Robbie Keane joined Spurs from Leeds United in August 2002. In reference to the amount of clubs he had played for, Glenn Hoddle said that Keane had it in him to settle down and become a Spurs legend and turn White Hart Lane into his spiritual home. [al][/al]
Since signing, Robbie has become the first Spurs player to score double figures in six consecutive Premier League seasons, the 13th to score 100 premiership goals and only the 15th player to score 100 goals for Spurs. He is also the Republic of Ireland's Captain and all time leading goalscorer with (at the time of writing) with 33 goals in 81 appearances in the Green shirt.
Here's an extract from an article Martin Jol wrote for The Times
At Spurs, Robbie is appreciated, the fans regularly voting him player of the year, but I wonder whether in the country he gets the recognition he deserves. He is only 27 and hardly any other striker in England comes up with the goods so regularly. He’s worth £15m to £20m - at least.
Nobody scored more times in the Premier League in the calendar year of 2007 than Robbie. But the statistic which is even more revealing involves his number of goals away from home. It’s about 50%, and it’s a very rare footballer who performs as well in hostile stadiums as on his own ground. In my time as Spurs manager, Dimitar Berbatov didn’t come close to 50%. Robbie’s consistency is a result of his coolness and character. It’s a big reason why after two years of saying “I have three first-choice strikers though only two can play”, I changed my policy and announced “Robbie is my No 1”.
In my first six months it was difficult for Robbie, he was a substitute almost as often as he played from the start. He moaned, like most footballers would, but his effort and performance didn’t drop in training or in games. He scored a number of important goals during that period coming on as a substitute and that reflected well on him. Many strikers you put on the bench sit there with a miserable face and when you send them on, their attitude is: “I’m only involved for 20 minutes, what can I do? If I don’t score nobody will complain.” [ar][/ar]
Robbie would charge onto the pitch, desperate to get a goal and a win for the team. And when he played from the start and I substituted him, he hated it. He’d rather stay on the pitch and move to left-back than clock off early. This made him a great player to have when you needed to make a tactical change.
You could tell Robbie to move wide and close down the full-backs to stop the opposition starting attacks from the flanks, and he’d do it happily. Similarly, with Berbatov being a real No 9 I needed his partner to be more of a No 10 and Robbie adapted without asking questions. He developed into a good provider of assists.
When I first set eyes on the Tottenham squad, I would not have put Robbie among those who stood out as natural athletes. Then we did the physical tests. Quickest over 10 yards? Robbie. Over 20? Robbie was second only to Ledley King. Stamina? He was near the top in those tests. Later, Aaron Lennon would arrive and take the mantle of the club’s top speed merchant but Robbie (and Ledley) still ran him close.
On top of that, I’d seldom seen a player who could score in such a variety of ways. Robbie gets goals with his right foot, left foot, from volleys, chips and free kicks. The only things he can’t do are tackle and head the ball. He has an ability with penalties which is almost unique - most players decide in advance which side they’ll put the ball but Robbie runs up, watches the keeper and makes his choice in the very last milliseconds.
Off the pitch he can be a funny guy. I’ve always enjoyed having Irishmen in my dressing room. They love companionship. In my experience, they do everything they can to ensure there’s a good atmosphere and spirit, whether it’s organising games on the team bus or sitting down next to a guy who is by himself in the training ground canteen. Andy Reid was similar. I remember on a preseason trip to France, Andy and Robbie leading everyone in a round of singing until 4am. I didn’t want to stop them, I thought: “This is what a football team is all about.” [al][/al]
In Holland we say: “Be a man in the night and a man in the morning.” That means if you want to stay out until the early hours having a drink, don’t be a sissy the next day. Be a man and get on with your work. Irish players are like that.
Robbie is good at making new players welcome. Some fans didn’t agree, but when Ledley was injured he was my automatic choice to be captain. It puzzled me that only once during my time did another club - Everton - try to buy him. I look at some of the strikers being signed by Europe’s top clubs and think Robbie’s better
He has scored some memorable and spectacular goals for Spurs, his equaliser in the 4-4 game with Chelsea last season was voted Goal of the Season on the official site, but you could add many more similarly spectacular goals to the list. He certainly scored one of the cheekiest goals we've ever seen, when he appeared from nowhere to steal the ball from Birmingham City goalkeeper Any Marriott and tap it into an empty net.
I also remember a couple of years ago, we were chasing a goal and won a corner. I had caught the ball :dance: and as he ran past, he held his hands out for me to throw it to him. From the look of urgency on his face it was obvious he cared very much.
Robbie was also voted Spurs Community player of the year 2007-2008, which was presented to him at the Lodge by NTG, Kaye and Stoof. You can read all about and see photographs of the award being presented by clicking here.
He also won the club player of the years three times, the first player to do so.
Robbie made 254 appearances for Spurs and scored 107 goals.