Spurs have fallen to their fourth defeat in five with a 2-1 reverse at home to West Ham – and they only have themselves to blame.
Ange Postecoglou’s men were sitting pretty at 1-0 up thanks to an early Cristian Romero header, then missed a host of chances to extend their lead against a Hammers side who couldn’t get out of their own end.
Yet after spurning their own opportunities, Tottenham presented two gift-wrapped chances to their opponents.
Their defence was nowhere to be seen as Mohammed Kudus was able to shoot, with his effort deflecting off two Spurs players and into the path of Jarrod Bowen to level the scores.
Then Destiny Udogie’s blind backpass allowed James Ward-Prowse an easy shot on goal, and while he hit the post, the rebound fell perfectly for the midfielder to finish on the rebound.
“It’s another game where we’ve dominated a game of football but we haven’t taken advantage,” said Postecoglou.
“I thought we were poor in both areas with our finishing and also both goals we conceded were terrible.
There’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves, looking for a cuddle anywhere. There’s only one way to change our circumstances and that is to come here on Sunday and put in a performance, not just play good football but go out there and show some conviction about ourselves as a team.
“Sometimes we can disguise how we’re going by playing some nice stuff but like I said from day one, that’s not what I’m about.
“I want to win and that’s why I came to this football club and that’s the message. We’ve still got a long way to go, I’ve said that from the start, we’re still right at the beginning what we need to create and days like today just give me further evidence and fuel of how much we need to do.”
“Spurs were sensational in the first half, they wanted to run forward and create,” said ex-Tottenham man Michael Brown on the BBC.
“Great desire and quality.
“You wondered if West Ham could react but then it was the classic away performance, waiting for their chances. Bowen was excellent and Ward-Prowse got the winner. An unbelievable game of football.”
Spurs had rebounded from three consecutive defeats with a stirring 3-3 draw at Manchester City over the weekend, but are now outside the Champions League qualification spots in fifth place – and level with Manchester United.
West Ham aren’t far behind, with this result lifting them to ninth, just three points back from Spurs.
“Huge performance because of the quality of the opposition,” said coach David Moyes.
“We were up against it tonight. We had to dig in. Thankfully we just about scraped it.
“The quality Tottenham showed in the first half, I don’t know if we touched the ball for eight or nine minutes.
“We gained a bit of confidence once we got some passes. We wanted to get after them a bit more but by the same breath we were cautious about them picking us off.
“We are a team who can give some of the good teams a bloody nose, we have that in us.”
In the other match, Everton trounced Newcastle 3-0 to move clear of the relegation zone despite their ten point penalty for financial irregularities.
They left it late, with goals from Dwight McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Brazilian striker Beto enough to down the Magpies.
“Without those 10 points, we’d be in an amazing position,” said Toffees boss Sean Dyche. “20 points would be amazing relatively to the last two seasons here.
“We’ll see what the appeal brings. The mentality is key for me, we took a knock but there have been a lot of knocks here over the last couple of years.
“But the team mentality is growing. I can’t emphasise it enough, the commitment to each other and the connection is a powerful thing because I know we’ve got quality.”
Eddie Howe’s side are proving one of the most inconsistent in the league, albeit with a lengthy injury list.
In the last month, they have defeated Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea – as well as drawing at French heavyweights PSG in the Champions League – but have now lost comfortably to two cellar dwellers in Everton and Bournemouth.
“We have to do better,” said Howe.
“There are reasons behind every performance and we have struggled to change players. That is a big miss with the quality of players out. The longer you do it, the harder it gets. I am disappointed, a missed opportunity, we did not grab it.
“The game was there for us to win in the second half. The first half was even and we had them penned in in the second half. We conceded the first goal and it changed the momentum of the match. Frustrating and a chance missed.”