You only need to have read this blog for about four minutes before figuring out what my feelings on Maxi Rodriguez were. Useless would be being kind. For most of his two seasons, Maxi wandered around the pitch like an underage kid waiting for an adult to buy him beer. I didn't know what side he played on, neither did he. I didn't know if he was a midfielder or an attacker, and neither did he. He had an uncanny ability to miss chances that amputees wouldn't struggle with. How do you put it over the bar from two yards out? Or at least do this and still call yourself a professional footballer (I'm sure you and I could probably figure it out)?
And then there was that three weeks. But I don't know that it's enough to not skid the floor to the exit door.
Positives: April 23-May 9th. Maxi, which in history books will probably be categorized as big of a shock as when an alien is elected to Congress, scored seven goals in three games. He had two hat tricks, against Birmingham and Fulham. And before we snicker that all of the goals were from a combined 11 yards, there was that stunner to cap it off at Fulham. In all honesty, I had no idea that Maxi scored three other goals this year, did you? He chipped in in those waltzes at Anfield over Villa and West Ham. That goal to beat Bolton off of that sublime pass from....well, that dude we don't mention around here seemed like seasons ago. Overall, Maxi made 24 appearances with 10 goals, which doesn't seem like a bad return. He was in the lineup for most of Dalglish's two runs of victories, including that win at Chelsea.
Negatives: Every other game that wasn't part of that seven-goal run. Other than those I can't remember a game where he made any impact whatsoever. He only sometimes tracks back, and even then sometimes it's not where he should be. He only occasionally contributes to any attack. He popped into goal-scoring areas where he was actually needed out wide. He ran all over the pitch without getting involved in the action a lot. And those misses.It's still hard to fathom.
Outlook: Considering the policy of going young, and a needed trimming of the wagebill, and the fact that Liverpool need a genuine wide player, one would have to think that Maxi is on his way out, and probably back to Argentina. He's 30, hasn't made an impact other than three games at Anfield, and doesn't fit all that well into any of the formations Kenny has tried, and will even less when Downing arrives or someone like him. Midfield is getting awfully crowded, and his more natural spots are taken by the 32-times better Suarez and far more lethal Kuyt. But if Maxi is content with a reserve role, only coming into the team when injuries hit, he may find himself a home. But a lot of guys can do that.