Paul Merson assesses Tottenham's start to the season.

Football expert assesses Spurs' start to the season.

Tottenham look dejected after loss to Newcastle. [Frank Augstein/AP]

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson says Tottenham 'are out of the Premier League title race already' after the north London side fell to a 1-0 loss against Newcastle.

The football pundit was quite harsh with his assessment of the Lilywhites' start to the 2019-20 campaign following the shock defeat at their new stadium over the weekend.

Joelinton scored the only goal of the game just before the half hour mark to give Steve Bruce's Magpies a much-needed victory in their third game of the new campaign.

'I must admit, I didn't see this coming - Tottenham losing at home to Newcastle. Spurs look in disarray, a worrying sign this early in the season,' the 51-year-old told Sky Sports.

'They are out of the title race already, five points behind Liverpool with three games played. That may sound harsh, but would you back Spurs to win the league over Liverpool if Liverpool had a five-point head start?

'People go on and on about there being 35 games left but I'm fed up with that rhetoric, five points is a lot of points to make up. As a general rule, it takes five games to make up five points, Liverpool lost once last season and have won every game so far this, so where are Spurs going to bridge the gap?

'Before a ball was kicked, I thought Spurs were a dead cert to finish in the top three, now they look in the equation for top four football after their performances.

The former England international continued: 'They fell over the line against Aston Villa, somehow got a point at Manchester City after the biggest run-around you're likely to see and then they never looked like scoring against Newcastle. Their blatant lack of urgency when trailing Newcastle with minutes remaining was startling and left me thinking 'do they know how long is left here?'.

'Something isn't right at Spurs but what is clear is that Mauricio Pochettino hasn't got his team right yet. Christian Eriksen is their most creative player but he's been on the bench. I mean, who else have Spurs got that can put the ball through the eye of a needle?

'I rate Tottenham highly as a team - they were Champions League finalists less than three months ago after all - but they have shocked me, they have been my biggest disappointment this season so far, and I'm not just saying that because I used to play for Arsenal.'

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