Matt is back to the future again as he starts his second season at Nottingham Forest in 2006. Can they go one better than last season? Catch up with part 4 here.
Hi, welcome back to Futures Past with my Nottingham Forest experiment, simming 8 seasons into the future and trying to make Forest great again. Last season we came close but finished second to a star-studded Watford team. We faded badly in the home run and so I need to add some quality to the squad. This won’t be easy as we’re not that fashionable, yet, and I’m not really sure whose who.
Goalkeeper was also a problem position last season, so this guy might help there…
This Klinsmann clone would be a good addition too.
But he doesn’t want to sign for us, and in truth it’s a fairly frustrating summer transfer season.
This guy might want to take up snooker though. Don’t you just love the names the AI generates sometimes?
Our second place finish last season earns us a place in the Champions League qualifying round. I’m feeling hopeful.
The Charity Shield kicks off the domestic season, and Watford are looking for dominance again
For our campaign, here’s how we’ll be lining up. I’ve decided to give Coughlin another chance and I have high hope for Dutchman Twan Inge
We start at home to Dinamo Minsk in our qualifier and our deadly front two give us a good advantage for the second leg.
Ageing midfield maestro Guerrero gets us off to a flyer in the league campaign and Rubi-Gol adds the icing to the cake. (Probably a Black Forest Gateau)
For 13 minutes I was a fairly happy man at Goodison Park
Its back to basics against Ipswich and I have the regen of Luis Enrique on loan from Las Palmas at right wingback.
For the away leg of our Champions League qualifier in Minsk, I rest our front two, and he back up s both score. Thompson is the regen of Liverpool manager Alan Shearer by the way.
That result puts us into the hat for the group draw….
We’re in with reigning Champions AC Milan. I’ll be aiming for second in the group and hope luck is on my side!
Despite the pummelling at Goodison Park, I nab the first manager of the Month award. Lovely.
Then, just one day later, Las Palmas want Little Luis Enrique back, balls.
But at least some of my homegrown talent is winning acclaim. Well done Lloyd.
Chad International Nelo gives us the perfect start at home to Man City, but if you concede a goal to Robbie Blake you probably don’t deserve all 3 points
And when you have your centre half sent off against Spurs, you’re not even going to get 1 pt. Zizi Debbah tries his best to get us back in it but it’s too little too late
We recover against Sheffield United, but our form is decidedly patchy. Not the sort of thing you want as you head into your first European campaign since Ian Woan played in midfield.
I think my side could have done with an Ian Woan on this particular Wednesday.
The match stats tell the real story. They had 3 shots on target and scored with all of them. And one of our goals too. I don’t even have Coughlin in goal anymore, Lizarralde is back in the sticks. It seems to make no difference.
Back in league action and our European hangover isn’t shaken off until the 90th minute when Debbah steals a point. With these players and this formation we really should be scoring more goals and getting results, but we’re not and I’m not sure at the moment what the answer is.
The answer definitely isn’t playing champions Watford away.
We’re behind from the 1st minute and never really in it. Rubi-gol scores in his rumoured favourite position but when your Pluck’s out it seems like nothing is going right for you.
Still, we have nothing to Fear when we visit Tyneside and Juanmi (Luis Enrique) is back on loan from Las Palmas and scores to set up a 3-1 win and 3 points on the board.
Back into the Champions League and a chance to get our European campaign up and running after a disastrous first result against FC Croatia. Rosenborg don’t agree though and we rely on a late Thompson equaliser to rescue a point.
It leaves the table like this…and we visit AC Milan next….
If we lose that fixture, we may as well burn our passports and give up this season on Europe which will really put my challenge in jeopardy.
In the domestic league, we are wallowing in 8th. Ok, we are only 2 pts off 2nd place and the league is tightly packed, but we can’t seem to put a run together to take advantage.
Maybe this is the problem, a wantaway striker.
Maybe I sold sell last seasons top scorer. He’s worth over £8m and is 28 but the trouble is, who would I replace him with? I have £40m in the bank, but have real trouble attracting the players I want. It seems nobody wants to come to mid-table inconsistent Forest, and who can blame them. I guess I could give Thompson or Twinge a chance upfront with Rubi-Gol and say bye bye to Zizi Debbah.
As you can tell by my tone, the hangover from last seasons title-miss seems to have infected me and my team and I’m hoping we can salvage something from our European campaign in the next part and I hope I haven’t put you off from joining me again next week.
Before we go, our customary round up of the teams you guys turned down…
Liverpool – They missed out on promotion back to the Premiership last season, but after 12 games they are sitting 4th in Division 1, Alan Shearer aiming for managerial recognition now that he has hung up his boots.
Lazio – Last seasons promotion from Serie B has been a bit of a step up for them and they are hovering just above the drop zone and are out of the Copa Italia already, losing 1-0 to Parma.
Espanyol – 5th in the league and top of their Champions League group with two wins from two, but they’ve sold William Gallas to Juventus who are below Lazio in Serie A!
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_C_Wills