There was a time quite recently when Tottenham fans actually looked forward to watching their team play.
One such occasion was back in January 2018. During that season, even if there were some teething issues at Wembley, Spurs were still expected to roll over sides that rocked up to their temporary home. On that day, it was Everton, managed by Sam Allardyce.
It seemed like Harry Kane was breaking records every week with his ridiculous feats, and he reached another milestone during that 4-0 win over the Toffees, becoming the club's record goalscorer in the Premier League with two goals that night.
As a fan, things felt hopeful. Tottenham weren't at the level to compete with Manchester City for a league title, but they were still a pretty good side capable of creating more than enough chances for their talisman up front each game.
There was a clear game plan. Whether that be creating space for Christian Eriksen to operate in or getting Son Heung-min away down the left, things seemed calculated, and their performances did fill you with joy.
Two and a half years is a fairly long time, relatively speaking, but Sunday's 1-0 loss to Everton shows just how quickly things can change in the world of football.
For the Lilywhites, there was no joy. All in all, it was an embarrassing performance.
With ten months in the bag as manager, Jose Mourinho has little to show for it. The team may now be a bunch of bastards, but you'd have no idea going off their performance against the Merseyside club.
Mourinho as a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino always felt weird. But if you aren't going to feel optimistic about your club's future, what's the point in supporting said club?
We were pulled in by the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss claiming he had found a new way to operate upon his unveiling as Pochettino's successor. He was, and remains, one of the most decorated managers in world football.
But the fresh start and fresh perspective hasn't lasted. You need only look at the excuses pulled out by the 57-year-old after the Everton defeat for evidence at that.
Yes, Tottenham have had issues surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, and the awkward international fixtures did have a detrimental effect on their pre-season preparations. Those would be valid arguments as to why Spurs played so poorly on Sunday.
The only problem is that every single team in the Premier League is in the same boat. Literally every other team.
Seeing Mourinho pull out these old classics - including the referee card - is just sad for Tottenham fans. It just shows that the club is already past the successful period that Mourinho usually enjoys at his differing clubs and are swiftly approaching the meltdown segment.
Ok, it's just one game out of 38 in a season. Fine. But even if it's just one game, it provides a terrifying insight into what the matches on the horizon will look like from a Tottenham perspective.
Having a right-back push ridiculously high cannot be a team's sole tactic, and yet here we are. New signing Matt Doherty could have scored, but that was one of barely any clear cut chances Tottenham had against Everton. Dele Alli didn't play particularly well, but hooking him for Moussa Sissoko was never going to help Spurs in their search for the opening goal. Instead, they were 1-0 down ten minutes into the second half.
Tottenham were poor, but it was doubly frustrating and upsetting to see Carlo Ancelotti's recent signings slot into their new team with relative ease. James Rodriguez and Ancelotti enjoy a special relationship, granted, but the fact that Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan also have more of an idea how to play for their manager when compared to Mourinho and his squad is extremely disheartening.
It's been ten months. Vague excuses should not be being carted out. Tottenham should have a new, positive identity by now.
Instead, it's just 'push the right back high and have Ben Davies tuck in'. Kane can't get on the ball. Son's playing deeper. The ball won't stick to Dele's feet. The players don't know how to play with each other anymore.
If Tottenham go and win their remaining 37 Premier League games playing like this, then fair play. We would have no qualms. But looking toothless in attack while your centre backs play miles apart from each other is not a recipe for success - even a clueless football writer can see that.
But regardless, there's nothing like a trip to Bulgaria for a Europa League qualifier to get the fans back on side, right? Right? Good. Now go and consume some more Amazon content.
Source : 90min