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StePratt

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About StePratt

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  1. Nottingham Forest - Season 5 2023/24 The aim of this save is a simple one. Return Nottingham Forest to the top of the European football pyramid. Transfers Last season we finished 6th and qualified for the Europa League. This gave us the belief we could do better and gave us access to a better calibre of player. We raided Champions, Manchester United to grab Brandon Williams and Ronaldo Vieira for a combined £25 million, Joe Willock joined on a free from Arsenal. We also signed two re-gens from Chelsea and Villareal, respectively. Tiago Silva, Joao Carvalho and Yuri Ribeiro the only notable outgoings, until January came around and we lost Joe Worral to Newcastle for £18 million and Alex Mighten joined Tottenham for £45 million. I wanted to keep Alex at the club, he'd done really well playing on the right wing. His departure left a sizeable hole in our starting xi. Jude Bellingham had moved to Leicester at the end of 2020/21 and was currently unhappy. He became my number one target, I even delayed the Mighten transfer so I could definitely get Jude over the line. £45 million isn't really in keeping with how I want to run this team, but we signed a world class player for a net transfer of £0. I was happy to proceed. Europe We were paired with Rapid Wein, Basel and Schalke. A solitary draw in Germany meant we progressed as group winners, meeting Champions League drop-outs Dynamo Kyiv in the next round. A 4-2 win at the City Ground secured our qualification. Portuguese giants, FC Porto, another Champions League drop out, were the next stop on our journey. Another solid home display led to a 4-2 aggregate win. Back to Germany this time, Hertha Berlin awaited. You guessed it, Champions League drop-outs. Defeat in the German capital meant we had an uphill battle to get through to the final. 3-0 back in Nottingham secured our place in the final, 4-2 on aggregate again. The final was to take place in Portugal's Jose Alvalade Seculo, home of Sporting CP. Our opponents would be Hoffenheim, who started in the Europa League.......... Now we are aiming for the Champions League to complete the save. Other Competitions We were battered in the semi final of the Carabao Cup by eventual winners Chelsea, don't even mention the FA Cup! We were fantastic in the league and maybe could have done better but for a few slip ups after resting players after European games. Onto next season, I want to win another trophy. A domestic one would be nice, but I'll certainly take another European one.
  2. Nottingham Forest - Season 4. At the start of this save the first aim was to make it to the Premier League. We achieved that in the first season, smashing the Championship without spending a penny. Two top half finishes followed with us relying on loans and freebies. Forest now had a sizeable transfer budget and boy did I utilise it. We spent around £90 million. It was an extravagance, a risk. Was it worth it? Initially, no. After 15 games we were floundering in the bottom half of the table. We seem to be chronically slow starters, dropping to 18th after 9 games. There were murmurs of me being replaced if we failed to get enough points in the next 5 games. A 5-2 win over Spurs, three 4-2 wins and a 2-1 defeat against Watford had us climbing up the table again. In January we splurged a further £60 million on Gravenbach and Arp, our squad looking strong, despite the sale of Kalaica to Hebei for £14.5 million (10x the fee we paid). We got as high as 5th. Nose-bleed territory. The lads panicked, we were dropping down the table. A slight tactical tweak and we headed into the final game of the season needing just a point against Everton to cement 6th place. Thiago Almada and Abdou Diallo had Everton in front after just 15 minutes. Wolves were 1 nil down against Man City. Hope. Sandro Ramirez is sent off in the 50th minute for Everton. Wolves have equalised through Raul Jimenez. The momentum was with Wolves. 20 minutes left. We're scratching our heads on the Forest bench. Alex Mighten gets the ball in the box, Alex Iwobi heads it into the wrong net. 1-2. Hope. 2-2. That man, Mighten, again. This time hammering it home from 18 yards. 2-2. Nearly. Word filters through that City have taken the lead at Molineux. Joy. Luis Otavio and Nottingham Forest born and bred captain, Joe Worral add injury time goals and we have completed an unlikely comeback win that didn't matter because of events in Wolverhampton. Otavio was incredible. Buendia again, perfect. We'll struggle to keep hold of these two. Carabao Cup Final. Anyone but City. We might have had a chance. There is always next year. Europe here we come!
  3. £9 million!! Absolute bargain. Hopefully he can lead our charge into Europe. We also signed Buendia for £34m.
  4. Season 3 - Nottingham Forest I only made three signings in the summer. Fransico Trincao, on loan from Barcelona, Emi Buendia, on loan from relegated Norwich and Gabriel Barbosa, on loan from Pep Guardiola's Manchester United (yes that did happen). The only outgoings were a few youth players who won't make the grade and have decent sell on fees if they do elsewhere. We also added a few to our Under 23 ranks to fill the numbers, Mark McGuiness the stand out on a free from Arsenal. The season started very poorly. Rumours of a consortium buying Forest swirled around the City Ground all Autumn and we didn't win a game until the 2nd of October. Takeover talk and bad form had me fearing the worst. The sack loomed. We managed to go on a bit of a run, big wins at Spurs, Fulham and Newcastle the catalyst for our revival. Less talk of relegation and sackings, more talk of top 10 finishes. As January approached our form was hit and miss, we'd win 2 or 3 then lose 1 or 2. We never got going. Had we have had a little more consistency in key matches we might have done even better than we eventually did. Only 2 defeats in the last 3 months really helped us on our way. Buendia and Barbosa topped our goal scorer and assist charts, Gabigol coming 2nd in the Golden Boot. We have made enquires to sign them permanently. Yes, a real transfer. Lewis Grabban is retiring at the end of the season and there are plenty of vultures circling some of our better performers. We might have to sell before we buy. More good news came in the way of a new stadium, hopefully we will have European football by then to celebrate a new beginning. Exciting times ahead. Some standout performances, but we definitely need to strengthen if we are to push on and get into Europe. As you can see we weren't far off the Europa places, our early season form leaving us with too much to do. Still only spent £1.4 million though in 3 seasons so can't complain really.
  5. I had him on my Blackburn save and he covers a lot of the stats I like in defenders, City won't renew his loan though. Arsenal won't renew Martinelli's loan either. I just did a save with Man United where they had a transfer ban until 2030, so spending no money isn't new!
  6. Nottingham Forest - season 2. Spent a miserly £1.4m in the summer, tried to keep wages low and outgoings high. We managed to raise around 25m in player sales. Finances certainly look a lot better now. We kept the principles the same. 442. Old skool. However, I realised Grabban wasn't going to cut it in the big league. I made Martinelli of Arsenal a priority. Loans are a great way of keeping player costs down while building a foundation around them. 23k a week for a top striker, absolute bargain. 31 Premier League appearances, 25 goals. Remarkable. Nuno da Costa made the step up too, notching 16 league goals. At the other end of the pitch we needed pace. In came another loan, this time in the shape of Tosin Adarabioyo. He formed a solid partnership with Joe Worral at the back. The small fee I did pay out went on Branimir Kalaica from Benfica. He was third choice at centre back. Tobias Figueiredo not really justifying his 30k a week wages. He'll be moved on in the summer. To keep us competitive next season we might need to improve our midfield options, Thiago Silva was a creative force again in the middle with Yates playing the "destroyer" role very well. It was out wide we could have been better, Lolley, Mighten and Carvalho all performed well, I want more though. Competition for places is key in this area. Anyway, enough waffle. How did we get on in our first season back in the Premier League? The FA Cup wasn't an aim this season, but I was bitterly disappointed to get knocked out in the semi finals by Blackburn of all teams (some may remember I had a decent amount of success with them earlier in the forum). I'm amazed we've done so well in the league. No European football.......Yet. That will come. The struggle will be competing with teams throwing hundreds of millions at one or two players. We're still shopping for bargains, that won't change.
  7. Nottingham Forest. A club that has always captured the imagination. Historically, one of the big boys. Not just in the UK, but across Europe. Back to back European Cups. Clough, Shilton, Francis, O'Neill, the names roll off the tongue, even now. 2019. Forest aren't that team any more. Relegation in 1999 from the top flight of English football was followed by another relegation in 2005 to England's third tier. They returned to the Championship in 2008, staying there. Middle of the road. Not really pushing up, not really being pulled down. Stagnating. A true, sleeping giant. Could another lad from "up North" revitalise the City Ground? Could I return Forest to where they once were? Who they once were? Walking in the door, the first thing you notice, money is tight. There are a few players on a substantial amount of money per week. Some needed, others not. However, I'm trying something new. Sell to buy. The club had already spent £5 million before I took over, they had recouped £12 million. I had around £3 million in the transfer budget, I felt we might need that for FFP. Looking through the squad the players who stood out were Grabban, Tiago Silva, Figueiredo, da Costa and Cash. Two strikers. Ok, let's party like it's 1979. 442, jumpers for goal posts, etc. How did we get on? Quite well. We didn't always have the ball, but when we did, we made it count. 27 goals for Grabban, fantastic return for the 32 year old. 17 assists for Tiago Silva, great for his first season in English football. 102 league goals scored, 62 at home. The good times had returned to the City Ground. Boro and Reading the only teams leaving with three points. Massive overhaul needed in the summer. Need to trim the squad first, I reckon by about 60%. Big summer. Can we get back to Europe's big table? That's the aim.
  8. I'm 5 years into a save and Hertha Berlin have amassed an incredible squad. Splashing the cash on some fantastic players. Does anyone have experience with them? Thinking of starting a save with them.
  9. To be honest I think I'm going to do a Hertha Berlin save next. On this one they have amassed a very good squad and Greenwood was on about joining them! See what the deal is. Can't wait to see what your next challenge is. United again or something new?
  10. Si señor. Mason Greenwood is my favourite player from this edition of FM. Absolute banger, like a prime R9. No one comes close. He got us out of so many draws this season, scoring crucial goals throughout the campaign. His most important one was in the 54th minute of the Champions League final. Yes, we were two nil up but PSG were pushing hard. The next goal was crucial, de Jong has the ball near the half way line on their right wing, looking to play it into Ousmane Dembele. Garner spots the danger and slams into de Jong, winning the ball he races away from Sergio Roberto and delivers a peach of a cross. There was only one player on the pitch you want a high pressure chance to fall to: Mason Greenwood. He pulls away from Laporte and powers a header past the hapless Donnarumma. Three - nil. Game over. Mason goes on to get a deserved hat-trick in the 88th minute. This season has been fantastic. The emergence of Konate in goal, Tuto and Horgan at centre back and the continual improvement of Whisker, really pushed us on from last season's Europa League victory. Finishing second in the league last season and a massive 13 points behind local rivals, Liverpool, this year felt as though we would again struggle to topple the fantastic team from Anfield. I knew they were beatable one on one, as a tested by our 5-0 aggregate double in the League (plus and EFL Cup final win and an FA Cup 5th Round win), but over the course of a 38 game season it would be difficult. However, it was they who struggled with shock defeats against the likes of West Brom, Bristol City, Southampton, Brighton and a few others. Allez allez! We won the lot. You put a trophy in front of this team and they win it. Brilliant for the lads who are at the club at the start, Barlow, Levitt, Bishop, Laird, Garner, Mejbri and Traore. Not sure if I will carry on. I might see what international jobs come up after the Euros.
  11. Oh yeah his stats aren't brilliant but any decent youth player isn't in the Under 18s anyway. Neil Ryan is my U23 manager. Working with youngsters is 20.
  12. I got one two star. The rest are awful. I'll have a look through them properly after the Under 18 match. Just appointed Ole as my under 18 manager too.
  13. Liverpool? Who are they? Bit of work to do in the Champions League though. Just had the worst youth intake of this save. Not one first team candidate.
  14. @Powello unlucky in the league. Liverpool are tough, just pulled 6 points clear.
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