Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp says Gareth Bale's absence is proving pivotal to the club's current plight following the 6-0 hammering by Manchester City.
Spurs were swept aside by Manuel Pellegrini's side at the Etihad Stadium and are now three league games without a win and eight points behind leaders Arsenal.
Amid the sale of Bale to Real Madrid for a world record £85m, Tottenham signed seven new players including Roberto Soldado, Christian Erikssen and Erik Lamela but they are yet to gel sufficiently.
Tottenham's problems have reflected their proficiency in front of goal, with just nine scored in their 12 league games and Redknapp believes that in tight matches the north Londoners have lacked Bale's brilliance.
"For the first time, Tottenham did look like a bunch of strangers on Sunday," Redknapp told talkSPORT.
"They have got lots of attacking players. They have almost become overloaded with the same type of player.
"In the past, when they had Gareth Bale, he was such a fantastic talent that he would pull them out of trouble.
"There were lots of games where there were two minutes to go and suddenly a bit of magic from Gareth Bale and three points were in the bag. Well, they have lost that magic now.
"He was special. It has been difficult to replace him and that is a big problem for them."
"They will pick up," said Redknapp, whose former side face champions Manchester United this Sunday at White Hart Lane.
"They have got a great game this weekend. If I was managing Tottenham, I would be happier playing Man United than I would Stoke.
"It's a game where Tottenham can have a real go. I'd rather have that than a game playing a team that you are expected to win against and it goes wrong again."
Andre Villas-Boas' side resume their Europa League campaign on Thursday against Tromso as they seek to maintain their 100% record in the competition and gain some confidence ahead of the weekend.