Terrace Talk: Liverpool: Gotta wonder if Rafa Benítez was flying the plane

It’s another long goodbye.

Not just for Steven Gerrard, but preparing for the countdown to a poor season’s demise and the recriminations to follow — 21st-century Liverpool get close to the title, next season follows with a foul stench like night follows day.

In the meantime football becomes irrelevant, any entertainment or excitement is almost an accident and people have to make it interesting for themselves — like staging a protest against ticket prices, perhaps.

Fair enough, Hull charged the big clubs’ away fans three times what they charge anyone else. It’s a staggering deceit which I’m glad our fans were the ones to point out and say “enough is enough”.

The halving of our support ironically meant Hull were more likely to collect an easy three points, almost granting them survival and continued receipt of the TV Gods’ mega-millions. That said, Liverpool could have had the ground to themselves and still would have fallen on their bloated, overpaid arses.

Great gesture, but I’m also inclined to think if the game had had any significance, no-one would have missed it for the world.

The portrayal of supporters as chained to their own addiction, needing protection, has worn thin. There’s always the chance of the ‘tourists’ taking over a club like ours, but it’s happened already.

Of course it’s all so unnecessary. Sponsorship and television prop up this sport to an absurd degree, so ticket prices seem a nasty twist of the knife, a cruel joke at we simpletons’ expense.

Simpleton perhaps, but I know Balotelli can’t play up front on his own so what does that make the manager?

Perhaps that explained the bizarre plane banner over Anfield on Saturday, or maybe Evolution just had a day off.

It admittedly had the Insouciance of Mancunia (new, from Chanel) about it. A typically “subtle as a brick” dig in revenge for last year’s Moyesathon of Comedy, but it’s not like some of our own aren’t capable of such crass stupidity.

The manager of Liverpool is in trouble and that means more of Rafa I’m afraid. They’ll be restrained at first, downplaying the idea of a return not because he’s not good enough obviously but because ‘we’ are not good enough for him.

So many broken hearts from 2010 that never fully mended, still grieving for the loss of their Blameless Buddha. Napoli even got trounced by Empoli, so it eerily felt like the time he began shouting at Inter Milan’s owner when Hodgson was deep in the mire. Rafa might even have been flying the plane.

All rather tiresome, whatever you think of Rodgers. The players just got down to the business of making QPR look dangerous. They even let a corner fly directly into the net in the opening minute, but fortunately Anfield had the one linesman in England who actually watches the game and doesn’t just stick his flag up whenever people bark at him.

It’ll hardly make the coaching manual appendix, but in football you score goals and stop the other team scoring them. Feel free to quote that.

Lallana missed a really good chance, Sterling sliced an outrageous sitter wide and Gerrard missed a pen. Change that and you’re talking about 5-1 and a great day’s work instead of a nail-biting climax against a staggeringly wretched side.

Mignolet’s sort of sorted himself out now, so it became abundantly clear where the Reds went wrong this season.

Rodgers gave Gerrard his ovation, ever the impresario. The lad’s had an awful 12 months and the penalty miss wasn’t a shock. He’s still got a bit of fight left in him though and a lousy day got better as a result.

Then United lost. Again. Time for another banner? That pilot’s going to be making a fortune at this rate.

READ MORE: Replacing Steven Gerrard tough act


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