Robbie Keane. A few seasons back I would have had him down as my favourite Spurs player in our squad. He was on fire for us. On fire. And his goal scoring record in the Prem is pretty much conclusive for anyone who doubts his ability. Sure, he's not world class and he sucks most of the time when faced with a one-on-one situation where the brain is required to act faster than his feet. But for all the much-maligned negatives thrown in his direction even when he was doing a job for us - like his pointy shouty antics and sometimes playing too deep and complicated or far too flicky with the ball - there is no doubting his pedigree. Well, at the very least prior to his move to Anfield. After that season in red, his pedigree was fed to the dogs.
And he returned, wounded, a move of desperation for both us (Defoe injured) and Robbie (had to get out of Anfield). We all know the story. He did okay initially, galvanised us without ever really tapping back into the olde mojo and then it all went a bit flat. No big surprise. Tainted at Liverpool, how he managed to bag the captaincy on his return remains one of the more questionable decisions made by our gaffer. Rafa never wanted him, showed in Robbie's confidence. And it must be fairly soul-destroying for people to suggest you're not good enough for the next level. Although to be fair to him, there are plenty of players at Anfield at the minute who fit into that category anyways.
Joining Celtic in the manner he did (on loan and in a league that is some way off from past glories - the standard of football up there isn't exactly fantastic, honestly, it's shit) - was all very apologetic and embarrassing. Great goal-scoring ratio for the hoops, but you could send Theo Walcott up to the Scottish Prem and he'd probably score in every game too.
Okay, he probably wouldn't. Let's try this again. Great goal-scoring ratio for the hoops, but you could send Theo Walcott an inanimate carbon rod up to the Scottish Prem and it'll probably score in every game too.
So once again, his comments are being reported on in the press (having a month or so back cited that he was still a 'Tottenham' player - he's reminding everyone once again). He wants back in at WHL, at least that's the suggestion. The reality is, he can still play for a EPL team and make a positive impact. Just not us. I don't mind being proved wrong, and I'm cynical enough to believe perhaps all this attention seeking is nothing more than a heavily disguised yet still obvious 'come and get me plea' to other clubs, but I sincerely hope we draw a line under this.
Keane - a fantastic servant to THFC. He found his home. But like most footballers, wanted to take that risk at a critical moment in his career. If he didn't he could deem himself unambitious, and hindsight is hardly helpful until after the event, and can only be used to shake ones head after it happens and wonder what if....what if he stayed and hadn't moved on? He'd have cemented his stature at Spurs as one of our most loyal modern day players. Instead, it's all a bit tarnished, and people have a habit of remembering the way it ends (badly, low-key) rather than all the good bits that came before.
It didn't come off for Robbie on his adventure up in Liverpool. Monumental shag-up for him. Good luck for the future, just don't expect it to be in Lilywhite. And stop whoring yourself back to us. It's unbecoming.
But I don't hold a grudge. He made a mistake. I'd rather remember what he gave us when he was focused on all things Tottenham. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.