After waiting 16 years to play a Premier League game, QPR suffered a loss that will take even longer to forget as what appeared a winnable opening fixture against Bolton ended in a demoralising 4-0 defeat at Loftus Road.
It was a particularly painful day for the two players that they signed from recently relegated West Ham, with injury-prone Kieron Dyer lasting only a couple of minutes and Danny Gabbidon scoring an own goal.
Neil Warnock wasn’t too demoralised in the aftermath, instead noting that the match stats pointed at anything but a thrashing and pinning blame on Bolton captain Kevin Davies’ ability to get away with fouls unpunished.
However, this was one of the Hoops less complicated early encounters and, with three of their next four away from the capital, has made getting off the mark swiftly an increasingly difficult challenge.
The odds on the west Londoners making an instant return to the Championship were significantly sliced in the aftermath of such a poor start, with their price being cut down to a 11/10 that indicates that they are very vulnerable.
A more encouraging opening day was enjoyed by a Norwich side even more fancied for the drop at 4/6 as they banished the memories of home losses to Colchester and Watford in their last two seasons with a 1-1 draw at Wigan.
Blackburn though will be another team fearing a lengthy struggle after getting underway with a 2-1 home reverse against Wolves, who they finished above last term and had never lost to in the Premier League before.
Steve Kean’s men are 2/1, but that price might fall further soon with four clubs that finished in the top half in 2010-11 up next for them. Relegation favourites Swansea (8/13) get up and running on Monday against Manchester City.