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Babel launches Twitter outburst

LIVERPOOL, January 16 – Liverpool's out-of-favour winger Ryan Babel has risked the ire of coach Rafael Benitez after publicly lamenting his lack of playing time on the micro-blogging website Twitter.The 23-year-old Dutchman has failed to hold down a first-team place since arriving from Ajax for 11.5 million pounds in July 2007 and revealed on Friday that he had not been selected for the Premier League game at Stoke on Saturday.

"The boss left me out. No explanation," Babel wrote.

Benitez, who is under increasing pressure after seeing his misfiring side crash out of the FA Cup to second division Reading on Wednesday, tried to downplay the incident at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

"When you have problems everyone has a different reaction," Benitez said.

"Everyone has a Twitter. It’s impossible to stop people talking. It’s not like in the past."

Babel, though, remained truculent and turned to Twitter once again later in the day to vent his frustrations.

"What happened after a first good season?" he said.

"Scoring 10 goals, being young talent of the year, and then second and this season don’t play at all? One day, you will see what I’m capable of, will it be at LFC or somewhere else… I have faith."

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Babel was reportedly the subject of an unsuccessful nine million pounds bid from Birmingham City earlier in the month and Benitez insisted that the player remained in his plans.

His chances of playing appeared to have been improved by injuries to key attacking trio Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun, but the signing of Argentine international forward Maxi Rodriguez this week has increased the competition for places in Babel’s position.

The Dutch international is the latest in a growing list of players to have fallen foul of their coaches due to their activities on Twitter.

His international team-mate Gregory van der Wiel was rebuked by Dutch national boss Bert van Marwijk for using the site to post a photo of himself visiting a concert while supposedly out of action due to concussion.

Sunderland striker Darren Bent went public with his unhappiness at the protracted nature of his move from Tottenham last summer, while West Ham centre-back Danny Gabbidon had to apologise to his club’s fans after appearing to criticise them in a message posted on Twitter last month.

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