Soccer

Ay Up, Me Champions League Duck! #2

I’m back with a Season 2 round-up of my CM01/02 challenge to win the Champions League with Nottingham Forest in 5 seasons. Here are the general rules again:

  1. Only one nation’s league(s) will be run per save.
  2. One goal per save – any deviation from that goal or additional achievements will not count.
  3. The goal must be achieved in five seasons or less otherwise it will be classed as a failure.
  4. The 3.9.68 and Tapani patches will be used alongside the original database
  5. “Cheat” players can be signed except for Maxim Tsigalko

In the previous season, I won the old First Division title and somehow grabbed the FA Cup along with it. Let’s see how the team looks after Season 2 (because I forgot to get a pre-season team sheet)

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 Nottingham Forest - Sunday 22nd June 2003
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====================================================================================================
 Squad
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No  Name                       Position(s)  Nat  Born      Age  Caps Gls  Wages     Expires   Value
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
14  Andrade, Luis              DM RC        POR  30.9.73   29   -    -    £2.4K     5.6.06    £3.3M     
27  Aslan, Haci                AM RC        SWE  1.9.84    18   -    -    £350      28.6.05   £1.1M     
-   Beale, Matthew             M RC         ENG  13.9.82   20   -    -    £130      25.6.04   £75K      
12  Bopp, Eugen                M RC         GER  5.9.83    19   -    -    £5.75K    7.8.06    £1.9M     
10  Burton, Deon               S C          JAM  25.10.76  26   12   4    £12.25K   27.6.08   £3.1M     
21  Byrne, James               D C          ENG  3.10.84   18   -    -    £275      25.6.05   £425K     
18  Cash, Brian                M RL         IRL  24.11.82  20   -    -    £4.3K     7.8.04    £1.1M     
17  Dawson, Michael            D RLC        ENG  18.11.83  19   -    -    £350      30.6.07   £975K     
3   Doig, Christopher          D LC         SCO  13.2.81   22   -    -    £425      30.6.03   £7K       
22  Dunwell, Michael           S C          ENG  6.1.80    23   -    -    £3.8K     17.6.07   £6.5M     
33  Edwards, Christian         D C          WAL  23.11.75  27   1    -    £3.3K     30.6.04   £775K     
6   Edwards, Paul              AM L         ENG  1.1.80    23   -    -    £2.6K     13.6.08   £1.5M     
24  Formann, Pascal            GK           GER  16.11.82  20   -    -    £180      7.8.05    £180K     
-   Fox, Mark                  S C          ENG  8.11.85   17   -    -    £130      4.6.04    £375K     
28  Gould, Ian                 DM C         ENG  25.11.85  17   -    -    £700      14.6.05   £550K     
29  Green, Danny               S C          ENG  1.3.86    17   -    -    £650      25.6.05   £275K     
31  Griffiths, Neil            D/DM RC      ENG  18.2.80   23   -    -    £170      28.6.05   £100K     
26  Groves, Tom                M C          ENG  23.2.86   17   -    -    £350      14.6.06   £475K     
16  G¸iza                      S C          ESP  17.8.80   22   -    -    £16.5K    2.6.05    £4.8M     
13  Harewood, Marlon           F RLC        ENG  25.8.79   23   -    -    £5.75K    12.6.07   £4.9M     
-   Hedley, Adam               GK           ENG  4.6.83    20   -    -    £130      4.6.04    £55K      
34  Heikkinen, Markus          D/DM C       FIN  13.10.78  24   4    -    £2.7K     22.6.07   £5M       
7   Hugo                       M R          CMR  22.2.80   23   1    -    £675      25.6.06   £5.25M    
9   Johnson, David             S C          ENG  15.8.76   26   -    -    £7.5K     30.6.04   £2.2M     
23  Larsson, Stefan            D LC         SWE  12.1.83   20   -    -    £2.4K     5.6.05    £1.2M     
-   Lovell, Gary               D C          ENG  7.11.85   17   -    -    £525      14.6.05   £220K     
32  Nash, Carlo                GK           ENG  13.9.73   29   -    -    £3.6K     22.6.08   £2.4M     
35  Pagliuca, Gianluca         GK           ITA  18.12.66  36   39   -    £8K       27.6.05   £1.7M     
20  Reid, Andy                 F LC         IRL  29.7.82   20   -    -    £9.75K    14.6.06   £3M       
25  Saastamoinen, Jarmo        SW/D C       FIN  20.9.67   35   22   -    £6K       2.6.05    £160K     
5   Tavlaridis, Stathis        SW/D C       GRE  25.1.80   23   2    -    £3.4K     9.6.07    £2.6M     
15  Thompson, John             D/DM RC      IRL  12.10.81  21   -    -    £5.5K     19.7.04   £975K     
11  Toone, Leigh               S C          ENG  26.1.82   21   -    -    £130      25.6.05   £425K     
4   Walker, Des                D C          ENG  26.11.65  37   59   -    £4.6K     30.6.03   £1K       
1   Ward, Darren               GK           WAL  11.5.74   29   1    -    £10.75K   21.6.06   £2.4M     
19  Westcarr, Craig            AM/F R       ENG  29.1.85   18   -    -    £3.6K     30.6.04   £1.3M     
-   Whiting, Louie             GK           ENG  18.8.82   20   -    -    £140      4.6.04    £45K      
8   Williams, Gareth           M C          SCO  16.12.81  21   3    -    £6.75K    21.6.08   £4M       

The League

Sorry, completely forgot to get a top 5 screenshot. But the good news is… we qualified for the Champions League at the first time of asking! We had a great start to the season and stayed at the top for a few games before hitting a rough patch, followed by an 18-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Then we jostled with Arsenal for 2nd place and would have got it if it wasn’t for 2 defeats in the last 2 games against Arsenal, who were in 3rd at the time, and Newcastle, who were 4th. But I’ll take it. We’ll just have to go through qualifying first. No pressure…

The Cups

The League Cup campaign stopped at the 3rd Round after a poor 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United. It would have meant nothing to win it in this challenge but we should have done better.

As for the FA Cup, we got so close but fell in the semi-final to Liverpool. We lost 4-1 and Owen got a hat-trick, the bastard. Still, a 10-match winning streak in the FA Cup is a nice achievement in its own right.

Diouf kept his saliva to himself this time.

Oh yeah, and we were in Europe for the first time since 1995. We opened our UEFA Cup campaign against Polish side Pogon Szczecin and beat them 7-1 on aggregate. Next were Vitesse and they were dispatched 5-2 on aggregate. Atlanta were next in the 3rd Round. We drew the first leg away 2-2 meaning we took 2 away goals back to the City Ground. But we couldn’t capitalise and lost the second leg 1-0. We tried!

The Transfers

If that Güiza transfer looks weird, it’s because I cheated! I did the month-to-month contract trick to get him to sign, decided to leave on a Bosman (not part of the plan), and I re-signed him on a favourable contract. Deon Burton was unhappy at Derby and I decided to sign him to increase the Jamaican contingent (alongside David Johnson) and Caribbean contingent (alongside Marlon Harewood, who was eligible to play for Barbados).

Goalkeeping was a concern so I signed Carlo Nash but he let too many in so I signed former World Cup finalist Gianluca Pagliuca and after a shaky start, he kept 12 clean sheets in 24 matches.

The Players

  • Highest average rating: Stefan Larsson – 7.81
  • Top goalscorer: Michael Dunwell – 22
  • Most appearances: Haci Aslan – 49
  • Most assists: Haci Aslan – 15
  • Most MoM awards: Hugo – 6

Not as high as last season but, given this was the team’s first season in the Premier League, this was an incredible effort. Also nice to see Hugo and Haci Aslan feature. Still can’t believe I got them both for free.

Catch me in Season 3 to see how I did in my second Premier League season with Forest and how I fared in the Champions League.

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