Is the 7-2 defeat to Bayern Munich the end of something for Tottenham Hotspur?
By Joe Harker
Sometimes in football a result is emblematic of larger things going on and sometimes it's just a score from 22 people running around a pitch for 90 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur's 7-2 loss to Bayern Munich certainly feels like the former, a significant moment in the decline of a team that hit the high point of the Champions League final mere months ago.
Is there something unfixable at Spurs for manager Mauricio Pochettino, or is this just a blip that the manager can turn around?
Going into the half time break at 2-1 down, Spurs had plenty of reasons to feel as though they were playing pretty well and had a good chance of getting a decent result from the game.
Nobody was thinking the same thing an hour later when they trudged off for full time having conceded five more goals.
The second half display was an utter capitulation, one that appeared to sum up a team that has run out of steam after several years of Pochettino's excellent management.
They had enough quality to give Bayern a scare but they completely went to pieces in the second half in such a way that illustrated every problem Spurs currently face. The players that had been around for several seasons looked like shadows of their former selves, the newer ones looked adrift in a sea of apathy.
It is a widely held belief that this sort of result wouldn't happen to a team where all was well. Perhaps they'd lose to the Bundesliga champions but surely not on the humiliating level of 7-2.
After years at the club the time for Pochettino to move on might be here, at the same time several players are looking to step off Daniel Levy's wild ride in search of higher wages and a better chance of trophies.
If Spurs are a project club then the first phase of the project is clearly over and the big question hanging over them is whether they can make a success of their second phase. They've got a new stadium but they might also need a new squad too.
Then there's the unthinkable option, whether they also need a new manager.
The Counter Claim:
Pochettino admits his players "gave up" during the game but insisted his side needed to stay calm after such a difficult defeat.
It's been a tough start to the season for Spurs but Pochettino still thinks he will be around for a while longer.
Since he is still the man in charge Pochettino has the ability to make some changes, he does want to overhaul the squad and has made some promising progress on that front.
There is a theory that a squad and manager can only stay together for a handful of years before the message stops sinking in and the club must either get new players or get a new manager.
Getting a new manager is cheaper but Pochettino has done much for Spurs and there are plenty of players who want to find their way out of the club who would be considered the old guard that need to be moved on.
Spurs are sixth in the Premier League table with 11 points from their opening seven games, they are also winless in the Champions League after drawing with Olympiacos during the opening fixture.
It's a long way down from last season where the club got to the Champions League final and had 15 points in the league at this stage. To be fair they did get off to a worse start in last season's Champions League after losing their opening two games and they are still expected to progress from their group.