The Forest | Ep 05 - Complete Makeover | FM21


Posted on December 27, 2020 | ⌚ 4 min read



Story Blog Post # 007

We needed a win from 4 games to win the title, which was easily delivered as we played bottom half of the table. I can't believe how easy the league table looks, considering the difficult patches we had.

Interestingly, Norwich failed to go up, losing to Brentford in the playoff finals. I decided I'd take advantage of this situation...

I also promised earlier that the DoF would be sacked as soon as we are promoted, and I duly delivered, replacing him with Sterling:

By the end of the first season, I have come to know the squad inside out, and our weakness are well known by now. The fate of Forest lies in this upcoming transfer window, as I should somehow address our weakness and improve the rest of the team. With a budget of 38M.

Playing predominantly in a 4-4-1-1 shape, here is a quick breakdown of our squad, according to the squad building guidelines I set earlier:

GK: Samba, Jordan Smith

Goalkeeping department is fine with Samba, but an upgrade is required nonetheless, but with a low priority.

DR: Cyrus Christie (on loan), Jenkinson

Two of the lowest performers in the squad, a first choice player with a backup are urgently required

CB: McKenna, Figueirdo, Worrall, Mbe Soh, Dawson

We have options at the back, but first choice options are not reliable enough, as they were inconsistent in the championship. A defensive leader is required, with another first choice option.

DL: Ribiero, Bong

Same as the opposite flank, I urgently need a top player and a backup for this role

CM: Arter, White (loan), Yates, Sow

Our midfield wasn't bad, but not spectacular. We lacked the passing ability at times, that put us under extended pressure. Therefore, I need a couple of DLPs and ball winning midfielders.

MLR: Sims, Lolley, Amaechi (loan)

Our wide players are good, but not good enough to carry the attacking responsibility of the team. Top players needed here too.

AMC: Jones, Freeman (loan), Carvalho (loaned out)

Jones is a top player, and will continue to hold this position in the Premier League after we extended his loan, with Carvalho playing second fiddle to him.

ST: Puscas, Grabban, Guerrero

Grabban and Guerrero aren't target men, and will be listed right away. Similar to the winger department, Puscas isn't able to carry the team in the top division, and therefore, a first choice target man is required along with Puscas.

We needed 1 GK, 2 RBs, 2 LBs, 2 CBs, 3 CMs, 2 MLRs, 1 ST - a total of 13 players.

Obviously, I couldn't afford to buy quality throughout every position, so I decided to follow a stricter approach:

Recruit experience for the defence, and splash the cash on key attacking flair options.

Why? Simply, our team is built for defending, so the team's tactic already provides a good base for defending. However, as we defend deep, we need cooler, more experienced heads to handle sustained pressure.

We also have the advantage of not requiring pace in the defenders, as we are deep anyways.

On the offense, we need players that could dribble, maintain hold of the ball, quick and intelligent in order to facilitate quick transitions. These are not cheap and it is wise to spend on these players to try and beat the drop.

Promotion Transfer

It was a frenzy for us in the transfer window, from the moment we are promoted, till the end of our pre-season. We made several major transfers and collected a lot of bargains in the process. Bear in mind that most of these transfer amounts are paid in instalments:

  1. Goalkeepers

    I did not intend to replace Samba, however, a rare opportunity arise to make some cash, as Milan came knocking for him - paying 11.75M for him. I couldn't say no for this amount, and replaced him with a couple of top options, Wuliker Farinez for 1.9M and Dominic Greif for 600K . Getting two betters options than Samba and earning 9M in the process is top business in my opinion.

    GKs: Farinez, Grief

    Farinez

    Greif

  2. Full backs

    As we released Bong, sold Jenkinson and let Christie leave, I signed Sema for 5.5M from Watford, as recommended by our scouts. However, I came to regret it, as I realized later that he is better as a left winger at most. Expensive mistake. To make it up, I decided he'd play second fiddle and signed Ricca for 7.5M from Club Brugge for the left back position. On the opposite flank, we got George Baldock for 9.5M, supplemented by a free transfer of experienced Adam Smith as backup on both flanks.

    DL: Ricca, Sema

    Ricca

    Sema

    DR: Baldcok, Smith

    Baldock

    Smith

  3. Central Defenders

    As discussed above, I needed an experienced defensive leader to organize and lead us at the back. This came in the shape of free transfer of experienced Marcos Rojo. He is joined by young Diogo Quieros for 1.3M, in a bargain by our new DoF. Mbe Soh joins Seattle on loan for game time.

    DCR: Quieros, Figueirdo, Worrall

    Quieros

    DCL: Rojo, McKenna

    Rojo

  4. Centre Midfield

    Our midfield options aren't simply good enough. This required the signing of Lewis Cook for 13.75M, Allan Campbell for 300K from Aberdeen, along with free transfers of veteran Lucas Biglia and Lundstram. Curtis Jones could also play a role here.

    CML: Biglia, Campbell

    Biglia

    Campbell

    CMR: Cook, Lundstram

    Cook

    Lundstram

  5. Wingers

    Remember when I said I should take advantage of Norwich not managing a promotion? I raided them to sign Buendia for 22.5M and Todd Cantwell for 24M. Two top signings that I am very satisfied of! Experienced Jesse Lingard joins for 825K who can play a variety of roles across the midfield.

    MR: Buendia, Lingard

    Buendia

    Lingard

    ML: Cantwell, Sims

  6. Playmakers

    Besides the return of Carvalho from Almeria upon the end of his loan, no business was made here.

    AMC: Jones, Carvalho

    Carvalho

  7. Striker

    Finally, the best we can muster, and afford, is former Spurs striker, Vincent Janssen for 4.9M.

    ST: Janssen, Puscas

    Janssen

We carried out a complete makeover of the squad, and am very satisfied and excited about it. Preseason went well, with the usual demolitions of complete minnows for improvement of morale and team cohesion, especially after signing a complete team:

I can't wait for our first game against Leeds

What do you think about the squad? Does it got what it takes to keep us up? Or will we require improvements in any particular position?

Until next update

Excited to blog for you,

Ahmed Mohamed.

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