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[FM21] Returning the Glory Days to Nottingham Forest - European Cup Glory or Bust


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In preparation for setting everything up for FM2022 that I will need to build for stories, I wanted a save I am passionate about. Returning Nottingham Forest to the Premier League and battling for European Glory fits the bill on every single level. A team with history that have been struggling for far too many years now. Too many managers changing, far too many big earners not living up to the hype and usually a squad size that makes your eye's water at the wage bill. Nottingham Forest are a club that has lots it's way and need to be rebuilt. However, an ambitious owner wants results and he will not wait for them. Make the play-offs in year one or it will be another Manager added to the "One and Done" list. The squad size is at 30 with some expensive loan players in, getting to the play-offs should be achievable in year one. But, the whole team top to bottom needs to be looked at and all the back office staff will need to earn their next contract. Welcome to "Returning the Glory Days to Nottingham Forest - European Cup Glory or Bust"

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End of 2020 Pre-Season

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We were able to sell 4 players for almost £1,800,000, but this also saved us £55,000 per week or a staggering £2,420,000 until the end of the season. We were unable to off-load more like Samba Sow and Glenn Murray, so we will have to absorb the £52,000 per week wages.  We had to take a loan deal on Fouad Bachirou with a £2,000,000 option to buy for Bristol City. Not on the loan list was Tyler Blackett but he has gone to Millwall and Loic Mbe Soh has headed to Coventry. All other players, such as Joao Carvalho and Brennan Johnson were already on loan.

There was only one new face arrive in Brian Trent's first look at the market was young Scottish midfielder Chris Mochrie from Dundee United for £425,000. The 17 year old can play all over midfield but requested to go out on loan when he signed his contract to gain first team football. One for the future, the fee was nominal and wages were only £900 p/w on a 3 year deal. 

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Edited by GIB.Rocks
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Posted (edited)

September 2020

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In Other Forest News

Brian Trent Wins Manager of the Month Award

Alex Mighten wins Championship Player of the Month Away & Young Championship Player of the Month Award

Edited by GIB.Rocks
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September - Transfer Deadline Day

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With injuries starting to mount up and not much cover at Fullback, Brian Trent went out onto the Loan market to bring in 3 more loan players for the rest of the season. The biggest need after Christie's injury was full back cover which has come in the shape of Leeds United Swedish right-back Joel Andersson. He is able to play on both sides, comes in at only £8,750 wages. He could end up earning the starting role as he looks to get some game time under his belt ready to go back to the Premier League next season. The other loan business was to sure up another striker in the form of Southamptons Michael Obafemi. The young 20 year old will add some pace off the bench to support Grabban and Mighten after Taylor and Murray have struggled so far this season. One final player to come in late on the day was full-back Josh Tymon from Stoke City to cover any more injuries.

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Samba Sow finally found a new home and Forest secure £1,000,000 from Sochi. Add that to the £20,000 a week in savings, which has now just paid for the 3 loan signing's brought in by Brian Trent last week. Sow was left out of the registration for the League and decided to move on for the good of his career.

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Youth Intake #1 - 2020/21 Season

Nottingham Forest have a great youth system and something that needs to be developed further to really start producing the best players in the World to compete at the highest levels. One of the main aims of the save will be to promote from the Youth Academy and try to get as many starters into the line-up as possible. Getting promoted to the Premier League and heading into Europe will be the quickest way to get the funds to help improve the facilities long term.

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The 4 best players from this years intake in terms of long term potential are down below. Most excited by Ken "Kenny" Dunne 1b as a potential keeper for a generation as he has all the skills to be a top keeper for many years to come. His personality is unambitious which may be a worry, but with the right players around him we can work on that. 

Sébastien Roche 1a - Seb was born in Canada but his parents have Irish heritage and moved back when he was 5. Nottingham Forest scouts were keen on him from age 11 when the family moved over to Nottingham to help progress his football career. At 6ft 4 inches tall, he stands above most players and has the strength to out muscle even the most determined striker. Clough would like him, a no-nonsense centre back with key ratings (14) for Tackling, Determination and Work Rate. He will have to work on his pace for the top level and has poor natural fitness, but could have a long career ahead of him if he can work on those. Is also able to play left back .

Ken Dunne 1b - Kenny as he is known around the Nigel Doughty Academy is a quick talking, highly witty player who backs up everything he says. At just over 6ft, and the "just over" is important to Kenny, he lacks the true size of the modern keeper. Another who moved from Ireland once Forest started to take an interest lists Peter Shilton as his goalkeeping icon, as well, he was pretty good and "just over" 6ft himself. His position, handling and reflexes are already highly advanced for his age but lacks physical strength. He is best off used as a pure keeper and not a sweeper keeper at this point of his career. We have high hopes for Kenny for the future.

Andrew Nash 1c - "Nash the Smash" as he is known, really just for one reason. He can smash that ball into the back of the net with the best of them. The Welsh Wonder has absolutely no idea about positioning, but once he has the ball inside 25 yards, it will probably be heading towards the keeper. His composure, first touch and finishing are top draw but he lacks the skills to really help in all aspects of the game. Smash has the tools to be a top level player, but does he have the complete game to earn himself playing time?

Timothy Banda 1d - The Belgian born Zambian winger with a British passport is one of the hardest working players at the Academy. Determination (18), Teamwork (16) and Work rate (14) he is a player the rest of the team know they can rely on to put in a shift and some more for the team. The problem is Timothy has, as a new arrival to the Academy is his lack of English. If Timothy can grasp that he may have a future in the top 2 levels of English football. 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, GIB.Rocks said:

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Parabens meu amigo from Nottingham been promoted to premier league that the way too quickly to win the championship title

i wonder in next season they will be worst that derby or huddersfield town and been relegated way too quickly

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Forest Under 18 and Under 23 squads deliver on season aims to win Development Leagues

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1 hour ago, GIB.Rocks said:

 

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How did they won it if they are second in the table? (Have not played in England in while maybe missing something here...)

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2 hours ago, HugoLazgo12 said:

Parabens meu amigo from Nottingham been promoted to premier league that the way too quickly to win the championship title

i wonder in next season they will be worst that derby or huddersfield town and been relegated way too quickly

It was way too fast, was expecting a season or two in the Championship at least. Would have sent all the loan players back if I could which would have made it harder. Mayne thats for FM22.

There is no way I am taking that record away from Derby....

37 minutes ago, Muttley84 said:

How did they won it if they are second in the table? (Have not played in England in while maybe missing something here...)

There is a North & South group and top 4 play to crown the champion. 

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Season 2 - 2021/22 - Premier League

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As I tend to do youth only, this was a huge change for my usual off-season which are usually non-events. This may be the busiest and most transfers I have ever made in one go, let's hope they are good enough to survive this season. I have tried to keep the core group of players together and give some of them a shot this season, and looked for young players who can come in, hopefully keep us up and improve and maybe sell in a few seasons as the board wants us to do.

Pedro de la Vega comes in as the largest transfer fee for Brian Trent at £6,250,000. The Argentine winger can play on both wings or as a striker, but here it seems he will be a winger. His stats across the board are impressive and the scouting team are sure he will be an established Premier League player in a few years. We managed to get an £85,000,000 minimum release fee in his 5 year deal. He has a great first touch, two strong feet and will look to run past his man every time. He has no English skills so look for him to take some time to gel with the squad.

Fredrik André Bjørkan was transfer listed by Tottenham and for a reasonable £5,750,000 for a starting wing back it was a must do deal with a big need there. He has the potential to be a starter for the next few years as he will carry on improving. He has all the physical and mental tools to be a success and will be a threat down the left side of the field and we hope he can add some assists along with the defensive side of his role. A great signing which we are excited about. 

Our first signing which happened several months ago is probably the biggest one and the most exciting. Young Spanish attacking winger / striker Nico Serrano was allowed to leave Athletic Club for just £4,000,000, a £3,000,000 add on after 50 league goals. They did insist on a 50% profit clause which is the only downside, but he agreed to a £150,000,000 minimum release clause so that would still be large profit. His pace, first touch and finishing at only 18 are fantastic and will be a joy to watch at the City Ground. He may not feature heavily this season as he still needs to develop, but we expect him to be a regular in the next few years. 

By chance, we would be bringing in an Athletic Club team-mate for Serrano when Nico Williams, much to our surprise, was released. We jumped in immediately and offered a deal at £15,000 per week. We heard from our Spanish scout that Barcelona had been and offered him a contract so we had to offer an over the top salary package to make sure he ended up in Nottingham. £30,000 per week was offered and agreed, thankfully! Another exciting attacking winger with incredible technique and dribbling skills, we now maybe have too many great options and must play an attacking 4-4-2 or look to change formation. We are very excited about the Williams and Serrano show.

Returning from loan for Nottingham Forest's record signing from a few seasons ago is like getting a new signing. Joao Carvalho is another technically gifted player who hasn't really played since his £13,250,000 move from Benfica in 2018. With Brian Trent high on the player and joining several other highly technical players, it is hoped Joao can finally make his mark at the City Ground and start to repay that record transfer fee. 

Other signings including bringing two loan players from last years promotion back, full back  Joel Andersson  joins for a steal at £1,500,000 and could start. Michael Obafemi, who broke records last year gets another shot at it with Forest in the Premier League. His £17,500,000 price tag was too rich to pay for unproven at this level but he is excited to be back with the team and showing he can make it in the Premier League. 

Total spend was over £23,000,000 and many of the other players were brought in after glowing scouting recommendations, including two Birmingham players. Middlesbrough had a couple of players we were also interested in but they wanted too much money to risk for a 16 year old at this point in time. Outgoings was highlighted by Newcastle signing Dale Taylor, a promising young striker. He had fallen down the list with the signings and with the offer at £3,800,000 with add-ons, we decided to cash in whilst we could.  Several players who would only be squad players at best were moved on also to reduce the squad size.

 

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As the second transfer window closed, Nottingham Forest sold their starting goalkeeper and brought back in a well known face at the City Ground, former Academy player Karl Darlow from Newcastle. With £12,000,000 up front for Brice Samba and £3,000,000 over the next 20 appearances, Forest should reap some serious rewards from the keeper who has done well stepping up to the Premier League and for Congo. 

Darlow might be 4 years older but with 22 year old Samuel Petras in the squad and a potential future star in Ken Dunne 1b, Darlow adds security in a keeper who loves the club and has had several years experience in the top flight. If his appearances are kept under 50, most of the add on money may never happen. Worst case, Forest will net £8,100,000 with the best case coming in at £12,500,000 which would be a huge payday seems Samba only cost £1,900,000.

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Youth Intake #2 - 2021/22 Season

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Head of Youth Development Gary Brazil may not have the best stats, but he has been around the club a long time and is the heart and soul of what goes on there. With 4 or 5 players that look to have the potential to make it all the way, we should start to see the Nigel Doughty Academy churning out world leading players year after year moving forward. With the recent upgrades, the future is very bright for Nottingham Forest and it's Youth Academy players.

Regan Land 2a - Regan likes to play as a pressing forward and has the ability to play in the Premier League, but he really has to work hard on his finishing. He lacks the pace that the current Forest attackers have which may limit his opportunities in a few years. What he lacks for he makes up in with determination and bravery, but he needs to watch his aggressive streak.

Ryan Randall 2b - Nottingham born Randall is dubbed the "new Michael Owen" which is a high bar to aim at. He certainly matches his build at only 174 cm and 59kg which may see him spend more time at winger where his outright pace and dribbling ability will be hard for anyone to keep up with.. Has natural flair and technique more often seen by the Portuguese. He is an exciting prospect for the future. 

Jordan McGuigan 2c - A huge position of need as a left wing-back for Forest, the Northern Irish prospect could be one to watch out for in 2 or 3 seasons. He does lack pace but has a high work rate and is a team player who will do everything he can for the other players. Another highly determined player who can put in a tackle when needed and wont be often caught leaving his man open. We will find out if he can play at the top level.

James Begg 2d - Beggsy from Draperstown, Northern Ireland looks set to battle with last years keeper Ken Dunne 1b to be the keeper of the future. The next Miak Taylor as he is dubbed has all the physical attributes that you need from a keeper. The only thing that lets him down is his work-rate which may keep him from taking that #1 jersey one day, but he may just have enough natural talent to take him to the top without having to go flat out for it. 

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The scouts have been busy around the world looking for talent, especially as buying players to sell for a profit is a main aim for the club. When they found this guy, we had to make a move for the money they accepted! £1,000,000 up front in 2024 when he is 18 with a 30% sell on clause.

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Season 2 - 2021/22 Review - Back to the Top Flight

In a season tipped for the drop, Nottingham Forest were a promising young attacking team that were not scared to score and let them in the other end. Many tipped them to go back down but they never really looked in trouble of that and will not look forward to cementing themselves as a Premier League Team for many years to come. They were the 6th best team in scoring with 69 goals on the season, but they were 18th in goals allowed, the only two teams worse that that were relegated, Sheffield United and Norwich. 

Home form was good enough only for 13th with 10 wins, 1 draw and 8 losses with the away form being 7th, 6 wins, 4 draws and 9 defeats. This was only beaten by the top 6 teams this year and shows how important winning on the road is. It was a year to forget in the Cup competitions, crashing out in the 2nd Round of the Carabo Cup and 3rd Round of the FA Cup. 

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Michael Obafemi came back on loan for a second season and once again, lead all scorers with 17. Unfortunately, it would take a bid of over £30,000,000 to let Southampton release him which is too much right now for the fan favourite. Youth Academy player Alex Mighten has become a sensation for Forest and USA, so much so the pre-season tour next season will be America to jump on his success. He chipped in with 15 goals and 10 assists, this was the most by any player.

Nico Serrano has struggled so far to find any form with only 3 goals to his name. Fellow Spanish free agent signing Nico Williams has begun his Forest career much brighter with 9 goals, best for 3rd on the team. Academy player Brennan Johnson was playing for Lincoln City in League One last year but started 30 games this year and pleased fans with both his goals and assists. At only 20, he still can improve.

Scott McKenna and Joe Worrall were the main centre back pairing with 75 starts between them. Fredrik Bjorkan signed for £5,750,000 and played in all but one game, which he was suspended for. Another signing on the opposite side Joel Andersson was another key part of the defence and added 7 assists on the season.

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Edited by GIB.Rocks
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Nottingham Forest - Season 3 - Premier League 2022/23

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A core group of players remain in the squad for the second season in the Premier League. Only 6 of them, those with (Y) next to their name have come through the Youth Academy which is something we hope to improve on over the next few seasons. With a big windfall in the bank from staying in the Premier League and TV money, the bank balance is looking very healthy until they start work on the new stadium which is very much needed as there is a sell out every game. Marc Overmars starts his first full year as Director of Football with Gary Brazil a figurehead as Head of Youth Development. He looks to have brought some talented youngster's through in the last few seasons, long may that continue. Paul Trollope is in the last year of his contract as Assistant Manager and remains to be seen if he will be staying past this season.

A kay aim was to reduce last season's £10,000 plus wage bill for physios which has been done along with changing many of the scouts and coaches. We now have a dedicated Brazilian scout in Lica, and that is starting to pay off with some signings from Brazil with great potential ability. We also have a Portuguese scout to tap into that market and overall, have the strongest scouting squad we have had since Brian Trent started here.  

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"Good for nothing greedy B******s" - Pre Season Transfers 

There was at least another 10 transfers that were made and ready to get over the line, but greedy players and agents wanting £70,000 a week and millions in sign-on bonuses put an end to that. It was that bad, a keeper from Slovenia who was on less than £2,000 per week wanted a staggering £75,000 to play. He was swiftly removed from the board room at the City Ground and kicked to the kerb, so they say. As the big man wants players to be signed to sell for profit, the only way to do that is search the depths of South America for youngsters and hope they work out. We signed a couple with more on the way. It goes against my better judgments but UK young players are £20,000,000 before they have even kicked a ball!

Rakeem Harper comes with what looks a crazy potential add on, but let's be real, he will never play 20 games for England for West Brom to see that money! And if he got to 10, he would be sold on. A good signing to bolster the numbers in the midfield and can still improve, we hope. The signing most like the look of was Colin Dagba from PSG. Season long loan, no added fee's and a buy option of £10,500,000 if we like him at the end of the year. Is easily one of the better players at the club and we are excited about him. We snapped up another loan to try and take over from Michael Obafemi in Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah. He seems to be a similar player with pace, out of budget to buy but could be what we need whilst some of our players continue to improve ready for first team football. 

Going out we say goodbye with a heavy heart to Joe Lolley who has delighted fans with his performances for many years at the City Ground. In what looks like a money swap for Rakeem Harper with the deal, we wish him all the best. Tobias Figueiredo also left the club as we felt we had more options available and he would not get the playing time required this year. Newcastle found us asleep with Tobias Hewitt 2g and stole him from under our noses with just a £600,000 compensation deal. We will see if he ever develops into a world leader or now. Other deals were moving on players who would not be able to progress past out under 23's.

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