Welcome back! Well here we are, the end of my first full season at Spurs and it’s been a bloody great campaign, full of change, as expected! Last season we ended really well but missed out on a European spot by the skin of our teeth, this year however we need to qualify for Europe, top 6 is a must, top 4 would be brilliant.
Usually I’d go through all the transfers first but if I went through all 15 players coming in we’d be here forever, so I’ll do what I’ve done previously and quickly glide over the transfers now and then talk about the seasons Best XI later.
Above are all the players I sold for a fee, this doesn’t include Almada who was on the previous seasons list and went to Liverpool for £62m. So just short of £200m of sales and with Harry Kane, Thomas Lemar and Marcel Sabitzer all leaving as their contracts were up we’d saved over £1.5m per week in wages.
The main aim this year was to do exactly that, bring the wage expenditure down and also bring the average age of the squad down.
Just over £150m spent on 15 players, most of them younger lads but I also brought in some experienced heads with the likes of James Maddison, Joe Gomez and Dean Henderson to add depth to the squad. Like I say I’ll speak more about the key ones later on.
But for now let’s see how the season went.
We had a really good run in this but eventually fell short.
It was a relatively easy route to the semi’s bar playing Chelsea in Round 3, a game where we played incredibly to win 2-0, we then faced Arsenal in the semi final but were massively outplayed to lose 3-0 on aggregate.
This was the competition I really felt we had the best chance to win, we had a few easy ties, beating Burnley, Southend and Bristol City to get to the Quarters finals, where we faced Liverpool.
Again we fell short, losing the game 1-0 and not playing anywhere near our best.
Now to the big one, I really felt we had a shot at the top 4 and after the start we made I was proving to be right. Yeah OK we lost 4-0 to Man City in a shocker of a display but bar that we started with 3 wins from our opening 6 games and then 3 straight wins in October.
Over November and December our good form continued, we did lose a couple but these were against teams I considered better than us, away defeats to Arsenal and Man United aside we only really had one bad result and that was a defeat to Southampton. Over the 2 months we played 10 games and won 6 of them, this meant as the year ended we sat in 3rd place and even had a shot at winning the league.
But we had to continue to win and we did exactly that, January ended with 3 wins from 4 and February ended with us winning all 3 of our games meaning we had leapfrogged Arsenal and gone top of the league!
We then lost to Leeds meaning we instantly lost top spot before winning our next 2. 9 games to go, we had a huge chance of winning the league but the next month would prove to be our downfall. In 5 games in April we only won once, this included a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal effectively ending our slim hopes of the title.
All we had to do now was push to end in the top 4 and we ended the season in style with 4 wins and a draw from our final 5 games ensuring us qualification for the Champions League next season.
Really, really good. 3rd place in my first full season, the most pleasing thing was how close we ran Arsenal and Man City at the top, unfortunately though that run in April ended all hope. Overall a great season.
So now I come to my best XI, I may actually talk about more than 11 players here as there is just so many players I want to show you all.
Goalkeeper – Facundo Cajon
When I signed Dean Henderson from Man Utd for £9.75m in the Summer I did not expect to be naming Cajon as my best keeper, Henderson started as No. 1 but frankly wasn’t great. He was dropped mid-way through the season and that was it. Cajon ends with 8 clean sheets from 26 starts with an average rating of 7.07. Henderson is now leaving at the end of the season as he refused a new contract!
Right Back – Joe Gomez
This deal was actually sorted before I joined. Gomez joins on a pre-contract deal from Real Madrid. He is on a big wage but still looks quality and can play all over the back. He ended up settling in a right back and had a solid season getting an average rating of 7.14 from his 34 starts.
Left Back – José Manuel Igartua
Signed in the Winter for £35m from Bilbao after I decided to let Reguillon leave. A top quality looking player even if he did cost me a pretty penny. He didn’t have the best end to the season but hopefully he will come good next campaign. 25 starts, no goals, no assists and an average rating of 6.68, not good!
Centre Back – Harry Maguire
Even at 37 Harry Maguire looks utterly incredible, he had a really solid season, missing only one Premier League game, scoring 3 times with an average rating of 7.07. Unfortunately he is refusing a new contract so we may be saying goodbye.
Centre Back – Marcos Sensei
Alongside Maguire is Sensei, the 33-year old had a really good season, playing 36 times and scoring 4.
Defensive Midfield – Oliver Skipp
Boy I love this lad! An ever-present in the England squad now, Skipp had a solid season playing in front of the back 4, he was key to our good campaign and even though his average rating and numbers aren’t as good as his midfield compatriots I still feel he is a key man moving forward.
Central Midfield – James Maddison
Signed in the Summer for £14.5m from Newcastle my boy had an amazing season. The midfield 3 of Skipp, Maddison and Devine was utterly incredible and Maddison was probably the best of them. He ends with 7 goals and 14 assists from his 31 starts (9 as a sub). Even at 33 he is still awesome!
Central Midfield – Alfie Devine
Wow Alfie, this lad is incredible and is probably the best player I have. Alongside Skipp he is also an ever-present in the England squad and is being touted for big money moves to Europe’s elite. He had a great season with 11 goals and 8 assists from his 45 starts.
Right Wing – Heung-Min Son
Yes he’s still here and at 37 Son is still amazing. 11 goals and 8 assists from 37 starts, he doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. 516 league appearances for the club as well. What a legend!
Left Wing – Jorge De Frutos
A great season for De Frutos on the other wing, I actually wasn’t sure how often he’d would play this season with me signing a couple of new Left Wingers but he started so well he couldn’t be dropped. He ends with 12 goals and 12 assists from his 37 starts.
Striker – Roko Simic
With Harry Kane leaving in the Summer I needed to go big with a new Striker and when I saw Roko I had to bring him in. He joins from Lazio for £29.5m and had a great first season. 18 in 35 in the League, 20 in 40 overall, he started slowly but kicked on massively in the second half of the campaign. I have a feeling next season he will do even better!
Notable Mention – Nemanja Petrovic
This is the lad I plan to bring in when Harry Maguire leaves, signed in the Summer from Red Star for £6.25m, a future star and when he played this season he was solid. 16 starts, 2 goals and an average rating of 7.16.
Notable Mention – Juan Pablo Morales
Signed to play on the LW but also be backup to Simic upfront, Morales was really good when called upon, scoring 9 goals from 17 starts and 18 sub appearances. With De Frutos now 33, Morales will be his natural replacement.
And here is the whole squad for you to glaze over.
Now I look forward to next season and our first foray into the Champions League for me in this save and for Spurs it will be their first time in the Champions League since the save began!
But now I have an issue, most of you who follow me on Twitter will know I’ve started a second save with the new Winter update on the FM Base forum with Leicester, it kind of just happened, I was planning something for when this save ended and then suddenly I found myself playing it!
The issue is I now have 2 saves going which are pretty much identical, both in the Premier League and both chasing the same goals. Just to calm the doubters down, this save is not ending but it may have to take a slight change, I am definitely going to be at Spurs next season, I want to manage them in the Champions League and see if we can win the Premier League but after that I may decide to resign and move abroad. The aim here was to topple Sir Alex at the top of the England HOF, instead, if I move, I’ll look to topple the top man in another country. I already have Spain, Scotland, Italy, Germany and France loaded so plenty of places to go to.
I am loving writing the blog still and it’s been nice to find another save to play alongside this to slow myself down, I have so much time to play as I work shifts that a 2nd save has always been needed, it’s just a shame I stupidly picked a 2nd save which is virtually the same as this one!
So the quest won’t end but it will take a little detour abroad!
Anyway back to plans for next season, this squad is perfectly set and I don’t envisage much change, Son is now 37 so I need to start looking at his replacement but I have so many young options with all my signings this season I may not need to bring anyone in. So this Summer should be a lot quieter than last, no plans but we will see what happens!
The board clearly don’t expect much change as the budgets give us hardly anything to spend.
The finances still aren’t great even if I have cut the wage budget down by over £1m per week, we were spending over £4m p/wk, now we are spending just short of £3m.
Even with that big cut we are still losing over £10m per month which is shocking really but with the transfer profit of around £50m, sponsorships of £108m and a small increase in things such as gate receipts and season ticket sales we have actually made a profit of £21m! Not bad!
Anyway, that’s all from me for now. I hope you enjoyed the read.