Ireland captain Robbie Keane has undergone surgery to rectify an on going ankle problem.Before going under the doctors knife Keane moved to reassure the fans that it was just something that had been niggling away at him,and he just wanted to finally get it sorted.This injury though threw a few questions into my mind about this legendary Irish International.
Over the years Robbie has picked up international caps and goals as if they were going out of fashion.He has led the front line of the Irish team with so much pride.He has now got 131 caps and 62 goals.Those stats are amazing for the little man from Crumlin. In fact as we all know he holds the record for caps and goals in these Islands containing,England,Wales,Scotland,and Northern Ireland.A record in my opinion that will never be broken in my lifetime.Robbie has toured the clubs as well and has signed for so many around Europe does he like signing contracts as a pass time.His latest club LA Galaxy will probably be his last at the age he is at now,33 and counting.Robbie has indicated he would like to keep playing in America and turning out for the Republic.So many people have questioned whether Rob should have retired after last years disaster at the Euro,s but he has continued to come and under Trap played most games and of course was Irish captain.At his age now operations can be very awkward and if he has complications,the guys who want him to retire might just get there way.This leads me onto, who can fill the boots of the jack in the box Keane.
New manager Martin O Neill has ruled nothing in or nothing out as he plans the road to France 2016.He may have to plan for a while without Keane due to the injury,but that opens the door to other players and systems.My own personal opinion is that O’Neill will go with John Walters as he tends to like the big man upfront.Alongside Walters I would play Shane Long,who I think has been brilliant over the past season.It is something worth thinking about as Keane can not go on forever, and over the next couple of games we can blood the players so when the qualification for France starts,O’Neill has options.
Before I finish out here.Let us all remember Robbie Keane has been superb for his country both on and off the pitch in fact I had the pleasure of sitting with the young man last summer and discuss all things football.When Robbie does hang up his boots I would be very suprised if he does not take up a coaching role.Ireland,s all time goalscorer and record cap holder must not be lost to our game.