Former Tottenham manager Juande Ramos admits the departures of Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov were major factors in Spurs' troubled start to the season.
Spurs splashed out big money this summer to bring in the likes of David Bentley, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Luka Modric and Giovani Dos Santos, but they also lost the services of Keane and Berbatov.
And Ramos feels the loss of the club's two senior forwards dealt a blow from which the side never recovered, saying in an open letter on his personal website: "In the summer we experienced a difficult pre-season due to the changes in the squad, which prevented us from working with the tranquility that the summer preparation needs."
The letter continued: "Furthermore the young age of some of the signings, despite their quality, means they needed some time to adapt and mature, which because of the urgency of the competitions they have not yet been awarded.
"Also the departures of Robbie Keane and Berbatov, important players in the team for their technical and human qualities and their scoring abilities, was too hard a blow for the squad.
"All this triggered a situation which I hope will be turned around as soon as possible because the club and fans deserved it.
"Therefore, now that I say goodbye, I want to express my enormous gratitude to the Spurs fans.
"Their excellent welcome, their respect, their kindness and even their constructive criticism. They have made me happy for many months and I'm only sorry I haven't been able to offer them more great evenings like that (Carling Cup win) of February at Wembley."
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