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In Rafa We're Bust

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Robbo Robson | 13:11 UK time, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that whoever I slag off, I get accused of having a persistent bias against.

On Tuesday I posted a blog suggesting United don't have it in them to win owt this season. I am therefore rabidly ABU. I only have to hear the name Ferguson and my shirt rips open, my biceps inflate like over-watered marrows and I start tearing telephone directories in half like they were tissue paper.

Mind you how the Greatest Manager in the History of Mankind escaped punishment after his clattering of Clattenburg is a bit beyond me. (See, I can't resist, can I?)

But the story of Manchester United is little more than a daytime soap when compared to the gritty kitchen-sink drama that's engulfing Liverpool FC. It's not quite on a par with the Biblical epic that has plagued Our Geordie Friends in the North over the last couple of years, but I suppose you could call it the Boys From The Bleak Stuff.

How many latter day Yossers are sidling up to Liverpool players such as Lucas and Insua and muttering "G'is a job! I could do that. I could run around for 90 minutes without doin' anything useful. I could be an 'olding midfielder. I'd 'old on to it longer than you 'ave. G'is a job. I could be a left-back. I could be positionally naive and never cover a centre-half. G'is a job. Dammit, give anyone a job but you two."
Yosser Hughes in Boys from the BlackstuffG'is a job!

The buck has passed through a few pairs of hands in recent times... the current co-owners, Turner and Hooch, have a lot to answer for in terms of the uncertainty the club find themselves in.

And of course Tom Hicks Jr hasn't helped senior's cause with his email.
I have to say I'm always suspicious of anyone who gives his kid exactly the same name as himself. Usually the father in question is the sort of person we really don't need another of. (Frank Lampard Sr is excused).

I've always wondered what sort of trio the Davis Loves would make. I mean that's even worse being the third one. God help you, you're like that lamest of entertainments - the second sequel. Davis Love 3D (which is ironic given the man, like almost all American golfers, betrays little more than two dimensions to his character).

And whilst I confess to a smidgeon of sympathy for Hicks Junior's desire to have a pop at some keyboard warrior - were it not for the common decency of the moderators on this blog I would more than likely have forced it to close down by meself by now 'cos of an ill-directed reply here or there - it is unforgivable.

But even that is a lesser crime than the one which Benitez has perpetrated this season: namely to decorate the football fields of England and Europe will a truckload of the most expensive ordinariness ever to wear a red shirt.

I'm reminded of some neighbours of ours who have repainted their kitchen and they're at pains to tell us it's some fancy Antique Flaming Harvest White from Farrow and Ball or one of them posh paint-pot makers. It's not. It's white.

They could've have paid bottom-dollar for a barrel of white paint from a big DIY chain (that's in the unlikely event that anyone who worked there was capable of telling them where to find it) and saved themselves enough to pay someone to paint it for them.
Benitez's side are average... and average shouldn't cost. All right there have been a lot of last-gasp losses. But when the Boro were conceding in the last 10 minutes of every flipping game last season I had people telling me how football matches last a full 90 minutes (plus Fergietime) and you play till the final whistle. And Liverpool thrived last season by doing just that.

The over-reliance on Torres and Gerrard, whose body language displays all the verve of Atlas after a double-shift, has been well-documented. Of course Chelsea owe a great deal to Drogba, and United would have the creativity of an above-board accounts department without Rooney, but Liverpool without their big two are an egg-free omelette.

The decline is all the more pointed given that the so-called Big Four are falling over themselves to shed points and advantage to other title-chasers. This should be Rafa's time.

If the team he's put out has been silage then the Spaniard is chief muck-spreader. And there's no one on the club's youth team production line coming through either as far as I can tell. No Gerrards, Fowlers, Owens, McManamans - hellfire, not even a Tommy Smith.
I suppose Aquilani looks tidy enough, but he's another lightweight. Benayoun, when trusted, has done OK.
Rafa BenitezIs Benitez on borrowed time?
Maxi Rodriguez is a good player and should help (although I can't help feeling that he sounds more like a hairdresser. How long before your missus is extolling the virtue of Maxi Rodriguez Colour-Rich Conditioning Mousse?)

But the rest of them?

I'm not gloating by the way... I support Middlesbrough. What the hell have I got to gloat for? And I actually think that through this horrible loss of form, Benitez has conducted himself with a lot more grace and a lot less petulance than other managers in this country.

But if the owners were flirting with Jurgen Klinsmann a while back they must be positively speed-dating right now. Hiddink? Bilic? Trapattoni? Mourinho? Could the Special One return to the scene of Luis Garcia's 'Ghost Goal' in the Champions League?

Could we soon be watching a touchline with the Mighty M's, Mourinho and Mancini, patrolling the dug-outs, their luxuriant locks slicked back in Maxi Rodriguez ManDate Gloss-Enhancing Hair Crème, with extracts of Vanity?

But it's too late surely. Even ardent Benitez fans ought to realise that the new motto should read 'In Rafa We're Bust.'


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