Is He Really The Answer For West Ham?


Hammers fans will be hoping that new loan signing, Robbie Keane, will be able to have the same impact that Carlos Tevez had a few seasons ago and keep them in the Premier League. The Irish striker joined from Olympic Stadium rivals, Spurs, a day before the transfer deadline on an initial loan until the end of the season. If West Ham stay in the Premier League, then he’ll join the Hammers for a reported £6 million.

This move could prove a bargain for the East London club, as Keane, only 30 still has a number of years ahead of him in his career and there is no question about his ability and inspiration on the pitch. He first came on the scene as a teenager for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the old First Division, scoring 11 and 16 goals in his first two seasons. This earned him a move to the Premier League with Coventry City and just after one season, he was surprisingly signed by Italian giants, Inter Milan. Unfortunately, his move to Italy proved to not be the best for his career but was able to re-gain his momentum with Leeds United thus earning a move to Tottenham Hotspur.

It was at White Hart Lane where Keane would finally settle and start to show his class as a Premier League striker. During his six seasons at the club, Keane finished every season with a minimum of 13 goals, with the last two seasons being his most productive, with 22 and 23 respectively. However, another transfer that Keane may wish he never made was his transfer to Liverpool, which failed to prosper and after one season at Anfield he was back at White Hart Lane – but he could never get back into a first team regular.

Apart from a successful loan move to Celtic last season (16 goals in 19 games), Keane was often 4th choice striker at a reenergised Spurs attack. On the face of it, this move to West Ham could prove a vital signing if manager, Avram Grant is to keep them in the Premier League. Currently at the bottom of the table, the Hammers have underperformed for a season that promised consolidation. Given the bizarre sacking of Gianfranco Zola, who kept them up last season, for a manager who took Portsmouth down last year in Grant – Hammers fans will be biting their nails for the rest of the campaign.

Although the signing of Keane could make a positive impact in their attacking play, the Hammers have one of the worst defensive records in the division and many supporters and football fans question that Grant should’ve signed defenders rather than attackers. Midfielder Gary O’Neil and striker, Demba Ba also joined in January, along with left back Wayne Bridge.

The Hammers squad looks very interesting on paper as Keane and Ba join a long list of forwards which include, Carlton Cole, Victor Obinna, Freddie Sears, Zavon Hines and Frederic Piquionne. It suggests that Grant may have lost faith in his current squad of strikers to score them important goals. However, seeing that the club have only kept 2 clean sheets in their last 18 league games and on the road, their last clean sheet was over a year ago, away at Aston Villa. Should they have looked to boost their defence rather than their attack?

However, Keane is a player that can inspire a dressing room and it’s not only his skill on the pitch that will be vital, if West Ham are to avoid the drop – along with Scott Parker, Keane will be another leader that could inspire the huge potential this current Hammers team have. It might come down to a relegation battle at the end of the season but a player of Robbie Keane’s ability is one I would like to have in such a situation.

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