Friday 22 September 2017

Trapattoni not convinced Keane can salvage Celtic on his own

Robbie Keane's loan move from Tottenham to Celtic has received Giovanni Trapattoni's seal of approval, but he does not believe that his skipper can single-handedly turn around the Glasgow club's fortunes Photo: Getty Images
Robbie Keane's loan move from Tottenham to Celtic has received Giovanni Trapattoni's seal of approval, but he does not believe that his skipper can single-handedly turn around the Glasgow club's fortunes Photo: Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

ROBBIE KEANE'S loan move from Tottenham to Celtic has received Giovanni Trapattoni's seal of approval, but the Irish manager does not believe that his skipper can single-handedly turn around the Glasgow club's fortunes.

The 29-year-old scored his first Celtic goal in Sunday's Scottish Cup win over Dunfermline, yet his league debut against Kilmarnock last Tuesday ended in defeat meaning that under-fire Tony Mowbray's side trail runaway leaders Rangers by 10 points.

Trapattoni welcomed the switch for the sake of Keane's happiness, yet acknowledges that it will be a difficult task to claw back the deficit.

"What is the gap now on Rangers? It's up to 10 points. Well, for me, that's already too much," said Trapattoni. "Rangers have a very strong and tough team and I fear that 10 points is too much for Celtic to get back. Robbie will improve the Celtic side because he's a fantastic player but it's a lot for him to do on his own."

Trapattoni is puzzled by the lack of regular first-team action at Tottenham which forced Keane to move, and expressed similar sentiments about other members of his squad who have spent more time on the bench in recent weeks, such as Blackburn's Keith Andrews and Steven Reid.

He can understand why the Tallaght man accepted a drop in standard for regular action.

philosophy

"I think for me, at the moment, English football is strong and for him important," said Trapattoni. "But I know his philosophy and at the moment it is better for him to play. It is important for us that he plays.

"It (the switch) is good psychologically for him because I know Robbie. Robbie wants to play. Robbie loves football. I know when he does not play, he suffers.

"Football is football -- in Scotland or London or Tottenham. The manager knows how to play Robbie. The system is important.

"Can he change a league? The striker? No. Because a striker alone cannot score a goal. The striker needs the team. The team prepares the goal, as with Ireland."

Meanwhile, Trapattoni refused to get drawn into a debate about FIFA's decision to send Swedish referee Martin Hansson to the World Cup despite the fact that he missed Thierry Henry's controversial handball in Paris last November. The linesman who had a better view, Fredrik Nilsson, missed the final cut.

"For me, it's very difficult to explain," said Trapattoni. "If I say he deserves to be suspended, then no, because FIFA lose one referee. A referee can make a mistake. We have a commission in UEFA so we can accept that. We can look to the future."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport