Sunderland 1 Spurs 1: Puppy love helps Keane back out of the doghouse

09 March 2009 12:33
Robbie Keane showed that, like a daft young puppy or loyal family dog, the Republic of Ireland striker is for life and should not be abandoned just after Christmas.

If you give him a good home, love and encourage him and hand over the captain's armband, you will get the rewards and he will get the goals.

Keane scored his second in four days on Saturday, pouncing on a last-minute Darren Bent cross at the Stadium of Light to deny Sunderland

a victory which would have eased their relegation concerns for a few hours at least.

Welcome back with open arms: Spurs skipper Robbie Keane celebrates his late equaliser at the Stadium of Light to earn his side a share of the spoils

The Keane swagger is just about back. He certainly has a smile onhis face again, which can only be good news for Harry Redknapp andSpurs

, as well as the Republic of Ireland, who face World Cupqualifiers against Bulgaria and Italy this month.

Keane isalready repaying Redknapp's faith and in the process defying RafaelBenitez's logic. Once Ireland's record goalscorer had found his feetagain at his old stomping ground, the Spurs manager had no doubt theold Keane would be back.

Redknapp said: 'When I saw him atLiverpool

he did well. He scored a great goal at Arsenal

, but wasn'tplaying enough because Stevie Gerrard was behind Fernando Torres.

 Sunderland 1 Tottenham 1: How the action unfolded

Redknapp: My Modric is good enough to play for anyone (so hands off Fergie!)



'Robbieknows he's important here and this is where he's at home, where hisheart is. It does not matter what you do in life, it's good to knowyou're important.

'You have to feel like you're wanted andappreciated and he knows how much I wanted to bring him here. The fanshave welcomed him back and he wants to repay all that. A bit of love,that's what it's about.

'I involve him a lot when I talk about how we play, I'll have a chat with him and I think he loves that.

Bow down to the King: Ledley King puts in a colossal challenge on the one-time Spurs transfer target, Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones

'He'sinfectious in the dressing room. He's a good character. He's got thatbit of class you're looking for. I like it when he doesn't play toodeep. I want him up there more where he can do damage, on the edge ofthe box. That's where he will score his goals and supply that magic.'

LikeBent, Keane had been wasteful before that late leveller, which cameseconds after referee Phil Dowd judged that a Ledley King challengewhich brought Kenwyne Jones to ground was legal.

Keane said: 'As long as I'm playing football I'm always happy. I can't score goals if I'm not on the pitch.

'Wecan't get too carried away about staying up. It would be difficult totake with a squad like this if we did go down but there is still a longway to go. We need the points badly.'

Top start: Kieran Richardson beats Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to put Sunderland in the driving seat early on

Sunderland manager RickySbragia was as angry as he will probably ever be after watching hisside throw away their win in the dying seconds, but they were fortunatethey had not paid the penalty for their inability to keep possessionearlier.

Sbragia was unable to hide his disbelief at the naive football which used to drive predecessor Roy Keane mad.

Theemphasis on trying to score a second goal, even when Redknapp went withthree strikers, cost Sunderland, and everything about that last-minutecorner was wrong for the home side.

They were unable to add toKieran Richardson's neat third-minute finish, despite the probing ofAndy Reid, who created the chances Jones and Djibril Cisse could notfinish.

The uninspiring pair did not escape Sbragia's wrath,but then few things did, including the daft booking which meansRichardson misses games against Wigan

and Manchester City


Rock solid: Man of the match Danny Collins (R) superbly shrugs Spurs star Aaron Lennon off the ball to regain possession for Sunderland

Richardsonsaid: 'I am sorry. I don't know how I have so many. Maybe Roy Keanechanged my game, but I get round the park and silly things happen, youpick up silly bookings.'

Sbragia said: 'Kieran did brilliantly,which is why I'm annoyed. At nine bookings it's difficult not to get to10, but we'll miss him.

'But he didn't help himself with some of his tackles and by strutting away from the referee.'

'Toconcede from our own corner kick is abysmal. I'm disappointed at thelack of discipline. We've been telling them for 14 weeks. I might haveto send a note out or keep a pen to write it down on the hands - "if weget a corner in the last minute, play it short".'

Deep breath. Then he said: 'I need a beer. A couple of beers. Flipping hell.'


SUNDERLAND (4-4-2):Fulop 7; Bardsley 7, Ben Haim 7, Collins 8, McCartney 6; Malbranque 6,Whitehead 5, Richardson 7 (Leadbitter 83min), Reid 7 (Edwards 83);Cisse 5 (Murphy 73, 5), Jones 5. Booked: Richardson, McCartney.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-4-2):Gomes 5; Corluka 5 (Pavlyuchenko 83), Woodgate 6, King 5, Chimbonda 5;Lennon 6, Jenas 5 (Huddlestone 63, 7), Palacios 5 (Bentley 72, 6),Modric 6; Keane 6, Bent 6. Booked: Corluka, Woodgate.

Man of the match: Danny Collins. Referee: Phil Dowd.

 Sunderland 1 Tottenham 1: How the action unfolded

Redknapp: My Modric is good enough to play for anyone (so hands off Fergie!)




Source: Daily_Mail