Football Manager 2017: Tottenham Hotspur Team Guide
Want to lead the Lilywhites to their first league title since 1961? Use our complete club guide for tips and hints on how best to do this!
Commonly referred to as Spurs, they’re a club with a rich history. They were the first team to win the League and FA Cup double in the 1960-61 season and the first English team to win a UEFA cup competition, winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963. Spurs also became the first British club to win two different major European cup competitions after winning the UEFA Cup in 1972. Their last trophy was a League Cup in 2008 and your task will be to take Tottenham back to the glory days and capture their first ever Premier League and a first title since the double winning team of 1961. Fans of the club associate themselves most with the ‘Tottenham Way,’ an attacking, attractive style of football encompassed by legends Bill Nicholson and Danny Blanchflower: “The game is about glory,” the latter is renowned for having said. With a new stadium on the horizon in 2018, you would be joining the club on the brink of something special.
Upon welcoming you to the club, chairman Daniel Levy will present you with a list of the club’s philosophies:
- Play possession football
- Play attacking football
- Sign young players for the first team
- Develop players using the club’s youth system
Expectations are understandably high at Tottenham and this is what will be expected of you:
- Premier League: Qualify for the Europa League
- FA Cup: Reach the semifinal
- Champions League: Reach the first knockout round
- EFL Cup: Not important
Transfer budget: £50m
Wage budget: £1.9m p/w (current spend: £1.5m p/w)
Tottenham actually have a very strong squad capable of challenging for the league title without any further additions. Other notable players include Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
Your defensive linchpin is the Belgian ball-playing centre-back Toby Alderweireld. Firstly, he may actually make a good choice for captaincy because of his leadership (16) and teamwork (15). Defensively, Alderweireld is outstanding: marking 16, tackling 16 and positioning 17. In terms of his technical ability, he can pass (15), which is aided by his technique (15) and vision (11). Mentally, he reads the game well (anticipation 17), he’s composed (15), brave (15) and his decision-making is strong (15).
Eriksen is your starting number ten and he’s most effective playing behind the striker as an advanced playmaker with the ‘support’ duty. It’s his ability on the ball that is reflected by his four star rating. His passing is excellent (16), which is aided by his first touch (16), technique (18), vision (17) and decision-making (16). Eriksen is also hard working (16), determined (14), and has good movement (16). His ability on the ball is also aided by his agility (16).
With 4.5 star potential, Harry Kane is one of the best players at the club and, additionally, has the potential to become one of the best strikers in the game. Whilst his best role is listed as a target man, he’s most effective as a complete forward. This is because he can finish (16), move off the ball (15) and is focussed (17), like a poacher, but he can head (16) and works hard (16), like a target man, plus he possesses the dribbling (12), first touch (13) and vision (13) of a deep-lying forward. Essentially, Kane can do it all and you should utilise him in this way to get the best out of him.
Tottenham have state of the art training facilities and top youth facilities, so you should make the most of the academy by loaning out your young players and allowing them to develop as there are numerous names that could potentially play a role in the first-team in the near future.
You have an heir on your hands in the academy in the form of the 18-year-old American centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers. CCV has already made a few EFL Cup appearances and looks mature and assured on the ball and in defence, hence he’s best suited as a ball-playing centre-back. He has 4.5 star potential and a loan move would be useful for his development. His base defensive attributes are strong; marking 15, tackling 14 and positioning 12. His passing (13), technique (11) and first touch (12) also make him good on the ball. Mentally, his decision-making (12), bravery (13) and composure (11) are his standout attributes.
The 17-year-old academy prospect has already made a first-team appearance in the EFL Cup third round against Gillingham. Although only rated two star at present, he has the potential to be one of the best players at the club and should be nurtured accordingly. He could be the heir to Christian Eriksen because of his passing (11), first touch (13) and technique (14). This is also aided by his vision (12), flair (15), decision-making (12) and composure (12). Edwards is also very quick (pace 15 and acceleration 13). Edwards is best suited as an advanced playmaker in the central attacking midfield position.
With four star potential, Onomah, 19, has the potential to be a key player for the team, which is reflected in his inclusion in Tottenham’s first team squad, as opposed to their U23s. However, he’s not first-team ready just yet and should be sent for a season on loan as regular football in the top flight will aid his development. Onomah is a versatile player capable of playing in central midfield, behind the striker or out wide. His best role, though, is as an advanced playmaker. This is because of his passing (13), technique (14) and first touch (13). He also has strong vision (13), flair (14) and composure (14).
Tottenham have a very versatile squad and, in reality, Mauricio Pochettino has proven that his squad are capable of playing in a variety of formations, such as 3-4-3, 4-3-1-2, 3-5-2, but the go-to formation and the one that’s proven most effective is 4-2-3-1.
In terms of team instructions, you should look to encourage your players to play out of defence because of Alderweireld and Vertonghen’s strength on the ball and exploit the flanks because of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose’s pace and attacking threat. Spurs also rank second in the league for crossing, so looking for the overlap may also prove effective. Tottenham’s dribbling, similarly, ranks 4th, so running at defences is also a good idea. Spurs are the best at marking in the league, so make sure to use the mark opponents tightly instruction.
Spurs are renown for their fitness and stamina, so playing with a higher tempo can work. This should be coupled with the close down more instruction and counter mentality if you want to play Pochettino’s ‘counter-pressing’ style. In terms of shape, instruct your players to play fairly wide. Be wary of your fullbacks attacking mindset, though, as it could leave you exposed. To combat this, play with a ball-winning midfielder in the centre, such as Victor Wanyama or Eric Dier.
|Numerous youth prospects||Low overall jumping reach|
|Impressive squad depth at CM||Poor depth at CB|
|Impressive decision-making||Poor depth at ST|
|Generally high level of first touch||Low levels of aggression and commitment|
|Big transfer budget||Leadership void|
|Large wage budget|
|Strong coaching team|
|Extensive scouting network|
|State of the art facilities|
Tottenham are most short of quality out wide as none of Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela, Heung-Min Son or Georges-Kevin Nkoudou are good enough to take Tottenham to the next level. Spurs also need a proven back-up to Harry Kane and, if you have spare cash, Jan Vertonghen could be upgraded.
Tottenham are lacking in quality out wide. Whilst Heung-Min Son and Erik Lamela are good players, they’re not of the quality to really take the club to the elite bracket of European football and you should look to replace at least one of them in your first season. Perhaps take a look at Andriy Yarmolenko. The Ukranian, however, is already 26-years-old and to fit in line with Tottenham’s philosophy, you could also take a look at some younger options. These include Domenico Berardi of Sassuolo, Gelson Martins of Sporting Lisbon or Nabil Fekir of Lyon.
Although Tottenham signed Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar over the summer, the Dutchman only has three star potential and more immediate quality is needed in up front if you are to keep Kane fit and healthy throughout the season. A young player you could look at here is Saido Berahino of West From, who is out of contract in 2018. However, he won’t be content to be Kane’s second-fiddle. You could look at Charlie Austin of Southampton or Danny Ings of Liverpool. Both would accept a ‘rotation’ squad status and are proven in the Premier League.
Players no longer needed
Tom Carroll has been living on the promise of his potential for a number of years now, but at 24-year-old, he’s no longer in a position to deliver said potential and should be shipped out immediately. Federico Fazio is somehow still contracted to Tottenham, though he’s on loan at Roma, and you should definitely offload him if at all possible.
Nabil Bentaleb is on loan at Schalke and you could offload the temperamental midfielder for a decent fee if you don’t fancy taking a chance on him. Whilst Georges-Kevin Nkoudou only signed in the summer, Football Manager don’t rate him particularly highly and he could be sold in a year or two for another decent fee as he is only 21-years-old. Similarly, Clinton N’Jie can also be shown the door as he’s virtually the same player as Nkoudou.
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