5-2 tactics once again and it was kind of painful for my team. As you remember Granada won the first match with 5:3 score and had a two-goal lead. So we had to score at least twice. And Carlos Villa started to excuse for his mistakes in the first match on the 13th minute. However, further penalty returned Forest into the starting state. I was very frustrated then when referee whistled for another penalty kick during first half’s injury time. But Samir Handanovic proved himself as a master of handling penalties once again! He saved more than 5 penalties this season.

Later on I got it’s necessary to change something and switched to the risky control 4-3-2-1 tactics which has worked very fine as you see on the scoreboard below.

Granada

Semi final. Arsenal

I was a little bit disappointed after Europa League draw. There were Ajax and Chelsea which seemed to be easier opponents than Arsenal. The Gunners normally dominate over my team on a pitch. Especially now having Antonio Conte as a head coach with his attacking flat 3-5-2 formation.

The first match proved my fears, though it end very well and lucky for us. Just look at the match stats and you’ll understand what I mean.

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The reply match at the City Ground became one of the most emotionally exhausting. Teams had the following squads and formations.

NF A

Olivier Giroud scored the quick goal on the 2nd minute and I thought it’s the end for my Europa League final dreams. However, scoreboard was already showing 2:1 on the 8th minute.

Watch the goals

My counter-attacking tactics and extremely great football by the best Forest players (Ademilson, Sigurdsson, Drage) helped to achieve a truly perceptible advantage in this game. Check out the match stats paying attention to numbers of clear cut chances and woodwork.

Match stats

Finalists

It’s probably the worst season for Thomas Drage but sometimes he makes miracles. That’s why I don’t even want to think about selling him. 8 key passes in so important and tough game are worth the highest praises!

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This is how Nottm Forest has made its way into Europa League final and will clash for the trophy with Chelsea.

FA Cup

We also qualified into FA Cup final and have a chance to win all cups this season. Terrifying Manchester United will be our opponent on the Wembley stadium.

Double-hattrick by Lukas Podolski in the semi-final

I have to tell about fantastic 7:0 victory in the semi-final.  It was a truly amazing game because I used substitution bench players including Podolski who had been pulled out from the first eleven by Mason Bennett. The experienced German striker suddenly recorded 6 goals in a game. I believe you should see all of them.

New record by Podolski

Match stats

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Despite this incredible goalscoring record Lukas will leave Nottm Forest after the season. He’s just too old and expensive forward in my opinion. His physical attributes will decrease soon.

Lukas Podolski in FM13

 

Quickly about Premier League

Well here’re the latest matches I played.

Matches

Manchester City and Stoke tried to disappoint me and stop my breakthrough into TOP-4. But currently with 3 spare matches, I see Tottenham has no chances and should give up.

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Liverpool and Aston Villa are fighting for survival this season.

Forest players

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I temporarily promoted several talented youngsters to help to cope with the tight schedule I reported in the last post:

  • John McLeish
  • Christian Otto
  • Scott Moore

I won’t discuss their attributes and performance at the moment. I feel it’s more suitable topic for the off-season time.

Winter debutant Gylfi Sigurdsson is the best player of reported. He is a magician of passes and set pieces. Gylfi’s role in cup success is crucial.

Gylfiimage

Season ending

Chelsea Europa League final

Both FA Cup and Europa League finals are of course hugely important for me. Nottm Forest may win 3 trophies in one season (I have already reported about winning League Cup earlier).

Premier League outcome has turned into more or less predictable. Forest has to finish at the 4th position taking into account three spare matches and quite easy schedule in the end.

 

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy Mokosiy

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