Queens Park Rangers’ rallying performance against Liverpool wasn’t enough to prevent defeat, but it did spark rumours of a turn in fortunes for the basement-dwelling west Londoners.
An ‘if they can play like that against one of the best teams in the league, they’ll have no problem picking up points from the lesser sides’ ethos was the by-product of a desperately unfortunate 3-2 loss versus the Reds, that included two injury-time concessions and as many own goals.
But this is a theory that’s best left unsubscribed to, for the 21/50 that says Harry Redknapp’s outfit are relegated this season remains the superior bet when compared to the 6/5 about them staying afloat.
Out-playing Liverpool for the bulk of the match is a commendable feat, but when you take into consideration how off-key the Reds have been in recent weeks, then it’s not unfair to say they should’ve done better.
Aside from being unable to keep a thrice-anchored cruise ship with no fuel at bay at the moment, the Reds are without their biggest threat of goals in Daniel Sturridge and, lest we forget, teen superstar Raheem Sterling is absolutely shattered.
Despite these massive problems, the Super Hoops still contrived to leak three goals and only score two of their 15 attempts against one of the most substandard defences currently practising.
Excuse master Redknapp frequently fails to hesitate when it comes to pointing out that he only had 12 players in pre-season, but the squad he sticky-taped together before the transfer window closed has been in place for six weeks now, which is plenty of time to gel.
Yet they still seem incapable of preventing the goals going in.
A backline manned by under-motivated veteran defenders such as Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne has shipped exactly two in six of their last seven top-tier league outings.
If they don’t sharpen up in this department post-haste – and with predominantly aged individuals to call upon, it’s difficult to see how they can – there’ll be in serious trouble and, with games against Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon, failure to beat Aston Villa next spells disaster.