Blog: Fans keen to hide new hero Robbie's passport
Paul Brown on Robbie Keane factor.
7th Feb 2012
Blog: Fans keen to hide new hero Robbie's passport

Club secretary Sharon Barnhurst described Robbie Keane's loan contract as one of the most long and drawn out she's had to deal with - but how relieved we all are that it finally got signed.

Bringing in a player from the States, either on loan or permanently, means agreeing terms not only with the star himself but also with his parent club and MLS.

And with the time difference between Birmingham and Los Angeles, e-mails were flying across the Atlantic at all hours of the day and night.

Sharon found herself working some ridiculous hours.

It's fair to say that many questioned why she was bothering.

There was scepticism among the claret and blue contingent concerning the move for the 31-year-old.

Let's not beat around the bush. Some pointed to the short-term nature of the deal while others questioned the player's commitment and desire.

Those doubters have undoubtedly been proved wrong.

But the signs were there early on that this could be a match made in heaven, at the Everton game in fact.

Villa were pushing for the winner and it wasn't proving easy. The chant started slowly but gained momentum - Keano, Keano, Keano.

Then the striker emerged from the dugout, ready for action and looking superb resplendent in the claret and blue kit he should have worn several years previous.

His cameo was impressive. He looked a bit ring-rusty - not surprising after weeks out of action - but his touch was there, his intelligence was there as well as his fierce will to win, firing out instructions to team-mates around him.

Then came his return to Molineux. He walked through the doors as a Wolves hero. He walked out as a Villa one.

His two goals were breathtaking and his commitment to the cause was there for all to see.

Off trudged a man just before the final whistle to cheers from all sides of the stadium.

He further excelled against Arsenal and then QPR, finding pockets of space to link play brilliantly and also playing a part in Darren Bent's 100th Premier League goal.

And then on to Newcastle, where he headed home the equaliser and battled from first minute to last for the team.

We even got the chance to see the trademark goal roll.

Asked whether he still performed it pre-match, he stared intently at BBC's Pat Murphy, saying: "You'll have to wait and see! But I don't go in the garden and practice it all day."

We may have lost on Tyneside but that shouldn't take away from the man-of-the-match performance of Keane.

Opinion has changed, undoubtedly.

There are supporters now clamouring for the club to sign the fab forward permanently - and, if that isn't possible, to even hide his passport and ensure his stay.

However, there's no question Keane will be returning to the USA.

He made it clear when he arrived that this is a short-term deal for him, one where he wants to help Alex McLeish's men.

With those parameters clearly set out, he's undoubtedly delivering.

Let's not despair at his impending departure. Let's revel in his final two games for the club.

If his first five are anything to go by we could still be in for a fair bit of excitement.

I'm sure he'll be given a huge send-off when he bids farewell to Villa Park against Manchester City this weekend.

He certainly deserves it - and there's also a cathartic element for every Villa fan!

They finally got to see Keane in a Villa shirt - and he was everything they wanted him to be...and maybe even more.

robbie keane, paul brown, blogs,
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