The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Robbie

Man U would do well to buy Robbie Keane, but, of course, this is never going to happen. Robbie knows how to get the ball to Berbatov in dangerous positions. He would do the same for Rooney. He’s tireless in the role of recessed attacker. Better than Joe Cole. Better even than Rooney in this position. Like all the Irish, however, nothing comes easily for him. He has to prove himself again and again.

January 18, 2011   Comments Off on Robbie

Keeping the Faith

It was interesting to see the well-traveled Robbie Keane (six clubs in almost as many years) join Celtic on loan yesterday during the last few hours of the transfer window. Keane had gone from being undervalued to overvalued to underused and undervalued again. I suppose this is natural if you don’t produce as a striker. With big money comes big expectations. You’re expected to score under any and all conditions, regardless of the supporting cast or the pattern of play laid down by the manager. It’s too bad, really. Keane had such a wonderful record with Berbatov at Spurs. Unfortunately, neither have done particularly well without the other.

It just goes to show that a large part of success is being in the right spot at the right time. Of course, the opposite is true, as well.

Take one of our local principals who had the temerity to defend a program for Hispanics to a board member who opposed it. The board member accused the principal, who is one of the best in the city, of racism and then got the school board to spend an entire year trying to find something they could use to destroy him—an inappropriate hug, potential racist comments of friends, making mistakes with his budget—but could find nothing. He was clean. Perfect. As pristine as any human could be. The principal now says he’s learned his lesson. Keep your mouth shut and do whatever authority tells you.

Is it really okay to harass one of your best principals because he insists on ethnic diversity and then label him a racist?

The thing that ties this guy to Robbie Keane is that they are both (were in the case of this principal) passionate about their jobs. Keane received a rousing welcome at midnight in Glasgow. It was the same for the principal. Most of the parents stood behind him as the school board attempted to destroy him. There were even public rallies in which hundreds attended. In the end it made no difference. The nail was driven down until it was level with the others.

Score important goals, Robbie. We need to keep the faith right now. (No pun intended!)

February 2, 2010   Comments Off on Keeping the Faith

The Other Keane

Watching Liverpool play PSV last night, I was struck by how much Robbie Keane resembles Steven Gerrard on the pitch. That is, they naturally take positions behind the principal striker, pass well, and generally control play (if given the opportunity). The problem for Keane is that Gerrard is better. Beside possessing all of Keane’s skills, he can shoot from long range, and when required, take a game by the scruff of the neck and win it. Unless Gerrard is injured (heaven forbid), Robbie Keane has no place at Liverpool. He does not play well in the lone striker role (where Torres is so adept) and is not a natural winger. I wonder why Benítez bought him.

Because a number of the first team selections were out, it was possible to see how Benítez thinks. He tried N’Gog upfront—who except for his goal (from a brilliant Robbie Keane pass) was dreadful—played Lucas in place of Alonso, put Babel on the right side, and experimented in goal. Riera was brilliant, Keane very good, Mascherano at his marauding best, and the defense was solid. I especially enjoyed watching Agger, the smooth Dane, making forward runs. I do think Rafa Benítez sees how it all fits together (the players and their individual skills, the positions they take up, how they match up with opponents) with consummate skill. But I can see why the fans are demanding his head, even though his team are at the top of the table. His mindset is continental, not English. It is always defense first. It’s why I always prefer watching Man U.

December 10, 2008   Comments Off on The Other Keane