Like England having to rely on a 22-year-old debutant who has made just 18 Premier League starts, ending up on the winning side on only four occasions.
A guy who has had more shots on goal than anyone else in the Premier League this season but has yet to score. A guy who has delivered 26 crosses this season, with a paltry four reaching their intended target. A guy who showed such excellent judgment recently that he received a four-month ban for betting on football.
Yes, Tottenham winger Andros Townsend, a player who a few short months ago looked a dead certainty to be farmed out on loan (again) was the man who made the difference in the 4-1 win over Montenegro on Friday night. Credit to him for his progress and credit to Roy Hodgson for choosing him and not one of the more conservative options, such as James Milner or, in a different formation, Jack Wilshere.
But it says a lot about the modern international game that you can throw someone in for his first England appearance and have his contribution be crucial. It shouldn't taka a roll of the dice on Townsend to qualify for a major tournament. And while happily accepting the plaudits for picking him, the England set-up probably ought to also be answering questions as to why he won only three under-21 caps.
The other boon for England, and perhaps the decisive factor, was that Montenegro were under strength. They were without two of their starting back four and their first-choice reserve centre-half. Their first-choice goalkeeper was also out, as were their best holding midfielder and Mirko Vucinic, their talisman and skipper. Throw in the fact Stevan Jovetic had to play half-fit and you can see just how much they were scraping the bottom of the barrel.
When you're a nation of 600,000 people, there isn't much beneath your top layer of talent. That's why they had to call up the likes of Nikola Drincic - who is currently without a club and has played a grand total of 26 minutes of league football in 2013 - and Andrija Delibasic, who is also unattached and last played in June. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic has played just three top-flight games since May 2010, mainly because of a two-year match-fixing ban.
Yes, you can only beat what's in front of you and the important part was getting the three points (though they'll need to beat Poland on Tuesday to be sure of avoiding the play-offs). But their fans would do well not to forget just who England were playing on Friday and to remember the road ahead is still painful and long. Learn to do that and perhaps there won't be the same feast or famine reactions to every result.
Again, it speaks volumes about an international week that a good chunk of the past few days was spent wondering whether Harry Redknapp really does know how to send a text message. You'll recall that during his trial for tax evasion ( he was cleared) Redknapp said he "wrote like a two-year-old", didn't use a computer and had "never sent a fax, email or text" in his life.
Now, in his upcoming auto- biography he reveals that several England players - including Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and John Terry - texted him to say they wanted him to get the England manager's job following the departure of Fabio Capello.
This prompted much hilarity and yuk-yukking about 'Arry since those statements seem rather contradictory. (In fact, they're not. It's entirely possible that he received those texts - you don't need to "know" how to receive texts, they just appear on your phone - and did not respond. Or, indeed, that he learned how to text in the months between his trial and the England job becoming available).
But could anything be less relevant? Could there be a greater waste of hot air than making Steven Gerrard answer the question of whether or not he texted Redknapp? (Gerrard said no, he merely talked to Jamie Redknapp about it, in case you're riveted).
In any case, for those fascinated by Redknapp and his foibles, there's more fun to be had in his book. He tells the story of signing one Carl Richards from Enfield when he was at Bournemouth instead of Richards' strike partner.
Richards would turn out to be a dud, but his fellow forward would turn out to be Ian Wright. It's supposed to be one of those face-palming head-shakers. Except it's not true. When Richards signed for Bournemouth, Wright was already scoring plenty of goals for Crystal Palace. What's that about not letting the truth get in the way of a good story?
There was no shortage of dead rubbers in Friday's World Cup qualifiers, but there were also two surprises which could have serious knock-on effects. Portugal were held to a 1-1 home draw by Israel in one of their most disappointing performances in recent memory. This means Cristiano Ronaldo is almost certainly play-offs bound. To avoid that fate, Portugal would need to defeat Luxembourg at home on Tuesday (no problem there) but also require Fabio Capello's Russia to somehow lose away to Azerbaijan and that seems far-fetched.
The other eyebrow-raising result came in South America where Colombia and Chile faced off. Chile raced into a 3-0 half-time lead, before the Colombians came back to clinch a 3-3 draw with the help of two goals from Radamel Falcao. The two points dropped at home will be a blow to Colombia's Fifa ranking ahead of next year's finals and the same applies to Uruguay, who lost 1-0 away to Ecuador, assuming they qualify (right now, they're in a playoff spot).
Rankings released on Thursday will be used to determine the seven nations who will join Brazil as top seeds. Colombia and Uruguay both have tough away ties on Tuesday, to Paraguay and Argentina respectively. Should either falter, Holland, currently ranked ninth, are best placed to take advantage.