Rafa still moaning as the drab just gets drabber

FOR sale; one football club, rather tarnished, good fixer upper (just needs floor, roof and walls), bargain at €600 million.

I’m sure there will be a queue a mile long for this unique opportunity to swap your billionaire lifestyle for a desperate search for a soup kitchen. Who could possibly resist? If they’re still looking for a new stadium name, try The Money Pit. €600m for the club and the hucksters’ debts, €400m for a stadium and more millions for a manager who thinks if you throw enough mud, some is bound to stick.

He’s squealing again about needing to spend big. Notorious for starting fires, he needs this particular blaze to whip up a smokey distraction for the abject performances this season.

Sixty million could buy you Keane, Dossena, Riera, Aquilani and Johnson.

Except two have already been discarded, one is persona non grata, another is routinely ignored (by you!) for games deemed remotely problematic and one’s an attacking full back in a negative team.

One hack even had Rafa selling Gerrard and Torres to raise the funds himself. We’re up a certain creek and you want to hock the paddles? If that happens Anfield is officially an asylum and the lunatics run it.

Despite all the denials the Europa League became the priority long before we faced Fulham. For all the funereal wails over Alonso’s stamina and dodgy knee, it didn’t stop him playing all of the Benfica matches.

Not even when he was kicked repeatedly in Lisbon whilst ploughing a lone furrow because of Babel’s slap.

Same with the return; he looked more tired and uncomfortable than at Birmingham, but was he withdrawn? No chance, because everyone knows what he’s capable of.

Rafa’s lackeys were never the sanest of creatures, and their Emperor’s New Clothes take on all matters red, even tried to rationalise that colossal error.

The maestro himself referred snottily to “people who know nothing” as he pitifully attempted to justify the unjustifiable.

He wants more money? Well, he can ask. With fourth place casually abandoned (the ‘commitment’ against Fulham was unnerving) I don’t know where he thinks it’ll come from. Not the Champions League, that’s for sure.

The demand for funds is more playing to the gallery. We’ve spoken often of an exit strategy, and this seems the strongest hint yet. He’s not getting any money and he knows it.

Nobody will. The hideous mess gets slimier still, and now we’re supposed to sigh with relief because some Chelsea fan is wading in?

Wow, I feel better already.

Hicks, Gillett, Purslow, RBS, Barclays, Broughton — who the hell is running the store now? The mere thought of it all is making me ill.

At least we’ve a semi-final to look forward to. There’s a sinking ship insouciance, granted, but with another chance to bawl at foreigners we can briefly forget the water’s lapping at our nostril hairs.

Lucas again showed there’s more to him than plodding negativity and words no longer do Torres justice. Ironically it looks like Benfica are the only Europa League side heading for next season’s Champions League and we made them look ordinary.

On our day, blah blah, but not on Sunday.

No Torres, Kuyt, Benayoun or Lucas and you knew what kind of performance you’d see.

Their replacements weren’t exactly awful, just that you know who the manager’s favourites are and who plays the important games.

Fulham wasn’t important — to him.

Friends tried to convince me last Thursday that Aquilani would face Benfica, not Lucas!

I think the barmaid is slipping something into their drinks.

Whenever he appears, The Italian Stallion — surely he would have been shot by now — does good things but frankly looks nowhere near fit enough.

All those claims that he was a €30m player and that Roma’s homicidal medics had sabotaged him for three years sounded preposterous then, and sound insane now.

It’s hard to see what he actually provides. Even against a disinterested Fulham he created the square root of bugger all.

Johnson, someone else brought in to overcome the bus parkers, couldn’t even get past Duff, and the groans got louder for the one player Rafa’s bought recently that has any real future here.

The Kop was jaded too. With that symbiosis between crowd and team you’re never sure who’s supposed to be inspiring whom.

Flash back to Craven Cottage a year ago and you can scarcely believe it’s the same fans, the same team.

It’s a spectacular fall from grace, and the nightmare scenario is that there’s no end to this perplexing plummet in sight.

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