Has West Ham's season been saved?
Avram Grant smiled as he revealed West Ham United's "Save Our Season" game was actually a slick marketing ploy all along - not too hard to detect as it is managers who need rescuing in freezing late November rather than entire campaigns.
And if this was an elaborate, if transparent, piece of stage management by West Ham, Wigan Athletic were happy to go along with it by playing in the manner of hand-picked opposition.
If Grant, and Upton Park's worried powerbrokers David Gold and David Sullivan, had compiled a wish-list of teams they wanted to face on such a heavily-billed occasion, a weakened and woeful Wigan would have been very near the top.
Of course, it is a total nonsense to suggest West Ham's season - not to mention Grant's long-term tenure - has been secured by this 3-1 win, and if they had lost the manager might have had more difficulty passing off the powerful and ridiculously premature slogan as a mere marketing tool.
At least West Ham's fans, who do not actually need to be scared by catchphrases into giving superb support to their team, were able to file out along a freezing Green Street with a win to soothe the troubles that have engulfed them this season.
Whether this patchy performance was enough to convince them that the future is bright under Grant is another matter entirely. For now, however, the win was all. Season saved? Not likely. Season up and running? Not yet. Not by a long way.
Grant had his new right-hand man Wally Downes at his side, an animated and visible presence in the technical area, as West Ham recovered from 30 minutes of nervous tension to finally run out deserved winners.
Grant (right, with new defensive coach Wally Downes) managed a rare smile as West Ham sealed victory. Photo: Getty
And in the stands, cheered more than anyone except perhaps the heroic Scott Parker, was Paolo di Canio, star guest in the Upton Park hospitality lounge named in his honour.
Di Canio has been linked with a return to West Ham in a somewhat unspecified coaching capacity, and he still knows how to play the gallery, celebrating goals from Valon Behrami, Victor Obinna and the indefatigable Parker with great gusto while clad in a claret and blue scarf.
In reality, if Di Canio was to return it would represent a risky, populist, cheerleading move as his track record of coaching sides of out of serious relegation struggles is, at a guess, nil. It was certainly not a notion Grant appeared keen to encourage.
Wigan, playing the passive role of willing victims to perfection, even conspired to squander their best opportunity of applying pressure to West Ham's fragile confidence and Upton Park's patience by inexplicably allowing subsitute Mauro Boselli to take a penalty only seconds after coming on.
The score was 2-0 and a Wigan goal would have played on east London's nerves, but Boselli was barely warmed up let alone ready to take a penalty, and it was to no-one's surprise that his wretched effort was blocked by Robert Green.
West Ham's supporters gratefully clutched the three points, but listening to them before, during and after the game confirmed that they will need to see a lot more than this isolated triumph before they truly believe in Grant or his regime.
The Israeli's position is seemingly safe after robust public support from vice-chairman Karren Brady, but no public utterances would have spared him the pressure had this game been lost. It would have been such an abject illustration of West Ham's current plight that it is unlikely Grant's position would have escaped scrutiny.
Assistant Zeljko Petrovic lost his job in midweek, which is rather like the ship's cat taking the blame as The Titanic sailed into the iceberg, and every loss would have turned the spotlight on to Grant even more harshly.
He revealed afterwards that one of the co-owners had congratulated him on the win, although he declined to revealed whether it was Gold or Sullivan.
When Grant needed a hero and a leader, he found one in Parker, whose approach has made him an idol at Upton Park. It was Parker who got the crowd into the mood of the occasion with a couple of crunching tackles and his goal was a well-deserved reward for his efforts.
Tottenham have been linked with the midfielder, and Harry Redknapp's right-hand man Joe Jordan was an interested observer here, but if West Ham and Grant are to both survive his sale is as close to unthinkable as it gets.
Goalkeeper Green also made crucial contributions, but there were still spells of real uncertainty even at 3-0 - far too many to suggest Grant and West Ham's board can now relax in the knowledge that the revival is under way.
A little like Roy Hodgson at Liverpool, Grant has not made any emotional connection with those who follow his team. This is hardly a pre-requisite, but it certainly means you are cut a little more slack when results have been so poor.
Grant needs a run of victories to forge that relationship, but there remain doubts about whether he has a gifted enough group of players to give him that luxury.
One man who felt bold enough to voice his complaints about the current plight at West Ham was Carlton Cole. He had a swift reward for his outspokeness - namely relegation to the bench and an Upton Park reception that was as frosty as the temperature when he finally emerged.
West Ham is a club any neutral would want to survive in the Premier League. Upton Park is an intoxicating experience and sits comfortably in the top-flight, but sentiment alone means nothing in a fight for survival and this is a squad that needs serious strengthening in January.
So the "Save Our Season" game was won and Grant swept out of Upton Park savouring the satisfaction of victory - but no-one will seriously believe anything or anyone has been saved by this rare win, least of all those brutal realists who follow West Ham.