Friday, 4 October 2013

5 League Cups in 9 seasons for Nottingham Forest!

Hello guys,

Welcome back to Nottingham Forest story. It’s one of the final posts because the story is about to finish, season 9 is approaching its finish line. As you understand from the title, Forest won another League Cup. It was exciting dramatic match against Liverpool and I’d like to begin my report with it.

Delightful tactical come back in extra time

 

imageimage

Frankly, it was the extraordinary game for me and my team. We had been tactically dominating but were not able to seize on opportunities because of heavy downpour at Wembley location. Many shots off target caused 0:0 on a scoreboard after 90 minutes that evening.

Extra time turned into shock on the 100th minute when James McCartny scored with first touch. I understood I should take risk and use the most attacking tactical variant I have. Wide direct 4-2-3-1 was changed onto narrow control 4-2-3-1 which worked like a charm. Wing backs started to join attacks more often and, in general, all players confidently took away ball possession providing its careful delivery into the opponent’s box.

Will Hughes came from substitution bench and played key role in this brilliant victory. His two goals turned inside out everything on the pitch…

5 League Cups in 9 seasons. Could you predict at the beginning I would be so successful with Forest in FM 2013? No? Me too :)

Now let’s watch all goals in the match!

image

Hope it won’t be a single trophy in this season :-)

image

Premier League performance

image

It was almost perfect time period. One loss and many wins! Level of our domination in English Premier League has been growing since the end of autumn. Now only Manchester United has slight opportunities to catch Nottm Forest and hinder winning the second title in a row.

But it seems to me domination of the Red Devils in EPL is over. New era started!

image

The single lost match

Nottm Forest – Man City 0:1

It was a bit unfair to loose the game. My players were playing active football having slightly higher possession and more shots in the end. Though it didn’t help because according to the match stats we cannot brag about even a single half chance, not saying about clear cut chances.

image

Uncertain performance reflected on match ratings of Nottm Forest players:

image

Any questions?

The phrase is actually addressed to Saint-Etienne, our opponent in the first knockout round of Champions League. It was a little bit nervous 1:0 game in France but than, at the City Ground, we took full advantage and completely crushed the French football team. Just look at this compelling stats:

image

My goalie had a nice rest according to totally absent shots from Saint-Etienne.

Nottm Forest players

imageimage

Lots of interesting things for me to underline here in the list:

  • All players have average ratings >= 7.05
  • Central back Stephen Kavanagh scores every second match (from corners). However, he is a backup player and used against weaker opponents. It’s easier to score goals against weaker teams.
  • Jim McClair is an excellent backup striker. He score almost every time when I give him a chance on a pitch.
  • Suddenly Will Hughes showed great performance after injury. I think I will use him more often in decisive games of the season.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has 21 assists as many as played games! My recent ode to him was not an accidental one.

image

Davide Santon – MVP of January/February

image

Santon has been very consistent and reliable during winter period. He justified huge amount of money paid for him in summer by high reliability, good tackling and heading, several assists. Santon has successfully covered the most problematic position of left full back in the whole Nottm Forest story.

image

Last matches of Nottingham Forest story

image

I suppose I will divide report about the last match into two parts. Because quarterfinals of Champions League are also ahead. At the moment I don’t know my future opponent but there are the following candidates:

image

However, PSG as always looks frightening. They managed to beat confidently Arsenal at the Emirates.

Lack of challenge

I would also like to share my current feelings about the story. The problem is in that I am not so motivated to manage the club as previously. Nottingham Forest turned into a grand club with huge budget and many great players in the squad. And I don’t really like to manage grand clubs because it’s just too easy to win. Now I have some kind of winning machine with working tactic set and superb footballers, and only other big clubs like PSG, Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal can resist…

Nevertheless, please pay attention it means nothing for the story. I will definitely finish the season and try to win Champions League for the first time.

FM Scene Award

Last but not least here is my award to those who make sufficient contribution to Football Manager community. This time I want to reward Darren Smith and Jake Lenahan for their FMS podcast episode about FM 2014 features. Thank you guys!

The most interesting part there is about tactical overhaul in FM 2014. According to the published information, sliders completely disappeared in new FM. Darren and Jake discuss this change, new roles, and many other things… You should just listen to the podcast, you won’t regret.  Let’s share passion of these guys about upcoming Football Manager!

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

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