Head coach Tim Sherwood believes it was "impossible" for Tottenham to be Premier League title challengers after selling Gareth Bale.
Bale departed for Real Madrid in September and the fee the protracted transfer generated was heavily invested in the Tottenham squad prior to his move to Spain.
An influx of big-money signings at White Hart Lane prompted some media pundits to suggest that Tottenham were title contenders.
Ultimately, though, Spurs ended the season sixth after a 3-0 win at home to Aston Villa on Sunday, securing a spot in next season's UEFA Europa League in the process.
On the pre-season talk of Tottenham being outsiders to finish as champions, Sherwood said: "It was hyped, it was ridiculous.
"You're talking about taking out the best player in the world, or one of, in Gareth Bale, and replacing him with seven players who've never played in this competition previously – how on earth were we meant to be title challengers?
"If you don't know the game you could think that they would just all hit the floor running but it doesn't happen - they need time.
"This club will be better with those seven players next season because they will have had a season playing in this competition, and experience, and they'll improve from that.
"To take out a real match winner – eight winning goals he (Bale) scored last season, 21 goals (overall). Jermain Defoe, 10 goals. Clint Dempsey, eight goals – look at all those goals you're taking away.
"And what are you replacing them with? (Emmanuel) Adebayor, who wouldn't kick a ball for the club until I took over and was the only proven goal scorer in the Premier League we had, and (Roberto) Soldado who's coming in and going to take time to settle.
"So it was impossible to think about winning the championship or even the top four. As much as I don't want to pour water over it, it's a fact.
"We've quailed for the Champions League once – why do we have a divine right to finish there? Where we've finished in the Europa League, in sixth, is where we should be – that's where we are.
"We all want to aspire to be winning championships but we're not getting there at the moment with what we've got and to remove a match winner like Gareth Bale, we shouldn't have expected it."
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