EMERGING from the substitutes' bench is perhaps the most accurate way of gauging a player's standing among supporters.
Take Fernando Torres.
Whenever he was given the nod last season by Rafa Benitez to start warming up, Anfield would come alive, his name would be sung and anticipation would build until it reached a crescendo when he was finally let off the leash.
More recently, Steven Gerrard's half-time entry into a Europa League game with Napoli not only lifted a crowd that had become frustrated by a sloppy opening 45 minutes, it provided the spark for Liverpool to blow the Italians away in the second period.
There are, of course, plenty of other examples - the emotion of Robbie Fowler's second coming in January 2006 is still easily recalled, the sight of Ronny Rosenthal preparing to come on was a sign that a goal was on the way and, further back, there was the original 'Super Sub' David Fairclough.
At Wigan on Wednesday night, however, the other side of the coin was witnessed.
When Roy Hodgson elected to replace a heavy-legged Dirk Kuyt with Christian Poulsen in an attempt to shore up Liverpool's leaking midfield, the howls from the visiting section told a sorry story.
It would be naïve in the extreme to think Poulsen is unaware that his stock is currently low with Liverpool fans who, perhaps, regard him as an emblem of everything that has gone wrong on the pitch during the opening to this campaign.
'I'm trying to work hard at Melwood and I hope that I can help the team in the future,' he says.
'I'm trying to do my best every single day. I know Liverpool is a great club and I hope that, after some time, I can improve and I can be a help for the team.'
Unable to get to grips with English football's break-neck pace and failing to find an accurate range with his passing, Poulsen has looked anything but the player who arrived at Anfield in August with a distinguished reputation and an impressive CV; it has made uncomfortable viewing.