When Loic Remy was caught offside twice on his debut for QPR at West Ham, John Motson remarked on the BBC commentary, "He's going to have to get used to this." Without coming over all Alan Shearer, I'm pretty sure they have offside in France too. There are things, however, that Remy might have to get used to.
At Loftus Road last night, he was one of two QPR players to kick the ball out of the ground as the Premier League's bottom side picked up another point any way they can.
Harry Redknapp is a gambler but a good gambler knows when to be reckless and knows that sometimes there is a satisfaction in not losing your stake. He knows when to hold them and when to fold them. QPR's recent matches at home to Spurs and against Manchester City on Tuesday night have been dreadful games of football but that is exactly what Redknapp wants.
QPR are gambling off the field but on it, they're taking no risks. Newcastle wouldn't pay Remy's wages but QPR would and he scored on his debut once he had been briefed on the offside rule.
QPR are unbeaten in the league since they caved in at home to Liverpool. At that stage, they were eight points from safety. Redknapp had said he wouldn't waste money in January if his side had already been 'cut adrift'. This was a vague concept to begin with and was never going to be tested unless Redknapp signed up for the football manager's equivalent of Dry January, swearing off deals for a month.
Even then, like a drinker who cracks a couple of days before the end of his self-imposed sentence and goes on an almighty jag to mark the release from the torment, it would be easy to picture Harry storming into Tony Fernandes' office on the last day of the window, his eyes bulging as he bangs his fists on the table and pleads, "I can't do this-get me Chris Samba, Peter Odemwingie and... and... and CROUCHIE! NOW!."
Happily, it never came to that. Thanks to the stunning win at Chelsea, QPR were never cut adrift and Harry could pursue the type of player who is prepared to join a team at the bottom of the table in January.
QPR hadn't won at all until December and their two wins this season have come under Redknapp, something he will undoubtedly remind people of when the time is right. Right now, it is the time for spending. Against City, QPR had two goalkeepers on the bench, even if Julio Cesar was demonstrating that not all the signings of the Mark Hughes era were bad.
Harry doesn't want to hear that at the moment. Odemwingie is there to be seduced, ready to take part in what one of his breathless tweets last week called the "best compliment I have ever received in my [career] as a player, manager like HR spending to bring me for mission 'impossible'."
The impossible comes at a price and QPR need their gambling to come off this time when it failed spectacularly during what I guess we have to call the Hughes era.
When they lost at home to MK Dons in the Cup last weekend, Redknapp described the performance as diabolical and there were reports of rows in the dressing-room. Jose Bosingwa was fined before Christmas after he refused to sit on the bench against Fulham.
Against this backdrop, Redknapp has turned to players like Clint Hill and Shaun Derry who guarantee commitment. Strangely, he is prepared to lose one of his most industrious players in Jamie Mackie while Ryan Nelsen has gone to Toronto. Redknapp has another 24 hours of gambling, bluffing and answering questions at press conferences which aren't questions, just a list of players. This curious form of word association reveals nothing about Harry's subconscious except his subconscious's desire to make a deal. Perhaps that's all there is http://www.grantland.com/
QPR are gambling in the market and maybe they feel they have no alternative. On Saturday against Norwich, they will need to start gambling on the pitch.