TOTTENHAM are descending into crisis – just five months after one of their greatest nights.
Mauricio Pochettino's side crashed to a 7-2 Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich as their season took another turn for the worse.
4 Spurs crashed out of the Carabao Cup to League Two Colchester – a sign all is not right at the clubCredit: Rex Features
That stunning home loss came just a week after the club were sent tumbling out of the Carabao Cup by League Two Colchester after a team packed full of stars failed to produce the goods.
That loss means one of their best chances of silverware has gone for the season, and with the Premier League already disappearing over the distance before the clocks have even gone back, an air of gloom is rapidly dropping over their sparkling new stadium.
It is a far cry from the amazing night which saw Lucas Moura's late goal against Ajax seal a place in the Champions League final.
From that dazzling height, all of a sudden the murmurs of discontent are rumbling around North London.
A string of problems combine to form a dangerous mix which could undo all the good work the club has done.
Poch has turned into Jose
In targeting Mauricio Pochettino in the first place, Daniel Levy knew he was getting one of the best young managers with a point to prove and gave him a platform to build.
The problem is, Pochettino has fulfilled his potential and is now established as a top manager in world football, and is making the demands of someone with an ego which matches that status.
From suggesting before the Champions League final he could walk away if they win, to constantly sniping about the club's transfer strategy through pre-season, the Argentine has mirrored the kind of behaviour we saw from Jose Mourinho at Manchester United a year ago.
4 Mauricio Pochettino has gone from potential to a proven top class manager – and is making the demands of his board to matchCredit: AFP or licensors
A boss certain of his standing, flexing his muscles and demanding the backing he believes he needs to be able to deliver the Premier League.
Poch didn't get it – and is now locked in something of a power struggle knowing his ultimate card to play is walking away.
There will be no shortage of takers, and he knows it.Especially with Real Madrid and Manchester United hardly in a solid position with their current managers.
He wants, actually needs, to win trophies now and is no longer willing to play the patient game.
The Spurs players are not stupid
Contrast the build up to the Champions League final in Madrid between the two sides.
Liverpool approached it knowing they belonged at that level, Tottenham almost just happy to be there.
Not for one minute do the Spurs players not want to achieve success, but they can also see when they are batting above their average.
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The London club have not made the step from very good hopefuls to being a major force either domestically or on the continent, and the squad is reminded that week-in week-out just by looking at Liverpool and Manchester City.
They talk of how good those two clubs are, of aspiring to be able to compete. That is very different from believing they can compete over a 38-game season.
After Madrid they will have expected a summer where the club invested to really give themselves a chance to make that step.
Instead, despite breaking the club record to buy Tanguy Ndembele for £65million, they flattered to deceive and did nothing to suggest the board wanted to make up ground on the rivals.
The squad knew how far behind they were last season. And this season they know they are still way back.
They are not stupid. Sooner or later, that acceptance of not being good enough works its way through to performances.
A clear split in the camp
Why is it that so many of Tottenham's biggest players have openly tried to get out of the club?
Kieran Trippier hinted at issues behind the scenes when he spoke of his reasons for joining Atletico Madrid in the summer – swiftly rebutted by Spurs.
But when fellow senior stars Danny Rose, Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen also want out, it is hard to believe all is well in the dressing room.
Rose, an England international in his prime, was ready to walk away from the Champions League finalists and a top four side to join Watford.
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Eriksen spent most of the summer hoping to get away, and has spent the majority of the campaign playing as if he doesn't want to be there.
Pochettino spoke in pre-season of his frustrations that his plans were being hampered by not knowing which players he would still have available and which players would leave.
Ultimately no-one left – but everyone knows they will be at the end of the season.
So you have half the side looking to build for the future, and half the side knowing it doesn't really matter because they are on the move regardless.
And when the tough questions start getting asked after poor performances, the doubts start to grow whether some players are pulling their weight.
4 Harry Kane is one of the world's best strikers, but some Spurs fans believe he does not best suit the systemCredit: Rex Features
Does Kane suit the best system?
When you've got one of the world's best strikers in your squad, you have half a chance. But there is a school of thought that Tottenham are better off without him.
It's a bizarre situation when a player of Kane's standing can be questioned but some believe the rest of the side click more without him playing.
The England captain is such a figurehead, play tends to revolve around him sometimes to the detriment of others like Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura around him.
When Kane is missing, Son and Moura can make more destructive runs into spaces not normally open to them when their captain is playing.
A comparison of the stats in all competitions last season suggest Tottenham fair better with the striker around – a 60 per cent winning record compared to 50 per cent.
But the average goals scored are almost identical, and certainly the side has appeared to flow with more freedom when Kane is not there.
Levy's belligerence is holding Spurs back
Putting it simply, Daniel Levy has been a fantastic chairman for Tottenham.
He highlighted Pochettino as the man to take the club forward and given him time to build a squad.
The businessman then delivered the wonderful new stadium which is the envy of the rest of the country.
And he bought and sold with such ferocity that Spurs often under-paid for players and charged over the odds to buying clubs for their own stars.
The trouble is, Spurs have arrived at the level where the games have to stop.
Levy has to accept when he knocks on the door of other boardrooms, they are going to demand big money for their best players and he will now have to cough up.
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No more scrimping and saving, trying to slash an extra £5m off a fee. Just stump up and get the deal done, and pay the wages the top stars want.
Until he gets comfortable in this new position, he is holding the club back.
They talk about belonging at the top table, but don't act like it when they get there.
4 Daniel Levy has not adjusted to operating in the transfer level now Tottenham are a big clubCredit: AFP or licensors