Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Last season, last hope to win Champions Cup

Dear blog readers,

Finally I managed to return to blogging after five days of absence. Today I want to share news about the start of my last season in Nottm Forest story. Season 9. It won’t be an easy walk and can end without trophies at all. But my hope is to win in both Champions League and Premier League…

Community Shield goes to Forest

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My first attempt to win Community Shield completed with success. Though according to match events, it shouldn’t turn into penalty series. We had lots of good moments but didn’t seize them. Luckily, Forest players didn’t make their head coach to be too nervous winning penalties quite easily.

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Too much rotation, too many experiments

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The starting matches were merely great: away win over Arsenal, confident 3:1 and 5:1 versus Watford and Blackburn. Then Norwich managed to score 4 goals at the City Ground and take away two points. We had to win the match because advantage was really large, however our mistakes in defence disallowed to do that.

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What I thought then: it’s just an accident. I can go further with squad rotation and experiments… By the way, I had never had so large squad. There’re many players whom I like to use in matches. Moreover, freshly signed Hulk, Belhanda, Baillie are versatile players and can play on many positions, and I have been trying to find the most suitable ones for them…

It turned out I was unconcerned using squad rotation too much. It resulted in the following three losses:

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Looking to the match stats, one can say it was unfair. But I think it’s a warning for me as a head coach. I should continue careful squad management policy that had been used in the previous seasons.

Champions League

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Winning Champions League is my main target for the season. Nottingham Forest got rather easy group being a top seeded club. Though Krasnodar team showed themselves quite robust and managed to win against my team. But I think there shouldn’t any serious problems with promotion to the first knockout round.

Board confidence

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The latest defeats undermined my and board’s morale level. Nevertheless, they are still satisfied with my coaching. I hope it won’t happen again this season.

Forest players

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I am ready to scold bunch of Forest players now:

  • Steven Georcelin. Euro 2020 winner got into a poor performance pit and managed to make several unacceptable errors. Don’t know what’s happened with him. Perhaps it’s an influence of recent injury or just lack of luck.
  • Luke Baillie. Didn’t impress. But I should give him more time for adaptation.
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson. Our one of the best players is not getting younger.  His set pieces and passes were not so dangerous as usually.
  • Carlos Villa. Uncertain performance which is hardly can be explained.
  • Allessandro Promutico. One goal in seven games. Lots of failed goal moments.

May be… may be low average ratings of some players are explained by huge rotation in action from me. We’ll see. I am going to be more careful and use only the best players for starting line-up.

Mitchell Hewitt

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While Forest strikers have not been playing well, Mitchell Hewitt became a real force in both defence and attack. 2 goals and 4(!) assists in 6 matches. How do you like it? :)

Closest future

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Next match vs Man City is very important in sense of current small crisis Nottm Forest has. A victory can bring my team to the winning way. Meanwhile another defeat will depress players and decrease our chances to win Premier League this season. That’s why I think draw against Man City would be acceptable.

I am awaiting also for the encounter with Ajax. It should quite interesting.

That’s all for now. Write your opinions in the comments below.

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

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