We all know Robbie is class, he has pace, enthusiasm, great attitude, eye for a goal, great finishing, experience, movement, work rate, touch, running off the ball and something a lot of our current team don’t have, and that’s match intelligence. His movement was a joy and confused opponents and referee’s alike! When we were awarded a penalty, you just knew Robbie would score, when was the last time you felt like that? I can’t remember the last time I felt that confident and I include Henrik and big Pierre in that thought.
Being unable to go to the games live due to work, he was one of the reasons you got up early, or stayed up late to watch the end of a season that was gone months ago. Highlights during his time include scoring six consecutive goals for Celtic between 20th February and 13th March, becoming the SPL Player of the month in March, a hat-trick v’s Kilmarnock and voted Celtic Fans Player of the Year. The lack of protection he received from the referees during the Rangers games was shameful, utterly shameful. He was targeted early on with some shocking tackles because he was an obvious threat, but there you go, honest mistakes and all that. Robbie was the true inheritor of the number 7 shirt he should have inherited the shirt the day Henrik left but that’s a different story, he is also a natural Celtic captain.
I get the feeling the Robbie Keane time will be remembered by what could have been, up against a Rangers team that can barely afford to turn the floodlights on, we still lost the league. What if we’d signed him in January 2009, what would our circumstances be now? To my mind I accepted the league was gone after the defeat against Kilmarnock on the 2nd of February. To go from the utter euphoria of him signing with the crowds outside Celtic Park to the defeat that day takes a lot to beat. There will always be criticism that he wasn’t a Mowbray signing and he stifled Rasmussen’s progress whilst costing 65k of fully tax and NI paid wages, making him our most expensive player ever. But at the end of the day if a top quality footballer becomes available and you can get him, then you do all you can to get him. Can you imagine the fallout if we never signed him and we actually got closer to Rangers without winning the league? I’m no supporter of the board but in my view they got the Keane decision right and I hope they have a new appreciation of what the support wants and expects.
So in summary, he came, he scored, but we failed to deliver. I hope this wasn’t just a box ticking exercise for Robbie, I hope something can be done to keep him at Parkhead. Robbie has a big decision to make, pick up the cash with some mid placed non entity in the EPL playing Wigan, Bolton, Stoke, Blackpool, Wolves and West Brom every other week. Or become an icon and hero at Celtic, playing and taking part in our rejuvenation in the league and in the Champions League. At the time of writing he has returned to Spurs making all the right noises, but will he return home to Celtic? Robbie come on, you know it makes sense.