Robbie Keane went some way toward silencing his critics on Sunday as he struck Liverpool's leveller against Arsenal in a frenetic encounter at the Emirates.
The Irishman has been under the pump lately. A lack of goals and playing time has led to rumours of a swift return to Tottenham Hotspur, the club he left in a £20 million deal only last summer.
But the 28-year-old's thumping half-volley into the roof of Manuel Almunia's net reminded everyone of the brilliant, instinctive finisher who scored over 100 goals in six seasons at White Hart Lane.
Rafa Benitez's right-hand man, Sammy Lee, was thrilled with Keane's showing, which was especially impressive given he was again played out of position as a lone striker in Fernando Torres' absence.
"Goals always give you confidence but Robbie Keane has not been lacking confidence. He looked superb today," Lee told the press.
Nevertheless, there are doubts as to how central a figure the former Inter Milan striker will be once Torres returns to action. Benitez seems to prefer Steven Gerrard playing behind the front-man, for the most part, rather than using a traditional strike-pairing.
But Lee hinted that Keane should be given plenty of opportunities as the season progresses: "We know the programme we have ahead of us and some players will play some games, and some will play in other games."
Mike Maguire, Goal.com