Forest Losing Their Kekkle

Approaching the half way point of the season, and a run of 6 games without a win has put the brakes on the playoff places push.
Defeats to Ipswich Town, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham and Preston North End have seen the Trees slip way down the EFL Championship table, the current league table is shown below, we languish in 16th place, 8pts off the bottom, but still only 5pts from the play off places, still lots to play for.

full league table

That is if I manage to survive the season, the board are not happy with me, as shown by my current trust rating below, I still have several objectives to fulfil, which is reflected in my low rating, managing to scout a few decent youth players to sign to defensive, midfield and attacking positions will help with my rating, but easier said than done, the rating for youth players is quite broad, so theres some guesswork needed to decide if a youth player may come good and fulfil their potential, any youths signed will immediately go out on loan to gain match experience, at the moment I need to do a Mourinho and just buy for the here and now, rather than building for the future.
I’m gagging to play in the Premier League, with all its realistic real world stadiums, and big match atmospheres.

board ratingYes, I have gone for the middle-ageing, bald, suited and booted managers avatar, there isn’t much choice in FIFA for personas to choose, I just fancied a Tony Pulis type character over the usual Damian Lewis lookalike.

Since my last post, over-performing Bojan has gone off the boil, he hasn’t scored in 5, and usually runs out of stamina around the 70 min mark so hasn’t been finishing many matches either, the club are devising a specific fitness regime for him with the chief fitness coach, in the hope of building upon his cardio base and helping him feature more prominently in the latter stage of matches.
New signings are needed, on a very tight budget, I did manage to put together a loan deal for a player I scouted heavily using the in-game search function, searching for young players with good finishing, and attacking prowess stats.

18 year old Jonathan David will be joining us in January on a 2 year loan deal, hoping he can provide some much needed firepower.

david stats

I have also switched my camera from the fixed custom Broadcast camera to the default broadcast camera, which is much more dynamic.
With the custom angle it stayed fixed that way for every match, with it set to default, the broadcast angle changes slightly depending on the stadium, which is a nice effect, every match feels slightly different and it adds to the atmosphere and experience.

The last match of my most recent play session was a Midlands Derby match, against Derby County, was great to hear the commentary team elude to this and provide location specific comments during the match, I lost that game 3-1, after levelling at 1-1, I was done on the counter attack twice after chasing a goal, World Class CPU will punish you if you don’t focus.

Below are the highlights from the Derby Match.

I was truly battered in that match, apart from the one goal we struggled to create anything of note, Soudani up top (the goalscorer)  is a great finisher, but with Grabban and Brewster as the other two CF choices, we are short of firepower, since this session, Jonathan David has signed on a 2 year loan deal and scored on his debut.

My next 3 matches provided one of the best sessions I’ve had on any football game, ever,
it truly was ‘the beautiful game’.

See The Forest Through the Tricky Trees

So we have Kick off!
My FIFA 2019 career is underway, with unanimous poll winner Nottingham Forest.
A club with a rich and storied history, previous league champions on two occasions, and former ~European cup Champions, now a fallen giant languishing in the EFL Championship, it will be my job to rebuild them and restore their place at the top of world footballs elite, no mean feat.

I have set up my career mode as shown below:

FIFA 19 Career Settings.pngI  will be playing on World Class difficulty, 5 main halves, and early signs are that the game plays very nicely indeed.

Upon starting I took a good 25 minutes to set up the team as I wanted, checking over player stats and traits and studying various formations.
This year, FIFA19 introduces ‘Dynamic Tactics’ which are a set of pre-defined formations and associated tactics and instructions that can be applied to the various attack/defence levels and applied on the fly in-game.
I have varying takes on a 5-4-1 set to the Ultra defensive and Defensive levels, with the former being an all out ‘defend in numbers’ and ultra aggressive style, and the latter easing up a little, still defending tight but allowing the counter attack too.
Then I have my ‘regular’ balanced formation of 4-4-2 diamond (or 4-1-2-1-2) for general play, and two varying styles of 4-3-3 for attacking and ultra attacking.

This allows you to dynamically change your team shape and style of play instantly in-game with no need to access menus, it’s a great addition and you can really see the changes take effect and shape the game.

FIFA 19 Career Notts Forest Setup.png

My objectives for the season, set by the board as shown above are to win automatic promotion, so a top two finish, and sign a top class player in an attacking position, and also promote a youth player to each of the defensive, midfield and attacking positions.
I started with an £18 million transfer budget, and immediately identified the need for a creative attacking midfielder, after setting up global scouting networks and searching the free agents, I settled on the idea of poaching fellow championship side Stoke’s CAM, Bojan.

Negotiation went back and forth and finally I managed to land Bojan in a £5.2 million deal, I had to guarantee him first team football in order to seal the deal.

FIFA 19 Career Sign Bojan.png

I also love the training options in FIFA, whereby you can assign 5 training schedules per week, and assign whichever player you want to various training drills, then save them as presets, so I went through and setup various schedules for Defending/Midfield/Attacking based around dribbling, tackling,  shooting and passing, and simulate all the drills so that I don’t have to play them myself, a good way to develop players skills and increase their overall rating, and worth.

So on to the games, at the time of writing I’d played 6 league matches, losing the first 3, with Bojan largely being ineffective, but a slight tweak of tactics and team shape , as well as dusting off the old PES muscle memory, has seen me since pick up 3 wins on the bounce and a draw, and am currently sitting 10th.
Bojan has scored 3 in his last 4 matches, and a final day of the transfer window also saw me bring in Adekanye, a RMF, from Liverpool for £2million, and I also took Rhiann Brewster from Liverpool on a season long loan.

The video below firstly shows the single goal I lost by in my opening game, and the one and only chance I had all match in a game where I really struggled to create anything.

Lastly this second video shows a couple of nicely taken goals, the first a finesse placed shot from the edge of their box, and then a dink cross into the box for a close range acrobatic finish.