In the past, some observers, including myself, have believed that Tottenham would never quite go beyond their current level of a top four team to truly mount realistic title challenges.
However, a 2-1 defeat at struggling Southampton at the weekend means that there is a very real possibility that the team from north London may even miss out on the top four.
A worrying run of form in the top-flight
The defeat at Southampton was not Spurs first slip up in recent games. In fact, the side from north London are on a poor run of recent form in the English top-flight, losing three of their last four games, while picking up just one point in the process.
There are some mitigating circumstances as Mauricio Pochettino’s team has faced London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in their poor run. However, if Tottenham are to be considered a truly top team, they need to start winning the big games.
The defeats at relegation-threatened teams like Burnley and Southampton are games Spurs should be winning with ease, and have won with ease in the past.
Rivals catching up
Tottenham were considered title challengers for a fleeting moment earlier in the season. However, Pochettino’s team are now just a point clear of arch-rivals Arsenal, in fourth place, while fifth place Manchester United are also trailing Spurs by just three points.
Even sixth-place Chelsea are four points behind Tottenham and have a game in hand on Spurs. What was once a potential part in the title race has become a fight for a Champions League spot.
With trips to the top two Liverpool and Manchester City still remaining, Spurs spot in the top four is looking more precarious by the week. The team from north London need to pull themselves out of their recent poor run of form or there is a very real danger they could finish outside the top-four for the first time in a long time.
Are Tottenham in real danger of missing out on a top-four spot this season?