Football Manager 2020 Experiment: Tottenham to miss out on top four under Mourinho
With the Special One replacing Pochettino, can he turn things around on the brand new SI title?
Despite no silverware, and a limited transfer budget, Pochettino will be regarded by Spurs fans as one of the greatest managers in their history, winning more games than any other Tottenham boss in the Premier League era.
A failure to kick-on after their miraculous trip to the Champions League final last season is the reason for his departure, with the Lilywhites 14th in the Premier League after 12 games, 14 points off the top four, and eliminated in the League Cup at the hands of League Two Colchester United.
As for Mourinho, his stock may have fallen in recent years, but he has still delivered silverware at every club he has been, something Tottenham crave.
With player unrest at Spurs to contend with also, how the rest of the season pans out makes interesting reading.
The quickest way to find out how Tottenham will fair under Mourinho is through a Football Manager 2020 simulation
We put the Special One in the hotseat. Will he finally break Spurs’ 12-year trophy duck?
NOW WATCH BELOW: The new Football Manager 2020 interactive
How to make Jose Mourinho Spurs manager on Football Manager 2020
To quickly make changes, like replacing managers, on FM20, you will need access to the in-game Editor. This tool can be purchased for just £3.99 from the Steam Store.
Here’s how to make Jose the manager of Spurs:
- Set up your FM save (preferably unemployed)
- Go on holiday until 19th November
- Search ‘Mauricio Pochettino’ and terminate his contract
- On the 20th November, search ‘Jose Mourinho’ and add him as Tottenham manager
We then went on holiday until 31st May 2020 to see how things panned out.
Tottenham’s start to the season
You cannot input real life results into Football Manager, so the first stage of the sim – until the 19th November – does not match how Spurs have done so far in real life.
In fact, the North Londoners did considerably better in the game, sitting in fourth in the ‘Premier Division’ table. Tottenham are on 24 points (13 more than in real life) after 12 games, lying just three points off top spot.
In Europe, Spurs started well with comfortable wins over RB Salzburg and Istanbul Basaksehir, and picked up a great point at the Camp Nou against Barcelona. There were still more troubles in the League Cup however, with an embarrassing 3-0 loss away to Norwich in the fourth round.
Harry Kane has been the main man with eight goals in all competition, with Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son also key performers.
In this scenario, it would be unlikely to sack manager Pochettino, but the dye has been cast. How will Jose Mourinho fair in the hotseat?
The Mourinho era
We sim ahead to the end of the season. It’s the moment of truth. Can Tottenham win a first ever Premier League title?
Not only do they drift away from the title race, Spurs finish outside the top four under Mourinho. A sixth placed finish is a disaster from where they were in mid-November. Maybe they rescued themselves in Europe?
Jose rolled up his sleeves and did what he does best on the European scene – grinding out results.
Spurs topped their Champions Cup group, granting them a favourable first knockout round tie against Benfica. A 2-1 aggregate win took them on to face PSG, where a 2-0 win at home was backed up with a classic Mourinho disciplined 0-0 in Paris.
For all of Mourinho’s brilliance, he couldn’t stop Spurs bottling it once again, however. After claiming a shock 1-0 away win against Real Madrid, they were turned over at home to lose 2-1 on aggregate.
So all hopes were on the FA Cup… Routine wins were chalked up against fellow Londoners Brentford (2-0) and Luton (3-0), before seeing off Blackburn 3-1. But, you guessed it, as soon as the temperature was turned up, an away quarter-final at Man City, they crumbled. A 2-0 loss meant it was another trophyless season.
A trip to the Champions League semi-final is respectable, but it doesn’t make up for a capitulation in the league.
The fixtures piled up, and big slips up to Burnley (0-2), Everton (0-2), rivals Arsenal (1-3) and Leicester (1-3) cost them big time. To make matters worse, a victory on the final day against the already relegated Watford would have seen Spurs achieve Champions Cup football, but they could only muster a 1-1 draw.
Harry Kane was the main man with 19 goals, but 13 in the league is slightly disappointing for a man of his calibre. Perhaps this was the Mourinho affect that has impacted the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the past.
Jose was not helped by no budget to spend in the January transfer window, with no new arrivals at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
To make matters worse, two players whose contracts run out this season – Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, have agreed to join other clubs for next term.
It looks like a backwards step for Tottenham in appointing Mourinho. Of couse, in real life, expect Jose to be backed in the transfer market, which will have a huge impact on the second half of the season.
All it not lost however, with Spurs reaching the Champions Cup semi-final. It shows they still have the quality, but would they be able to keep the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son with no top-tier European football next year?
Has this been a good decision by Daniel Levy and the Tottenham board? Well FM20 suggests not at all.