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Patience a virtue that would have suited Robbie Keane

January 27, 2009

Rafa Benitez is often described as a master tactician but when it comes to man-management it can be hard to fathom what the Liverpool boss is up to.

Last July the Spaniard apparently considered Robbie Keane to be worth 20 million pounds. Six months later the prolific Ireland striker was not deemed good enough even for the bench in Sunday’s FA Cup game against Everton – just the sort of fixture that would suit the hard-running Irishman.

Still only 28, Keane has scored goals and given his all wherever he has played – including 35 in 85 internationals.

Last season he scored 23 goals for Spurs, and that while fighting for a starting role alongside Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov, and he was voted the club’s player of the year three times.

All three strikers left Spurs in the close-season and Berbatov initially struggled to justify his huge fee at Manchester United.

Alex Ferguson did not panic, knowing that he had a special player on his hands and that it was up to the manager and the rest of the squad to find a way to bring the best out of him.

The result is that as the season moves towards the sharp end, the Bulgarian is beginning to again look the business – just as the experienced Ferguson knew he would.

Keane, meanwhile, has become the bookies’ favourite to leave Anfield within the week - just when Liverpool are desperate for goals to prevent yet another title challenge fizzling out.

PHOTO: Robbie Keane gestures ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match against Newcastle United in Newcastle, Dec 28, 2008. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Comments

I read that he’s been substitued 18 times this season, so it sounds like you’re right. I don’t think Benitez is an “arm-round-the-shoulder” sort of manager, though. That was more Gerard Houllier’s style.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive
 

Rafa Benitez is the ruin of many a striker.

Look at all of those who have come and gone, cisse, pongolle, morientes, veronin, crouch

Rafa is content to play second fiddle and build a book on excuses.

He does not let the players settle.
Benitez should only be given a new contract if he wins the league

 

Keane has not justified his huge price tag and I think he is slowly but surely becoming a spent force.

 

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