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!