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Tottenham Hotspur, perhaps London's 3rd best club after Arsenal & Chelsea, have remained in the shadow of their closest neighbours for decades. Tottenham is the archetype Football Manager 'Sleeping Giant save' - a club that has not won a league title since 1961 (that's 20,819 days by the way), and which has remained dormant for so long. It's therefore time for an Football Manager Touch 2018 vacation side save…
When researching about this save, I could only find one person alive that remembered that glorious team of '61. I spoke to Colin (75) from Epping Forest:
"We had Les Allen and Bobby Smith...who at the time were akin to today's Messi & C.Ronaldo". Colin said, as he wiped off the dust on a TV set. "I used to watch this team here, on my first ever Black & White TV. The '61 team created modern football with its style and panache"
I want to bring back the style and panache that Colin talks about. I want to build a team based on: Bielsa inspired hip hop verticality, all the pressing triggers: high, low, narrow & wide with great emphasis on occupying the half space & other one dimensional areas on the football pitch. Before I go into detail about tactics, I first need to introduce my aim for the series and discuss the transfer deals I made. I’ll then conclude the post on a recap of my first couple of months in North London. COYS...
(1) Aim: The League Cup
A popular FM challenge known as 'The Pentagon Challenge' has inspired many FMers to chop and change their management career in order to appear fresh to the masses. In this save, I want to do something similar...but rather take it in another direction: 'The Monogon Challenge'. The Monogon's aim is to win a solitary league cup by 2020. If I achieve this, I will aim to win the same trophy within the next 2 years. The challenge will only be complete when I turn all of my Monogons into a 'Decagon' (10 league cups in 20 years). If I do this, I will have completed the challenge and will probs start playing Pokemon, as they sound similar.
(2) Pre-Season Signings
After analysing the Tottenham First Team it was clear they needed an experienced head in the centre of midfield. Eric Dier is fairly young and English and Moussa Dembélé is incredibly overrated. So I turned my attentions to Cameroonian star Stéphane Mbia. Mbia (31) knows the English game well, starring for Mark Hughes' QPR side and came close to moving to White Hart Lane when Tottenham’s Legendary Manager Harry Redknapp was in charge. The fee is big, as I had to prize him away from Chinese club Hebei China Fortune: £18.25m...but it represents my commitment to Tottenham's short term ambitions.
Following Mbia is 28 year old Giovani Dos Santos, an ex-Spurs man at the height of his powers. I wanted an accomplice for Harry Kane and I see this as the perfect Big Man-Little Man combo. Again, the fee is fairly big: £15m...as LA Galaxy had him on a fairly high contract. But bringing one of Mexico's greatest ever players back to North London is a coup for both the club's fans and the English Premier League.
The final deal, which concludes my Summer spending, is Southampton's Ryan Bertrand (28). He signs on for £23m and I hope to see him become England's 1st choice Left Back in next Summer's World Cup. Bertrand is ex-London after coming through Chelsea's famed academy, so I know he is going to be golden on the left side of my team.
£56.25m spent, it's time to discuss tactics…
(3) Tactics: the 1-1-4-2-3
We're doing this for Colin (mentioned in my introduction). I want attacking football in this FM18 side save, so Wing Backs and x3 Strikers are a must. Mbia will be there to hold, alongside Dier as Double Halfbacks. This means we only need one Centre Back - who will play as a Ball Playing one in order to transition quickly and pass more direct. This leaves room in the centre of the park for two Mezzalas in the MC slots to dominate the half spaces. So, 1-1-4-2-3 (as I count my Sweeper Rush Goalie as an outfield player...like a lot of Twitter tactic hipsters).
In order to replicate the swashbuckling Spurs of the 1960s, we are playing on the Attacking Mentality. Plenty of tempo and risk taking. We're also going to be Very Fluid, because we want to share the attacking mentality around the team, we will move together...blurring the lines between the 1-1-4-2-3...to the point where it's unrecognisable. I've pushed the defensive line up to the max too, and placed every player on Attack duty, with the exception of the two Half Backs (on Defend Duty), my Ball Playing Defender (on Stopper duty) and the two supportive Mezzalas. This really is a gung-ho tactic, emphasising my commitment to suffocating the opposition into early retirement. I call it the 'Mind The Gap' tactic:
(4) Season 2017/18, so far...
We're 10 games into the season (all comps) and the 1-1-4-2-3 has made for some great drama, none of which I saw however as I was using the Instant Result button on FM Touch. We opened up with a derby loss Vs Watford, but then had great wins against Huddersfield and West Brom. The formation is not so good against the giants of Bayern Munich or Man City, so I may have to be less attacking in the future.
In the English Premier League, we sit 7th. Behind both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal, which is what we would probably expect. Realistically I hope to push on and displace Southampton from 5th. That has to be my aim.
We did have a great win Vs Swansea in The Monogon Challenge though, but it did require help. I've decided to spend £0.99 on dodgy lasagne for every Carabao Cup game. I figured this would be a great way to find retribution from when Arsenal poisoned us in 2006. Next up is Man City, who are the reason for us recently refunding travelling fans, as we were slaughtered 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium. Get the lasagne out lads!
(5) Succession save
After playing 10 games I did hope to continue this Spursy journey over FM18's life cycle, but my Estudiantes save is literally too fun right now (do check my story out here: www.fmgrasshopper.com/fm18). So I therefore offer up this Spursy file as a succession save. DM me your details and I can send it over to you. Can you bring the Monogon home?
Thanks for reading/sharing/caring,