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Have just caught up on your Boro save @warlock, really enjoyed it. Can relate to it a lot, despite only being a third of the way through my first season and with us having slightly different squads,lLack of goals and creativity (a 34 year old Downing was your biggest threat for a while) are so apparent in this squad, which is built around height and long ball tactics. Because of that, it does give you a solid defence to build on, but as you alluded too, if they start to falter, it all goes wrong.  

However, it is a great challenge and one i'm thoroughly enjoying. It's the first time I've signed Xadas (creepy coincidence, genuinely did not copy) and he's brought in some much needed flair. I'll be looking to go down the same route with my signings in January, with more than planned outgoings already confirmed for the Winter Window!

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4 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

It's the first time I've signed Xadas

He's a good player, and gives you a lot of flexibility. I've signed him a couple of times and he was great at both AMC and as a Mez at CM. Good cover option at AML and AMR, too.

I could have used him in my Derby save but was determined to find some fresh faces.

Is anyone scoring for you? Do you have targets in mind for January?

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Well it's actually Xadas who is my top scorer, with 6 in 16 in the league. Fletcher and Tavernier are 2nd with 5 each, which, explains in itself really, that i'm having the similar problem to you in creating and scoring enough, but at the moment, our resilience in defence is helping us pick up points.

I've got a huge list for January, which I plan on narrowing down in order to identify specific targets. With some outgoings confirmed, I'm looking for a cover CB, DLP, WGR and ST. I'm hoping when the window opens, I'll have the option to terminate and recall some loans.

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I may post this as a video, but, my team decided to channel their inner Barca in the first game of the season.

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31 passes, then the cross :D

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At the end of last season, finishing 9th was about what we deserved.

I’d got a few plans to start a rebuild of the side, and at the end of my last post, I’d indicated a few players that may move on, and those coming into replace them.

Shortly after the last match of the season, two players handed transfer requests in, saying they didn’t feel they could achieve what they wanted at Forest. These were Michael Hefele, and Claudio Yacob.

Yacob left to join newly promoted Blackburn, for £2m (rising to £2.5), and, strangely, Hefele left for Sunderland for £600k.

The fee for Hefele was spent almost immediately, buying 18 year old American (with Haitian and Spanish nationality), Konrad de la Fuente from Barcelona. The young winger can play on either flank, and will provide a decent rotation option.

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Interest also came for Zach Clough. The attacking midfielder had spent the season on loan at Rochdale, and I couldn’t see a way into the side for him. Hull parted with £425k to take him.

The last incoming deal before the transfer window, would work out to be my biggest spend, with, Barcelona B youngster, Alex Collado, joining for £2.2m, on the back of an excellent campaign for the Spanish U20 in the World Cup. He’d be a rotation option with Xadas and Ryan Yates in the middle, with Ben Osborn dropping back to play in front of the back 4.

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Next up were a couple of outgoings. Sigurd Gronli had had a steady season in the side, and attracted some interest at the back end of it. He was the subject of some speculation for a move to Celtic, which he came out and said he wanted. The Scottish Champions were persuaded to part with £1m and a healthy sell on for him, which saw us effectively double our money in less than 12 months (including wages).

After that, Joe Lolley was the subject of a bid from Middlesbrough, and again, we played a bit of hardball with them, working up to £4m, with an addon after 50 appearances, and a sell on. It wasn’t as much as I wanted, but, would mean that the wage bill would drop slightly.

When the transfer window opened on the 1st July, a new left fullback joined, with the aim of pushing Reguilón for his place. Portuguese U21 international, Yuri Ribeiro was scouted several times over the last months of the season, as he plied his trade at Benficas B team, and a fee of £700k saw him swap Lisbon for Nottingham.

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That was the conclusion of the incomings for Forest, unless a particularly interesting signing became available (I’ve got a list, but, my positions don’t need topping up at the moment).

Several more outgoings came, with Owen Gallacher (Alloa, Free), Jorge Grant (Portsmouth, £500k), Luke Steele (Scunthorpe, £45k), Tendayi Darikwa (Hull, £525k), Hilal Soudani (Huesca, £350k), Apostolos Vellios (Vancouver, £875k) and Costel Pantilimon (Ufa, £1m) departing, bringing the total incoming transfer fees to £11m, with only £6.25m being spent.

On top of that, the wage bill of £267k, was nearly £200k per week less than the budget we were given. This would hopefully give us a bit of wiggle room for transfers should we need it in January.

All that was left was to start the first game of the season, against Preston.

Several new signings in the squad, saw the following team line up.

GK – Tiago Silva
RB – Costinha
CB – Matej Chalus
CB – Alex Milosevic (C)
LB – Sergio Reguilón
DM – Ben Osborn
LCM – Xadas
RCM – Ryan Yates
RW – Alex Mighten
LW – Joao Carvalho
CF – Oli Shaw

Despite the pre season workout for us being good, and every player getting plenty of match time, it took until the 27th minute for a breakthrough to come. Alex Mighten, who, after Lolleys departure, found himself the first choice on the right side, got open in the box, and found himself on the end of a Costinha chip into the box from the right flank.

This set the tone, and despite several chances coming our way, it wasn’t until the 80th minute, that the next goal came, one, which I think, may rank as one of the best goals I’ve ever seen on Football Manager.

31 passes. 90 seconds of possession. 10 players touching the ball. All for Alex Mighten to score his 2nd of the game at the back post.

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It ended 2-0, and allowed us to see how the new players would fit into our system.

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Good to see progress at Derby, Forest and Boro. And best of luck to the new Swansea manager, I really enjoyed my time there.

After a break and focus on Benfica, I struggled to get back in to Charlton and have halted that in 7th spot (Championship) midway through season 2. I have another team in mind for one final EFL challenge but may delay until I finish season 2 in Portugal (that one will be continuing).

Will keep following in here as always enjoyable to hear your updates.

 

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Dropping this in for a 'mentoring' signing thing..

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All 4 free transfers retire at the end of the season, but, the mentoring groups they're in should change a few personalities. :D

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Meanwhile, on my save i'm having no luck with signings...

Having taken hours to finally decide on Jamal Lowe as the wide option to bring in, he instantly repays me with 2 goals in 15 minutes on his debut at home to Milwall. Then, later in the same game, this happens....

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28 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

Meanwhile, on my save i'm having no luck with signings...

Having taken hours to finally decide on Jamal Lowe as the wide option to bring in, he instantly repays me with 2 goals in 15 minutes on his debut at home to Milwall. Then, later in the same game, this happens....

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I really like Jamal Lowe IRL and in FM terms he has always done really well for me too. That's terrible luck with the injury, but hopefully Moses Simon can do a job unless his flu turns into a long-term sickness...

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Had plenty to catch up on and looks like everyone is doing a great job with their saves :)

I haven't played for a few weeks, and had lost a bit of interest in my Sunderland save, but giving it another go as we speak. Hopefully we'll improve our form as currently we are four games into the new season without a win. I've just made a few tactical changes, so hopefully I'll have got it right! We'll see!

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Just re-reading a few bits and @robterrace it's great how you find the unknowns and bring them in. I'd love to know how you manage to find so many unknown players? Is it scouts that are finding them or do you trawl through countries trying to find the best players?

It must make your saves a lot more interesting :thup:

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7 hours ago, torquayfmer said:

Just re-reading a few bits and @robterrace it's great how you find the unknowns and bring them in. I'd love to know how you manage to find so many unknown players? Is it scouts that are finding them or do you trawl through countries trying to find the best players?

It must make your saves a lot more interesting :thup:

Pretty much send scouts out looking for 'Good' Current rating, and a potential rating of 'Superb' or better, under a certain age, and just target countries and areas that I know produce talents. You'll always find ones that are underrated by clubs, so its a lot of effort into finding those. 

A lot of it involves repeatedly scouting players, then judging how the attributes fit how you want to play.

I've just had this analyst report come in on one guy, I've started scouting him off the back of it.

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MID-SEASON UPDATE:

So when I left you last, we had started fairly well, with me looking to slowly change the style that the club had adopted over the previous 2 seasons. As the games went on, the changes happened much quicker than I'd normally like, with a number of players handing in transfer requests, unhappy with their playing time. This meant there was quite a bit of activity in January:

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Downing, Ayala, Flint and Mikel were all unhappy with their lack of starts and with all of them being on high wages and bringing in decent fees, I was happy to let them go as early as January. Mcnair wasn't listed, but a bid came in from Stoke and with his injury record, I decided to cash in. 

These deals brought our wage budget down and gave us some dough to spend. As i'm planning a long term save, I didn't want to buy stop gaps just for the sake of it. Schurrs, Morilla and Christensen were all youngsters, that if I remember correctly, I hadn't bought before and ones I feel fitted in with my long term plan. Lowe is someone I bought and after months of trying to decide on what wide man to bring in, the Pompey man was my choice. However despite a brilliant start, he later got injured in the same game. Woodburn has been brought in on loan to cover the attacking options as there were no other players I was really committed to buying. I flirted with Che Adams, even getting him to hand in a transfer request, but with just 1 goal in 20 games, a 6.5 average rating and my memory suggesting that he's flattered to deceive with some other players in this thread, I decided to give him a pass.

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So as you can see, just the 3 league defeats in 4 months, but just a couple too many draws for my liking. We switch between being toothless with 4 or 5 0-0 draws to being brilliant, knocking 3 or more goals past Bristol, Reading, Milwall, Blackburn and Wigan. I think the lack of depth and quality up top has hurt us in a few games, but again that's something I'm looking to add to in the long term. Bad injuries to Lowe and Xadas aren't helpful mind you.

If we keep this up, we're looking nailed on for a play-off spot, meeting the expectations I set at the start of the season.

Wish me luck and up the Boro!

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Going well with Boro @smplfc123. The young Spanish guy from Sporting Gijon is a great deal, I toyed with buying him for Benfica but he was costing over £2.5m if I remember correctly so £86k is an absolute steal. Slightly disappointed to see Flint leave as he always played well for me in the past (particularly at Bristol City). It's a club I have never managed in FM but certainly they have potential to become a regular PL side with the facilities, resources, stadium and fan base.

 

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56 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

I think the lack of depth and quality up top has hurt us in a few games, but again that's something I'm looking to add to in the long term. Bad injuries to Lowe and Xadas aren't helpful mind you.

Think that nails it! Those injuries have hit hard. On the upside, you're only losing away at the moment.

As @Jogo Bonito says, Boro have everything they need to succeed in the PL - except a couple of key players, and hopefully you can solve that problem.

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@warlock Are you still at Derby or easing off that one? I'm having great fun with SLB but think I do have one more EFL challenge in me. There's a team in L2 that has been on the agenda for ages, but it might well be a 'make it hard for myself with added conditions' game at a poor Championship side that wins me over.

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Are you still at Derby or easing off that one?

That would be 'yes' and 'dunno' :lol:.

Yes, the Derby save is ongoing, and looking pretty safe for a lower-mid table finish. I dunno whether I'm easing off - I've hit the usual PL issue where we're playing above expectations, don't really have the funds to improve the squad in January, and it's hard to maintain the enthusiasm. I'm also pretty much burned out on FM, having played almost daily since November. Spent the last couple of weeks mostly dusting off my Elite: Dangerous save.

But, like  you, I think I probably have one more FM save in me, but it would probably have to be L1 to keep the interest past the first season. No idea who, though. At the same time, I'd like to push on with Derby at least a little further. The plan, then, is to give Elite another week or so and see how I feel. Might have to combine it with some kind of specific challenge - either a tactical one, or maybe a DoF challenge (been enjoying @Stuniverse's Derby thread in the Careers forum).

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17 minutes ago, warlock said:

Might have to combine it with some kind of specific challenge - either a tactical one, or maybe a DoF challenge (been enjoying @Stuniverse's Derby thread in the Careers forum).

Very kind of you to say, @warlock. Thank you. Glad you’re enjoying it.

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Thanks @warlock and @Jogo Bonito as you said hopefully we can keep the home form up and turn some of the away performances around and find those key players to take this club to the next level.

@Rollin93 How much do you have to spend? And any particular striker you're looking for? a poacher, creator, target man etc.?

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1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

Thanks @warlock and @Jogo Bonito as you said hopefully we can keep the home form up and turn some of the away performances around and find those key players to take this club to the next level.

@Rollin93 How much do you have to spend? And any particular striker you're looking for? a poacher, creator, target man etc.?

I have around 6 million as I’ve sold a few players 

looking for more a poacher or a creator as I have a target man 

Thanks 

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13 minutes ago, Rollin93 said:

I have around 6 million as I’ve sold a few players 

looking for more a poacher or a creator as I have a target man 

Thanks 

That's a decent budget then!

To be honest I can't offer too much help as it's the same position i'm struggling to find a main target for at the minute.

If you're willing to give a youngster a go, Adam Idah and Kevin Cannavo have excelled from the off when I signed them both for Reading in a previous save.

I have the likes of Venema, Platte, Sporar, Wind and Teuchert on my shortlist from various teams across Europe, but I'm also considering bringing an experienced striker to cover that poacher role as I find the attributes assigned to that role are ones you'll find are built up through experience and know-how.

Hope this helps.

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Unfortunately 6 draws in our last 7 games has meant that we've got too much to do to keep up with the top 2. We are 12 points behind with only 11 games left, but we're the same amount of points ahead of 7th, so play-offs look nailed on. 

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2 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

That's a decent budget then!

To be honest I can't offer too much help as it's the same position i'm struggling to find a main target for at the minute.

If you're willing to give a youngster a go, Adam Idah and Kevin Cannavo have excelled from the off when I signed them both for Reading in a previous save.

I have the likes of Venema, Platte, Sporar, Wind and Teuchert on my shortlist from various teams across Europe, but I'm also considering bringing an experienced striker to cover that poacher role as I find the attributes assigned to that role are ones you'll find are built up through experience and know-how.

Hope this helps.

Thanks I’ll have a little look!

im about to go into my 3rd season missed out in the playoff final twice!

i might go for an experience striker to try and get me over the line

 

even debated trying to retrain someone like Watkins to be a striker 

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Our terrific end to the season wasn't enough for us to catch the top 2.

90 points and finishing 4th seems a bit unlucky to me, but our good finish to the season gives me confidence going in to our semi-final with Derby. Wish me luck :thup:

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90 points and 4th? That'd be enough to go up in any other season..

 

In other news. I should have an update tomorrow, and, a few young signings, including, these two.

 

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14 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

90 points and finishing 4th seems a bit unlucky to me

Yeah, that's harsh. If you could have converted just two of those draws into wins you'd have done it.

Still a good season, though, especially with your injury woes. Good luck in the playoffs :thup:

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If theres one thing Nottingham Forest are this season, its consistently inconsistent.

 
 

We arrive at January, with a 3rd Round FA Cup game to come, having been knocked out of the Carabao 5-0 by Southampton, and sitting in 10th with 41 points after 25 games.

 
 
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We've had runs of 8 league games unbeaten, followed by 3 losses, followed by a 6 game winning spree. We're delightfully inconsistent at the moment. But, I think I've worked out whats gone wrong.

 

We have a solid backbone to the side, with 2 soft segments, and both of these are what have led to our poor performances.

 

Firstly, the goalkeeping.

 

Luke Steele and Costel Pantilimon departed in the close season, and left Jordan Smith and Tiago Silva to fight out for the first choice. The Portuguese got the first choice shirt, and for a while, it paid off, however, after the Southampton defeat, his confidence dropped, and he hasn't got it back yet. I didn't spot this part of our weakness until it had effected us in several losses.

 

I feel Jordan Smith, whilst a good keeper at the level we're at, may never press on to the top end of the division, and as such, until one of the younger keepers is ready, I need a goalkeeper.

The new goalkeeper comes in from Skien in Southern Norway, where he has made over 150 appearances in the Norwegian Eliteserien for Odd.

 
Sondre Rossbach joins for a fee of £1.7m (£350k up front, with £1.4m in addons over 3 years), and made his debut for his country in November 2018.
 
 
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Secondly, we're a bit weak in front of the back 4. After the departure of Claudio Yacob, and Ben Watson also departing on loan, I've been playing Ben Osborn there. At 5'9", hes definitely not the most imposing of players, and whilst his determination and workrate make up for it, he lacks the strength to succeed in front of the back 4.

We have had a ready made replacement in the squad since early September, in Darren Fletcher, but, he has only just gained fitness back having been injured since his arrival. He (along with 3 other players) were picked up for their personality in mentoring.

As such, a new signing was called for, and, again, it came from Iberia.

For a fee of £150k (£50k up front, and £100k in 6 months), Portuguese anchor man Diogo Gomes joins from Leixoes.

 
Strong, quick, and with an excellent work rate, he is what we need in front of the back 4, and, although he may be lacking in composure and bravery, this can be worked on in the coming months.
 
 
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Up front, Lewis Grabban tops the goalscoring charts with 8 goals in his 22 league games, something which he needs to improve on slightly, although, there have been many contributions from midfield.

Theres also been interest in some players, with Joe Worrall and Joao Carvalho attracting bids from Cardiff and Mainz respectively.

 

Both were negotiated, and left to the players to discuss terms.

 

Worrall has found his time very limited this season, and understandably accepted his offer, and will depart. However, we won't have to look far for his replacement, with 17 year old Portuguese CB Carlos Manuel Fernandes (picked up in the summer from Leixoes for £115k), being promoted to the first team squad to take his place. Fellow 17 year old CB, the Spaniard Xabi Saizar is currently on loan at York gaining experience.

 
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Trying to maintain movements within the squad to a minimum, Carvalho agreed to move to Mainz, a move which was delayed for a week, to allow a replacement to be sourced, as the only left wingers in the squad weren't developed enough for us.

 
 
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One deal was completed following the departure of Carvalho. Scottish centre midfielder Kyle Magennis (21) joins for a fee of £2m from St.Mirren. He had a £2m release fee to foreign clubs, and the scouting reports were highly positive, increasing in rating every time we watched him.

 
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An added bonus, for a player of a young age, he has over 100 appearances in senior football, something which will stand him in good stead in the squad.

 

Coming up is the end of the window. I'll go through all the bits and pieces in my next post.

 
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Couple of bits of business from the end of the transfer window. A few youngsters in 'for the future', along with Asier Villalibre to support Grabban, and 3 deadline day departures (a couple of which have already been covered with signings made earlier)

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Really trying to keep interest with Sunderland, but I'm really struggling tactically after I thought we'd made some good signings in the summer. We are conceding heavily and nothing I do seems to change it. 

Think I might resign and try and find a new job, or start a new save.

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Hi guys, its been a while since I posted anywhere on this forum!

I've decided to take the reigns at Coventry. Decent squad overall but near on impossible to make any real improvements in the transfer window. Willis and Chaplin look like real gems and I did manage to squeeze in 2 loans, Matt Butcher from Bournemouth and Marcelo Djalo from Fulham. We currently lie 2nd after 18 games in the League, trailing Barnsley by a couple of points.

 

Hopefully we continue the good form and secure a return to the Championship

 

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20 hours ago, torquayfmer said:

Really trying to keep interest with Sunderland, but I'm really struggling tactically after I thought we'd made some good signings in the summer. We are conceding heavily and nothing I do seems to change it. 

Think I might resign and try and find a new job, or start a new save.

Well, FM must have heard me say this  :lol: 

Carried on with Sunderland today without resigning, and yet another tactical change seems to have worked this time, with defeats only to Man City and Liverpool which I expected anyway.

Looks like I'm staying for now, but I think if one of the bigger sides that are currently not doing as well as expected (Chelsea in 8th, Everton in 13th and Leicester in 14th) come calling if they end up getting rid of their managers, I think I may still be tempted.

One player who has really contributed to the upturn in form has been young striker Jim Grimshaw. Signed from Blackpool for £350k, he went out on loan to League One side Rochdale last season, scoring eight goals in thirty seven appearances. 

So far this season he has made an impact from the bench, but having started the last six games, he has now scored five goals.

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Another youngster currently pushing for a first team place is someone who came through our academy, Alistair Rattray. He went out on loan at Championship side Ipswich last season, also making thirty seven appearances, chipping in with three goals. He has developed well and I now consider him our third choice centre back, as well as covering right back if needed.

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Just a quick one..

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Nottingham Forest - 2019/20 Season Review

 

Sky Bet Championship: - 2nd. Promoted. (Media Prediction 9th)

Yes. You read that correctly. We got promoted.
Post transfer window, we struggled for a few games, then, Xadas found some form, and ripped the Championship apart, along with Chris Willock and Alex Collardo.

FA Cup - 4th Round, Knocked out by Stoke. Expectation, 4th Round

Carabao Cup - 2nd Round, Knocked out by Southampton. Expectation - 3rd Round

Awards -

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Review -

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Stats -

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Commercial -

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Congratulations on the promotion @robterrace. Keen to see what you do in the summer for the heights of the Prem.

I've been absolutely snowed under with work this week so haven't had chance as of yet to get my play-off semi finals done. Will look to do an update this weekend!

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WE'VE DONE IT!!!!!

11 goals and 7 assists is an impressive enough return for a youngster, but Marcus Tavernier has shown that he is a big game player too. A goal in each semi-final and the final itself, the youngster has really stepped up when the strikers have misfired. Can't wait to get stuck in to my first Premiership pre-season since I took Reading up about 6 months ago.

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So.. A few signings were made.. Heres a bit about some of them.

 

Even though the promotion comes as a bit of a surprise. Theres a plan in place.

Recruitment of young prospects still continues, and the money available is spent on picking several up.

As well as that, we have a new affiliate, Numancia in Spain, where hopefully, we can send a few players to gain experience in a very competitive environment.

Several players were let go, and money was raised by selling fringe players on.

Incomings -

Blas Sever (20, DC, ARG) - Seattle Sounders - £8.5m

The young Argentinian centre back signs on a 5 year deal. Strong, and with experience in the MLS. Will walk straight into the side. Has massive resale value.

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Ben Davies (24, DC, ENG) - Preston North End - £4.5m

Over 100 games experience at Championship level, counts towards the home grown quota. Will be in the starting rotation in terms of centre backs.

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Lloyd Kelly (21, LB, ENG) - Bristol City - £4m

Another home grown talent, with over 50 games in the Championship. Again, resale value due to age.

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Michalis Oikonomakos (17, ST, GRE) - Panionios - £1m

Full Greek international at 17 years old. Potentially the long term replacement for Grabban. Needs some work, but, will be a very good player in the future.

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Milos Alexov (18, DM, SRB) - Partizan Beograd - £1m (On loan at Numancia)

Young Serbian midfielder, very good in the air despite his size. In Spain for at least a season until he can gain a work permit.

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Ryan Edmondson (19, ST, ENG) - Leeds United - £800k

Strong aerial presence, and holds the ball up well. Had a decent season on loan at Rochdale prior to joining us.

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Daniel Adshead (18, MC, ENG) - Rochdale - £575k (On loan at Coventry)

Young playmaker prospect, good in the areas I want to develop. Sent on loan for first team football.

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Bruno Paz (22, DM, POR) - Sporting CP - £525k

With Alexov in Spain, we need a second DM to provide competition to Diogo Gomes. Paz is more of a 'team player', and is more determined than his countryman.

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Ethan Laird (18, DR, ENG) - On loan from Manchester United

Cover for Costinha, with the intention of him pushing the Portuguese full back for a starting place by Christmas.

 
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Departures -

Alex Milosevic - Cremonese - £3m
Tobias Figuieredo - Reading - £3m

Theres still 3 weeks of the transfer window left as the English window shuts, I expect a couple more departures, with Sergio Reguilón at the forefront of interest from Spain.

 
 
 
 
 
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The only sale I've got to add as the transfer window finishes, is Sergio Reguilón to Celta for £7m. A profit of over £6m for just over 18 months work.

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Really struggled to get into FM this year but reading this thread and seeing how people have done well in the championship, I have decided to start with Norwich 7 games into the season and we are doing really well sitting 3rd 1 point off the top 2 with a record of P7 W4 D3 L0 although we were dire against Swindon at home in the league cup getting FM’d against 10 men in the 94th minute to lose 1-0

I am looking to build an English core and build the team around Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia. Scouted Jayden Boyle who my scout says is available for £1.1-£2.3m so I will look to bring him in in Jan as Ivo Pinto is injured and down the pecking order and has a £900k bid accepted on him 

will post transfers later and update further 

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Unfortunately, my love for the Boro save has died. I had a few more days away with work and came back to the save not having the same interest in them now that I've achieved promotion. 

I'll keep checking in on the thread as I love reading how you chaps are all getting on :thup:

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Hi Guys,

Really enjoyed reading through some of these posts.

I'm going to start my last FM 19 save with Bristol City with the long term aim to become an established, self sufficient Premier League team.  

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Continued my Norwich save last night and played through a few more games drew 2-2 with Forest which was a very poor result but just couldn’t break them down or get a cross past 1st man! Aston Oxborough dropped a cross straight to the feet of Grabban for their equaliser! Next up was Aston Villa who we proceeded to smash 5-1!! Playing some great football that I hope to see more of from now on. Record stands at P14 W7 D6 L1 agreed a deal for Jack Whatmough to join in January and Jack Clarke and have an offer accepted for Kalvin Phillips who will replace Steiperman who got injured after 2 games and is moaning about 1st team football after only recently regaining fitness! I am also looking to move out Michael McGovern and bring in Rob Green for 2nd choice keeper 

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The first half of the season in the Premier League never was going to be easy, that part is a given.

So, arriving into January, in 16th place, having just been beaten by Arsenal, I'd have taken.

However, it was obvious that some strengthening needed to take place, even more so given that the announcement on Brexit had come through.

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I felt we were in need of better goalkeeping. Rossbach had been doing good work, but, had made mistakes in some games which had cost us dearly.

The solution was found at Blackburn, who had been relegated back to the Championship after 1 season in the Premier League.

David Raya, although being Spanish, counted as 'Home Grown', and was awaiting paperwork for British citizenship, and would cost slightly more than a continental player, however, this premium would be worth it for the 25 year old

 
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We also needed a bit of backup in the defensive areas, and again, with Brexit in mind, picked up Jack Whatmough from Portsmouth for £2.3m. The step up from League One would be big for him, but, he wouldn't be thrown into action straight away, and, with over 150 appearances for the South Coast club, hes very experienced for his young age.

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Also coming in, this time from Malmo FF in Sweden, 17 year old right back, Lucas Svanberg. Normally, I'd not pursue this, with the Brexit options coming in, but, hes broken into the Swedish U21 setup, and is rated better than my current right back, Costinha. Also beating off several other Premier League and La Liga clubs for him shows how good he will be.

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Moving further forward, 18 year old Brazilian Paulo Roberto was found playing in Gremio U20s, and, again, with several other clubs showing interest, I had to move quickly, based on a basic recommendation from my scouts. For a couple of million, the risk was worth it, and the dual national (he holds an Italian passport) joins to hopefully add a bit of bite to the midfield.

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The last signing coming in at the start of January, would be a big one.

I said at the start of the save, that if a player came up who was far better than the current incumbent, then I'd make an effort to get him.

This is where Thomas Buitink comes in. I'd been watching a few games with him in for a bit, and, his name had cropped up in a few analyst reports. As well as that, he was top scorer in the Eredivise, something which had brought the 20 year old to the attention of some of Europes elite.

He put in a transfer request at the start of December, and, although he would command an 'uncomfortable' price, at £12.5m, a bid was made, personal terms were agreed, and he moves to NG2. Something which provides a massive upgrade to the attacking options, and allows a couple of the players currently in the squad to leave on loan. He also, as long as he performs, offers a massive resale potential.

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So, this is where we stand at the start of January, and, with the exception of a couple of youngsters, I expect this to be all the business we do for incoming transfers, unless, something special comes up.

 
 
 
 
 
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