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Apr 8, 2010

Under New Zealand Management

Playing at White Hart Lane

Hello and welcome to my Tottenham Hotspur story for Football Manager 2010!

I will post in-depth updates once a month, and would love to have feedback on my tactics, suggestions for future transfers and criticism of my current transfers!

I have taken a little bit of an unorthodox approach with this story, as I start in June 2011.
The reason is I didn't discover this FMStory forum until now, and I am currently highly enjoying the game I am having with this team.

To start with, here is a brief summary of the previous 2 seasons:

Here is a summary of my transfers in the 09/10 season:

Because Tottenham's transfer budget is not huge, as you can see, in my first season I tried to maintain the balance of the young team by limiting transfers, while keeping the board happy with minimal expenditure.

Gabriel Milito was a pick up from the transfer market, and was brought in to bolster my defensive depth, given his versatility to play effectively at left back and centre back. Although in the first season he was a disappointment and drew fan displeasure, by the second season he had molded into the reliable fill-in player I needed.

David Beckham filled a big need for a veteran midfielder to help my extremely young side. His debut came in a 2-1 victory against Manchester United, where he came off the sub bench and incredibly scored the winning goal from a free kick at the 83rd minute.

The 2009/10 season ended in a disappointing 8th place finish in the Premier League, with 16 wins, 12 draws, 10 losses. 56 goals for and 47 goals against. POINTS: 60

Tottenham were challenging for a spot in European competition, but an unfortunate long-term injury to starting goalkeeper Gomes. Replacement goalkeeper Cudicini unfortunately showed his age and made a number of crucial errors that lost critical games, such as a late season 2-2 draw with Wolves and a 3-3 draw with Portsmouth on the last day (where Cudicini unfortunately mishandled a easy cross for an easy tap in by Diop) that dropped us to 8th.

A late season collapse summed up my need for a change in the strategic direction of the team, and an alteration of the transfer policy. I was unhappy with some performances from players I expected more from, like Wilson Palacios.

In the League Cup (Lost in Third Round) and FA cup (Lost Third Round) team performances were poor, but since I do not value these competitions highly, I played reserves, which ended in defeat.

I resolved to improve my squad depth through the transfer market and improve my Premier League position.

Manager's Player of the Year: Luka Modric/Peter Crouch
Manager's Young Player of the Year: Giovani dos Santos


The 2010/11 transfer period was very aggressive, where my spending was funded by the departure of some strong (and in my view, overpriced) players.
Since the board room allowed my under £1m to work with, I needed to make some sales to bring in the players I needed.

Aaron Lennon sold for £15.5M, is a fantastic player who dominated the right winger position and made many key plays. However, looking at the team situation, I needed money to bring in players I felt the team needed, so the sale had to happen. I accepted offers from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Man Utd, but ultimately he chose the Red Devils.

Wilson Palacios, for me, had a poor season, failing to meet my expectations of him and dominate the midfield in partnership with Modric. The sale of £13M to Sevilla was accepted immediately, and funded the purchase of Rodwell.

Dawson, Huddlestone and Hutton (sold for a combined £19.5M) are good solid players, but the amounts offered were too good to refuse. Of this group of three, Hutton was a personal favorite of mine starting at fullback, but the £7.5m was too good.

These sales enabled me to make the following transactions in the 10/11 season:w

Ochoa was brought in after a recommendation by Giovani dos Santos and a scouting report. According to the fans he was "overpriced", but the ensuing big performances in big games soon swayed fan support! A great purchase to start at goalkeeper for the next 6-8 years.
For this season he played in 32 games for a 6.93 rating.

Jack Rodwell, the Young Player of the Year from 2009/10 (which I think dos Santos should have won) was a key purchase, as I could see the vast potential in him. He started strong and appeared in 31 games with a decent rating of 6.87.

With the remaining budget allocated by the board, I needed to buy two good players. Instead I decided to loan Tosic from United and Lucas from City. These two players filled depth roles and had some good appearances in the first team.
In deciding to let Lennon go, Bentley thrived in the right wing role, and although dropped off towards the end of the season, was still named English Footballer of the Year.

This brings me to the THRILLING finish to the 2010/11 season. My goal for the season was to earn a place in European competition, preferably the Champions League. Instead I found myself sitting on the top of the table, after incredible performances from the team through the start and midpoint of the season. Towards the end, there was a drop off, and I found myself on the wrong end of a 6-2 thrashing by Arsenal. A couple of games later, a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United (where Berbatov destroyed his old club) and I found myself looking up the table at United and Liverpool. After these beatings I decided to replace Ochoa for the final 2 games. Even though Ochoa was not to blame, in fact making some incredible saves in these defeats (the defense fell apart in both games) Gomes came in with 2 inspired performances.

The squad never gave up, and when Liverpool beat United 2-0, with 2 games to play, it threw the title race wide open.
Luka Modric and Gabriel Milito were right into the media calling the team out to perform in the final game against rivals West Ham.

The scenario was this: if Manchester beat Aston Villa, they win the league. If they draw or lose, and Liverpool beat Sunderland, Liverpool win. If they both draw or lose, Tottenham win the league.

The match started great with Peter Crouch opening the scoring on 9 minutes. Meanwhile, across at the Stadium of Light, Fernando Torres had put Liverpool up 1-0 on 25 minutes. Tottenham tried to stem huge West Ham pressure, but Behrami of West Ham equalised on 36 minutes, only for Crouch's second of the game to take the lead on 44 minutes. Taking a 2-1 lead into the break, with Liverpool up 1-0 and United still at 0-0.
Almost immediately after halftime, Buonanotte of West Ham equalised on 47 minutes. It was then revealed that Man Utd had finally struck, via O'Shea on 61 minutes(1-0). Causing a drop in morale of the travelling fan support
However, the fans soon found their voice as they realised that Jack Cork had equalized for Villa on 71 minutes(1-1), and a dream come true in the Liverpool fixture as Kenwyne Jones of Sunderland made it 1-1 on 76 minutes.
Realising this, Tottenham pushed forward, trying to get the potential league winning goal. The game was really heating up as Tottenham brought in Robbie Keane for extra attackers and pushed forward to win a corner. As Bentley's ball curled in, Alessandro Diamanti tripped Jonathan Woodgate in the box. Penalty given! With the weight of the entire club on his shoulders, young superstar Giovani dos Santos coolly stepped up and slotted the penalty into Robert Green's bottom right corner. GOOOOOOOAL! 3-2! Playing out the final minutes in a defensive strategy, Gomes was called into action to make two crucial save and preserve the win.
A historic Premier League victory exceeded anyone's pre-season expectations!

And here are some season facts:

My player of the year was far and away Giovanni dos Santos. The young Mexican has thrived up front in the AMC position, playing with the Inside Forward(Attack) role. He places his shots and rarely misses the target, and hit the bar a couple of times on a few screamers. Whether he was pulling some magical moves to create space for himself or playing a beautiful through ball to set up a goal, he was in top form all season long.

Moving forward, the base of my team is youthful and will be solid in the long run, but to survive in Europe I will definitely need some new players. Here is my current squad, any suggestions?

And my coaching staff (board recently bumped the limit from 11 to 21!

Any suggestions people?
I am thoroughly enjoying this game and will post with regularity from here onwards!
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Dec 27, 2009
wow im impressed i'll be looking forward to your next update

I would suggest Romelu Lukaku You would roughly get him for about 12 mill
Roberto Carlos: Abit of expirience in the squad he'll be less than 1 million i think


Jan 13, 2010
I'm torn...As a Kiwi I should follow this, but as a Gunners Fan I shouldn't....

Maybe I should just look in from time to time, good luck.


Apr 8, 2010

Rough start to the season, first (an easy win against :p )Arsenal at home then Chelsea away. Everton on the last day will be tough.

And then some bad news from the board!

Let's see if they can extend my budget right away!

Not many funds in the bank for players, lucky I have the youthful base, and can maybe complement them with 3-4 solid veterans if I play the market right.

From here on I'll update on the 1st of the month. Thanks for the comments!


Apr 8, 2010
Thanks udbhav45,

Here is the first official update.


The opening of the 2011 transfer window! City looking to spend up more it seems. The press seem to be dreaming if they think I would like Carrick or would give up Ochoa!

Recently signed a new contract for long term security, extending my deal through to June 2014, at a very reasonable £46,000 per week.

Introducing my first major signing of the year (well, arrived this year)

Martin Galvan! The £5.5m deal for the Mexico U20 captain was signed and sealed last year, and now he is finally old enough for his transfer from Cruz Azul in Mexico to Tottenham to be completed. He has already captured the fans attention, and will definitely be a star in the future, I am excited to see what he can do.

Long-term, I can see him partnering dos Santos in the AMC position, playing from a modified 4-1-2-2-1 or something similar....but let's wait and see how he develops!

And a somewhat humorous mention.....

The Lazio boss gets ripped in the media for declaring interest in Bentley. Unless any offer is upwards of £16m I can't see myself getting rid of him, he is too valuable right now in the right wing role.

.....but I might not have a choice if my board chairman keeps doing this!

Personally I felt like I could have gotten more for him....but I guess the extra money can be turned into squad depth. I survived with O'Hara out on loan to Villa last season, surely I can do it again.

Where's an Arab billionaire when you need one?? :p

That's all for this month, on the 1st of August I'll post the month of July in review.
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Apr 8, 2010

The month started with the confirmation that Jamie O'Hara was off to Liverpool for £6m, thanks to my board jumping in to sign for me. Not very happy about that, as I thought he could have been worth more, but I digress.

Here are my friendly reports, I played 8 games in the month of July, with 1 more in August before my Community Shield match against Manchester City.
First match of my friendly tour to the USA, was against LA Galaxy, no troubles here, a fairly simple game to getting everyone back up to match fitness. 2-0 win. Of note is that due to GK Gomes and Ochoa being away on international duty, I chose to start my 18 year old French GK Alphonse Areola. I plan to let him plan all 4 of the tour games.

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Next up, a game against New England Revolution. Simple 3-1 win, unlucky to concede of a corner.

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In between, Barcelona and Man Utd have been sniffing around my squad, looking at Bentley and Jenas respectively. I am not keen to make any more sales, I would rather add to my current squad.

Another friendly, another win.... 2-0.
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Next friendly against DC United, a reasonable performance from a shuffled line up, 1-1 draw.
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2-0 here to San Jose as my tour of the USA draws to a close.
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Back in the homeland for a simple 3-0 win of Queen of the Sth, experimented with some defensive tactics in this game.
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Straight forward 4-0 win over Dundee Utd, everyone is almost at full fitness, which is a good sign.

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Final friendly of the month, a shock 0-1 defeat to Sheffield, not too concerned, it was a youthful showing, alot of shots that were wasted!

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Of note in the transfer market, I declined a £15m bid from Manchester City for Corluka. I think Corluka's versatility to play at DC/R/L and at MC makes him too valuable to give up. If Man City up their offer I may have to accept and invest the money into 2 or 3 quality youths.

I also signed newly generated Michael Douglas from Manchester United U18 squad. He was valued at £2.8m! and a large bid of £3m +clauses for league and international appearances ensured I have the answer in the left midfield for the future! He looks a sure talent, and is already under the tutelage of his hero, Luka Modric.
Unfortunately this devastated my already small transfer budget, and it looks like I will be relying on youth players to step up and fill squad depth.

I'm looking at continuing my success in the 4-5-1 formation, and this season I plan to rest Luka Modric more. I tend to play him in almost every fixture (as his fitness is so good, he is capable) but towards the end of the season he may look fresh, but his performances are bland. I'm going to try leave him out of the games and let some younger players command the midfield.

A couple more coaches to increase some training quality slightly, and I am almost set for the new season! I will be looking at loan reports to try and get some good players to help with my squad rotation, maybe Tosic and Lucas will be available again. I need a reliable MC and ML , and these two did it for me last season.

Onwards into the month of August, very eager for my opening slate of fixtures:
7/8/2011 - Man City in the Community Shield
13/8/2011 - Arsenal at home in the Premier League
16/8/2011 - Chelsea away in the Premier League
20/8/2011 - Burnley at home in the Premier League
27/8/2011 - Stoke away in the Premier League


Apr 8, 2010

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August started with some good news, the board managing to find extra funds to use! Unfortunately, I would waste the opportunity to spend the money, but let's see how the gamble plays out.

First game of the month is against Manchester City in the Community Shield. Adebayor scored a screamer in a below-par attacking performance from my team.

View attachment 54793

Next up was Arsenal at home in the first game of the season, ending up in a 2-1 victory after being down at halftime 0-1. Was a great second half performance to get the comeback victory.

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The good mood from the Arsenal match rolled over into a 2-0 win at home with Burnley. Robbie Keane and David Bentley scored the goals, with dos Santos leaving injured in the 41st minute (only a gashed leg - 7 days).

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At this point in the month, Manchester City offered a structured deal worth up to £11.5m for Corluka. I declined the offer, which was met with a counter-offer of £16.25m. I accepted this offer after much hesitation and deliberation, as I felt the money could be used wisely in the long run. I believe Corluka to be a good player, and the £16.25m is adequate compensation.

Another interesting transfer point was that before the Corluka deal, I had dangled Jermaine Jenas in an offer to clubs for £9m. What I didn't expect was over 10 clubs to come knocking with offers of varying amounts. He accepted the contract from Roma for a transfer fee of £9m.

Next match was a straight forward 1-0 win over Stoke, with a red card in the later stages to Stoke making it a cruise to victory.

View attachment 54796

Now for the hard game. Following the Stoke game Corluka and Jenas departed the club, leaving me with a weakened squad. Add to that only a 3 day rest since the Stoke match, and this game looked like a marathon.
And it was, only a huge effort by Ochoa prevented it being more than the 3-0 scoreline as we were outclassed by the Chelsea attack. Defoe and Crouch (and their replacements Keane and Pavlyuchenko) were ineffective in front of goal, earning some good opportunities but wasting the chance with poor finishes.
The injection of the recovering dos Santos provided a spark, but he was limited in his effectiveness and his set up play was wasted by the striking force.

View attachment 54797

An acceptable start to the Premier League season, 3 wins and a loss is nothing to be upset about. However - in the long term - I may need to bring in a change of scenery up front. I have a transfer budget of about £26m to £34m maximum, and will be looking for a versatile midfielder and an effective striker.
The transfer period ended with Pavlyuchenko leaving on a loan term to Catania (with a future option to buy for a reasonable fee).

The Champions League draw is out, and I have been drawn in a group with last years winners Porto, along with Athletico Madrid and Polish side Wisla.

The transfers mean there has been a mass promotion from the youth ranks to the reserve squad, and there are a few players that will be boosted in their development from this chance.

The month of August has resulted in a major boost to my finances, where I will be looking to spend wisely on quality, but a weakening in my squad depth. I have full confidence in my youth players to step up and perform in the first team, youth players such as new signings Martin Galvan and Michael Douglas will be getting earlier call ups than originally planned, but this will only help their long term development.

If Modric and dos Santos can reignite Peter Crouch up front, I am fully confident in my teams ability to perform this season.

It will be a long 4 months until the January transfer window, but if I can hold onto a top 5 position in the Premier League and make it into the CL knockout stages, I believe I will be able to add the extra quality to make the final push onto another successful season.

Comments and advice are welcome and appreciated!


Apr 2, 2010
If you'd like a good young striker then it's worth taking a look at Yaya Sanogo. He's only young but he still scores when he plays. He has more or less one goal every game on my Liverpool save and seems to be a very good successor to Torres.


Apr 8, 2010
Thank you for that idea, I'll have take a deeper look at Sanogo as my scouts only rate him as a decent prospect.


The month of September finished strong, with some mixed results in the middle of the month, but the young players have given me hope for the long run!

Galvan has featured in all 5 games, starting one of them (League Cup vs Man Utd) and has performed satisfactory given his young age.

First game of the month was a revenge victory over Manchester City. Luka Modric scored a free kick to secure the 3-1 result.

View attachment 54988

The next game of the month started fantastic away against Athletico Madrid, with Keane putting me 1-0 after 20 minutes. However, Aguero struck back with a double to take a 2-1 lead, and it took a penalty in the 91st minute from Keane to salvage a draw.

View attachment 54989

Then was my first (and last) League Cup fixture of the season against Manchester United. The match started promising with a red card for Vidic after 4 minutes reducing them to 10 men. But unfortunately Wayne Rooney was in-form and beat Gomes twice to take a 2-0 lead. dos Santos hit back to make it 2-1 with 3 minutes left, but it was too little, too late.

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Just 4 days after the United fixture, a disappointing 0-0 draw at Sunderland.

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Ending the note on a high however, was my 2-0 win over last years CL winners Porto, with goals from Keane and Crouch ensuring I exit the month 1 point clear on top of Group A after 2 games.

View attachment 54992

At the end of the month Tottenham are in 3rd place in the Premier League and 1st place in Group A of the Champions League group stages after two games.

Luka Modric is yet to catch fire this season, and while he has shown hints of class, he has been mostly disappointing.
dos Santos is lighting up the attacking half of the pitch with his jinking runs and clever through balls, while making chances for himself. He lets himself down and would bag many more goals if he had the finishing ability.

I am keen to add Pato from AC Milan, he was actually unsettled about a season ago and offered him to me for £16m! Unfortunately I could not afford anything close to that at the time, and now he is happy and the club are rejecting £40m offers for him.

I will be looking hard at Lukaku to see what he may do, I'm thinking I will try and get him on a loan deal with option to buy.

Thanks for your comments!


Apr 8, 2010

The month started strong, with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the Premier League, Crouch scoring against his old club in the 87th minute.

View attachment 55226

Next up was a 1-0 win over Villa in the Premier League, where dos Santos grabbed the winner.

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Followed by yet another 1-0 win in the Premier League, this time over Bolton. Where Bentley got the goal and we had to defend the last stages with 10 men as Rodwell got a second yellow card and was sent off.

View attachment 55228

Breaking the streak, was a 0-0 draw with Wolves in the Premier League, one of the most boring games I have ever managed.

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Followed right up by a spark with a brace from dos Santos securing a 3-1 win over Fulham. We were unlucky to concede late on via a headed goal, with poor positioning by Ochoa relinquishing a clean sheet.

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Strong defensive month, the team is solid and is not conceding many goals, the back line is playing top class, Sebastian Bassong is dominating and clearing anything, whether it comes via air or ground. Bale is finally starting to show some class, putting in good defensive showings, while proving his skill when he gets forward. Naughton on the other side is improving in leaps and bounds, becoming much better on the ball when he gets forward.
Ochoa is playing great in goal, and Woodgate is solid in his partnership with Bassong.

In the midfield Modric has been good - not great - but good, setting up some goals, making some good passes. He is playing well in the midfield, but not up to the lofty expectations I have of him.
Defoe is starting to steal the starting spot from Crouch, with Keane becoming second choice. Bentley is solid on the right wing, and my ball winning central midfielder Jack Rodwell is quickly becoming one of the teams top players.

No news in the transfer market this month, there will be scouting over November, then extensive reviews in December + some possible offers, then the transfer window reopens on January.
I am pleased with the team currently, they are playing good football and the young players are exceeding expectations. I do think I will require more depth if I am to compete at the end of the season however.
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Apr 8, 2010

The month started with a decision to trial the Belgian striker Lukaku from Sevilla. I brought him in for 2 weeks, and saw him in action once, deciding he showed enough promise to warrant a deal.
After some negotiation I managed to secure him for a fee of £6m + £5m over 12 months and £1m after 10 games.

The first game of the month was almost a shock, with Wisla going 2-0 up in my champions league group A match after 10 minutes. Fortunately, Tottenham jolted into life in the second half to turn the tie around into a 5-2 victory, thanks to a Defoe hattrick and a great individual goal by 19 year old John Bostock.

View attachment 55248

Next game of the month was a Premier League fixture against West Ham. My defense continued to play top class, and resulted in a 2-0 win courtesy of Defoe and Keane.

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Follow the West Ham game, my next fixture was a 3-0 win over Hull City. Defoe put the visitors ahead after 5 minutes and never looked in danger of losing from there on.

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My 5th Champions League Group A game of the season was against Athletico Madrid. Young John Bostock scored in the 53rd minute with Crouch adding in the 80th for a 2-0 win as I secured first place in my group and promotion to the knockout round!

View attachment 55251

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Unfortunately an injury to Modric will rule him out for 4 weeks, but with the emergence of Bostock in midfield I should be able to survive without him....

Final game of the month was against Portsmouth, in a 2-0 victory with goals from Defoe and dos Santos.
View attachment 55256

Exciting point from this game was the decision to start 16 year old Michael Douglas, who performed admirably and made very few mistakes, even having a decent attempt to score! His display has earned him the start against Manchester United in the first game of December, I am well impressed with this youngsters ability, especially given my void at left winger!

Hopefully Douglas will continue his top performances and fill the void left by Modric's injury forcing Kranjcar to the middle of the park.

Lukaku's arrival in January will be a boost to my depth up front, and I may look at a solid MC such as Lucas from Liverpool to boost my midfield ranks. It is still early days, but so far the emergence of Douglas and Bostock has greatly improved my depth and I have the confidence to start these players now if need be.

In December I will scout for a developed MC who can arrive immediately and contribute in the midfield. Beckham's days at the top level are over, and since Lucas has been here before on loan, he would be a good option, probably available from PSV for around £8m.


Apr 8, 2010

The month of December featured eight fixtures in 31 days, with the first being against Manchester United in the Premier League. The game started very promising, with Tottenham dominating and taking an early 2-0 lead with dos Santos and Bentley scoring after 16 and 25 minutes respectively.
Unfortunately Rossi added a brace before halftime, and Rooney got the winner on 62 minutes to cap a disappointing game.

View attachment 55738

Next up was a meaningless game against Porto in my final Champions League Group A match. I had already qualified and first place was secured, so with a congested fixture list coming up I rested my first team. The 3-0 loss was largely unmoving, as the team were pleased to have qualified.

View attachment 55739

Next up was a 5-1 thrashing of Wigan in the Premier League, where Defoe secured his hattrick before halftime. Of note was a 91st minute injury to Jonathon Woodgate.

View attachment 55740

Following the thrashing was disappointment, in a bland 0-0 draw with West Brom in the Premier League.

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Shortly after this game, the draw for the Champions League knockout round was announced.
View attachment 55742
It looks to be a tough road ahead against Bayern Munich, but I am confident in my squad of advancing to the next round.

The next game was in the Premier League, with a 4-1 thumping of Newcastle thanks to a dos Santos sublime hat trick.

View attachment 55743

Following one thumping after another, with Defoe netting a hat trick and dos Santos adding another in a 4-0 rout of Everton on Boxing Day.

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A mere two days later was the fierce rivalry fixture with Arsenal. The tired Tottenham squad fought hard, with newly healthy Modric scoring a goal on 80 minutes, only for the lead to be thwarted on 84 minutes by a freak goal from Bendtner after a mistake from Beevers at DC.

View attachment 55745

The final fixture of the month was only 3 days later at Preston in the FA Cup. 2-0 win thanks to goals from Beckham and Crouch.

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The month ended with my tired sqaud trying to get some rest over the New Year, before traveling to Burnley only three days after the West Brom match!
Bassong is a rock at the back, Defoe is on fire up front, and dos Santos is playing extremely well in the midfield. The return of Luka Modric from injury is a huge boost to the squad, and the team is looking very strong sitting in second place in the Premier League standings after 20 games, 1 point behind league leaders Man City.
In the transfer market, I splashed some cash with £11m for 18 year old Romelu Lukaku from Sevilla and £15m for 25 year old Ibrahim Afellay from PSV.
View attachment 55747

Lukaku gives me an extra striking option and one to develop for the future. He looks like a solid prospect and hopefully nets a few goals to warrant his hefty transfer fee. The fans are cautious and believe he will disrupt locker room chemistry, but I hope this is not the case.

View attachment 55748
Ibrahim Afellay is a great Dutch player from PSV. He has terrific dribbling and technique, along with great acceleration and will provide a tremendous boost for my midfield. I was very excited to discover this player, and he should fit in with the team right away and start performing.
Across the board he is just a great player with great pace, able to play effectively as an AMC/AML/AMR and MC/ML./MR.

Hopefully the run of good form continues into the New Year, with the goal of reaching the Champions League Quarter Final, FA Cup Seventh Round and a top 3 finish in the Premier League.

The World Footballer of the Year was Cristiano Ronaldo, stopping Messi from winning a third year in a row.
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Apr 8, 2010

The month of January started disappointing, with a shock 2-1 loss to Burnley. The team just ran out of legs after a heavily congested fixture list, over Christmas, and it showed in this game as we just couldn't respond to Burnley.

View attachment 55967

Four days later, we made amends against Stoke with a solid 2-0 win, via dos Santos and Defoe.

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Next up was a tough match against Chelsea, with an even tougher match against Manchester City just 3 days after! Chelsea were sixth and Man City second in the league before this match, so I decided to rest some players for the harder fixture with City later in the week.
The game started strong, but a rocket of a free kick from Frank Lampard left Ochoa with no chance as Chelsea took a 1-0 lead. This held firm until the 66th minute, when a freak own goal by Petr Cech let us into the game, and Bentley fired in the winner on 82 minutes.

View attachment 55969

The tough match with City proved exactly that, as de Jong took the lead on 23 minutes before dos Santos equalised on the stroke of halftime. Unfortunately the game finished 1-1, despite City playing most of the second half with 10 men after Richards was sent off. The team just lacked the energy to spark the final push.

View attachment 55970

Next on the list was a FA cup 4th round match with Birmingham. A brace from new signing Lukaku secured a 2-0 victory, but a 4-6 week injury to Gabriel Milito leaves me dangerously thin on the back line.

View attachment 55971

Another Premier League draw followed, this time 0-0 with Aston Villa. A two week injury to Gareth Bale means I am forced to move Jack Rodwell to the DC position until my backs heal.
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In the final game of January, a goal from dos Santos was not enough, as Bolton managed to equalise and despite playing since the 22nd minute with 10 men, ended the game 1-1. A disappointing third consecutive draw, but Tottenham still sit 2nd in the league table.

View attachment 55973


In transfer news, I let youngsters and first team occasional players Walker (DC/DR) and Beevers (DC) out on loan for more regular experience, but it turns out due to the recent injuries I need the depth!
Recent signings: Lukaku has impressed me in limited playing time, while Afellay has been mostly a disappointment, with not much impact.

I recently rejected a £13.5m offer from Man City for Gareth Bale, I declined as he is too valuable in the first team right now to let go.
Later in the month, Manchester United stepped in with a £17.5m offer for Bale, which I had to decline. I could take the money, but I prefer to keep this squad together and push on for trophies!

I will be playing Liverpool in the 5th round of the FA Cup and my CL first knockout round fixture with Bayern Munich is approaching.

Goals for this month are to progress in both the FA cup and the Champions League, while maintaining a high spot in the premier league with a chance to challenge for the title.
Here is an overview of the current league table.
View attachment 55977

And just to give perspective, an overview of the player stats from the Premier league.
View attachment 55978

Things are looking very good moving forward, and the Champions League match with Bayern will be the highlight of the upcoming month.

An interesting piece of information is that Sir Alex Ferguson's personal page lists that he intends to retire on the 27th of May this year, I could be keen to chase the prestigious role of replacing Ferguson at United! It would be a dream come true, but we have to wait and see how the current year plays out.
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Apr 8, 2010

The month of February for Tottenham Hotspur was a dark one. From six games across various competitions, I had only one win and two draws.
The first match was against Sunderland where Keane's 42nd minute goal was cancelled by a Darren Bent equaliser on 45+1 minutes, to end the game 1-1.

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After being taken off during the game, it was revealed that Luka Modric would be out for four weeks with fractured ribs.
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Following this game was a miserable defeat in the Premier League against Liverpool, where a Torres hat trick sunk us 3-0.
Just to make it worse, a 2 week injury to Ledley King occurred in the 63rd minute.
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Following the defeat in the league, it was further defeat, this time Liverpool eliminated us from the FA cup with a early 1-0 lead from Peter Crouch soon destroyed as Liverpool ran rampant in the rain.
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Trying to survive a huge drop in morale and form, Tottenham geared up for the Champions League first knockout round first leg against Bayern Munich. Mario Gomez scored after 28 minutes for the hosts, but a decent display limited them to only that 1 goal advantage, helped by a red card to Phillip Lahm.
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Next on the fixture list was Wolves at home in the Premier League. Kranjcar's 22nd minute goal was cancelled by Alessandro Diamanti's goal on 58 minutes. (an interesting note, Diamante was the player who conceded the penalty on the final game of the season last year for West Ham, and enabled me to win the game and the league)

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In the last game of the month, we faced Fulham at White Hart Lane in the Premier League. With Giovanni dos Santos FINALLY returning from international duty with the Mexican U23's, we managed a 1-0 thanks to dos Santos scoring with a nice shot in the 55th minute.
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dos Santos had missed both Liverpool games, the Bayern game and the Wolves game, and his return clearly sparked the difference to break the winless streak.
A positive boost for the upcoming game at home to Bayern in the second leg, with Bassong also returning to full fitness in time for the game. It should be a fantastic game and I hope the team can step up to the challenge and advance further in the competition.

It had been a terrible month for morale and form, but at least ended in a positive note. I will be facing Bayern Munich from a 4-5-1 formation, with Defoe leading the line, dos Santos in the AMC position with his Inside Forward role, Krancjar at left wing, Bentley at right wing, with Bostock and Rodwell in the central midfield. The backline will consist of Bale, King, Bassong, Naughton, and of course Ochoa in goal. I will be attacking right from the kickoff and pushing for the vital goals needed to advance.
I predict a 2-0 victory for Tottenham, maybe after extra time.


Apr 8, 2010

The month of March began with the hotly anticipated Champions League first knockout round second leg against Bayern Munich. I predicted a 2-0 win in front of the home faithful, and was not far off with a goal from dos Santos after 15 minutes equalising on aggregate. After a fierce game, with both sides having goals disallowed for offside, it dragged into extra time. The fight continued, as both sides fought hard, 120 minutes of football could not decide it. Penalties would decide the outcome!
Ochoa saved from Demichelis and Modric slotted the winner as Tottenham won the game 1-0 (1-1 on aggregate) resolved 5-4 on penalties.
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Great result!

The draw revealed my next game was against Inter Milan.
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And a look at the other quarterfinal fixtures:
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Following the excitement of Champions League advancement, it was business as usual as Tottenham defeated West Ham 1-0 thanks to a fantastic freak goal from right back Kyle Naughton, as his deep cross found the back of the net!
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Following that was a routine 2-0 win over Hull City, with Woodgate scoring a nice shot and Lukaku already earning his
huge transfer fee with a goal.
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Following this match, we played Portsmouth, with dos Santos once again scoring, until Smith equalized from the penalty spot before Modric got the winner late on.
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Then came the much anticipated and unexpected Quarterfinal clash in the Champions League with Inter Milan. It started bad, with Cavani scoring on 7 minutes, only for dos Santos to score on 9 minutes! Unfortunately on 12 minutes Cavani popped up again to score what proved to be the winner. Ochoa denied any further away goals, and Cesar thwarted dos Santos twice more on good chances to preserve the 1-2 win, with two valuable away goals leaving Tottenham with it all to do!
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Crushing news came after the match, with it being revealed that commanding and in form centreback Sebastian Bassong would be ineligible through suspension! This is a devastating blow for my chances, and will require a strategy tweak to be able to compete! I am dangerously thin at defender for this game.

The last match of the month was a crushing 3-1 loss to Manchester United, where I didn't deserve a goal at all and they probably deserved a few more. Will be looking ahead to the Champions League tie with Inter Milan rather than dwell on this one!
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Moving ahead, I am worried about the match with Inter Milan, although Naughton's return to fitness bolsters my defensive line with much needed help. I will probably start with Keane up front, with Modric and dos Santos in behind him. On the wings will be Bentley and Kranjcar with Rodwell in the defensive midfield.
On the backline we'll start with Bale, King, Woodgate and Naughton.... and hope for the best.

In the Premier League, I am sitting in 3rd place, four points off Liverpool who sit in 1st place, and 1 point behind United who are in 2nd. Once again I find myself with an outside chance of claiming the league title, needing United and Liverpool results to go my way! If I cannot take it out, I dearly want Ferguson to have one last hurrah on my beloved United before he retires. Scousers will walk alone! :)

It will be a rough ride over the next month, COME ON YOU SPURS!
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Apr 8, 2010

San Siro, Milan, Italy


Tottenham Hotspur fans the world over are celebrating a stunning result today as they prevailed over Inter Milan in their Champions League Quarterfinal Second Leg match at the San Siro.
Needing to overcome a potentially tricky 1-2 deficit from the first leg, with Inter holding two vital away goals, the Spurs were battered and supposedly broken from their earlier 3-1 heavy defeat in the Premier League to powerhouse Manchester United. The return of full back Kyle Naughton was vital to the defensive line and greatly assisted its containment of the Nerazzurri strike force. Veteran central defenders Ledley King and Jonathon Woodgate played to exhaustion with inspired performances, helped by goalkeeper Ochoa, who was more than equal to all seven shots he faced on target.
After the game Ochoa praised the Spurs manager for his words at halftime that turned the tie on it's head and had Spurs emerge victorious at the final whistle.

But the real star of the day was undeniably Mexican international Giovanni dos Santos, who put in arguably one of the best performances of his career in scoring all three crucial goals for the Spurs, and playing fantastic all game, making great passes and running himself to exhaustion for his team.

The Tottenham boss was almost overcome with emotion as he praised dos Santos and the team for a stunning effort against the odds.
"All credit goes to the team, they performed fantastic out there today, I could not have asked for a better result for the team and the confidence this will give the team going forward is huge.
dos Santos has been in superior form all season long and he fully deserved all three goals today."

It had been a rough patch for the Spurs, overcoming team morale issues and lapses in form over the previous matches, making the win all the more sweeter for the team, who will be playing in the Champions League semi-final against F.C. Barcelona, with the first leg on the 18th of April 2012 at the Camp Nou.

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Review of the game.

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Giovanni dos Santos, Man of the Match (3gls; 9.4 rating)

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