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[FM 10.3] Nottingham Forest - Don't call it a comeback


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Alas I have retreated back to the great FM 10.3 version. One I enjoyed thoroughly in the day.

Here is my Nottingham Forest thread. Looking to try and get em back to the big time.

I played over 3500 hours of FM 13 but for the life of me cannot keep anything going on FM 14.

Something is missing in it for me ...not sure what ....but something ....played it since day 1 beta but... alas ..it is now un-installed.

Forward we go! (well backwards. Sort of. In a weird way)

I am using the Flexion Skin (anyone say .... SIDEBAR) and the Steel Logos and Panini Facepack.

I have already gotten through the pre-season and watched each match with an enormous smile on my face as the FM "feel" is back for me :)

Nostalgia anyone?


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Season 1 - 2009 - Pre-Season Roundup

A real good pre-season for Forest.

We played 6 matches only losing 1 of them to Brentford.

I had a pre-season training schedule of intense fitness with a touch of tactics and ball control in there.

Players all reacted well.

Going to be sticking to the basics. A nice 4-4-2 switching between attack/control/counter depending on opponent or game situation.

I am going to be playing a little bit of a different way though.

Moneyball. I had played this way prior and had tons of fun with it.

Its tough to stick with but in the end the bottom line and the challenge of trying to stay regimented is worth it. I will explain more as the season progresses.

Also any new signings and any youth players who want to crack the first team need to meet the following standards (I call them the Shankly-Twentyman rule from the book - Diary of a Liverpool scout)

Technique -need to handle the ball properly

Passing - you can't pass - you can't play

Pace - A must for a Twentyman signing

Determination - Willing to fight to the death

Attitude - No Volatile players here in the clubhouse

Only 3 new faces were brought in for the 2009 squad.

Left back Joe Martin from Blackpool for 1.5 million. He will be the only big purchase and he fits the moneyball mold of youth combined with exciting potential to make a ton of him in a few years. He will be thrown in as a rotational starter day 1 and I expect him to claim the full time starter role in the future.

2 Free signings:

LM - Laurentiu Rosu (at 32 does not "fit" the moneyball mold but I needed some experience on this squad and he is free and cheap and meets the scouting requirements and I need depth on the left side)

CM - Djaid Kasri 22 yrs old. I brought him in on trial for the pre-season and he performed in the DLP role real nice. I liked the way he played so I signed him to a cheap contract for depth.

He can't tackle worth a damn so I will use him in cup matches and matches where we may be heavy favorites but he meets the main standards to play for this team.

As I mentioned I will use a basic 4-4-2 using a strategy I feel fits the bill for the match.

We will use short passing and try to stay nice and tight for the most part with short passing.

Of course there will be times we need to go direct but for the most part we will stick with short and compact.

Preseason results :


Basic Tactic - nothing fancy


Season is underway .....

August see's us with 6 matches (4 home and 2 road -1 being a League cup match which I expect to win at home vs Carlisle)

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August -

2009 Official kick off saw us on the road at Reading.

This was not going to be an easy game. They are predicted to finish 5th and

according to my staff pre-match scouting they beat us in every department.

I entered the game on the counter - pass to space .. not a good decision haha.

We couldn't muster anything in the first half and hit the break down 0-1 and the players

ratings sat at a paltry 6.22 average!

Second half we came out standard short passing and started to create a couple chances but

got hit for goal # 2 at the 57th minute. Reading them sat back and defended for the remainder.

We played some decent football and ended up with a 6.55 rating.

We lost 0-2 to open the season on the road. Just outclassed by a better team.

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League Cup 1st round

Next up Carlisle came to the City Grounds for the League Cup.

I played mostly with reserves and a youth in 18 yr old keeper Karl Darlow.

We were heavy favorites and attacked from kick-off. We played a great match and secured a nice

3-0 win.

Second choice striker Joe Garner bagged 2 goals while our box to box mid nailed the 3rd.

Through to the 2nd round!

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On Saturday we welcomed West Brom to the City Ground.

They are predicted to finish 4th but we are 6-4 favorites. Real uneasy heading into this game.

Two things defined this game ... our **** poor finishing and an AMAZING peformance by our keeper Lee Camp.

He got us this point on his own in this 0-0 draw.

Hard fought draw. I'll take it.

The League Cup 2nd round draw occured....and UGH....Bolton from the Premiership coming to

visit us at the end of August to add a 7th match of the month. Not a good draw for us.

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Matchday 3

Tuesday evening Watford came into the City ground and are predicted for a 13th place finish. Time to try and make our mark.

We did. We nailed down a nice 1-0 win dominating in many aspects of the match.

The team played well together and looked good on the pitch.

Matchday 4

On Saturday saw Forest travel to Loftus Road to face QPR.

They are predicted to place 10th but are sitting at the top undefeated at 3-0 and we are the underdogs.

Pre-match scouting tells me their defense could be susceptible to pace....let's see what we can do about that.

Well...it worked...sort of ..everything but the scoreline ...we lost 0-1.

However we broke through several times and had some nice chances. A positive loss.

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Round 2 of the League Cup

We welcomed the Wanderers to the City Grounds on a windy Wednesday evening.

I decided to move to a 4-2-3-1 with a CM pairing of a CM (D) and a DLP (D) and played counter with all defaults.

They came in with a 4-4-2 and had 1 holder while throwing 5 players at us at all times.

Added shouts of play wider, expoit the middle, pass to space. Worked like a charm.

We hit them on the break twice for a 2-0 win and dragged out the rest of the game. Solid win.

Garners second start up front and he was all over the place causing problems for Bolton. Looks like I may have a real gem here.


League Cup 3rd round draw ..another tough one .... Chelsea will be coming to the

City Ground in September.

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Matchday 5

We welcome in Derby on a rain early Saturday evening game.

Our fierce rivals are lying in the 4th spot but have some key injuries.

The match is expected to be a sellout and will be televised.

I hope to give the fans a great Nottingham experience.

We will enter this one in the same 4-2-3-1 which helped our play quite a bit in the league cup game.

Our treq, Majewski, who is in on loan, is injured for today (and 3 weeks) so I am going to try out new signing Kasri in the role.

The other change will be putting Earnshaw back up front as Garner is still tired from the league cup match Wednesday.

We are weary but ready for the fight.

Derby lined up in a 4-1-4-1 which from my pre-match scouts I had a feeling they would do on the road. They may try to tighten up.

Decided to start in a Control - with possesion type shouts.

At the 14th minute Nicky Hunt hacked down Earnshaw in the box for a penalty and a yellow!

Earnshaw steps up in front of the sellout crowd .....drives it home...1-0 Forest and thats how it stayed hitting the break.

Derby came out in their 4-4-2 for the 2nd and I immediately went to counter knowing they were going to try and bag a quick goal.

We broke through again in the 75th minute with my wingback Cohen driving it home for a 2-0 lead.

Derby immediately went 4-2-4 and I dropped my Treq for an extra CB and went contain from 80th min on.

Nicky Hunt got sent off in the 83rd for his 2nd yellow only to help our cause.

We dominated possesion and dragged out the game for a solid 2-0 win over our rivals.

Kasri played well in the treq role completing 40-52 passes with 2 key and an assist.

Looks like I have proper cover till our loanee comes back.


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September -

We hit the tranfer deadline and with no funds (honestly - 0) available so we did nothing at this stage of the season.

As of now I feel the squad is good until the winter break. No offers came in for any of our players.

Rumours swirled that Peterborough were going to bid for my left wingback Cohen but no official bid was made.

We finish August sitting at 14th in the table. The board expects a mid-table finish so we are ok with them.

Besides, the way I am managing (Moneyball) it will take a couple of years to see some true progress I believe. Patience is key.

This month see's us with 6 matches on tap (3 home, 3 road) including the League Cup clash with Chelsea (misery).


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Matchday 6

Heading to Hillsborough to face off against Sheffield Wednesday. They were predicted for a 12th place finish and are currently

sitting in the 7th spot. They play a 4-4-2 and the pitch is set up narrow and its supposed to be downpouring rain.

I will play my 4-2-3-1 and come out on the counter to see how they play.

Garner will be back up front with Kasri playing behind him as the treq. We hit the half at 0-0. Both sides had a couple of decent

chances but nothing else. Kasri picked up a knock and had to be replaced. 18 year old Max Wright goes in as an AM (S) but he

really is not that good. He is there because I have some depth injuries. Game ends in a 0-0 draw. We will take the road point.

Matchday 7

Heading to Portman Road to line up against Ipswich on a Tuesday night. In our last 7 matches we have only conceeded a single goal

(to QPR) and are playing nice and tight like I had hoped. Ipswich were predicted to finish 8th but are sitting in the relegation

zone winless through their first six matches. I may try to come out and control this game to start seeing as they have been

beaten down although this could be a trap game.

We came out looking to control and keep possesion. In the first 8 minutes our great youngster Garner created a couple of

wonderful chances but we came up short. Finally in the 23rd minute Ipswich hit us on the break to make it 0-1 and thats how it

stayed until the half. We are unfortunate to be behind. In the 66th minute still down we ratcheted up the heat to attack and

equalized in the 77th minute thanks to a header from my winger Garath McCleary and thats how it stayed 1-1. Took another point

on the road although I felt we should have staked all 3 points.


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I enjoy watching this match engine. The variety of play, players reacting to your tactical instructions, its not as "nice looking" as the newest version and misses some bells and whistles, but FM 10.3 plays an incredible simulation.

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Matchday 8

Blackpool comes into the City Ground on a dry Sunday afternoon lying 10th in the table with a media prediction of 20th.

They have not dropped a point in six straight matches.

Blackpool are expected to play a 4-1-4-1 and drag the match out. I will come in and try to control the match.

I do not want to attack straight off since they are in decent form.

They ended up coming out in a 4-3(DM)-3 but I still stuck to my own game plan.

Our winger Paul Anderson struck first in the 10th minute. However then their wingers started giving us some problems constanty breaking through so we dropped back to the counter.

This worked wonders and snuffed out the attack as their wingers started having issues getting behind us now.

In the 85th minute we brought on some fresh legs and went to contain and possesion to close out the 1-0 home win.



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League Cup 3rd Round

We welcome Premier League giants Chelsea to the City Ground on Wednesday night.

Media claims we are incredibly large underdogs here as the Blues are 1-2 favorites(YIKES).

My staff does tell me that Chelsea has had a tough time breaking down teams who park the bus and play narrow so it is something

for me to think about heading in as a match plan.

We went defensive/narrow and Chelsea scored 1:36 in haha. Then Lampard drilled home a penalty right before

the half for a 2-0 lead. We came out on the counter/narrow/expolit flanks for the 2nd half. We played better but the scoreline remained the same and Forest are eliminated from the League Cup.


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Matchday 9

Back on the road to Home Park to clash with low table Plymouth. Forest are 6-4 favorites going in to this match.

So far we are 0-2-2 on the road this season (3-1-0 at Home) so let's see if we can finally snatch a road win this time around.

I am told they line up in a defensive 4-4-2 and the pitch is on the short side. Looks like we are in for a grind.

Going to head into this with counter and short passing. I was to probe and pull them up to me a bit it I know they are going to sit.

I am also going to give the start up front to my big man Dele Adebola.

He is tall and strong and should help my other front players in the tight spots.

At the 1:00 mark the big man struck the woodwork ...things are looking good. He did not miss at the 22 minute mark banging home a

sweet pass from my new gem Kasri for the 1-0 lead. Kasri then played a brilliant through ball to my Left Inside forward David McGoldrick

for an easy finish and we are up 2-0 for the break. Plymouth turned up the heat around the 50 min mark and started piling on the pressure.

We dropped to defensive to withstand the onslaught and it worked until they struck at the 80th minute to make it 2-1. We then brought on

a DM in place of our treq to try and close out our first road win of the season and in the 87 minute McGoldrick struck again cutting inside

for a brilliant goal to seal a 3-1 win.


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Matchday 10

We host 21st placed Scunthorpe to close out a nice September on a rainy Wednesday evening. 21 year old Gary Hooper is labeled as their

dangerman and boy can he finish.

In his first 9 league appearances this season he has bagged 6 goals already.

I will need to keep an eye on him for sure.

We need to rotate the squad a bit as some fatigue has set in due to the amount of games this month so the time to do it is now

at home as favorites.

Scunthorpe come out in a 4-1-4-1 but their 2 wide men really push forward and pressure my back line.

I go to counter quickly knowing they could strike early if I do not.

At the 11:00 mark Hooper shows why he is so dangerous dancing around my CB and slamming home goal number 7 for himself for a 1-0 lead. I change up to control to push back and show we are not pushovers and sure enough my Left Inside Foward

Rosu does not let me down and slices in to tie the match and it stayed that way until the half.

Something was not right between Kasri (AMC) and my striker Garner as their play was awful.

At the 83rd minute I moved off both bringing on Earnshaw and Majewski changing to poacher / AM (S) roles.

Nothing changed though and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

F*ng Hooper!


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OCTOBER - (10th spot - 4W-4D-2L 16pts)

This month see's Forest play only 4 matches. A nice break from the chaotic first 2 months of the season.

First up is a Saturday afternoon clash at London road versus Peterborough. They sit 5th with 18 points from 10 matches.

Matchday 11 at Peterborough

We put the big man Adebola back up front since he played so well his last time out.

0-0 into halftime as not much going on in this game. Peterborough have barely sniffed our net and we have

had a couple of decent chances so far. An AWFUL mistake by their GK Joe Lewis gave our big man an empty net shot

and he did not miss to make it 1-0 at 58 min. As is par for the course we dropped our Treq for an Anchor and went

contain to close it out and secure the 1-0 road win. Not pretty but its 3 points on the road.

Lewis - "Goat of the match"


Matchday 12 home vs Newcastle

The Magpies visit us Saturday evening sitting 13th and come in off a strong 3-0 win vs Bristol City.

The media had pegged Newcastle as the top team for promotion so this will not be an easy game for Forest even

though they have underpeformed to this point. Nothing great happened until the 36th minute when Newcastles CM

Alan Smith got sent off with a red card. We went to attack and exploit the middle. We created several wonderful

chances but only scored on a penalty awarded from Paul McKenna. We closed up shop and won once again 1-0 and

immediately after Newcastles manager got the sack.

Our CB Man of the Match (7 tackles, 12 int) -


Matchday 13 home vs Barnsley

Barnsley come to town on a 4 match winless streak and are sitting in the relegation zone. Hopefully a chance for our

offense to take shape here and bag some goals. (Not that I am complaining, my goal was tight compact football and we

have been achieving that). They like to play a 4-4-2 and tend to look to counter. I will be wary and take a control

approach to the game instead of all out attack I believe. I will give a couple bench players some game time here

to get them some action and put the big man Adebola back up front. Disaster struck at the 26th min. Barnsleys Left Winger

blasted down the left side and drilled one into the box for an easy slot home for their striker for a 1-0 lead.

At this point I decided to strech the pitch wide and see if I can get my WB involved to get some space.

Worked GREAT as Cohen blasted down the left side and crossed into the box and

in the 32nd minute my new favorite player, the big man, broke through and put home the tying goal! 1-1 into the half.

Thats how it stayed and we ended in a 1-1 draw. Dissapointed here to say the least.

Matchday 14 at Crystal Palace

To close out October Forest travels to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace. It is supposed to be cold and pouring

rain. Not a fun travel game. This is our second match in a row where we face a team in the relegation zone.

I am looking to go to Selhurst, clamp down, and stake all 3 points. We went in counter with defaults as the pitch was

absolutely bogged down. The ball was hardly moving at all. I switched Majewski from a treq to an IF (A) and whammo

he nailed one home to make it 1-0 before the half. However this would not hold as for the first time this season this late

in the match we got hit over the top for a clean break on goal in the 78th min to make it 1-1 and thats how it stayed.

Another 1-1 draw!!

October notes -

-We lost our young treq Kasri to a groin injury unfortunately for 5-6 weeks.

Hopefully our loanee Majewski can step up his game now that he returned from his own injury and has been awaiting a chance.

-Forest are now on an 8 game unbeaten run and sit 4th only 3 points off leaders West Brom.

-Forest have only conceeded 6 goals in the 12 league games to this point.

-Reading sack Brian McDermott after hitting 16th in the table and rumour has it they are pegging me for the role.

I tell the media I am not interested. I have a long term goal in mind here for Forest.

That brings October 2009 to a close. 2 Wins, 2 Draws, all games we scored a single goal.

We need to step up the offense here.

I am going to my office to mull this over with my assistants.....any advice? I am going to talk to myself ...errr...my assisants

and maybe go to a nice assymetric formation which I have always been a fan of ...we shall see what I have to say to myself

on my recommendations. :)

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NOVEMBER - 8th spot (+2) - 6W-6D-2L 24pts

This month see's Forest play only 4 matches again.

We gained 2 spots in the table last month (hence the +2 above) but are now 6pts off the top.

Matchday 15 at Cardiff City

It's supposed to be a nice Sunday evening as we head into Cardiff.

We are going to play a bit of an awkward formation and see if I can shake it up a bit to get some breathing room in these games.

Through the first 15 minutes we dominated creating chances that I have yet to really see this season.

The new formation really opened some space.

Naturally right after I write this for the next 30 minutes we got pinned back and were attacked relentlessly but we held strong.

My Left IF McGoldrick came through in the new space I created for him with a goal to make it 1-0 at the 44th minute and thats how we hit the half.

Cardiff equalized at the 50 min mark however and back to 1-1 where I am familiar this season..

THEN (insert dramatic pause here) we allowed goal # 2 at the 60th minute on a nice shot from outside the box from Jay Bothroyd.

What to do? We have not allowed 2 goals in quite some time! Time to gather our senses and get this right.

Yeah that didnt work. We got hit for goal 3 at minute 69. Very annoyed right now.

I lambasted the team at the end of the match.

Although in reality it was my tactical change that caused the leak.

But I am the manager of this virtual world and they will get my wrath non the less. We lose 3-1.

My virtual fury which had McKenna shaking in his boots:


Matchday 16 home vs Bristol City

Still foaming from the mouth after that loss I am now going to go to a 4-4-2.

I really need to get this team to start scoring some

goals if we want to push to the top. I mean, yes, its great we have only allowed 11 which is tied for the league lead but c'mon, only scoring 14 in 15 matches is not going to cut it.

Am I having a managerial personality crisis? Maybe.

So as I mutter to myself and have my assistant do the team talk before the Bristol match so I don't say anything stupid I gear up youngster Joe Garner and tell him he is to be the man of the moment here.

(I dont really believe he will but he doesnt know that yet)

I find out Bristol plays some form of a screwed up 5-1-2-2. This should be interesting.

As I am about to play I have a moment ...I breathe....and go back to what my team knows so far ...

the 4-2-3-1 ... It's not scoring, but not conceeding either.

I am definitely having a virtual personality crisis here. So I kick something to make me feel better.

Apparently kicking things does not help as City break through and take the lead in the 14th minute.

I can feel my hair turning gray from seething anger. I now decide I despise David Clarkson for

scoring against us as I was feeling better earlier. He is now a wanted man on my list.

(I dont really have a list but if I did, 2009 David Clarkson would be on it for sure)

We go into the half down 0-1 and I UNLOAD on this pathetic team. Am I over-reacting? Maybe.

But why not. I am their virtual ruler.

Thankfully for the sake of my PC players and sanity McGugan scores on a nice header to tie the match at the 64th min.

He saved their hides from me in the locker room as it ended in a 1-1 draw .....again..........

Matchday 17 away Middlesbrough

SEVEN. That is the number of games in a row Forest have scored exactly 1 goal. FOUR.

That is the number of games since a Forest win.

Now we have this miserable game on the road at Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough are 4th in the table and tops in the league with goals scored. Tough match ahead for us.

It is now post match and I am shaking my head. Somehow we pulled off a 3-2 win.

I used my normal 4-2-3-1. I changed to defensive and somehow I ended up with 3 clear cut chances and 2 goals from my winger Paul Anderson. (the 3rd was from the ever present McGoldrick). The play between my treq and my striker was the main difference.

They generated 6 key passes and 3 assists between them and had excellent ratings.

This is something for me to ponder in my virtual managers office as I enjoy this victory telling the boys how proud I am of them.

My Right Winger who decided to show up today:


Matchday 18 home vs Doncaster

We welcome the LAST place Rovers to the City Ground on Saturday afternoon to close out the month.

I honestly am not sure what to expect from this Forest team heading into the match.

If I were placing a bet I would bet on 1 goal for us 0 for them however with the last match

I am hopeful things are clicking up front now....I am going to use the same lineup as the previous match and see where this takes us ....

Well, lemme tell ya, where this took us was to pressuring the heck out of Doncaster for the first 15 min before Joe Garner struck gold from a well placed shot to give us a 1-0 lead at 19m.

However at the 30th minute our wonderful creator, Kasri, went down with an injury and had to come out.

In goes loanee Majewski.

Garner struck again at 40min mark on a throughball from Majewski and we are up 2-0 at the half.

(there goes my bet)

2-0 is how it stayed as we dropped into contain at 80m moving an anchor in place of the treq and closed it out.

Solid home win to finish the month strong.

November notes

- We lose our treq, Kasri, for 5-6 weeks again thanks to a twisted ankle suffered in the Doncaster match.

- Brought in central midfield cover on loan before the loan deadline

- Nemanja Matic - I think he will definitely add a spark to this team and maybe even claim a starting role.


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DECEMBER - 4th spot (+4) - 8W-7D-3L 31pts

A decent November saw Forest move up 4 spots to 4th in the table and closing the point gap to the top by only 4

points. Things are looking up heading into this month. Reflecting on this past virtual month I defintely had a

managerial personality crisis that many of us suffer in playing FM (no matter what version).

Here is my FM life lesson - don't change sh*t because you get annoyed at your computer animated players haha.

I was getting decent results but I was still not thoroughly happy so I tried changing sh*t and got beat down.

Luckily I have righted the ship with things back to normal. I will take 1-0 wins... I promise Forest fake virtual

fans... I promise.

On a side note the FA Cup 3rd round draw was last night (well in reality 2 min ago but in my fun world last night)

and Forest are drawn against fellow Championship side Preston.

Forest is also set to play 5 league matches this month. Busy month for sure. Lets see if I can

keep my personality in check.

Matchday 19 home vs Leicester

Our Rivals are coming to town on Saturday and City Ground is expecting a sellout. Why am I sweating? They are

a mid-table lingering team. We are full of hope and promise. Whats the noise? Mom? Is that you? <Cough>

We are going to go with the usual lineup to hopefully please the crowd. Some of my players are grumbling due to

lack of playing time most notably Dexter <I can't hit the side of a barn> Blackstock. So I transfer listed him.

Rash? Perhaps. But I have my big man and my youngster so maybe I can cash in on some sucker looking for a

striker with a good name. Anyways, onto the clash.

The Foxes manager, Nigel Pearson, is boasting to the media how they are going to go "all out" to win. HA.

I laugh at your mid-tableness. (if thats a word).

Ok. Now I am p*ssed. The Foxes score at the 2 min mark off a corner. I ran over to Nigel Pearson to punch him but

realized he is fake and no one was there so I cracked my knuckles on the door in error. Felt good none the less.

We enter halftime down 0-1. Instead of unleashing on the boys I should gently encourage them. BAH. Who am I

kidding. I have fire coming out of my breath and I kick a player just to show how mad I am.

I bring on the big man upfront, bring on my new loanee into a DLP role, and go to attack.

Forest will go down swinging if we have too!!

We get back the goal in the 71st min on a corner headed in by our CB to tie the match. I am now a raving lunatic

along with the 29000 fans. (well as much as a raving lunatic I can be sitting at my kitchen table pretending to

hear the screams of 29000 people while I blow rasberry noises at Nigel Pearson across the room).

At the 93rd minute ....last play of the game....Majewski lofts in the corner kick....Wilson runs in...


Forst WIN 2-1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I run around the house like a mad man looking for Pearson to chant in his face ...but...all I see are my birds in

their cage ...they will do ... today my parakeet is Nigel Pearson ... why does this actually feel normal.

Proof that my fiery halftime talk turned my team around: (or it could be the player I kicked ..not sure)


Matchday 20 road at Sheffield United

No rest for the weary. Forest are back at it on Tuesday night visiting Bramall Lane with the Blades run by

50 yr old Kevin Blackwell. Lets hope I dont need to assault him mid-match.

The Blades are slight favorites so it should be a good game.

I will need to rotate a couple of players and with my left back Joe Martin out with a knock from

the Leicester clash, it will be up to Cohen to fill in my attacking WB role.

The Blades are 7th and if they win (which they won't because my players are now aware of my penchance

for violent outbursts) they will surpass Forest in the table. I expect a grind here.

I am going to play to my target man this match I believe. Hit some early crosses and get the ball to him as

much as possible. Let's see how this works.

2 min into the match and it works. I change my Left IF to a Winger support bringing on new signing Rosu

and he finds my TM Adebola in the box for an easy finish. 1-0. United struck back to equalize but I was not to

upset. I knew this was going to be a tough match. However my winger Anderson saves the day with a wonderful shot

and we go into the break up 2-1 and the boys looks relieved. No kicking from the boss today.

The 2nd half is a grinding fight. We keep it tight and lock down and as I watch the seconds tick away I realize

I am proud of my virtual boys. We go on the road and fight out a 2-1 win. Man hugs all around tonight. Maybe

I even shed a tear of joy for the boys. Nice win.

After the match Watford sacked Malky Mackay. The media again tagged me as his replacement. I vehemently deny

any allegations of interest as I am dedicated to Forest.

On side note my new loanee Nemanja Matic is grumbling about not being able to settle into the area. Hmmm.

What to do what to do. I'll kick him and tell him to toughen up the pansy.

Matchday 21 road at Swansea

Right back to the action on Saturday visiting Liberty Stadium. The Swans are tied in the 4th spot with us so

yet another grind is in play here. I am actually wearing down from the match pressure. I need a vacation.

This is a tough month. Plus I still have Christmas shopping to do....wait... I am a FM boss. I have assistants.

I shall send the minions shopping this virtual month for me. That feels better already. Oh. Swansea. Right.

Some rotation will be in play again for Forest. Maybe I will throw loanee Matic into the fire to see if he shuts

up. Apparently kicking him has quieted him a couple days but who knows how long till he whines again. Yes. He will

get a start here.

A rather dull first half closes 0-0. Each time with 1 solid chance each. McGoldrick cut in and hit the outside of

the net while the Swans broke in and my keeper Lee Camp made a save that would make Lev Yashin proud. Supposedly

myth has it that Lev Yashin had 8 arms and was some sort of spider between the sticks. Things you find on google.

Such fun. Onto the second half.

I am going to drop my striker deep and have my treq turn into an IF (this versions

shadow striker) Lets see if I can mess with the Swans Defensive midfielders head and trick him.

In the 63rd minute Lee Camp does his best Lev Yashin impression again saving the game. What a performance from

him today. Wow. Our best chance of the 2nd half comes from a free kick just outside the box to the keepers left

in the 88th minute but Majewski soars it over the bar and the games end 0-0. We will take the road point against

a tough team. Well done Lee Camp. Well done.

Lee "The Spider" Camp


Just in supposedly there are rumours Forest is interested in Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Who is talking to the press?

You? WAS it you? Me? Did I? Wait ....the birds....it had to be the birds...they must have been angry with me

having them role play as Nigel Pearson.... flipping birds can't be trusted.

Matchday 22- Home vs Preston

I gotta be honest. Not feeling it here. Preston are in first place and are a tough oppenent. We have had some

grinding matches and I think we may be a little weary for this matchup. Time to buck up I guess. So I kick the

chair and tell the players this is the top team!! (oops...I may have broken my chair ...the wife will not be happy with this)

The advanced scout tells me Preston play a 4-4-2 counter attack. Won't they be suprised when they come into the City Ground to see Forest play a nice tight defensive system. HA! Advantage - Forest.

Through the first 10 min not much was happening. Then in the 11th minute my IF McGoldrick cut in and banged the woodwork. Feeling good here...feeling good. Preston start to rachet up the heat around the 16th minute mark so I decide to go on the counter. Let's see if I can catch them on the break..and it tooks until the 35th minute but it worked. Long pass over the top to youngster Garner and he slots it home. 1-0 to the good guys.

(Yes. If you asked...we are the good guys here). Lee "The Spider" Camp keeps the lead for us with 2 outstanding stops as we head into the half. Do I drop the treq for the Anchor yet? Is it too early? These are questions we are faced with as FM Managers. Preston is definitely pressing forward. Sure. Lets do it.

ARGHGGHGHGHGGHGG DIDN'T WORK. DID NOT WORK. NOPE. Preston goal on a through ball in the 49th minute to tie.

ARGHGHGHGH. Back to 4-2-3-1. ARGHGHGHGHG. Wait. Offside. HE WAS OFFSIDE! HAHAHAHAHAA!!! WE hold the lead still.

Phew. False alarm people. False alarm.

THEN WHAMMO 55th minute my pacey winger Anderson strikes the cross and the ever present McGoldrick is there

to meet it and make it 2-0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then while in contain trying to drag out the match, my striker

BLASTS one from outside the box and it rams home ...3-0... WOO HOOO.

On a dire note - in the last minute my starting right winger, Paul Anderson, suffered a

torn calf muscle ... he is expected to be out 4-5 months. This is not good news. I tried convicing him to rub some dirt and spit on it and drink a beer but apparently that is not good for a muscle tear. Dang.

In more team news Rob "I suq even more than Blackstock" Earnshaw is grumbling to the media and team about not

playing. Here we are fighting for top spot mid-season and this b*tch is grumbling? Transfer list. Yup.

No need for unhappy players here. Let's make some money of this guy.

Matchday 23 road at Watford

We travel to Vicarage road hoping to lay a beating down on Watford only because we know they are the team Miles from SI supports.

No, I do not stalk Miles, but he uses Watford in all his new release screen shots and blathers

on about their matches on Twitter (fun poke there). So anyways...Forest with their heads held high stomp into Watford ready to lay the smackdown. Watford play a 4-4-2 and their dangerman is John Eustace. Supposedly Eustace likes to pull the strings. Yeah .. well pull this string Eustace ...this is FOREST! (there goes my odd virtual personality disorder again ..so full of passion for this game)... I gotta admit.

I am kinda bummed about not having Paul Anderson for selection. He is full of pace and puts in a decent cross. I think we will suffer a bit without him. I am going to play Rosu over there and make him an IF support. Let's see how this goes.

I will give Matic the start again in the DLP role to test him. I want to see if he is a player or not. I am still

up in the air about him. Especially since he whined the little b*tch. Just before kick-off ... I am going to elbow him in the back just to see what happens. Seemed to wake him up a bit, as 10 minutes into the game he played a beautiful ball to Garner who missed a complete sitter. Look out Garner .. I am coming for you at halftime...

At the 31 min mark a brilliant strike from our CB Wilson from well outside the box hits home past a futile attempt from Watford keeper Scott "Can't save a shot from a CB" Loach. What a pathetic display of GK from Watford. HA.

We get to the half up 1-0 over pathetic Watford. My anger at Garner is gone since we have the lead. He is safe for now. Majewski however is playing like crap in the treq role tonight. Might be due to the other IF I now have so I ask him to play an AM (S) to see if it helps. Watford get luck in the 79th bagging the tying goal. Stupid Watford. I feel the rage. It is pointed at Garner again. Had he hit the sitter we would not be leaving this stupid stadium with a 1-1 draw. For the record ... Loach still suc*s.



On the plus side of that stupid Watford match (which it will forever now be known as) Matic did real well in the

DLP role finishing with a nice 7.9 rating completing 40-50 passes with 3 of them being key and the assist. He won

4 tackles and 4 headers and made 6 interceptions. I may have a player here in my whining bit*h loanee. I just need

to be sure to elbow him before each match I guess. :)

Matchday 24 home vs Coventry

We close out this long month welcoming 16th place Coventry to the City Ground. I don't harbor any bad feelings toward Coventry, in fact, I managed them in FM12? and enjoyed the save. So as a former virtual manager of theirs I welcome them with open arms. Only to hope to crush them into the ground with victory. But none the less....not with any real disdain. We have only had 2 days off as its Monday in this world and we played stupid Watford just on Saturday so there has to be some rotation. Will probably rotate my right back , my left IF , and give Garner a break making sure to tell him he is being punished for the stupid Watford match. Also Matic needs a rest as apparently he is to weak to handle games so close. Great. So not only is he a bit*h but now a p*ssy too. GO AHEAD Matic get your rest. I am still elbowing you on the bench though. So on to this match.

Lewis McGugan. Remember the name. My 3rd choice AMC bags us the lead 20 minutes into the match. I am very happy for him. Especially as his personality pages says he is "optimistic about his future at the club". Thats what I like to hear. Now back to work Lewis.

We hit the half with our standard issue 1-0 lead (always seems to be this way). I leave things alone. The boys are playing well. Then my 2nd choice RW McCleary crosses and guess who?

McGoldrick is cutting in and WHAMMO heads home for the 2-0 lead. Cruising to victory here. I close up shop about 10 min earlier than I like to but I have some dog tired players out here and my bench is no better (refer to the Matic statement earlier). However it does the trick and we finish up 2-0 winners. Good good game.

Lewis mid action strike :


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JANUARY - 1st spot (+4) - 12W-9D-3L 45pts

To quote the famous FLAVA-FLAV - "YEAHHHH BOYYYYYY" - Forest are in first.

Take that, you stupid Watford match.

The tranfer window is now open and I will be looking to move the 2 whining strikers and maybe add some depth.

I have ZERO dollars to spend but hopefully if I can sell these 2 early enough I can use some of the money

to add on. Sounds good in theory at least. We welcome back Kasri from injury as well. It will be good to have him back. We are still missing winger Paul Anderson though. I think I have a man crush on him or something. I don't recall missing a virtual fake player this much before.

I finished 2nd in manager of the month voting to Gordon Strachan of Middlesbrough. Better sleep with one eye open Gordie ole' pal. That award should have been mine.

This month see's Forest with 5 matches including the FA Cup match.

FA CUP - 3rd Round- Preston

Adebola opens the scoring for Forest at 7 minutes. We cannot be stopped.

We are a train rolling down the tracks full speed. Well that is until Preston equalized at the 26th minute. But a minor bump. Nothing but a minor bump.

I am not going to get worked up over that goal. Nope. Ain't gonna happen. Until...the 83rd minute when Preston took a 2-1 lead.....anger. Pure anger at my virtual players. We lose in the 3rd round to a Preston team we just smashed last month. I am blaming Watford. Stupid Watford.

Has nothing to do with my management skills.

GRRRR. Could be worse though. I mean, after all, we are in first place.

But I walk up to the Preston manager Darren Ferguson and as I am about to shake hands I decide to

kick him in the shin and I run.

Matchday 25 away at West Brom

Again, another team I don't mind. I like West Brom. I like their bird logo too. They have not done me wrong in the past and we drew 0-0 with them already so I am looking forward to this now that the FA Cup is behind us (although the pending assault lawsuit with Ferguson over the small shin kicking still remains).

Onto the match we go. Its a clear chilly Saturday afternoon and we stroll into The Hawthorns like rock stars.

First place we are. First place we are. Supposedly the birds are going to try some form of a futile 4-4-2 vs

us but we are not worried. Nope. We are well rested and ready for the fight.

It's 12 minutes in and West Brom have already breached our lines twice only to miss the net. Something needs to be done here. We can't last like this. I go to counter to see if I can hit them on the break since they are obviously on the attack. OH BOY does it work ... they were up high and we intercepted and broke the flank and my wonderful big man slotted him the goal for a 1-0 lead into half-time. Somewhere early in the 2nd half West Brom caught onto this and started a couple of their own breaks by suqing my players onto them and trying to go over us but alas we have Lee "The Spider" Camp who helped save the day so I switch back to defensive.

This helped keep them at bay and we cruised along.

At the 71 mark my DLP scored on a well placed shot to give Forest a 2-0 lead which it SHOULD HAVE STAYED had it not been for the pain in the a$$ referee Colin Webster allowing over 4 minutes of extra time (it showed 3) and they ruined our clean sheet in the 94th minute. I think I may scratch Websters car on the way out. B#astard.

Websters car post match - again ... I ran


Side note - We lost McGoldrick our fabulous IF for about 2 weeks. This will sting especially with my man crush

Paul Anderson missing on the other side. Need some depth here. Need it.

Matchday 26 home vs Reading

Now Reading I do have some animosity towards. They beat us in the season opener and also tried tying my name to their job after sacking McDermott earlier in the season. Revenge will be sweet. I can smell it. Wait, thats just my a$$. But if revenge were to smell ... it would definitely smell better.

Reading are now led by Glenn Roeder and sit 16th in the table. I should take this. Ya. We got this.

Well we hit the half at 0-0. We managed a couple of nice chances but couldnt finish. Lee Camp once again

made a brilliant stop on a free kick. If I had a player of the year to this point it would definitely be

Lee "The Spider" Camp.

2nd half remains unchanged to start since we arent playing bad. Then we hit the bar in the 55th minute.

Anger is rising. We should be ahead by at least 2 now but we are not. I bring on fresh legs in the 84th min

and attack. I want all 3 points here. Disaster strikes in the 86th when my CB's mix each other up and let a shot free right in front and we are done 0-1 and that's how it finished. Suprisingly I am not that upset. I admit, I now really really dislike Reading but we played ok just missed our chances. No keying or physical attacks after this one. I think I will walk home from the park tonight and reflect.... if say I happen to be passing Roeders house on this "walk" and an egg flies from my hand at this door, so be it. Stupid Reading.

Post Match proof what I already knew ... missed chances and a CB (Morgan) mix up:


Matchday 27 home vs QPR

Now that I am out of eggs we prepare to square off against QPR at City Ground.

They are 3rd in the table right on our tail. I am expecting a tough game here. (aren't they all though)

We go in with our standard defensive 4-2-3-1 shape and have a very quiet first half. We will take this

as we are playing well. The big man opens our scoring at the 48 min mark to put us up 1-0. Rosu rounds

out the scoring at the 58th minute and we clamp down for the 2-0 win. Good job boys. A very important

mid-season win here at home.

Matchday 28 road at Derby

Our heated rivals. Our enemies. They are not playing well so far this term sitting 15th but I am sure they will

be up for this game big time. I need to rally the troops. Kick em in the arse. Maybe throw some elbows.

I will need to rotate my LWB Joe " Finally paying off my big signing fee" Martin and my Treq Kasri.

Both are a bit tired. In goes Cohen and Lewis "Remember the name" McGugan respectively.

I can see the boys are reved up for this one.

I smash my head on the wall and yell some random primal screams for blood.

Then my assistant reminds me its only a football match and so I apply the bandage and walk down the tunnel.

ARGHGHGGHG Adebola misses a glorious chance on a clear cut breakaway from a corner clearance at the 8 min mark.

He has not failed me too often so I will not punch him in the face when he comes to the bench. Maybe.

Derby are all over us this first half pinning us deep. This is a dogfight. We go to the half 0-0.

I am going to bring on the youngster Garner upfront and switch to counter. See if I can catch Derby off

guard from all this attacking. Both teams held strong and finished with a 0-0 draw. I will take that on the


That wraps up January. Oh - the transfer window - we did not do much since we had ZERO to spend but we did need to address the issue of depth on the wing. So we brought in Kazenga "THE WINGAAAAA" LuaLua on loan fromNewcastle. He should fit the bill. Good pace and can get in an ok cross and dribble. Just what we need for depth.


JANUARY - 1st spot (+4) - 12W-9D-3L 45pts START

JANUARY - TIED 1st (0) - 14W-10D-4L 52pts END

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Does anyone really read this? I wonder if I should keep updating it as I play. Heading into matchday 9.

I just found this and like that a) you are playing the same club as I currently do and b) that you are playing an old version of the game.

Shall be exciting and I'll be following :)

The only thing is that I find it rather tedious reading career threads with lots of text for each and every match. I prefer having monthly updates which concentrate on the main issues and matches. But that's just my taste. :)

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Excellent advice - I agree with you and it will make my writing easier haha -

HEADING INTO FEBRUARY - TIED 1st (0) - 14W-10D-4L 52pts

January was a blah blah month. We end up tied for the top spot and lost in the FA Cup.

I am not sure how I feel about the FA Cup really. Eh, whats is matter. It's over. So we come

to February which see's Forest play SIX league matches. A make or break month I think.

We need to have some solid performances here to make a real run at promotion.

Forest is still first is Goals Allowed with only 19 though 28 matches.

However we are in the bottom tier with only 34 goals scored (26 the worst - Doncaster)

On a side note Glenn "I did not egg your house" Roeder claims the manager of the month of January.

WAAAAELL LAA DE FRICKIN' DA I say to that!!!!!!

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This month to sum it up - was not very kind to us. We had six matches - splitting the six finishing 3L - 3L. For a month where I needed to maximize our points, this did not cut it.

Sheffield Wed (H) 1-2

Coventry (A) 0-2

Doncaster (A) 0-1

Sheffield United (H) 2-0

Middlesbrough (H) 1-0

Leicester (A) 2-1

The good news is we ended on a 3 match win streak and hit March in good form. Hopefully that will pay off.

The bad news is we dropped to 3rd in table due to this.

We also face off againt Preston this coming month for a top spot clash.

Paul Man Crush Anderson is still injured so the Right Wing has been plug and play between The Wingaaa LuaLua and McCleary. Neither even coming close to being worthy of polishing Man Crush's boots. It has been a definite weak spot for us.

On the front we welcome back Nathan "Lightning" Tyson from loan. He had a great spell and will definitely find himself in the rotation if The Big man Adebole continues to slump.

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4th spot


Down 2 spots

6pts off the leaders West Brom

Cruel Cruel Month that March was. Beware the Ides of March - we did not take heed and got slapped around for it. We did not play very well and it forced my hand into bringing in Edgar Davids on a free for some midfield depth and experience.

I hope he is able to pump up the boys to get them ready for the home stretch here.

Big Man Adebola has lost his starting spot up front to the rotation of Joe Young Gun Garner

and Lighting Tyson. They have performed well up front while the big man never shook his slump in form.

Age may have finally settled in on the man.

I am thinking The Wingaaa LuaLua is not going to work out. He is injured again and looks to be a

bad loan-in. Oh Well. Can't win em all.

The pressure has been on the youngster McCleary and he has been "ok". Just "ok. Again what was a massive strength is still a weakness.

It may be our downfall of the season. Man Crush Anderson - PLEEEEASE RETURN. I BEG YOU.

Lightning Tyson and his quick fire return to our team :








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