MAXI Rodriguez celebrated his arrival as a Liverpool player by pledging to help to revitalise the fortunes of the ailing club, but Ryan Babel may not be at Anfield to help the cause.
The Holland forward was left out of Rafael Benitez's squad for the match away to Stoke City in the Premier League today, a decision that Babel questioned on Twitter.
Babel wrote on the social-networking website: "It is disappointing news. The boss left me out (of) the squad. No explanation. What happened after a first good season? Scoring 10 goals, being young talent of the year, and then second and this season don't play at all?
"I never had a fight with the manager. I always kept quiet. Where did it go wrong? You have people who support me and don't support me and one day, you will see what I'm capable of. Will it be at LFC or somewhere else? I have faith."
The decision to omit Babel is likely to have been taken to ensure he does not suffer an injury that could jeopardise his sale. Benitez is hoping to use the fee for the 23-year-old to sign cover for Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun, the injured players.
Rodriguez, a right-sided midfield player signed on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid, is in the squad but is unlikely to start because he is not match fit. The 29-year-old is aware of the challenge awaiting him as he joins a dressing room low on morale.
"I've been at clubs when they've had bad runs and gone through difficult times, so it's nothing new," Rodriguez said.
"I like big challenges. It's almost something that focuses your mind even more. From what I've seen of the dressing room so far, everyone is together and in positive spirits. The manager and players are focused. We have this goal of fourth place and, by working together, we can go and do that."
Rodriguez revealed that he could have moved to other Premier League clubs. "There were three or four in England and a couple in Italy interested," he said.
"But as soon as I heard Liverpool's name, there was no doubt about it. I was coming to Liverpool." (© The Times, London)