FeatureFour takeaways from Robbie Keane's 'We are Liverpool' podcast
Robbie Keane was a compelling guest on the latest episode of the 'We are Liverpool' podcast.
Read on for our key takeaways from the former striker's chat with co-hosts Robbie Fowler and Peter McDowall.
'We are Liverpool' podcast: Episode six - Robbie Keane
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No regrets about Liverpool move
Excitement levels were high when Keane joined Liverpool from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2008.
Although a proven Premier League goalscorer, the Dublin-born forward's dream of playing for the Reds lasted just half a year.
He would make 28 appearances, scoring seven times, for Rafael Benitez's side before returning to Spurs at the end of the winter transfer window.
"Would I have liked to stay longer? Absolutely," he says. "Of course, it was shorter than I wanted, because you never sign for a club expecting to stay for that short amount of time, but I certainly don't regret it.
"It doesn't hurt me because I'm not one of those guys that sits at home and goes, 'I wish that would have happened.'
"Listen, of course I would have liked to stay for years and definitely have the opportunity to win something.
"I have to say, when I came back [to Anfield] and I scored that goal when [Tottenham] got beat, the stadium gave me a standing ovation. That meant a lot to me because I think they kind of felt my hurt a little bit."
- You can watch Keane play in the upcoming LFC Legends charity match against Celtic Legends at Anfield on Saturday March 25. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online here.
He could've signed for the Reds earlier than he did
A young Keane had a host of options when he was looking to make the step up from Crumlin United in his homeland.
Liverpool hoped its lure would seal a switch for the boyhood fan.
He recalls: "Coming over to Liverpool for trials and coming to see you in the training ground, you [Fowler] were there, Collymore, John Barnes. Just seeing those big players at the time for me was great.
"But I chose Wolves because I thought I'd have a better chance to get a faster start at Wolves than I would at Liverpool, because you [Fowler] were there and younger players coming through at the time I didn't know, people like Michael Owen.
"My mother actually said to me, 'Don't just choose Liverpool because you support them. Make sure you pick the team that you feel is right for you, that's going to give you the best opportunity.'"
The Reds' interest in the player remained as Gary McAllister was dispatched on a recruiting mission in 2001.
Fowler tells the tale: "My phone goes and it goes to the answer machine. I picked it up and it's, 'Hello Robbie, it's Gary Mac here. Just seeing if you're interested in coming to Liverpool.'
"I'm thinking, 'It's a bit strange because I'm already at Liverpool.'
"Then I phoned Gary Mac straight away and he said, 'I'll have to come clean. I've been told by the manager to give Robbie Keane a message!'"
He's a world-class chef... by Fowler's standards
Keane's culinary skills were boosted during a spell in Italy with Internazionale, who he joined from Coventry City in 2000.
That talent left some teammates massively impressed when Keane returned to England with Leeds United.
Fowler: Obviously I'm a little bit older than you but I burn toast. I'm awful in the kitchen. I remember being in your house and you cooking the tea. It was simple – it was chicken with pasta in a tomato sauce. I'm thinking, 'Wow!' You were like Gordon Ramsay before Gordon Ramsay was Gordon Ramsay.
Keane: I lived on my own, I left Ireland at 15, went into digs and by 18 I had my own house. I learned how to cook very quickly at 18 years of age and then I went to Italy as well. I was shocked that Robbie couldn't even cook a bit of pasta.
Fowler: I was 27 at the time!
He wants to be a manager
Currently working as a technical advisor for UEFA, the 42-year-old harbours managerial ambitions.
He's had recent experience as an assistant for Middlesbrough and the Republic of Ireland national team.
Keane admits: "I love helping young players [with] coaching. I'd definitely love to be a manager at some stage, I'd definitely love to give that a go.
"I definitely think it will happen at some stage but it's just picking the right one and getting the right opportunity. That's why I wouldn't be frightened to go abroad.
"If the right opportunity came up – whether that be in the MLS or abroad somewhere – I'd definitely give it a go."