A week is a long time in football, and right now it feels even longer for Spurs fans.
Rewind seven days and things were looking pretty decent for Mauricio Pochettino’s side: four wins on the bounce, including the 3-0 dispatching of Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, had put them in good stead in both the Premier League and Champions League.
Then, in a manner only Spurs are capable of, they travelled up to Turf Moor and not so much pushed that big red button marked “Spursy”, but slammed a sledgehammer down on it.
Let’s sum up recent events to see how and why Tottenham’s season is rapidly crumbling around them for the umpteenth time…
Failing to even start putting the pressure on
Going into their clash with Burnley last Saturday, Tottenham had the chance to close the gap on table-toppers Manchester City and Liverpool to just two points.
However, Spurs, with their well-established reputation for Spursing things up, went and utterly Spursed it by falling to a 2-1 defeat to the relegation-threatened Clarets.
If there’s one thing they can be relied upon doing, it’s putting on the pressure – the unforgettable pressure they put on Chelsea in 2017 stands out as a particular highlight. So their inability to even do that is a deeply worrying sign for their supporters.
Mauricio Pochettino completely losing it
Once the full-time whistle went at Turf Moor, the usually mild-mannered Argentine – who has never won any silverware whatsoever during his 10 years as a manager – furiously approached Mike Dean to berate him for awarding the corner that led to Burnley’s opening goal.
Pochettino’s red mist and fierce outpouring of frustration was way out of character. Indeed, it sharply illustrated just how much the pressure of even hovering around the top of the table is telling on the figurehead of a club which looks set to end an 11th consecutive season trophyless.
Rushing Harry Kane back from injury
You always want your best players on the pitch, and Tottenham are no exception in that regard.
But, by bringing their talismanic striker Harry Kane back into the starting line-up a fortnight before he was even due to return to training reeks of panic.
Spurs had been enjoying a positive winning run before Kane’s recall and it could be argued his return had a detrimental effect. His teammates, who have had to work extra hard to make up for his absence, may have subconsciously put in less effort if they felt the Englishman was there to save the day.
Whilst he did score against Burnley, Kane looked off the pace at Stamford Bridge in midweek – where their implosion was laid bare for all to see.
Crumbling at Chelsea
With the Burnley disappointment behind them, Spurs visited their London rivals with the opportunity to reassert their title credentials and stay within touching distance at the top. But they epically fluffed their lines in an encounter which revealed just how badly the pressure has got to them.
On an evening where Spurs failed to register a SINGLE shot on target, a frustrated Harry Kane launched an alleged headbutt at Cesar Azpilicueta.
Later, as they sought an equaliser in the last 10 minutes, full-back Kieran Trippier placed an exquisite Thierry Henry-esque side-foot finish into the back of the net. The only downside being it was past his own keeper.
With back-to-back defeats confirmed at the full-time whistle, cue the Chelsea fans’ chorus of “Tottenham Hotspur, it’s happened again!”
Failing to sell out their stadium
The north London derby is just around the corner. But despite it being Spurs’ biggest game of the season, tickets for the clash at Wembley remain on general sale.
Whilst you can understand fans’ frustrations about still having to watch their team at the national stadium – getting from Seven Sisters to Wembley Park is a terribly gruelling eight stops away on the tube after all – you’d think their loyal support would turn up in their droves to help get their season back on track.
But no. Which begs the question: how long will their shiny new stadium stay full if they keep up this collapsing act season after season?
Arsenal are coming for them
As a shattered Spurs side flopped at the Bridge, it was a different story altogether in another corner of the capital. The Gunners dispatched Bournemouth 5-1, making it three wins on the bounce, scoring 10 goals in the process.
If Arsenal emerge victorious at Wembley, they will be just one point behind their (former) neighbours with a generous run-in ahead of them. Spurs, meanwhile, still face daunting visits to Anfield and the Etihad among other tricky tests; Dortmund will certainly fancy their chances of overturning their Champions League deficit at home.
Tottenham’s season is entering exploding clown car territory, but don’t worry Spurs fans. Next season will be here before you know it and you’ll have another chance to put the pressure on.