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 Good Telegraph interview with Keano

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Janek
Gary Stevens
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PostSubject: Good Telegraph interview with Keano   Fri May 09 2008, 15:32

Robbie Keane spells out Tottenham's ambition
By Henry Winter

Ambition does exist outside the Premier League's elite Gang of Four, as a visit to Spurs' buoyant training centre yesterday confirmed. For all Kevin Keegan's downbeat assessment of anyone's chances of crashing the exclusive party enjoyed by Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, the upward mobility of Tottenham Hotspur is unmistakeable.

Talented people building diligently for the future could be found everywhere. In one office, the development coach, Clive Allen, discussed plans for the club's youngsters with the skills coach Ricardo Moniz, a former PSV Eindhoven player who teaches the Coerver method. Next door, the first-team coach, Juande Ramos, fine-tuned tactics with Gus Poyet and Marcos Alvarez for Sunday's game with Liverpool.


Glory days: Robbie Keane with the Carling Cup after Spurs' win
Ambition is everywhere. Tottenham's captain, Robbie Keane, sat in the sunshine before training, exuding fitness and hunger for success. Jermaine Jenas and Jonathan Woodgate strolled past, pleased with winning a League Cup but determined for more trophies next term when the team will have been strengthened further. Luka Modric has signed up, a new keeper is sought, possibly a new striker like Samuel Eto'o if Dimitar Berbatov moves on.

Good times return to White Hart Lane, the supporters' belief reflected in the long line of happy humanity that will snake around the ground this evening as fans queue to buy the new strip. Biding their time until the doors open at midnight, Spurs fans will talk of a side on the rise under Ramos, of why Modric chose them ahead of Keegan's Newcastle and whether they can make the top four.

"I can understand where Kevin Keegan comes from," observed Keane. "From his point of view, with the players he has, he needs to strengthen to push on. With Tottenham, we are a little bit different: we already have the players here. Next season, we have to be looking at winning the Uefa Cup, and definitely pushing the top four. It certainly is possible."

Keane is realistic enough to appreciate that Spurs will not be challenging for the title next season. "At this moment in time, I would have to say no. That's being totally honest. It depends who comes in next season. The gap between Chelsea and Manchester United is probably a little bit too far for ourselves. Even Arsenal and Liverpool found that because of the strength in depth that Manchester United and Chelsea have and the world-class players they have.

"It is difficult to compete with them. In the one-off games we are quite capable of beating anybody. What let us down was consistency over a period of time - that's been the downfall. The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea never seem to slip up."

The most vibrant symbol of the Gang of Four is United's Cristiano Ronaldo, who earned Keane's vote as Player of the Year. "If you asked anyone who would you pay money to watch, everyone would say Ronaldo," added Keane. "He's got everything. Young kids watching Ronaldo doing those tricks must inspire them to be like him. His (40) goals for a winger is incredible."

Keane mentioned one goal in particular, the back-heel from almost 10 yards against Aston Villa. "It is not difficult to do but it is difficult to get that power from that distance," Keane marvelled. "Ronaldo has been a revelation since coming to the Premiership."

The arrival of Modric demonstrates Spurs' desire to join Ronaldo and company at the top table. "I think so," agreed Keane. "It shows how far the club have come. Getting into the Uefa Cup attracts players like him. If we had been out of the Uefa Cup, it might have been different. It's vitally important that each season we grow, get better and better, try and break into that top four, and by doing so will attract players like Modric.

"What I saw of him against England (for Croatia), when he was fantastic, he will be a great signing. Modric creates so much as a midfielder it is only going to help me as a striker. Modric seems to fit the bill of a so-called 'Tottenham player', getting the ball down, passing and counter-attacking quickly.

"As a young lad, I knew Spurs were a massive club with a great tradition because of players like Hoddle, Gazza and Lineker, but when I came here, and saw how many fans there were, I realised what a big club it is. There always seem to be Tottenham fans everywhere.


"They are going to queue up to get the first jersey [tonight], and get the favourite players [name printed] on the back, and that's flattering for the players. The fans are very passionate here. Fans make football. No one wants to play in front of 20 people. You want to play in front of thousands and thousands. The atmosphere is brilliant at Tottenham on a night game, Uefa Cup or big [domestic] game. It was electric against Chelsea [the 4-4 draw]."


The Dubliner had a proposal to improve atmospheres even more. "I went to see Celtic last week against Rangers, and I have never heard an atmosphere like it. It's different because of the rivalry. The atmosphere was great with the flags and scarves. The English league is missing that a small bit. The only team who do that [with flags] is Liverpool. It would be a great idea to bring that back in, the massive flags and scarves."

Many people back in Keane's homeland are waving the flag for Spurs nowadays. "Support for Tottenham has grown in Ireland because I have been here for so long. People have always had their favourite teams, but if you asked them who their second favourite was they would say Tottenham." Ambitious people.
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PostSubject: Re: Good Telegraph interview with Keano   Fri May 09 2008, 15:53

Janek wrote:
Robbie Keane spells out Tottenham's ambition
By Henry Winter

"As a young lad, I knew Spurs were a massive club with a great tradition because of players like Hoddle, Gazza and Lineker, but when I came here, and saw how many fans there were, I realised what a big club it is. There always seem to be Tottenham fans everywhere.


Very true. Spurs fans are everywhere.
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ezza
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PostSubject: Re: Good Telegraph interview with Keano   Fri May 09 2008, 15:56

I love Keano. He's a Spurs legend in the making. Although he has to sort out that little dance routine when we win more cups in the future.
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James
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PostSubject: Re: Good Telegraph interview with Keano   Fri May 09 2008, 16:20

He has improved dramatically in the last 2 years. Remember 3 years ago, he was our 4th striker?

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PostSubject: Re: Good Telegraph interview with Keano   Wed May 14 2008, 17:27

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=534981&cc=4716

After winning the Carling Cup, striker Robbie Keane is relishing the new arrivals that will add to Croatia midfielder Luka Modric signing from Dinamo Zagreb.

'Next year we'll see a different Tottenham,' Keane said. 'The manager had the players from the very start, I'm sure he'll bring his own players in and it will be his sort of team.

'There will be more expectation because the manager has had more time to bed in. There will be new players and we've already signed one in Modric.

'I'm sure there will be a few more to follow and that can only help the squad. It's always nice to see new players because it gives everyone a lift.'

With Dimitar Berbatov a possible departure if a club meets Spurs' valuation, the likes of Samuel Eto'o from Barcelona have been suggested as possible targets. They have also been linked with a move for Crystal Palace youngster John Bostock.

'Whoever comes in will be a great addition,' Keane added.

After finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League - and their season ending with a disappointing defeat to Liverpool - Keane is expecting improvement in Ramos' first full campaign.

'In the cups we did well; full credit to the lads because we've won silverware and gave everyone a lift and got into Europe again,' e said

'All in all we have to be pleased but we want to do better, win something and then be closer in the league.


'We need to be doing better and everyone is focused on looking forward to next season, I think you'll see a different Tottenham - a team who should be competing with the likes of Liverpool.'


COYS !
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