A state of the art stadium, a Champions League final squad and one or two precocious youngsters. Tottenham Hotspur are a club with great potential and an appealing dugout to occupy on Football Manager 2020.
Mauricio Pochettino took his players as far as he could, but the groundwork has been well and truly put in place by the Argentine coach.
In recent history Spurs have established themselves as top four regulars, but fans will now be hoping for a coach to enter the frame and unsettle the duopoly of Liverpool and Manchester City at the Premier League summit.
So, can you be the manager to step into the fold and assemble a title-contending squad? Will you build on the legacy forged by Pochettino in north London?
If you’re up for the task and believe you can be the one to end the club’s 11-year silverware drought then we have the complete lowdown on Spurs in FM20 below…
When you arrive in Enfield, home of Spurs’ immaculate training ground, there is only one man to greet you first: Daniel Levy.
The club’s shrewd chairman will be expecting you to pick up from where Pochettino left off and has outlined his vision for Spurs going forward with a seven-point plan:
- Play attacking football
- Sign players under the age of 22 for the future
- Play possession football
- Sign English players
- Develop players using the club’s youth system
- Do not sign players over the age of 30
- Play entertaining football
It is a comprehensive and relentless list; one can only wonder whether Levy put forward the same objectives to Jose Mourinho. But, then again you are the new kid on the managerial block and have a lot to prove – here is your chance.
Style of football is, of course, important to a club with the talents of Spurs. You are encouraged to play an expansive game, focusing on the attacking aspects of your playing squad.
You won’t exactly be featherbedded by Levy, in terms of funds to play around with, but he hasn’t been stingy either. You have a transfer budget of £30m, rising to £37m, while a wage budget of £2.1m p/w has been set – not bad considering what has already been spent over the summer.
It isn’t quite Man City territory, but it’s still a pretty decent amount. On to the coaching staff and you will have a seven-man team by your side including Pochettino’s trusty No. 2 Jesus Perez and Miguel D’Agostino.
And finally, Spurs boast a “state of the art” training complex and youth facilities, as well as “good” academy coaching and youth recruitment.
There are multiple ways you can go here, but the 4-2-3-1 worked well for Pochettino and will perhaps be your best bet as well.
To adhere to Levy’s stylistic demands, your tactical approach will be positive, focusing on building from the back, playing short, snappy passes and looking to work the ball into the opposition box.
In transition, Hugo Lloris will look to distribute to the defenders, who will operate as the springboards for attacking moves, while out of possession a higher defensive line will be encouraged, as will a relentless counter-press.
As for the backline, Serge Aurier and Danny Rose will occupy the flanks as attack-minded wing-backs, looking to surge up the pitch and offer support in the final third, while Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen can look to re-establish their once indomitable partnership.
The central midfield double-pivot will consist of Harry Winks, the ball-playing dictator and Tanguy Ndombele, the engine. Further forward Giovani Lo Celso will take up the No. 10 berth, while Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min will flank the Argentine on either side of the pitch.
And of course, through the middle will be the clinical and prolific Harry Kane, who can drop deep to link up play, drive through the middle to unsettle centre-backs, and find pockets of space to run into and create hassle.
Every top club needs a top striker and in Kane, Spurs have one of the greatest finishers on the planet. With a 19-rating for finishing the England international is a true goalscorer and will guarantee you at least 20 goals a season.
Kane may be the trusty source of goals but Son is certainly no laggard. The South Korean boasts a remarkable 16-rated finishing for a winger, while his work rate and off the ball exploits make for a perfect counter-pressing player.
Giovani Lo Celso
With Christian Eriksen off the following summer and unwilling to negotiate a new contract, Lo Celso is a ready-made replacement and someone who can more than fill the Dane’s creative void. With an agreed £35m fee already in place for Lo Celso’s permanent signature from Real Betis, the Argentine can come straight into your side and establish a key starting role for years to come.
Best young players
Parrott starts in the Under-23s but you may consider promoting the young Irishman to the first team fold such is his potential and obvious talent. The teenager makes for an excellent deputy to Kane and could one day succeed the English marksman if he is developed accordingly.
Sessegnon is not as good on this version of FM than he has perhaps been on previous editions, while he also starts off with a long-term injury, but his versatility on the flank and still excellent potential make him an exciting prospect on the game.
The tenacity, bravery and work rate of Skipp constitute a very impressive central midfield, who will be an important player to have in and around the first team. He is proficient in defensive midfield and further up the pitch, and could one day transform into a very competent Premier League regular.
With Vertonghen into his 30s and uncertainty over Alderweireld’s future – the Belgian has a £25m release clause – you may want to find a central defender for the future. In keeping with Levy’s philosophy to sign players under the age of 22 while also being English, Norwich City’s Godfrey appears the perfect match. He has the requisite ball-playing skills to step into the Spurs fold, while he also boasts top defensive attributes.
Another who fits Levy’s start-of-the-season proposals, Bogle established himself under Frank Lampard at Derby last season and develops into one of the best right-backs on the game. Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters are competent options on the right flank but in the long-term, Bogle is certainly the way forward.
As mentioned, Eriksen is likely to part ways at the end of the campaign unless something dramatic happens throughout the season, so why not prepare for the future and recruit an understudy to Lo Celso – or perhaps a rival? Verschaeren is genuinely one of, if not the best teenagers on FM20 and can be nurtured into a Ballon d’Or-contending playmaker.
At £4.1m Bellingham looks expensive for a 15-year-old, but he will be worth every penny. The energetic and technically excellence mezzala can be signed to compete alongside Winks and one day look to supplant the English metronome.
No longer needed
The Kenyan midfielder may prove useful to keep around down the line, but he is wanted by numerous clubs and could attract a substantial fee. If you can get around £20m for his services then by all means take it and add further weight to your transfer kitty.
Another who may prove useful to have around as the season progresses but with Lucas your first choice winger on the right and Lamela possessing just a two-and-a-half star rating, you could look to offload him and bring in some serious funds.
Vorm is a bit harmless, but with the Dutchman on a wage package of £40K p/w and Paulo Gazzaniga the No. 2 to Lloris it may be worth looking to ship the stalwart out in January and garner some sort of return for him – however small that may be.