If Tottenham Hotspur were asked how their 2019 has been, they'd probably point to an appearance in the Champions League final and say it went alright.
News flash: it has, on the whole, not been alright. They're fortunate to be competing at the top table of European football this term after Arsenal's incompetence allowed them to keep a grip on fourth place in the league last season. Spurs did not win their place amongst the continent's finest - it was the Gunners and Manchester United who lost it.
Mauricio Pochettino's men collected just four points from their final five Premier League fixtures of 2018/19. Those struggles are reflective of the Lilywhites' dire form for this entire calendar year.
Stats from Opta show that Tottenham haven't been victorious in a top-flight away game since 20 January, when Harry Winks grabbed a stoppage-time winner to sink a woeful Fulham side 2-1 at Craven Cottage.
In their 12 matches on the road following that fortuitous triumph over the Cottagers, Spurs have secured only three draws, going down on nine separate occasions.
Some believe the club's nightmare period began in August in the wake of an unsuccessful transfer window, in which a number of star players made it clear they wanted out of north London. That, however, appears not to be the case.
Among the group wanting to leave are playmaker Christian Eriksen and defensive duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. Uncertainty around their futures has certainly destabilised things further, but the cracks were starting to show long before the summer break.
This slump has gone on for more than half a season and suggests there are gravely serious problems at Tottenham, the kind of problems that don't have a quick fix. It may take until next campaign before we see a revitalised Spurs, with significant changes needed to stop the rot.
In the meantime, Lilywhites supporters should expect a year of frustration and mediocrity - there will be nothing remotely like their thrilling run to the Champions League final.
Source : 90min