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Sunday 23 July 2017

Pep and Jose are a treat while Robbie weighs options

Aer Lingus ambassador, Robbie Keane was at Dublin Airport today to launch Aer Lingus’ big North American sale. Photo: Sportsfile
Aer Lingus ambassador, Robbie Keane was at Dublin Airport today to launch Aer Lingus’ big North American sale. Photo: Sportsfile
Inter Milan’s Robbie Keane holds off Parma legend Antonio Benarrivo (r), as Inter’s Clarence Seedorf looks on, during the Italian Cup quarter-final, second leg at the San Siro in December 2000. Photo: Luca Bruno/AP Photo

He's lean and fit is Robbie Keane. Biding his time and waiting for a new season somewhere in the world. Can't be easy for a man used to doing and not sitting.

He was out in Dublin Airport doing some media work as an ambassador for the airline but he was twitchy and it's never less than obvious with him when he's not playing.

He has clearly been working hard with Duffer and the Shamrock Rovers lads and looks good to go. When the time is right, he'll pick a club and a new adventure will begin.

But for now, he has time to kick back and view events in the Premier League and tonight Keane will be watching the latest chapter of Manchester's age-old rivalry with a sharp eye for the striking talent on view.

But for fate, he would have enjoyed watching another old man, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, continue to laugh at time and play football of the highest quality.

He has great sympathy for a man he admires and never doubted he would have a big impact at Old Trafford when almost everyone else did.

"I never doubted it him, no. Strikers are like that. You have this mentality of scoring goals and Zlatan has done it everywhere, top leagues in the world," he said.

"The injury looked like a bad one but I hope he can keep going. He has to keep going," said Keane with the same passion he reserves for his own Peter Pan career.

Keane still fancies two more years on the road before he returns to Ireland with his family and that could be anywhere from China to Queensland.

For now, he's an interested observer and apart from the fresh striking talent emerging at Old Trafford, he has also been taken by the battle of wits between the top managers - none more exalted than Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.

"You can see the difference between Mourinho knowing the League and understanding the League more than Guardiola.

"Listen, I wouldn't ever second-guess Guardiola, he's one of the best managers in the world but I think he has realised that the Premier League is maybe not what he expected.

"He mentioned that himself, that it was surprising and you can see that.

"Mourinho knows the League inside out but I don't think he has the squad of players they need to be challenging. They need three or four players.

"This is a massive game for both teams. United seem to be trying for the Champions League through the Europa League.

"I just think it's great to see these managers in at the end of the season when it's getting exciting. Jurgen Klopp as well. Great characters.

"Pochettino is a bit more reserved but he's a top, top manager. It's good to watch from afar," said Keane.

Naturally enough, he gives particular attention to Spurs and Keane had a grandstand view of Harry Kane's first steps at White Hart Lane.

"I know Harry since he was a kid at Spurs. He was a great lad, always wanted to learn, always wanted to do his best. You know, he hasn't had it easy. If you look at the moves. He went on loan to a lot of teams but didn't play much.

"He came back, got his head down and he has cemented himself now as one of the top strikers in England."

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