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I am a Special One.

From humiliation to honour - The diary of a disgraced footballer.
Started on 18 June 2012 by The Blue Basterd
Latest Reply on 19 June 2012 by The Blue Basterd
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@shaneo insaneo: While I will be delighted to use my own tactic, I am unable to consistently replicate Barca's tiki-taka system. Using the tactic in the link, I have found it possible to do this, consistently getting more than 65% possession in matches with every team I have used it with.

@Glenn_T and Jason_Kavanagh: Thank you! I'll try writing as much as possible.

@1650 Yo: Yes, I am not trying to emulate Mourinho in anyway. I am just calling myself a 'special one', that's all.
Do you think you'll get Forest a Premier League title in the coming years? :P
8th July 2011

Obviously pleased with how the team performed in my first match in charge of them, I wake up today more focused than ever. At the stadium, scouts inform me that they have compiled performance reports on several targets for my midfield, a task I had assigned to them before the match yesterday. After some careful consideration of the targets, I contact the clubs of Capi, a Spanish attacking midfielder, and Omar Milanetto, a 35-year-old veteran who has extraordinary passing abilities that will supplement my system perfectly. For both players, I make initial offers, hoping against hope that I succeed with my bid.

As I face strict competition to sign Matteo Ferrari, the experienced Italian centre-back, I am also looking at other targets for the position. I have contacted Jean-Jacques Pierre and Nelson Rivas, both free agents, and have offered them lucrative 2-year deals contracts. While Rivas is Colombian, I may face work permit issues in bringing him to The City Ground, but Pierre seems like a good choice at the moment.

10th July 2011

Marcus Tudgay and Paul Smith have left Nottingham Forest for Peterborough and Wigan respectively. The board tells me that the fans are not completely behind the deals, and that they feel that Marcus and Paul still had a role to play at the club. However, the board also tell me to continue taking the decisions I feel are right as they still have absolute confidence in me.

I also hear a very pleasing piece of information. The club has agreed terms with Max Tonetto, the left-back free agent I was targeting, and now await my final decision for bringing him to the club. He has also conveyed in his acceptance e-mail, that the main reason behind him wanting to join the club is the opportunity to work with me. Delighted, I accept at once. He will add some quality down that left flank this season, allowing Chris Gunter to play in his preferred position at right-back. We’re going to have a monstrous defence this season!

I have also received an enormous 1.5 million offer for Wes Morgan from the moneybags over at Blackpool. Who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity like that?! I quickly accept the offer.

12th July 2011

Amazing news awaits me as I reach The City Ground this morning. Matteo Ferrari, a top, top, defender, wanted by several top clubs from around Europe, has decided to sign for us! At 31, I am confident Ferrari can give us at least 3 good years of top quality service at the back. He is an excellent signing for the club, and he is a step up in quality for any of my current defenders, and I personally feel he is a better player than the imminently departing Wes Morgan. Clearly, Nottingham Forest is still a highly respectable club! Either that, or we’re offering him better wages than anyone else. In any case, I waste no time finalizing the deal. My star defence is now complete!

I also continue to make contact with several playmakers around Europe. Unlike before, I have more success now in speaking to them. I manage to offer several lucrative contracts, but with each player in contact with several other clubs, any deal is far from done. I also pass up the opportunity to attend Trial Day. As it is, I have far too many things to do. I tell Jimmy to scout the players he recommends to me, a request he gladly accepts.

Soon, I unveil both Ferrari and Tonetto in press conferences. The main query from the press is regarding their ages, and that whether they would still be able to perform to their best at such an advanced age. As I have no reason to believe that age will be a factor in determining the quality of play of both these individuals, I vehemently deny that their ages is going to have any impact on how they play. I am also quizzed about the short contracts given to them, to which I reply as diplomatically as possible, as I tell the press how short contracts offer more flexibility to the team and the player, an answer which seems to suitably satisfy them.
15th July 2011

Today, we face St. Johnstone, a Scottish club. Despite this being a friendly, this match will allow me to look at my players for the first time in a more competitive atmosphere. Also, I am desperate to do well to begin pleasing the board and the fans. I play pretty much the same line-up as the team which so comprehensively outplayed the reserves last week. The only changes I make are in the back, where I immediately throw in my two new defenders into action. Morale is generally high, and I have a good feeling about this match.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2v2yzpt.png

St. Johnstone start the match brightly, but within the first minute, we have regained possession. A shot by Majewski narrowly misses the net. Then, a terrible thing happens. Miller is fouled harshly near the by-line and he seems unable to go on. As I do not want to aggravate any injury to my star striker, I replace him at once with McGoldrick, who impressed in the short time I gave him in the previous match.

And at once, he repays my trust, shooting from a narrow angle from an Anderson pass, and finding the net in the 10th minute. As the match continues, we begin to exert out influence, with Cohen, McGugan and Chambers all coming close to doubling our lead. Max Tonetto has also started the match brightly, offering me another attacking option down the left. Ferrari, however, has gotten himself a booking.

But all the positives fail to stop us from conceding in the 35th minute, where St. Johnstone equalize from a wonderfully taken corner. At half-time, the scores are level, even though much of the half has belonged to us in terms of individual play.

Just after half-time, we regain the lead. Gunter again shows how important he is by marauding down the right before sending in a beautiful cross for Anderson to tap in. Several tiring players are then substituted, and Andy Reid gets his first appearance under me.

The rest of the match then passes relatively uneventfully. Johnstone come close, but our defence holds strong to repel all their forward runs. With the match ending at 2-1, I am delighted to get an away win in pre-season, and I tell this to my players.

http://i50.tinypic.com/34t8z2u.png

Post-match statistics also reveal our overall dominance, with the tactics we’re employing getting us a large chunk of possession (61%). We have also created several chances throughout the match. Majewski, and Tonetto have impressed with their passing as well, and Cohen, before being substituted, continued his playmaking efforts from the previous match, notching up a pass completion ratio of 97%. Overall, the situation looks good going into the new season.

Shocking news however awaits me as I make my way back to the team hotel. The physios, having taken a look at Miller, inform me that he will be out of action for at least 3 months. Clearly, the loss of one of our main players is hard to digest, but I reconcile in the fact that our other strikers seem to be showing a good sense of awareness and goal-scoring ability as well. That should hold us in good stead until October, when Miller will return.
Lol, you should make a book, I love reading this :D
really enjoying this story so far. i believe once you get promoted the older centrebacks will struggle with the pace of the premier league. hopefully you have some younger players coming through who can help out.

ive made my own tactic and formation, 2-2-3-2-1 which works really well if you want to keep possession and dominate the game. although im being barcelona at this very moment
good story have a look at jamill lascelles in youre under 18 squad he turns out to be a very good cb i currently have him at west brom
16th July 2011

Even though I have just lost my best striker to a ligament injury for three months, I resolve to remain unfazed. Dexter Blackstock, another excellent striker at my disposal, is just coming back after injury, and I am sure he can take on a more advanced role in Miller’s absence. With Robbie Findley providing great cover and David McGoldrick performing well in the two pre-season matches, I have sufficient striking power, and thus, do not need to loan or buy another forward to make up for Ishmael Miller. Because of the array of options at my disposal, I have decided to transfer list Matt Derbyshire, another decent striker in the squad. He immediately attracts the attention of several clubs, including Middlesborough.

Wes Morgan, meanwhile, departs for Blackpool, and in the process, bringing us 1.5 million pounds. While his sale probably gives us less cover in central defense, the amount we received for him was too good to pass up on. With Joel Lynch being the only other centre-back in the squad, I will probably need to loan a central defender this month from the Premiership to back up my first-choice pairing of Ferrari and Chambers.

In the afternoon, I receive news that Simone Del Nero, a 29-year-old versatile player from Lazio who can play anywhere along the left, has agreed terms with the club. Pleased, I finalize the deal at once. Del Nero is another crucial part of the Forest jigsaw, and he will hope to provide adequate competition on the left wing to Paul Anderson. With Del Nero capable of playing at left-back as well, I now have two less positions to worry about.

17th July 2011

Another busy day awaits me at The City Ground. Middlesborough have made a loan bid for Derbyshire, offering 120k as payment up-front, and paying his entire salary. Leicester make an offer of 425k for Garath McCleary, the winger whose role is now significantly diminished in the team following the arrival of Simone Del Nero. As I have better players in both these positions, I do not hesitate to accept these deals, anticipating the cash influx which will soon follow as a result.

Later in the day, the groundskeeper approaches me for the field size that I desire in the upcoming season. Seeing as that I intend Forest to play a short passing game, and attacking down the middle instead of sending in crosses from the wings, I ask him to decrease the current size to even smaller dimension. When I notify him of my intentions, the old man is mildly surprised. Such a progressive decision has not been taken at Forest for years.

With my team shaping up nicely for the new season, I now turn my sights on the training practices employed here at Forest. With only 4 coaches servicing the entire squad of 23, I make a desperate appeal to the board to allow me to bring in more coaching staff, so that my players can receive more specialized training. After much persuasion, the chairman agrees to my proposition.

18th July 2011

I have stayed up all night researching and contacting the best staff to bring to Forest to improve the quality of training for the players. What I have realized shocks me. With the restrictions imposed on the number of coaches I can appoint, every coach employed by the club will have to be the very best at their job. This would mean that people like Jimmy, who has been such an enormous help to me ever since I arrived at the club, would have to leave to make way for more experienced coaches. It is a hard decision for me to make, but I assure myself that I have to do it in the best interests of the club. With a heavy heart, I leave for work.

Hours later, I stand in front of Jimmy, hardly able to convey what I have been meaning to all morning. But, ever so slowly, I explain to him that, while he has been such a great friend, the club needed someone else to take it in the direction I wanted it to go. Crestfallen, he agrees to a mutual termination of his contract. Tearfully, he bids farewell to the club he had wanted to help shape. The look on his face as he departs is gut-wrenching.

With my assistant manager no longer at the club, I now move quickly to appoint one of my prime coaching candidates, Garry Pendrey, as the next assistant manager of the club. We successfully negotiate a 4-year deal, and he will join the club shortly.
@Atreidas: Thank you for the compliments!

@shaneo insaneo: Thanks! My centre-backs are currently Luke Chambers and Matteo Ferrari. Chambers is 25, and I think he has a good 7-8 years in front of him. I believe he has the qualities to thrive in the Premiership if I can boost some of his key attributes with some good coaches and coaching schedules. Ferrari meanwhile, is 31, and while that is old, he's good enough to last around 2-3 seasons. He has played in the Premiership IRL, for Everton, and while he wasn't all that impressive, he has plenty of experience in Serie A, which should hold him in good stead for a few years. I have a nice young centre-back, Jamal Lascalles, coming through the youth ranks, but he's still about 3-4 years from a spot in the first-team.

@nash1981: Thanks. Yes, I am aware of that. He's still a few years away from the first team though. I will probably send him out on loan next season.
19th July 2011

Another away friendly awaits today, and this is against another Scottish club, Raith Rovers. With Miller on the long-term injury list, and Blackstock still a few weeks away from full fitness, I ask Robbie Findley to start up front. Simone Del Nero, my new signing on the left wing, starts ahead of Paul Anderson. I also rest Radoslaw Majewski, giving Jonathan Greening his first start of pre-season. Max Tonetto, who was excellent against St. Johnstone, is given a rest, with Chris Gunter taking his position on the left, and Brendan Moloney on the right.

http://i46.tinypic.com/16jeiyf.png

As has been in the previous matches, we start well, creating plenty of chances. Our profligacy in front of goal however results in several missed chances. However, on 20 minutes, Luke Chambers heads home a smart corner by Greening at the near post. With our confidence building from that goal, our dominance over the match gradually increases, resulting in a quick break just before half-time, with Findley powering it in. Simone Del Nero, however, seems to be anonymous down the left wing, and I tell him that at the break.

Greening continues his excellent match after the break, playing a superb pass for Findley to tap in his second of the evening. Our defense however seems to be suspect, with Raith managing to beat them several times. However, they fail to score, leaving Camp with a clean sheet for the night. We thus win 3-0.

http://i48.tinypic.com/3450iuc.png

Statistics are again good possession-wise. Our passing remains excellent as well. However, I am yet to find that one playmaker with an extraordinary number of passes. Brendan Moloney however, stakes his claim for a permanent spot on the right, with a crossing and passing record exceeding anyone else on the team. In the days ahead, I have several things to ponder.
its going great man, ive never seen a story written like this... its good! lol (not saying others aren't) ;) but uts good to see it from the manager's point of view in story mode, instead of tactics and results
23rd July 2011

Today, we play Wrexham, away, in a friendly I completely expect us to win following our dominant performances against St. Johnstone and Raith. The arrival of Garry Pendrey has improved our overall attack coaching, and the appointments of quite a few more are in the pipeline. I have also begun implementing training schedules for the players that are focused on improving the key attributes for their positions, and we shall see the effect of these as the season begins. Overall, I would like to think that the team is shaping up really well for the season ahead. My only worry is that we are yet to find a suitable trequartista, with most available players either being too expensive or refusing to play for us given that we are unable to offer top-flight football yet.

However, I have made an approach for Jamel Ait Ben Idir from AC Arles-Avignon, a 27-year-old French defensive midfielder with an excellent passing technique and great workrate. Should we manage to land him, he will be an automatic starter ahead of both Guy Moussi and George Boateng. However, we will have to fight off stiff competition from St. Etienne for him.

As we get ready to face Wrexham, I make a few more changes in the side. Del Nero, after a disappointing debut, is dropped to the bench, with Anderson coming back in. Cohen, meanwhile, gets back his favourite central spot. Joel Lynch is also given his first start in defence.

http://i45.tinypic.com/2w1sj9y.png

As expected, Wrexham, who play in the 5th tier of English football, hardly troubled us. Taking the lead through a neat finish by Chris Cohen in the 20th minute, Majewski doubled the lead in the 80th minute for us to run out 2-0 winners. Clearly, having had 27 chances in the match, we should have scored more, but our wastefulness did not cost us in the end. Max Tonetto continued his good form here, as well, and he is assured to be my starter at the left of defence when the season finally begins. As a team, we also recorded our best possession statistics for an entire match, having 75% of the ball, to Wrexham’s 25. If we manage to replicate this against teams in the Championship, this season will be great indeed.

Right now, all I'm looking forward to is next week's friendly clash against Manchester City. Can we pull a rabbit out of the hat?
Brilliant Story. will be following!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
24th July 2011

An important day for the club, as the board announces a link with Manchester United which will allow United to loan players to us without us having to pay their salaries. It certainly seems like a very useful partnership, as United have a pretty good youth setup. A few hours after the announcement, I hear that United starlet Paul Pogba may come on loan to us. This will be an interesting deal, but Pogba is still raw, and I have my doubts if he will get the playing time he needs here at Forest, with us already having several players competing for the Central Midfield spot.

We have also successfully signed Jamel Ait Ben Idir, the excellent French defensive midfielder, beating off St. Etienne. With Jamel’s signing, I have now decided to transfer list Guy Moussi, who no longer has a future at the club, and his sale could possibly generate a great deal of money.

Chris Cohen meanwhile, has suffered an injury in training, which will keep him out for at least 3 weeks. Undoubtedly, this is a big blow for us, as Chris was shaping up to be our first choice playmaker, and his progress will now be set back for some time.

28th July 2011

Today, we line up against Manchester City at home. The big-spending team will provide me with my first stern test as manager, and while we certainly aren’t tipped to win, I expect Manchester City to field a relatively weak team of reserves and youth players against whom we secretly expect to do well. Our possession tactic has worked wonders in our first four friendly matches, and if we can go out with confidence and do what we do best, I am confident of at least snatching a draw from under City’s noses.

I am trying to field my best lineup today. Del Nero, who was very ordinary against Raith, gets a second opportunity to live up to his reputation on the left wing. Anderson, who has had 3 excellent matches, will have to start on the bench. Majewski and McGugan will start once again, with Findley up front.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Greening gets a start due to Chris Cohen’s injury. Jamel Ait Ben Idir, my newest signing, comes straight into the team. My back four is Tonetto, Ferrari, Chambers and Gunter, with Moloney unlucky to miss out despite some commendable performances.

http://i46.tinypic.com/24yd5qo.png

Yikes! My expectations that City would play a weakened team are completely off-the-mark, as they start with a power-packed side that is likely to pummel most Premiership sides, let alone a side like ours languishing in the Championship. Still, I refuse to get disheartened, and I encourage the boys to go out and give it their all. I walk out to a entirely full stadium, with fans of both teams littering the stands, watching with bated breath. This might turn out to be very painful…

To our credit, we start the match well, and even hold our own against City’s expensively assembled talent. While we do not exactly boss the midfield, we manage to string several passes together, but City’s defensive backline hardly lets us get anywhere near the box, dispossessing us, leading to City breaking quickly. Lee Camp is at his very best today, blocking several powerful shots from Tevez and Dzeko. Jamel Ait Ben Idir then gets in a beautiful cross, but no-one turns up at the end of it to give us a lead we weren’t entirely undeserving of. The first half ends with Chambers just nodding wide from a free-kick to waste another chance. 0-0. 45 minutes. I am very pleased with how we are performing, and so is the team.

After half-time, a quick break by us leads to Tonetto getting one into the net from outside the box, only for it to be ruled offside. For several minutes, we attack the City box unrelentingly. City may have more money, but on the day, we seem to have more heart. With Silva hitting the bar twice, it seems luck is on our side as well.

15 minutes into the second half, I make my first change, with the rather wasteful Findley coming off for McGoldrick. Max Tonetto is also replaced by Brendan Moloney. The match then progresses uneventfully, with both teams unable to dictate play. 15 minutes from time, I decide to go for the win, taking off Greening for the more attack-minded Anderson, and shifting the full backs to a more advanced position on the wing.

The move pays off spectacularly. 2 minutes into injury time, we break quickly from a Manchester City corner, and David McGoldrick blasts a goal past Hart to give us the victory that we will treasure for quite some time.

Nottingham Forest 1 – Manchester City 0

http://i45.tinypic.com/2bw51k.png

As I look at the statistics after the match, I notice just how much we dominated the match, managing to excel against the likes of Silva, De Jong and Milner and winning around 60% of the possession. Several players excelled individually as well. Chris Gunter has emerged as my very own Philip Lahm, turning in tremendous performances again and again on both wings, tackling, crossing, passing, everything. My attacking three of McGugan, Majewski and Del Nero also had impressive matches. McGoldrick is slowly becoming a superb impact sub, scoring nearly every time he comes off the bench. Overall, an extraordinary performance against a team which was expected to completely overwhelm us. The fans are delighted, so is the board, and I am in seventh heaven.
wow what a win against city keep it up

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