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Where Has It All Gone Wrong For Tottenham?

Going into this new Premier League season, the talk in Tottenham circles was whether or not the club could be considered genuine title contenders and in doing so, bridge the gap to both Manchester City and Liverpool.

A two horse race is what we were treated to at the back end of the previous campaign and with the domestic and European champions set to do battle once more, it is down to Mauricio Pochettino to make sure there is a new challenger this time around.

However, it is fair to say that Tottenham's start to the season has been rather uninspiring and after a home to defeat to Newcastle, pundits are already suggesting that the North Londoners will not be in the hunt for honours come next May.

That defeat to Steve Bruce's men was one that was largely uninspiring and a far cry to what Spurs fans have been treated to against the Toon in recent years, while you could argue that no Tottenham player came away with any real credit to their name and the level of performance will be of huge concern to manager and fans alike.

It seems as if the players who would once be prepared to run through brick walls for Pochettino, now no longer seem willing to do so. That's not to suggest that key men are downing tools but at the same time you do wonder if the dressing room has been lost to a certain degree.

You only have to look at the frankly bizarre decision to not play Jan Vertonghen in the first three games of the season, to know that a once harmonious atmosphere in the N17 postcode is now no longer the case.

While with the Belgian out of contract at the end of the season and him being placed on the naughty step as it were, you do wonder if we are now in the midst of a farewell tour for the former Ajax defender.

Something that when coupled with the probable loss of Toby Alderweireld under the same contract circumstances next summer, highlights that the breakup of this talented squad - one that has been mooted for so long, is now finally happening before our very eyes.

Of course, the fact that the European transfer window has different closing date to the Premier League one, is something that has been of obvious displeasure to Mauricio Pochettino and he believes, that once closed his squad will once again become settled.

At the same time, it's not necessarily the players who have been linked with a move away from the club that is the problem and it's almost as if a squad wide malaise has kicked in across both the end of last season and the start of this.

Strip away their incredible Champions League run and Spurs have earned just fifteen points from as many league matches, a run of form that does little to suggest they would even be a top four club should it continue.

Some will feel that in now his sixth season, Pochettino has genuinely taken the club as far as he possibly can and although no-one wants to see him depart, there is perhaps the danger that he outstays his welcome and ends a glorious tenure on a rather sour note.

That said, it may be a little too early to jump to conclusions, especially so early into proceedings and if Tottenham can rediscover their mojo, then the crisis talk will be quelled once more. The aim now will be to find a decent run of form and show just exactly what the club is capable of this season.