It’s time for Tottenham’s pressure to account for something. Their side is filled with so much talent, but they always seem to fall at the final hurdle or give themselves too much to do early on in the season. It’s a talented squad, and one that needs to be lifting trophies as opposed to just challenging for them.
With quality all over the pitch, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to lift a trophy in your first season in charge of Spurs in Football Manager 2018, but can you build on that and turn Spurs into one of the giants of the Premier League?
Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy will welcome you to Tottenham and present the club’s philosophies. These are open for discussion, but they are currently to play possession football, play attacking football, sign young players for the first team and develop players using the club’s youth system.
Shortly after, Levy will discuss with you the expectations for the season. These are also negotiable, with more ambitious targets giving you greater finances to play with. The default is to qualify for the EURO Cup in the league (fifth place), reach the final of the FA Cup and reach the first knockout round of the Champions Cup. The Carabao Cup is marked as not important.
If you opt to be more ambitious and target Champions Cup qualification in the Premier League, you will be given an extra £17 million in you transfer budget.
Transfer: £65 million
Wage: £1.85 million per week (Current spend: £1.7 million)
Mauricio Pochettino has used a number of formations in the past 12 months alone, and you should go for the well-balanced 4-2-3-1 system. Your alternative systems are 4-3-3 and a 5-3-2.
Hugo Lloris is in the unsurprising choice in goal, with Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies making up the back four.
Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama provide the muscle in midfield, although you could go for the more dynamic Mousa Dembele.
Dele Alli is in attacking midfield, with Moussa Sissoko wide on the right and Christian Eriksen on the left side. Premier marksman Harry Kane leads the line.
Spurs have come on leaps and bounds over the past few seasons, and whereas they used to be a one-man team when Gareth Bale was at the club, they are now filled with talent from top to bottom.
Harry Kane – CA 4 star (168), PA 4.5 star (177)
What can you say about Harry Kane? A year after spending £110m in an attempt to replace Gareth Bale, Harry Kane emerged and scored 31 goals in all competitions. The 24-year-old was just getting started, and two-and-a-half years later is has over 100 Tottenham goals to his name. The striker is pivotal to both Spurs and England’s success over the next few years, but the only thing missing from his career so far is a trophy.
On Football Manager 2018, Kane has a 168 current ability score which can rise to a fantastic 177. That score includes 18 finishing, 16 stamina and 16 movement, giving him a value of £62 million. His wages are currently £100,000 a week.
Hugo Lloris – CA 4 star (169), PA 4 star (172)
When you think of Tottenham’s talent, it’s easy to forget about goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris. The goalkeeper is as important as any player in the Spurs squad, with the 30-year-old keeping a clean sheet in over a third of his games for the club.
The French number one has a current ability score of 169 which can still rise to a very strong 172 potential. 18 reflexes, 17 handling and 17 agility contribute are his best attributes, giving him a value of £41.5 million, and £100,000 a week wages.
Toby Alderweireld – CA 4 star (165), PA 4 star (166)
The rock at the back is Toby Alderweireld. The 28-year-old has formed a partnership with fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen in defence, with former Atletico Madrid man Alderweireld holding the ability to start attacks as well as thwart them.
The centre back has attributes of 17 anticipation, 17 positioning and 16 tackling on the game, which give him a 165 current ability score, just one short of his 166 potential. The defender is valued at £48.5 million, with wages of £80,000 a week.
Harry Kane and Harry Winks have shown those in the Tottenham youth setup that it's possible to transition into the first team. Who could be next to follow in their footsteps?
Marcus Edwards – CA 2 star (110), PA 3.5-4.5 star (140-170)
A nasty ankle injury has perhaps prevented Marcus Edwards from joining up with the Tottenham first team. The attacking midfielder or right winger has starred for England’s youth team over the past few years, earning a spot in the team of the tournament at the U17 Euros in 2015, and then winning the U19 event two years later.
On FM 18, the 18-year-old has attributes of 15 dribbling, 15 pace and 14 first touch to add to his 110 current ability score, which can rise to a potential anywhere between 140 and 170. A loan move could be on the horizon for Edwards, who is valued at £1 million with wages of £12,000 a week.
Kazaiah Sterling – CA 1.5 star (89), PA 2-3 star (120-150)
With heaps of goals for the Spurs youth teams, and a lack of forward options for Mauricio Pochettino, striker or winger Kazaiah Sterling could come into the fold during the second half of the season. The 18-year-old has eight goals for the development sides this season, and has been training with the first team.
England U18 International Sterling offers a 89 current ability rating on the game, which can rise to a potential between 120 and 150. His attributes of 16 pace, 15 acceleration and 13 balance give him a value of £650,000 and wages of £600 a week.
Tashan Oakley-Boothe – CA 1.5 star (85), PA 2-3 star (120-150)
Another England U18 international, central midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe was part of the England U17 squad that lifted the U17 World Cup in October. The 17-year-old must build on this early success with minutes for Spurs, after making his debut for the club in the EFL Cup earlier this season.
An 85 current ability rating consists of 13 stamina, 13 acceleration and 11 technique, with Oakley-Booth’s potential between 120 and 150. The midfielder is valued at £425,000 with £110 a week wages.
|Youth Prospects||Overall Depth|
|Star Goalkeeper (Hugo Lloris)||Jumping Reach|
|Star Defender (Toby Alderweireld)|
|Star Midfielder (Mousa Dembele)|
Team Leaders - Hugo Lloris (c), Harry Kane (vice-captain), Jan Vertonghen
Highly influential - Mousa Dembele, Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli
Dynamics the big new feature for Football Manager 2018. The Dynamics tab indicates the atmosphere inside the dressing room, including the different social groups and which players hold the most influence over the squad. When speaking with your players be sure to choose the right tone and words as if you upset a highly influential player it could cause your squad to turn against you.
Tottenham’s squad last season looked very strong, but with Mauricio Pochettino having a core group of 15 or 16 players, this season looks much thinner. Identifying which positions you need to strengthen is tough, as you may have the numbers in the squad, but perhaps not the quality.
Striker – Breel Embolo (CA 138 – PA 150-180)
With Harry Kane only really supported by the target man of Fernando Llorente in attack, you need more forward options. Schalke’s (Gelsenkirchen on FM) Breel Embolo provides a powerful strike option, and the ability to play out wide, which could be crucial over a long season.
The 20-year-old has a useful current ability score of 138, but more importantly the potential to reach between 150 and 180. The Swiss international’s best attributes are his 17 pace, 17 balance and 15 strength, but you will need a hefty £45 million or more to secure his services. His wages are currently £69,000 a week.
- Patrik Schick – Age 21, Sampdoria, Czech Rep, CA 104, PA 168, Value: £12m, Wage: £13k
- Kasper Dolberg – Age 19, Ajax, Denmark, CA 140, PA >150, Value: £10m, Wage: £9k
- Sebastian Driussi – Age 21, Zenit, Argentina, CA 139, PA 164, Value: £7m, Wage: £28k
- Giovanni Simeone – Age 21, Fiorentina, Argentina, CA 136, PA 158, Value: £10m, Wage: £10k
Players to sell
There are a few players in the Spurs squad with question marks on whether they should remain at the club. It’s a watershed season for them and if they fail to build on last season’s success expect the fat to be trimmed.
Left winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou made 14 appearances for Tottenham last season, but with the Frenchman behind Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son, Moussa Sissoko and Erik Lamela in the pecking order, you feel his days are numbered in North London. You should look to cash in on the 22-year-old, who you can sell for around £7 million and save on his £35,000 a week wages. Nkoudou has a CA rating of 123 and a potential of 146, so you aren’t missing out on a lot if you sell him.
Spurs are perhaps better run than some of their Premier League rivals, with the Lilywhites more responsible with their finances. Looking at their financial projection, the overall balance, turnover and profit are on the up for Tottenham, with even expenditure falling at the end of the season. Your transfer budget will increase at the end of the season, with your only worry being the five loans to be paid off by 2027.
Take that next step
Tottenham have been knocking on the door of silverware for the past few seasons, but the Premier League obsession has perhaps knocked them back. Look to take a different tack to the other clubs in the PL’s big six and target the cup competitions. With a target to qualify for the EURO Cup (Europa League), this should free you up to focus on a cup run. Playing your home matches at Wembley will be tough, so you may find the most luck in the FA Cup. What’s for sure is that Tottenham have the ability to win a trophy this season.
Tottenham full squad roles and ratings
|Player||Age||Pos||Role||Duty||Role Ability||CA/ PA|
|Hugo Lloris||30||GK||Goalkeeper||Defend||4 star||169/ 172|
|Serge Aurier||24||DR||Full-Back||Attack||3 star||145/ 156|
|Toby Alderweireld||28||DCR||Ball Playing Defender||Defend||4 star||165/ 166|
|Jan Vertonghen||30||DCL||Ball Playing Defender||Defend||3.5 star||155/ 162|
|Ben Davies||24||DL||Wing-Back||Defend||3 star||142/ 150|
|Eric Dier||23||MCR||Carrilero/ Ball Winning Midfielder||Support||3.5 star||158/ 168|
|Victor Wanyama||26||MCL||Ball Winning Midfielder||Support||3.5 star||149/ 156|
|Moussa Sissoko||27||AMR||Winger||Support||2.5 star||138/ 150|
|Dele Alli||21||AMC||Shadow Striker||Attack||3.5 star||153/ 175|
|Christian Eriksen||25||AML||Advanced Playmaker||Support||2.5 star||159/ 162|
|Harry Kane||24||STC||Advanced Forward||Attack||4 star||168/ 177|
|Michel Vorm||33||GK||Goalkeeper||Defend||2.5 star||141/ 146|
|Davinson Sanchez||21||D (C)||Defensive Centre Back||Any||3 star||143/ <170|
|Kieran Trippier||26||D (R) WB (R) M (R)||Full-Back/ Wing-Back||Attack/ Defend||3 star||141/ 150|
|Kyle Walker-Peters||20||D (C) DM M (C)||Anchor Man||Defend||2 star||110/ >130|
|Harry Winks||27||M (RLC)||Deep Lying Playmaker||Support||2.5 star||135/ 165|
|Mousa Dembele||30||M (C) AM||Advanced Playmaker||Any||3.5 star||149/ 155|
|Georges-Kevin Nkoudou||22||M (RL) AM (RLC)||Inside Forward||Support||2 star||123/ 146|
|Juan Foyth||19||D (C)||Central Defender||Cover||2 star||120/ >130|
|Danny Rose||27||D (L) WB (L) M (L)||Full-Back||Attack||3.5 star||150/ 155|
|Erik Lamela||25||M (R) AM (RLC)||Inside Forward||Support||3 star||144/ 154|
|Heung-Min Son||24||M (L) AM (RL) ST||Winger||Support||3.5 star||156/ 159|
|Fernando Llorente||32||ST||Target Man||Support||2.5 star||140/ 159|
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