Here we go then. The FM Community made their views known, and they wanted to see me resign at Morton and try my luck down south.
Taking over at a new club is uncharted territory for me, but not just on FM16. Historically, when I’ve wanted to join a new club, it’s just been a completely new save starting from the beginning again. This is a new experience for me, and one I’m not used to at all! I think I’ve said before too, that this is probably the most long term save I’ve ever had on FM, so dealing with newgens en mass also isn’t something I’m used to. My adaptability rating in-game is only 6 too, so we’ve got some work to do.
The title of this post is a bit of a spoiler, and if you haven’t got it yet, you still won’t after looking at the image above. This is New White Hart Lane, and I’ve taken over from Rudi Garcia as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs so far
A good place to start would be to update you, and find out for myself, how Spurs have been doing up until now in-game.
Here’s the graph of their final league positions to date. As you can see, no Premier League wins for their efforts, but they did finish 2nd in the 21/22 season. Remarkably, alongside that 2nd place finish in the league, they also won the Champions League, beating arch rivals Arsenal in the final in Cardiff, and the FA Cup. Pochettino was still at the helm, and that CL win added to a few other cup honours he’d managed to secure for the club. A Europa League win in 2016/17, plus a couple of League Cup wins in 2017/18 and 2020/21. After the Champions League win, Spurs were crowned the world’s best club side, bringing home the Club World Cup. However, just a few months later, Poch got the sack and his replacement, Rudi Garcia could only guide the club to 5th. Garcia couldn’t turn the clubs slide around, guiding them to an even worse finish of 9th in 2013/24, and ultimately, getting the heave ho.
First things first, a look at the players I’ve inherited. There’s some familiar names still in the squad. Hugo Lloris is the captain, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Christian Erikson are all still at the club, alongside some other names that you’ll recognise, Aleksandar Dragovic, Lucas Digne, Youri Tielemans, Ross Barkley and Goncalo Guedes (who you really need to sign ASAP in your save). Of course, there’s a smattering of newgens too, and I’ll introduce you to the best of the rest of the bunch.
I’d never heard of this guy before, and initially thought he was a newgen. He isn’t, he starts off at Monaco in-game and just look how he’s developed. Simply an outrageous option out wide. My perfect player.
‘He’s only got two first names!’ Juan Diego arrived at the beginning of the previous season for a bargain £5.75m from Barca. He’s perfect for the DM destroyer role, and an ideal age at 26.
Harry Kane left the club in 2016 for Man City in a £55m move. Sonny Selley isn’t a Spurs youth product, he arrived for £32m from Southampton in 2022, but he is the brightest English talent in the squad. Does he suit the lone forward role in my tactic? It remains to be seen, but he’s a great option to have in and around the squad.
So you saw earlier that the club play at New White Hart Lane, which has a 61,000 seater capacity, which for club sides, is the joint 2nd biggest stadium in England. The estimated value of the club is £1.27bn, which makes us the 4th richest club in the world. You’d never know it though, as when I gained control of the club, I was given a transfer budget of almost nothing to spend. I mean, I expected to have nothing to spend when I took over Morton at the start of the game, but nothing to spend at an English Premier League side in 2024/25 that’s worth over a billion pounds? In fact, there wasn’t just nothing in the transfer budget, the club had nothing in the bank either. Looks like I’ve got a job on my hands…
Just another little fun fact before we go into transfers, me joining Spurs is quite apt as they’ve been one of my affiliate clubs at Morton for a good few years now, and that affiliation will continue.
So I needed to sell if I wanted to sign any new players, and sell I did.
£131m was raised which has put the club on a sound financial footing for the immediate future, at least. You’ll spot I inherited Lamela, but where the other current Spurs players in the non-FM world I inherited still looked as though they could do a job, the years in-game hadn’t been kind to Erik, so off he goes. My old club and their new manager, Hamza Hamzaoglu, were kind enough to donate £6m for an ageing Nabil Bentaleb. I would have preferred to keep Niklas Sule at the club, but he was moaning about a lack of Champions League football, so off he went to the famous Gelsenkirchen. The bulk of the cash received was mainly was Ligue 1.
Another recommendation to snap this guy up in your save, it looks as though he starts off at Maribor. He was the only natural right back in the squad, and while he looks great and would be ideal for my style of play, I’d spotted two right backs that I wanted to bring in as free agents that’d more than replace this guy. PSG are always willing to splash some cash, and £30m later, he was off.
I might live to regret this one. I maybe still had my Morton manager head on, but when you see a £60m offer, it’s difficult not to accept. Poch had splashed £56m on him three seasons before so it’s only a £4m profit for the club, and he’d scored 55 goals in 2 and a half seasons. Plus, just as the transfer was going through, Euro 2024 was finishing. He scored 2 in the final to lead Italy to glory, was the tournaments best player and top scorer. With me never having seen what he might do in a Spurs shirt, I definitely might regret this one.
I’d raised some money, who would I spend it on?
The answer is not that many players! The first thing I wanted to address was securing a few more English players. Kortney Hause came in on a free after leaving Wolves, he’ll never be a guaranteed starter at 29, but I was short on defensive cover and he’ll do a job. Sam Mason is a 17 year old newgen midfielder who’s hopefully going to develop nicely.
Two names you’ll definitely recognise, Rafinha and the controversial transfer of the window, Hector Bellerin. Rafinha is 31 in-game now, but he’s definitely still got it. I wanted to secure a big name signing, and he’s it. Not to mention, he’s perfect for tutoring, which at this stage of the game is vital. Bellerin is one of the two right backs I’d spotted that were available on a free transfer. Why Arsenal chose to release him, I was going to say we’ll never know, but it’s the AI and transfers so anything is possible isn’t it. He’s 29 now but is still more than capable of bombing up and down the right with his 18 pace, 19 acceleration and 16 natural fitness. He’ll be sharing the right back slot with this guy.
I was absolutely delighted to pick up a player of that quality on a free transfer, especially with him being just 23. Again, no idea what the AI is playing at, deciding to release him at Zenit. He could improve on some of his key attributes, crossing, tackling perhaps, but he’s such a solid option to have. Worth £26m already, boom.
I’ve definitely still got my Morton manager head on when it comes to buying players, treating it like it’s my own money, and I’m a tight bastard from Scotland! £15m spent on this man from Santos. Good finishing, composure and pace is generally what I look for in a striker and hopefully he’ll bag us a few goals this season.
The big question. How will I be looking to play at Spurs? Will I go with something new and adapt my tactical philosophy to the club, or will I look to make them adopt my current style of play? Well the answer is, I’ll be playing this. Yup, I’ll be looking to implement my highly successful Morton 4-1-2-2-1. I couldn’t get a job in the Premier League and not at least test it out and see if it’d work, could I?
Rudi Garcia’s 9th place finish last season has given me some room to hopefully fly under the radar here, and overachieve. The board are expecting me to finish in the Europa League qualifying spots, but I’m aiming for a top four finish. The 9th place finish last season also meant no European football this season for Spurs, or did it? England was drawn out the hat in the European fair play ranking, and guess which English team had the best fair play record that hadn’t already qualified for Europe? Yup, the mighty Spurs. My competitive Spurs career starts early for Europa League 1st round qualifying on the 4th of July 2024.
Thanks for reading the first update, and I hope you can continue to join me as I look to Earn my Spurs, competing with the club in England and Europe.