Andre Villas-Boas conceded that his Tottenham team should be "ashamed" of their performance in a 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, their heaviest in the Premier League in almost 17 years.
Jesus Navas set the tone for a one-sided afternoon at the Etihad Stadium, scoring after just 13 seconds following Hugo Lloris' awful mistake.
Sandro scored an own goal, with Sergio Aguero netting either side of the interval, before Alvaro Negredo added another and Navas wrapped up a comfortable win in stoppage time as Spurs slipped to ninth in the Barclays Premier League.
"It is difficult to explain," Villas-Boas said. "It's a game where everything went wrong for us from being one of the best defences in the country to conceding six goals in a fixture. It is very hard to find explanation.
"Our gameplan, confidence and motivation was immediately affected by conceding after 14 seconds." Jesus Navas' goal for City was the fourth fastest in the history of the Premier League.
"The fact is we didn't react positively after (the first goal)," Villas-Boas added.
"In the first 15 minutes – before it became 2-0, when we could have got back into the game, we lost control of the situation. Every attack was a goalscoring opportunity for them, we weren't at our best and we have to be ashamed of a result like this."
After spending £108million during the summer, much of it admittedly generated by the world-record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Villas-Boas knows he is under pressure to produce results.
With only nine league goals – the same number as Fulham – it is easy to see where Tottenham's problems lie, even though their difficulties yesterday afternoon were at the other end of the field.
Villas-Boas brought Emmanuel Adebayor on at half-time, his first appearance of the season, but he chose to leave Jermain Defoe and Andros Townsend on the bench.
"We needed a goal immediately (after half-time), but it didn't happen and they went 4-0 up. That was a killer when the fourth went in. For us to sustain attacking impetus we had to change formation again and we couldn't create enough. Our head was gone after the fourth goal.
"It is two defeats in a row. The reality is that we are still in touch to teams who share our objective. We haven't lost a lot, with one fixture everything can change again and we can get a lift up from three points.
"But we have to get back to work and focus on our mistakes and work on that. A team that has been praised defensively for what they have done must find its balance.
"The only thing astonishing in this league is that surprising results can happen. City were on four defeats (before this game), we are on four defeats. It's such an early stage of the season. I think December and January will be decisive in how the league will finish. At the moment you can be third and then you can be ninth.
"We are the ones chasing, but we play the champions next week and if we get three points we are back again. Our most important task is to get back into the players. The reality is for us to come back into this game we had to score and we never had a proper chance."
For City boss Manuel Pellegrini, it was another convincing home win in a bizarre campaign where his team are unbeatable at the Etihad Stadium but struggle to overcome anyone on their travels.
City have now scored 26 goals in six home games, with 13 in their last two. In between, they have lost at rock-bottom Sunderland, but Pellegrini retains confidence the Blues will soon pick up similar results on the road.
"This team at home score more than four goals a game," he said. "The problem is away.
"I don't think we play so differently away from home. We normally have more chances than the home team. They don't have a lot of possession.
"But for different reasons we have not had the results we wanted. I am absolutely sure if we continue to play like this we will get results away from home."
Asked for his personal reaction to the defeat, Villas-Boas (pictured) said that everyone at the club felt "embarrassed".
"My emotions are not very important," he said.
"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 at ourselves and make sure we can go forward."