Do you remember the last time Robbie Keane scored in the league? I sure do. It was a sunny morning (for me at least) when West Brom came to town. He netted not only his first league goal but also his second and was sure to get a third in front of the Kop before being subbed off. It was at that time that we all breathed a collective sigh of relief that maybe our huge summer signing would finally start performing on a regular basis. Since then? Not so much...
As stupid as it may sound, I don't blame Robbie Keane for the lack of goals coming off of his boot. I blame chemistry. You can't force personalities to mesh and trying to get him to play with Torres is like mixing oil and water. Nando functions best as a single striker while Keane is best in a secondary role. Unfortunately, the secondary role for Keane is not anywhere in the vicinity of Torres. When El Niño has a great play, it usually stems from a long pass or brilliant cross and then beating defenders. Then, he either scores or he doesn't. There's no trash to clean up in front of the goal, no passes back to the center of the box.
So, if Robbie Keane can't work with Torres then he is obviously a flop. Now, hold on a minute, don't forget that Keane leads the team in league assists with four which is twice what Steven Gerrard has. You can't deny his work rate, we just expect him to score goals since he's a striker. We expect him to score a LOT of goals because after Torres had a spectacular first year that means that all of our signings should be brilliant from the get go. I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but I think Kuyt is going to lead the team in goals this year with his Irish pal in third. Of course Gerrard will be second. Nando will probably keep getting injured because the Spanish national team apparently beats him with sticks when no one is around.
The first time that Torres was injured, I thought that the partnership that emerged between Keane and Kuyt was a good start to an understanding that could blossom into a trophy winning relationship. Kuyt looks much more at home out front and Keane looks happy to have someone he can feed cheeky back heel passes to. When Torres is available, we should use him but it has to be as a lone striker. That's the formation that's been tried and tested. When he's not, that's when you partner Keane and Kuyt. Just because we splashed some cash does not mean that Robbie has to rate the starting XI all the time. Rafa needs to employ a number of different tactics and not be afraid of letting Fernando or Robbie sit on the bench even if they're fit.
On Monday, the Reds will face off against West Ham United with former teammate Craig Bellamy in the attack. The Hammers are a mid table team so anything is possible. Even with Nando and Aurerlio out of action, I do not think West Ham can defeat the Reds at Anfield. At most, they can hope for a draw, but so far this season with only two draws booked, they have shown that they are a side that either wins or loses.
CSD says, 2-1 with goals by Keane and Kuyt.
Nadia says, 0-0 because her predictions are running a week behind.