Kilmarnock 1 Celtic 0: Robbie Keane burns fingers as he's sold a dummy

03 February 2010 01:19
He arrived last thing on Monday, on loan at short notice and having made a long journey so that he could turn out for his new club at Rugby Park on Tuesday night.

Yet somehow Chris Maguire's transfer from Aberdeen to Kilmarnock did not receive much attention. But Maguire scored on his debut last night and in doing so he made Robbie Keane's perplexing move from Tottenham to Celtic look even odder.

Keane's first act in a Celtic shirt was to flash his winning smile at the late-night press conference at Celtic Park on Monday. He was being marketed as a saviour then.

His second act was to sell his Kilmarnock marker a dummy. A question had already surfaced: has he been sold a dummy himself with his latest career move?

No joy: Goalkeeper Bell denies Keane on his Celtic debut

Celtic lost to a Kilmarnock team that had not beaten them in 31meetings stretching back nine years, 29 of which had been defeats.

Kilmarnock had won three games this season and were second-bottom.Celtic remain ten points behind Rangers, who are being run by banks andwho have not bought one player in the last three transfer windows.

Keane will have heard half of the 9,308 crowd present last nightsinging: 'Hello, hello, we are the Killie boys.' And he will havewondered, just as his namesake did.

This was every bit as red-faced as Roy Keane's Celtic debut four Januarys ago, when they lost at Clyde in the Scottish Cup.

Bad start: Keane is helpless as Celtic lose to Kilmarnock

Seeing Roy Keane on the outskirts of Cumbernauld that day was as strange as seeing Robbie Keane here.

A re-arranged fixture on a Tuesday night at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, with a 7.30pm kick-off.

As Robbie looked at himself in the mirror a year and a day ago,still a £20million Liverpool player, still in a Champions League squad,he could hardly have foreseen that his return to Tottenham would sosoon be followed by Harry Redknapp's cold shoulder and a misty night inAyrshire.

But here Keane was. This former Inter Milan player, the captain ofhis country, a man who has cost some £80m in transfers down the years,making himself part of a club enduring painful introspection in aleague in crisis.

Paradise lost.

Had he so chosen, Keane could have been with Spurs preparing fortonight's trip to another of his former clubs, Leeds, in the FA Cup.

If that thought went through the 29 year-old's mind on the bus toRugby Park, then it will surely have done so again on the way back.

Around 4,000 Celtic fans followed Keane south from Glasgow. Hispresence will have swollen that number and illustrated, presumably, themain reason the club have apparently extended themselves financially topull off the deal.

Keane described it as 'an arrangement that suits me, Celtic and Tottenham.'

Great start: New signing Chris Maguire delivers on his Kilmarnock debut scoring against Celtic

Celtic is a club known far and wide for its fanbase, a fact itbathes in and trades upon. Who does not think of Parkhead and see59,000 fans throbbing on an epic European night? Well, those who gothere every week, for a start.

They see something different. Increasingly they see empty seats.

For the recent home game against Hibernian not an unattractive fixture the estimated attendance was 41,000.

The numbers have to be estimated as Celtic have stopped publishingattendance figures. 'Unknown' it says on their official website.

Unconvincing could be added to that description this morning.

Reflecting on the defeat to Kilmarnock, dejected Celtic manager Tony Mowbray said of Keane: 'At times he made the team tick.'

At times he didn't. Keane wore the same brand of boots as Wayne Rooney, but that is where any comparison ends.

He was meant to lift Celtic up. They may well drag him down.

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Source: Daily_Mail