Tottenham Hotspur had established themselves as one of the Premier League's big six under Mauricio Pochettino and even reached the final of the UEFA Champions League last season.
With the move to the brand new White Hart Lane complete, the club appeared to be heading in the right direction. However, the form during the first half of the 2019-20 season wasn't up to scratch and Poch was given the sack in November.
In a move that you'd normally only see in the famous football simulation game itself, Jose Mourinho stepped into the club's hot seat. Can you do better than the Special One, though? Here's our ultimate guide to excelling at Spurs in Football Manager 2020!
REASONABLE: Spurs aren't expecting miracles in your first season in charge.
This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club under your direction, as laid out by the board.
It includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results, with increasing expectations over each year of your tenure.
Tottenham place a heavy emphasis on the club culture, with no fewer than seven aims that you have to hit! Signing young English players is the main theme, with improvements being required for the club's youth facilities. You also have to play an attacking, possession-based style of football, which is doable.
For the competitions, the goals are fairly high. Reaching the knockouts of the Champions League is fair, as is finishing in the top four, but reaching the final of the FA Cup won't be easy.
Spurs have won the oldest football trophy of them all eight times in their history and you'll have to get close to winning it on a ninth occasion for Daniel Levy and co. to be happy.
Tactical style & formation
POSITIVE APPROACH: Your best bet is to opt for attacking tactics for Spurs in FM20.
Tottenham can play a variety of systems but control possession is probably your best approach for most matches. Tiki-taka and fluid counter-attack are also recommended by your assistant manager but the former is perhaps too positive while the latter is too conservative.
The 4-2-3-1 Wide may not be a recommended formation but it is what Tottenham play and it allows you to utilise most of your best players at the same time. The 5-2-2-1 is the recommended formation but this has too many central players. Given you have three available tactics slots you should prepare both.
Your starting XI is Hugo Lloris in goal, with a back four of Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, and Serge Aurier.
Victor Wanyama and Tanguy Ndombele are your best bet for the two central midfielders. Christian Eriksen is your best AMC, with Lucas Moura on the right and Heung-Min Son on the left. Harry Kane is your sole striker up front.
Your seven on the bench should be Michel Vorm, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela.
Tottenham have a solid squad and one that's able to challenge for the Champions League spots and threaten in the cups. There's a good spread of where the best talent is concentrated, though, so choosing your best XI isn't too much of an issue.
|Harry Kane||AM (C), ST||26||177/185||20 penalty taking, 19 finishing, 19 determination|
|Christian Eriksen||M (C), AM (LC)||27||168/178||17 long shots, 17 natural fitness, 17 technique|
|Heung-Min Son||M (R), AM (RL), ST||27||160/161||17 off the ball, 17 acceleration, 16 finishing|
|Hugo Lloris||GK||32||157/170||18 bravery, 18 rushing out, 17 reflexes|
|Jan Vertonghen||D (LC)||32||157/165||17 tackling, 16 heading, 16 positioning|
Defenders, midfielders, attackers and even their goalkeeper features amongst Spurs' five highest-rated players. Harry Kane is unsurprisingly the standout talent, beginning FM20 as one of the best strikers in the game and has the potential ability to improve further.
Pochettino made full use of Spurs' youth facilities during his tenure at the club and you should as well. Not only is this a goal for the club's vision but it's also going to serve you well. The likes of Sol Campbell, Jamie Redknapp, Ledley King and of course, Kane, have all come from Hotspur Way.
Troy Parrott – CA 2 star (107), PA 3.5 star (150-180)
THE NEXT ROBBIE KEANE: Parrott has the highest potential of any of Spurs' youngsters.
At just 17, Troy Parrott has a lot of time to grow and improve and could become a superstar within 10 years. The Irishman should be given minutes in the under-23's and possibly during League Cup meetings too.
Going forward, Parrott should be loaned out to a League 1 or Championship club to gain first-team experience. A loan is the best option, as Parrott won't be getting many minutes at Spurs thanks to the level which Kane is operating at.
Ryan Sessegnon – CA 2.5 (129), PA 4.5 star (140-170)
REALISING HIS POTENTIAL: Sessegnon is tipped to be an England regular in the future.
Ryan Sessegnon was hailed as the next big talent in English football while at Fulham. Although the spotlight has been others in more recent times, Sessegnon is a superb asset to the Spurs team, being able to be played all along the left side of the pitch.
Strangely, despite having a higher star rating, Sessegnon has a lower PA than Parrott. Although Sessegnon is ready for first-team appearances off the bat, as highlighted by the Englishman's greater presence under Mourinho.
Jack Clarke – CA 1.5 star (100), PA 3 star (130-160)
ONE FOR THE FUTURE? Jack Clarke could become a regular for Spurs in the future.
In FM20, Clarke begins the game out on loan at Championship club Leeds United. Clarke didn't get much of a chance at Elland Road, so has since moved to QPR. The English winger is still one of the best young talents in the Tottenham ranks, though, being able to reach the level which Son is at now.
It's worth keeping Clarke out on loan for the next few seasons as it'll take 3-4 years for him to be at Premier League level. However, Clarke has great stars for a winger from the beginning, 16 acceleration, 15 dribbling and 14 technique (amongst others) won't do him any harm at all.
FINANCIALLY SOLID: Predictably, Spurs are looking just fine money-wise for the next few seasons.
Starting transfer budget: £30 million
Remaining wage budget: £201,000 a week
As you'd expect from a club run by Daniel Levy, the financial predictions for Spurs look very good for the foreseeable future. Despite the new stadium, the club's bank balance is expected to rise to over £800 million by the end of 2021-22.
Expenditure is expected to increase, but so is turnover. Transfer budget is predicted to rise to over £100 million by summer 2022 with the wage costs remaining almost constant over the next three seasons.
Spurs have a lot of average central midfielders but none that stand out positively aside from Christian Eriksen. While Ndombele will improve in the coming seasons, it wouldn't hurt to have another young M(C) in the side.
DUTCH DELIGHT: van de Beek can sure up your midfield for many years to come.
You'll have a budget of around £25m for your new central midfielder and few are better for this money than Ajax's Donny van de Beek. van de Beek is one of the best young talents that didn't get poached from Amsterdam in the summer and can be purchased for around £25 million.
The Dutchman is only 22 years old but already has solid stats across the board, which makes him perfect for playing in the middle of the park. While his transfer valuation is at the upper limit of your budget, his wage demands will be a lot lower than a player that is already in the Premier League.
If van de Beek doesn't tickle your fancy, consider these other players instead:
Spurs will have a transfer budget of almost £100m for the next summer transfer window if the projections are to be believed. Several areas could do with improvement, but none more so than right-back.
Tottenham haven't truly replaced Kyle Walker since the defender's £50m move to Manchester City. Serge Aurier is decent but won't improve much and Kyle Walker-Peters won't advance enough to become a leading Premier League player.
Spurs can bring in a quality right-back and/or one that will improve to become one of the best in the world in the coming years. The likes of Matthew Doherty, Max Aarons and Jonjoe Kenny spring to mind but you can set your sights even higher if you're feeling adventurous.
STATE OF PLAY: Spurs' contract siutation isn't the most secure going forward.
The financials look great for Tottenham, but the contract situation certainly doesn't.
Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, and Christian Eriksson's deals all run out at the end of the 2019-20 season. To compound that problem, Giovani Lo Celso loan expires and Michel Vorm's contracts also expire in the summer of 2020.
As manager, you have to try and tie them down to long-term deals, those are some of the longest-serving players at the club and losing them could be disastrous. You'll likely have to sacrifice some of your wage budget for this, but with over £200k to play with, this is an acceptable loss.
Eric Dier's deal ends at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season but no big names are due to leave that summer. Key players such as Kane, Lucas, Son and Alli all have deals which run to at least 2023, which is very positive.
Finally winning a trophy
Spurs may have finished above Arsenal for the past few seasons but the Lillywhites haven't won a major trophy since the 2008 League Cup.
With a shiny new stadium, Tottenham will be desperate to add to their trophy cabinet and win their first in this new era of the club. Despite the board not caring about it, the Carabao Cup is your best bet for winning a major honour.
The FA Cup also presents an opportunity but the Premier League and Champions League are some way away, at least for the first few seasons of your reign.
You can't afford to sacrifice the league to win in one of the cups, though. Competition for those top four spots is serious and you can't bank on a cup final, anything can happen.
Winning a trophy isn't a make or break for your job but it would make you untouchable if you met your other targets.
Spurs is a challenge to manage in FM, as the board expect to be competing with teams around them despite their smaller budget and arguably less talented and deep squad.
Full Tottenham player ratings
|Hugo Lloris||32||GK||SK||Support||3.5 star||157/170|
|Serge Aurier||26||D/WB (R)||WB||Defend||2.5 star||135/144|
|Toby Alderweireld||30||D (RC)||BPD||Defend||3.5 star||154/170|
|Jan Vertonghen||32||D (LC)||BPD||Defend||3 star||157/165|
|Ben Davies||26||D/WB (L)||WB||Defend||3 star||140/154|
|Victor Wanyama||27||DM, M (C)||BWM||Defend||2.5 star||136/152|
|Tanguy Ndombele||22||DM, M (C)||DLP||Defend||3 star||145/170|
|Lucas Moura||26||M (R), AM (RL), ST||W||Support||3 star||148/154|
|Christian Eriksen||27||M (C), AM (LC)||AM||Support||4 star||168/178|
|Son Heung-Min||26||M (R), AM (RL), ST||IW||Support||4 star||160/161|
|Harry Kane||25||AM (C), ST||DLF||Support||4.5 star||177/185|
|Substitutes & Reserves|
|Michel Vorm||35||GK||SK||Support||2.5 star||128/146|
|Davinson Sanchez||23||D (C)||BPD||Defend||3 star||146/160|
|Eric Dier||25||D (C), DM, M (C)||BWM||Defend||3 star||144/156|
|Danny Rose||28||D/WB/M (L)||WB||Defend||3 star||143/152|
|Moussa Sissoko||29||M (RC), AM (R)||BBM||Support||3.5 star||149/150|
|Erik Lamela||27||AM (RLC)||IW||Support||2.5 star||140/150|
|Dele Alli||23||M (C), AM (LC), ST||AP||Support||4 star||156/165|
|Giovani Lo Celso||23||DM, M (LC), AM (C)||AP||Support||3.5 star||155/164|
|Juan Foyth||21||D (C)||BPD||Stopper||2.5 star||132/147|
|Harry Winks||23||DM, M (C)||DLP||Defend||3 star||145/155|
|Kyle Walker-Peters||22||D (RL), WB (R)||FB||Defend||2.5 star||133/138|
|Ryan Sessegnon||19||D/WB/M/AM (L)||W||Support||2.5 star||129/140-170|
|Paulo Gazzaniga||27||GK||SK||Defend||2.5 star||137/142|