Monday, 23 January 2012

The Villans have a new Hero

Robbie Keane returned to the Premier League with great impact this weekend.

Two goals against Wolverhampton Wanderers showing he has lost none of his quality since making the move to Major League Soccer last summer.

In only his first start for his new club, Robbie managed to score both the equaliser and the subsequent winner, with two strikes of the highest order from outside the box.

In a team struggling since Alex McLeish took over, Robbie might just well be the difference between an Aston Villa relegation battle and an Aston Villa push for Europe.

For a team that have found goals hard to come by this season, the signing of Robbie couldn’t have come at a better time.

Lose to Wolves on Saturday and they remain in the bottom six, dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Win at Molineux and suddenly the Villans lie just outside the top half on goal difference.

A shrewd piece of business by Alex to supplement his strikeforce of Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey with the type of quality vision that Robbie possesses.

The only thing that surprised me about the transfer was that one of the bigger teams didn’t come in for him.

A team like Liverpool, Newcastle or higher, might have been a better move for the Republic of Ireland captain.

With Luis Suarez suspended for 8 games, Robbie could potentially have been an astute short term solution for Kenny Dalglish.

While not having a very successful period under Rafa Benitez, his time spent there would have made it all the easier to settle in fast, knowing he would only have two months to make an impact.

With their season starting to derail over the last six games or so, Robbie might have been the man to reignite their push for a Champions League place by filling the void left by Luis.

Newcastle of course have just lost their seasons star man - Demba Ba.

15 goals in the league already, he will be sorely missed for the next month.

The addition of Robbie to fill this void for the next few games would surely have helped Alan Pardew retain their push for that last lucrative Champions League spot.

With just his wages to consider, a loan deal for either of these clubs would represent good value for money.

Robbie, of course, is not the only senior player making a return to the Premier League during this transfer window.

Arsenal have taken a chance on bringing back Thierry Henry in a bid to help his team secure fourth place.

Everton as well, have taken back Landon Donovan, having previously enjoyed a loan spell on Merseyside.
Manchester United have resigned Paul Scholes, having just retired last summer.

While some seem riskier than others, particularly with Thierry and Paul’s age, Robbie looks the best business of all.

Sir Alex Ferguson has opted to treat the problem of Paul’s absence from the game as the equivalent to him having an injury over the last few months.

Arsene Wenger does not seem too worried about Thierry’s game not having that devastating pace anymore, instead hoping his presence in the dressing room can have the desired effect.

Whereas Robbie has no such concerns at the age of 31.

He has been playing regularly since he departed England at the end of last season.

Not to mention captaining the Republic of Ireland to qualification for the European Championships.

Bringing in experienced campaigners during the January transfer window has proved quite popular in the Premier League.

In particular this season.

Each manager hoping these players will give their side a timely boost going into the business end of the season.

While Thierry, Landon and Paul all returned to clubs for second spells, it was the fact that Robbie didn’t return to one of his that proved the most surprising.

What may prove to be Liverpool’s loss, or indeed any of the sides fighting for European places - is most definitely Alex’s gain.

The Villans have gotten themselves a new hero, if only for a short time.

But as Robbie has shown already - he only needs a few games to make all the difference...

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