Coventry City - The Keane effect
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The Keane effect

A poll on Vital Coventy saw Robbie Keane overwhelmingly voted the most popular former Sky Blues currently playing in the Premiership.

So what makes Keane, who also appears on the front of one of the club's own history of Highfield Road videos so special, given that he did not even spend a full season at the club and made just 34 appearances between his move from Wolves in 1999 and his departure for Inter Milan a year later.

Perhaps it was the fact that when we signed Keane, he was one of the hottest properties in the English game, the young striker who made his Wolves debut as a 17-year-old, scoring twice against Norwich.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Villa and others were all supposed to be in the race to sign him and yet it was City who landed him for a fee of 6million in August 1999, a symbol of the club's seemingly bright future.

Keane again scored twice on his debut, against Derby at Highfield Road, much to the delight of the West Terrace, most of whom seemed to have taken the odds of 5/1 available at Ladbrokes for him to score the first goal.

Maybe it was Keane's part in what, despite City failing to win away all season and finishing 14th in the Premiership, is remembered as something of a special time among fans.

Some of the home displays that season will never be forgotten, especially the 3-2 win over Arsenal on Boxing Day in which Keane scored.

Perhaps also it was the fact that when he left so suddenly, it was not to another English club, but to Inter Milan.

Fans don't like to see a popular player leave at anytime but when they go abroad it is much easier to convince ourselves that they are going for footballing reasons only, and we are also spared the prospect of them scoring against our team.

Keane of course was back in English football that very next season, and did score against City while on loan at Leeds.

By that time, his replacement, Craig Bellamy was struggling to fill his shoes and we were on the way down.

Another reason perhaps why Keane is so well thought of. We have never had it so good since.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: CCFC Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 7 2006

Time: 11:00AM


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