Robbie’s return and rugby win make it a good week for Irish
‘INSIDE RIGHT’ never thought he’d be jumping to the defence of the downright frustrating Robbie Keane, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
Although yours truly has been known to criticize the Tallaght talisman in the past after some downright criminal misses in front of goal, we feel he wasn’t given a real chance at Liverpool by Rafa Benitez.
Keane undoubtedly struggled to find his feet at Anfield but when he did start to show some glimpses of his ability Rafa had him back on the bench quicker than a Gerrard thunderbolt.
In our eyes the pivotal period in the Irish captain’s short spell at Anfield came when he looked to have finally settled his nerves with a stunning strike in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal and followed it up with a double against Bolton in their next Premier League game.
However, Benitez inexplicably dropped the Irishman again for the next game at Newcastle, a contest which Liverpool won 5-1 at a canter and would arguably have been a great chance for Keane to extend his scoring run.
Everyone who watches the game knows that strikers thrive on goals so why not play Keane when his confidence is high?
With Fernando Torres sidelined the manager’s choice to leave him out that day was baffling to say the least, but then again the Spaniard is no stranger to peculiar decisions.
Even after Keane’s return to Spurs, Benitez had to get a swipe in, claiming that the striker couldn’t handle the pressure at the Merseyside club, but why can’t he just leave well enough alone, instead of making it clear to all and sundry that it is in fact he who is feeling the pressure of finally having some hope in the championship race.
We’ve already seen with his unfruitful attempt to wind up the canny Alex Ferguson that he’s feeling the pinch and are sure a mixture of luck and the sheer class of Fernando Torres can’t bail him out forever.
We applaud Robbie Keane for not getting involved in the usual slagging matches that belittle the Premier League (Mr. Charles Insomnia being a classic example), choosing to keep a dignified silence on the matter and for once we sincerely hope he does his talking with a good goal haul in the remainder of the season.
Anyway, the fact that the striker is back at Spurs should augur well for Ireland, because to have any chance of reaching the World Cup finals, we need a sharp, confident Keane leading the line and there’s a far greater chance of that under Harry Redknapp than the bewildering Benitez.
it sounds like ‘Inside Right’ has gone all soft, we don’t feel overly sorry for Robbie that he wasn’t a hit at his childhood heroes Liverpool.
It’s not as if he’s joining the hordes in the dole queue, suffering the arctic conditions to get a few bob to pay his way.
The millions will still continue to roll in no matter what club crest is printed on the big, fat cheque.
Now that’s the kind of hardship we could all put up with.
Elsewhere the performance of the Irish rugby team against France in Croke Park on Saturday was enough to warm even the coldest of hearts.
A fantastic display from both sides from start to finish and thankfully we came out on the right side of it.
However, let’s not get carried away just yet. Defending champions Wales were rightly installed as favourites from the start and are still very much the team to beat.
They mightn’t have been anywhere near their best in Edinburgh on Sunday, but still managed to tear the beleagured Scots to shreds.
Hopefully everything will go according to script and we’ll witness a Grand Slam showdown in Cardiff on March 21.
A winner-takes-all contest against our Celtic cousins would certainly be something to savour.
Robbie Keane should start banging in the goals again now he’s back at Spurs.
Jamie Heaslip on his way to scoring Ireland’s opening try against France.