"Andre to the fans: 'The only thing I can say is sorry. It's a very poor result, not to our level. #THFC." That was what Tottenham Hotspur tweeted seconds after they had been humiliated 6-0 by Manchester City on Sunday.
The season had started with such great hope for Spurs, with a raft of exciting new players coming in to replace departed Gareth Bale.
But they appear to be half the team without the Welshman, and what could have been a push for the upper reaches of the Premier League seems now to be a struggle to keep within touching distance of the Champions League places.
Nothing had prepared fans for the club’s heaviest defeat in the Premier League since 1996 however, and manager Andre Villas-Boas was justifiably apologetic.
"Every attack was a goal-scoring opportunity for them, we weren't at our best and we have to be ashamed of ourselves after this," he said after the game.
"My emotions are not very important. I don't need to point out individuals but to lose 6-0 is extremely embarrassing for anyone involved in that.
"It is the worst defeat for all of us involved in Tottenham because we have high expectations and losing 6-0 to a rival tends to stick more. It is a bad moment for everybody. We can only look into ourselves and make sure we can go forward. My responsibility is to lift the players, there is always another game coming."
Spurs’ next game is against champions Manchester United, and such is the wide open nature of this season’s league campaign that AVB says a win against the Red Devils will give his side the belief that they can still achieve their objectives.
"The only thing astonishing in this league is that surprising results can happen," he said.
"City were on four defeats, we are on four defeats, but I think December and January will be decisive in how the league will finish. We are the ones chasing but we play the champions next week [Manchester United] and we can get a lift for ourselves with three points in that game.”