Only a miracle can save ‘unhinged’ Rafa

WAKE me up when Inter are in town.

They’re my words incidentally, not a quote from any player though confusion is understandable. Why should this season be any different from the others? The writing’s on the wall and it’ll take more than a bit of whitewash to camouflage it. The title race is getting tense. It includes a Chelsea side seemingly damaged beyond repair by injury, internationals and infighting.

Sadly it no longer includes us. The last fragment of hope was atomised in a bleak northern wasteland. How fitting.

We’re like one of those 10,000 metre runners who shuffle pitifully into lane three while the leaders lap them with boundless vitality. Let the internal backbiting and bickering commence.

Names of potential replacements will be snorted in derision. I’ve seen it all as a veteran of the Souness, Evans and Houllier Wars.

I’ll sit this one out, because this has the potential to be the nastiest yet judging by the opening skirmishes.

Of course the names being ‘short-listed’ aren’t inspiring. They never are. Somewhere however a coach is doing sterling work and doesn’t even realise he is unhappy in his current position.

Then the name ‘Liverpool’ will be mentioned and he’ll suddenly find all sorts of things wrong within his club that he’d never noticed before. Ask Rafa, he knows how it works.

It was absolutely hilarious how Klinsmann became all things to all men. For those eager to mock the Yanks’ wispy knowledge of ‘soccer’ being linked with such a part-timer was definitive proof that the new owners were not fit for purpose.

It was no use reminding people that Bayern are run by great football men like Hoeness and Beckenbauer and so maybe Hicks & Gillett know something after all – although making our bid public is the act of a coward and has only made matters worse.

For those bored with Rafa, news of one of the game’s great strikers getting the job saw a feverish outbreak of lip-licking.

And of course the press had a field day. The rumours undermined Benitez, turned a schism into a chasm and when Jurgen naturally chose the biggest club in his homeland they danced with delight at such incontrovertible ‘proof’ of Liverpool’s place in the scheme of things.

Greater evidence of our exclusion from the elite came from the actual football. After Benitez practically declared war on his employers we gave Newcastle a football lesson. We scored three.

On Saturday night the Geordies went to old Trafford and the Mancs got the goals to prove beyond doubt they were infinitely better than their opponents.

Our finishing has been poor for years. It was ironic that our most destructive weapon, Torres, was the main reason we didn’t spank Newcastle in November, but recently the rest couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo.

The players don’t seem bothered, with one or two notable exceptions. It’s as if they know the need to impress this particular manager has more or less been vaporised.

Those who intuitively clutch at straws noted we’d scored our first goal in Middlesbrough for six years (a cracker it was too) and that Arsenal lost there “so they’re no mugs, lad”. Spare us.

When the Dependables, like Reina and Arbeloa, are suddenly putting in error-strewn performances something is going wrong.

Torres and Gerrard were meant to be the jewels in the crown. They’re turning into eye-catching wallpaper plastered over widening cracks. Swap Owen for Torres and it could be 2004 all over again.

That Voronin is ever given a shirt ahead of Crouch shows this manager to be as petty and slightly unhinged as his predecessor, and only a miracle can save him from a similar fate.

We tried to convince everyone of our higher calling, but are finally back in the pack where we belong. It’s a pack of managers helping their clubs punch above their weight – bar one.

Such a concept is now totally alien to swathes of Liverpool’s support who cannot talk about anything but money any more.

That clinking clanking sound will ultimately be the death of us.

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