By, The Premier League Owl.

Tottenham’s new beginning is coming to an end

So, this is how it’s going to be.

Let me draw you a hypothetical situation, and one that I have no doubt will come to pass in the following weeks.

From their remaining four fixtures, Tottenham will take four points; they’ll draw with Blackburn on Sunday, lose at Villa Park and the Reebok, and beat Fulham at White Hart Lane on the final day of the season. If they achieve anything more than that, I’ll be stunned. This is a club that exists to fail in the modern day game – managers preaching hard-luck stories and myriad excuses beyond their control, players feeling sorry for themselves, and profoundly gifted performers going through the motions. This team have created the nosedive that they find themselves in, no matter what they say to the contrary.

This is what happens next.

The failure to reach the Champions League leads to a predictable exodus; Luka Modric and Gareth Bale vanish over the horizon, with the ironic sense that they created the reason that they used to demand their exit. Rafael Van der Vaart starts to think that maybe he’s getting older, maybe he wants to eat at Europe’s top table, and maybe there’s a vacancy for a luxury-item somewhere else. Emmanuel Adebayor? Forget it.

And the manager? The one who tells us all how well he’s done, and how horrifying the situation would’ve been without him? Off to Wembley to explode his own myth and fail on a more global stage. Get ready for bad luck and lots of ‘those days’ in Polkraine.

You see, what Harry Redknapp doesn’t realise, is that fleeting appearances in the Champions League mean very little if they’re not repeated. Rather than giving fans a memory that they can cherish, sporadic seasons like 09/10 and 10/11 just taunt supporters. Tottenham have shown clearly that they can perform at a certain level under Redknapp, but that only makes it more jarring to watch them cheat the shirt that they wear with ill-discipline and poor application. Tottenham at the moment are an embarrassment to their fans. It’s one thing watching an under-talented squad struggle, it’s quite another to see a ludicrously gifted team surrender week-in and week-out.

Spurs fans beware, this is the point where your team falls back into the chasing pack. A failure to breach the Top 4 this season will represent a failure to capitalise on the struggles of the traditional incumbents of those spots. The door was open, and now it’s going to close – Chelsea will be bankrolled back to success over the Summer, Liverpool will improve, Arsenal will do the same, and the two Manchester clubs will gallop even further into the distance. Tottenham will be back to second-level recruiting in the Summer, both in their transfer market dealings and their search for a new manager. Where there was once Luka Modric, there’ll be some home grown mid-tabler, and where there was the remote possibility of Jose Mourinho, there will be David Moyes.

Without a Champions League revenue, Tottenham will not be able to compete until the new stadium is built and the increased capacity benefitted from – and any attempt to do anything but that would be incredibly foolish. It’s like the last four years never happened; Spurs fans are awake, and all of a sudden Chris Armstrong is playing upfront, Jermaine Jenas is the captain, Ian Walker is in goal, and Gerry Francis is back in the dugout.

Welcome back to also-ran country