Thank God we beat West Brom. Had that game been lost or even drawn, I would make us amongst the favourites to join the Hula Hoops of QPR and Reading in the Championship next season. But that victory has given the division a false look from a West Ham fan's point of view. We sit in middle table, but we sit on a very narrow perch and there is a massive ravine beneath us.
To be fair, we didn't look like a team haunted by fears of relegation last Saturday. Collins and Reid were immense at the back, and the three goals we scored were all out of the top drawer. I have been a long standing defender of Tomkins and Noble, but their replacements Collins and O'Neill were hugely instrumental in our victory, figuring in all three goals between them. The other stand out player was, of course, Andy Carroll who, frighteningly, is unavailable for today's game at Liverpool.
This round of fixtures is fraught with danger. Even when we are playing well, we get thumped at Liverpool, with 3-0 being a par score. Suarez is on form, Liverpool are buzzing, they need the points, so it looks a banker home game. Keeping the score down may, in fact, be the best we can hope for. And goal difference may yet be a crucial factor.
Our season probably now comes down to three games - all at home against Wigan, Newcastle and Reading. Win all three and we will be in mid table. Win one and draw one and we will be safe. Lose three and draw one and we will probably go down. Lose all four and God help us!
Look at the remaining fixtures for the likes of Newcastle, Norwich, Wigan and Villa, and there are lots of winnable games. Only Sunderland have a nightmare fixture list, and who knows how the Il Duce factor will play out? If he can spare time from draining the marshes, getting the trains to run on time and invading Albania, he may just fire Sunderland into a temporary revival.
Redknapp is aiming at 37 points to sound realistic, but 37 points won't be enough. My money is now on 40 for survival, and that is beyond both QPR and Reading. With Samba losing his beat and the fans turning on the 100k a week man - and 'Arry criticising him for moving himself up front into the bargain - it looks like Redknapp exhausted his miracles when he won that tax evasion trial. You can only buy so many favours from the Devil once you have pledged your soul it seems.
Interestingly, with everybody singing Allardyce's praises, we are still 6 points shy of the points total achieved by the reviled Roeder in the season we went down. And that 42 points total should be a warning to anybody feeling too complacent in the bottom half of the table. Jol said he "thinks" Fulham are ok with 39 points and we still need one more win to get there!