For the moment, let's not worry about the future prospect of Chelsea winning the Champions League and turning fourth place into a Europa League spot in the process. Let's look instead at the past and the present. Ten short weeks ago Spurs beat Newcastle 5-0, with a performance full of verve and creativity. Those same qualities were on show this past weekend - but unfortunately at St. James' Park, as a resurgent Newcastle put three past Stoke without reply.
While the team now in fourth were wowing both their own fans and the neutrals with their attacking flair, Spurs were huffing and puffing at Loftus Road. As pass after pass was played across the face of the QPR box, Harry Redknapp looked on, seemingly unable to do anything about his team's lack of guile or penetration. When Harry allows Giovani dos Santos off the bench, you know he's in trouble.
While it's true that Spurs have some injury problems, it's equally true that the likes of Kranjcar would not be very likely to feature even when fit. Other players that could have done a job for Spurs in their current predicament, such as Corluka and the rejuvenated Pienaar, have been allowed to leave the club. So much for the strong squad with which the manager expressed his satisfaction earlier in the season.
Once again the performance on Saturday was not abject, merely flat. Of all the Spurs players on show, the only ones who could take any personal satisfaction from the game were Kyle Walker (newly-crowned PFA Young Player of the Year), substitute Danny Rose and - perhaps - Rafael van der Vaart. As for the rest, it was a disappointing display against a poor side, made poorer still by the late dismissal of Adel Taarabt.
To say that Newcastle now have the momentum in the hunt for fourth (and hopefully Champions League football) would be an understatement. Redknapp, however, remains upbeat in the face of what can now be definitely termed a slump:
"We might have to win all four games but I'm very confident. But Newcastle still have to play Chelsea and I don't think they'll both win that. And Newcastle also have to play Manchester City. If we win all four of our games it won't matter what the others do."
An interesting assessment, given that Newcastle are now three points ahead with the same number of games left to play. The Spurs fans must hope that Man. Utd. don't get a result at the Etihad on Monday, meaning that Man. City will face Newcastle with the title race still alive. Newcastle's other remaining opponents - Wigan, Chelsea and Everton - are by no means pushovers, even for a team brimming with confidence. Ten weeks ago, a run-in against Blackburn, Bolton, Villa and Fulham would have looked like a much easier proposition. Not any longer.