Robbie Keane has completed his transfer to join MLS side LA Galaxy from Tottenham in a deal worth around £3.5m for the London club. When did Ireland’s record goal scorer become so washed up that his only option is to switch to America in order to play first team football?
Keane had enjoyed a relatively solid career before moving to White Hart Lane in 2002, enjoying spells at Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan and Leeds. He went on to make over 250 appearances for the club netting over 100 times, in process becoming the 10th highest goal scorer in Tottenham’s history. You would assume that Tottenham fans are disappointed to see Keane leave but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
In July 2008 after an impressive season with 23 goals in all competitions and with Keane unsettled, he was sold to Liverpool for £20m causing outrage with the Tottenham fans. It was Keane’s big chance with Champions League football on the agenda at Liverpool. However his much publicised move did not work out and he was transferred back to Spurs just six months later at a cut price fee of £12m.
When Keane returned to Spurs in 2009, fans were quickly on his back after he failed to produce the same sort of form and they were unhappy with the lack of loyalty he had display when making the move. Some fans were happy to see such an important player coming back but his image was tainted by the way in which he had left the club.
It could have been very different story for Keane as he made his debut after his return against Arsenal at White Hart Lane. He had several good chances to score against 10 men Arsenal but he it was not his day and instead the points were shared. If Keane had indeed scored the winner he may have gone some way to repairing his relationship with the Spurs fans as well as giving him renewed confidence for the rest of the season.
Instead it has been a spiral of decline for the once prolific striker and his performances last season were of a player whose confidence looks shot.
His inability to impress at Anfield was an obvious indication of his decline as a top class Premier League striker. He has been out of favour for the last couple of seasons and it is not really a surprise to see him seek his future elsewhere. However it could have been so different for Keane had he remained at White Hart Lane instead of moving to Anfield, although he probably would have still been affected by Berbatov’s transfer to Man United.
The loss of Berbatov and Keane with Defoe departing early in the year left Spurs with a very weak strike force leading to resentment towards the Irishman when he returned. Keane always looked most effective playing off Berbatov but arrived back the Bulgarian front-man had left and Keane could not develop a similar partnership with either Darren Bent or Jermaine Defoe.
Not only had his partner left but Spurs had a new manager with Harry Redknapp at the helm and it seems that he never really fitted into his plans as Redknapp has always been keen to play Crouch who Keane doesn’t appear to have develop the same sort of understanding he had with Berbatov. He must regret making the return instead of seeking pastures new as it is always hard to fit in somewhere where you are not wanted. A lot of things seem to have gone against Keane in recent years but it is his decline in form that has really cost him.
Keane should be rememebered as the first Spurs player to hit double figures in six consecutive seasons for the club and for his excellent first spell at the club. I am sure Ireland’s record goal scorer will thrive in the MLS, as they say form is temporary but class is permanent and we will soon see if this is true with Keane.
Let me know your thoughts on Keane’s move to the MLS and follow me on twitter @aidanmccartney for more football chat.