Tottenham reporter's notebook: Can Spurs bounce back after Bayern Munich thrashing?
By Paul Gilmour
Last Updated: 03/10/19 12:28pm
As many Tottenham fans flooded out of the stadium long before the final whistle on Tuesday their Bayern Munich counterparts erupted into a chorus of ‘football’s coming home’ before chanting ‘we want eight’.
The giant south stand LED screens, 325 square metres long, provided a painful visual reality of the situation - Spurs had conceded seven goals in a home match for the first time in any major competition.
The boos from those remaining further highlighted just how much of a nightmare this had become with Jan Vertonghen using the words "embarrassing" and "ashamed" in his post-match reflections.
We can critique the performance of the players in the second half but many of them fronted up in the interview area afterwards and for that they deserve credit. Like their manager they were visibly deflated but determined to put it right. Ultimately it will fall on deaf ears with supporters if improvements are not made.
It was a strange evening, one that began so well with Heung-Min Son giving Spurs the lead in an energetic and high-quality opening half-hour prompting Mauricio Pochettino to say that spell was the best he has felt about the team all season.
What followed in the second half was anything but and the manner of the capitulation, conceding five second-half goals, will lead to a major inquest behind the scenes.
What are the reasons behind such a collapse?
Are some of the players simply beyond their peak years? Is there an imbalance in the team? Do individual contract situations impact on the performance of the group and team mentality?
The questions will not stop there. How long will it take to build the new chapter that Pochettino talks about? Will he and Daniel Levy be on the same page regarding a rebuild? What does it all mean for their short-term targets?
Niko Kovac was supportive of his opposite number afterwards when asked if he was surprised at how easy the Germans found it to kill off the game.
"Of course you are somewhat surprised when you score seven goals," said the Bayern manager. "What has to be said though is that all of our shots made it and in our goal [Manuel] Neuer had a lot to do."
Pochettino has experienced similar setbacks with Spurs. In his book he described how the 5-1 defeat at Newcastle on the final day of the 2015/16 season caused him to have sleepless nights during the summer months.
More significantly there was the poor run leading into a late victory over Aston Villa in 2014 that sparked a revival in their fortunes and it proved to be a defining moment of Pochettino's Spurs career.
On each occasion Spurs bounced back and they do not have long to wait to play again with a trip to Brighton on Saturday.
Now is the time to "be calm" according to Pochettino and "not rant and rave" but this defeat, along with the loss to Newcastle and the Carabao Cup exit to Colchester, leads to one last question.
On a chastening night in north London have the winds of change begun to blow?