Tottenham Hotspurs, known commonly to their fans as Spurs, are a team which have have invested heavily during the summer, bringing in the likes of Etienne Capoue, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen. All of these signings however, were funded by the departure of their star player for the last few seasons, Gareth Bale, for roughly £85 million, making him the most expensive player in history, until that record was broken by Barcelona’s Neymar. Your task in Football Manager is to try and implement these new signings effectively, without ruining your squad harmony, as well as fill in any gaps that your departures have left behind, while still doing well on all fronts, especially the league.
Finances and BudgetThe board have high expectations of you for the coming season, but they reward you with hefty transfer budgets to get these goals. The lowest expectation you can choose is Qualify for the Europa League, a pretty easy job for a fairly experienced Football Manager play, and they give you £20 million transfer budget, and a £1.4 million wage budget to achieve this. If however, you feel you can do better, look at the next expectation, the one which is recommended for the average player, which is to qualify for the Champions League, for which you are given a £24.5 million transfer budget, and a £1.5 million wage budget. This may seem difficult with the teams in and around those spots, but looking at your squad, you should definitely be able to accomplish this, if you use your funds correctly. The final expectation you are offered is to challenge for the title, which gives you a £27 million transfer budget, and a £1.5 million wage budget. Only very experienced players or people looking for a challenge should take up this offer, as it will prove to be hard to compete with the likes of the Manchester clubs and Chelsea for the top spot.
TacticsOne of the most important things that you need for a successful career on Football Manager is a good tactic. Keeping one tactic throughout a whole save will not be very effective but here are just a few that should work ideally to start off with.
The most useful formation you should use for the majority of your games this season is the 4-2-3-1. It gives a good balance in your team, with solid cover defensively, and lots of various outlets offensively. Your AMC will be one the most important people on the pitch, as he will be in the centre of all your attacks, linking the play between your two defensive midfielders, and your attacking trio. Another key factor in making this work is how you manage your DM’s. One should be more defensive, covering your centre-backs, negating the effect of the opposing midfield, while the other should be a bit more attacking, while still being able to track back, a box to box style player would suit this role perfectly.
For a more attacking tactic to be used on lower league sides or on teams on poor form to create a clear goal difference between your sides, the 4-1-3-2 will be one of the most effective. It again centres around the midfield, but adds another man up front, allowing for more avenues for the ball to be played into. The dynamic between these two strikers will be key to your team, as they should be able to link up and interchange with ease. There is also increased importance played on the lone DM, who now will play almost as another centre back, purely for defensive purposes.
For tough games in Europe, or games against sides high up in the league with strong attacking qualities, the 4-5-1 will be your best bet. It focuses on a packed midfield, not allowing any through balls into the opposition striker, cutting off all possible supply lines. The two wide men will be important to this tactic, as they will not only have to help out their fullbacks in stopping any threats from the wings, but will be in most instances your key to any counter attacks, meaning that they should have good pace and crossing, in order to supply the striker quickly yet efficiently.
First 11 Positional AnalysisGoalkeeper- Between the posts, you have the French international keeper, Hugo Lloris, who is tipped by many as one of the worlds’ greatest goalkeepers after his spell with Lyon and his showing for the national side. However, he has come into slight criticism for his performances after his move to Spurs, but he has still seemed a confident, capable keeper, and he should be your first choice. Second choice goalkeeper Brad Friedel is more than capable of filling the net, should Lloris be out for any reason.The veteran keeper still seems to have the head for the role but maybe a younger option would be better for the future. At a last resort, Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes may well be a decent option, but during his time at Spurs, he has been under constant fire from the press and fans and found himself shipped out on loan last season.
Left Back- The left back role is one position that needs to be strengthened, and is one which Tottenham have struggled to fill last season, after the departure of Benoit Assou- Ekotto on loan. Your main option here is Danny Rose, a 23 year old English player, who is extremely versatile, and can play all down the left hand side of this pitch. However, left back is his preferred position, and is where he will reach his potential the best. As backup, you have Jan Vertonghen, one of your best centre backs, who is also capable of playing here, as well as Kyle Naughton, who is predominantly a right back, but can switch sides as a last resort.
Centre Back- Spurs are blessed with some very talented central defenders, however many of them are susceptible to injury. Your first choice will be Jan Vertonghen, a tall versatile Belgium, who joined from Ajax, and has since displayed great qualities to earn him the starting role, due to his pace and strength. His partner at the back should be another pacy player, Younes Kaboul. The 27 year old Frenchman may be a year older than Vertonghen, but displays much the same attributes especially physically. If however, either of them are tired or injured, then the next best player who is adept here is club captain, Michael Dawson. 29 year old Dawson is a much more old fashioned defender, relying on good awareness and work rates, rather than his physical talents. However, due to his age, he has become fairly susceptible to injury, a factor you might want to consider if you ever want to offload him. Such was this a problem in real life that Spurs took action and bought in your last main centre back option, Vlad Chiriches. The 23 year old Romanian Chiriches has lots of potential, but is very heavily outweighed by your other options on his current ability, so playing him will have its risks.
Right Back- Kyle Walker is definitely the strongest option for this position and he has been praised for his performances lately and has been rewarded with a run in the English national side. He is known largely for his pace and dribbling skill and is great at both his natural defensive role and getting forward to join or supply the attack. Kyle Naughton, who was once tipped to be one of the best things to come out of England, is your second choice. However, he never lived up to his billing and has fallen out of the spotlight. But at the age of 25, he will still be a very capable player and will challenge Walker for the starting spot.
Left Midfielder/Winger- Spurs have some depth in the role, but most of them are too attacking to be playing in the left midfield role, as they track back poorly. Andros Townsend will be the only player capable to play here, but reinforcements will be needed if you are playing tactics with wide midfielders. However, if you playing with wingers, you are well equipped. Erik Lamela is the prime candidate for this position, as the new signing from Roma will be one of your most important players for the season if he is played right. Although, Lamela tends to be more effective on the right, you will want to look at another new signing, Nacer Chadli who can rotate with Lamela or even start, due to his impressive mental attributes.
Central Midfielder- Spurs are perfectly equipped in this position and have great depth as well. New signing Christian Eriksen has been tipped as one of the worlds’ brightest talents and for that reason, it is vital that you give him as much playing time as possible in the centre. Having signed from Ajax, the Dane will be a brilliant playmaker and should play some killer balls in towards your strikers. Another new signing, Brazilian midfielder, who works best as a defensive midfielder but is a great central midfielder as well. Fellow Brazilian, Sandro, who also performs best in the defensive midfielder role, is again, more than capable of playing centrally. Other suitable, and very effective options here are Lewis Holtby, although the German is currently out on loan to Fulham, Etienne Capoue, and Belgian Moussa Dembélé.
Right Midfielder/Winger- The right midfield and right winger positions are probably one of Spurs’ most stocked and high calibre positions. First choice will be Erik Lamela, who is easily the best wide player in the whole team when he is on form, and the 21 year old Argentine will be key to your season. You have two choices as backup, both of which can do a very good job. Firstly, there is Aaron Lennon, the 26 year old who is nearly as good as Lamela, and is infamous for his pace, but has already reached his potential, and is in his prime years. This will be a good time to either use him, or sell him, as he will go for a decent sum. The last player who can play here is Andros Townsend, a player who has impressed in real life, but is not that great in game. He does have decent potential, but he doesn't have the best current ability, and he is already 21, which means you will need to play him a lot in order to reach his potential, something which your team might not be able to afford.
Striker- Tottenham have recently strengthened their striking options, and now they look like a force to be dealt with up front. You have three potential options here. Most notably, and probably your best player here is Roberto Soldado. The 28 year old Spaniard can head any attack in the world due to his work rate, both off and on the ball, as well as his strength in the air. If you are playing a formation with 2 strikers, your best bet for his partner is Emmanuel Adebayor. The Togolese striker has been an important part of the Spurs team since Tim Sherwood’s reign at White Hart Lane began and will do a good job when called upon. However, as he is aging, it may be wise to seek out a long-term replacement.
Potential WeaknessesNow you know which players make up your team, and which players are not needed, you need to work on the obvious areas that need improvement. There are some obvious weak links in the team so here are some options for some players who you may be interested in signing.
Position 1 - Left Back It may be wise to invest in a cover for Danny Rose, with Kyle Naughton not really being up to a suitable standard to fill the role. Jan Vertonghen could fill the role, but his talent as a centre back would be wasted. To fill the position should you sell Rose, or should he be suspended for any reason, I think a very suitable option would be Kevin Constant. Milan shouldn’t demand too much for the Guinean, and his wages are likely to be lower than other options that may crop up. Either of Swansea City’s left backs, Neil Taylor and Ben Davies, are also sure to do a good job, and again, shouldn’t break the bank.
Position 2 - Goalkeeper Seeing as Brad Friedel is really getting into the late stages of his career, and Heurhelho Gomes isn’t good enough, it would be very clever to buy a long-term replacement for the two goalkeepers, as a cover for first choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who I once again stress will do an amazing job for you. Past experience of playing the game takes me straight to Itumeleng Khune. A cheap, solid goalkeeper, who doesn’t complain much, and for a fee of around £500,000, is a complete bargain. Carlos Kameni, Malaga’s goalkeeper, has entered the final year of his contract with the Spanish side, and will be available for cheap as well.
ConclusionSo after reading this guide, I hope you have taken away some vital information about how you will be able to use your tactics, squad, and transfer budget to the best of your ability. I urge you if you are unsure about something, to give it a go, and see how your experiences differentiate from the ones in this guide.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.