Tottenham Hotspur had largely started the 2004-05 season positively under the guidance of Frenchman Jacques Santini, who had taken charge of the club following the conclusion of the European Championships in Portugal.
Nevertheless, speculation had started to circulate regarding Santini's future at White Hart Lane as early as October, with some reports having claimed that he had fallen out with director of football Frank Arnesen.
So, when he resigned on November 5, 2004, it came as little surprise. The timing could have been better for Spurs, though, who faced London rivals Charlton Athletic at the Lane 24 hours later and on this very day.
The visiting Addicks immediately pounced on the uncertainty within the Spurs side by taking a 2-0 advantage before the break.
As the sides went in for the interval, jeers could be heard from the home faithful and they were even more restless in the 50th minute when former Arsenal winger Thomas added a third for Charlton when his shot deflected into the net off Ledley King.
Spurs, who had Santini's assistant Martin Jol in charge, rallied in the closing stages and reduced the arrears after Bartlett was handed a straight red card for handling the ball on the line. Robbie Keane stepped up to convert the resultant penalty.
Frederic Kanoute had Tottenham's best chance of an equaliser as the match headed into stoppage time, but despite their efforts, the post-Santini era had started with a defeat for Spurs.
TOTTENHAM: Robinson; Pamarot, Naybet, King, Bunjevcevic; Davies (Ziegler 45), Pedro Mendes, Redknapp (Carrick 59); Keane, Kanoute, Defoe
CHARLTON: Kiely; Young, Perry, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson; Kishishev, Holland, Murphy (Fortune 89), Thomas (Konchesky 84); Johansson (Euell 81), Bartlett