Why Rafa Was Right About Keane

Michael WaddingtonCorrespondent IDecember 26, 2008

Robbie Keane offloaded in January? You must be joking. This is a man who was bought by Rafael Benitez as the perfect foil for the worlds' form striker.

Circumstances change. When Keane was brought to Anfield by Benitez it was seen as a master stroke. A forward who will play off the main striker and give Liverpool the chance to play 4-4-2, something which Benitez has been unable to do  to any real effect with the personnel at his disposal in recent seasons.

A chance that Rafa took. Time after time, Torres and Keane were named as Liverpool's starting forwards, time after time Keane failed to score.

Keane has scored goals wherever he's been, its just a fact. Robbie Keane will pop up with his fair share of goals. Rafa Benitez was sat on Liverpool's bench watching his £20m Irish forward, run his heart out and not repay his own effort in goals.

The Republic of Ireland captain was letting himself down. Robbie wants to do well at Liverpool, he wants to score goals, and he wants to win the title. The way he was playing wasn't justifying his work rate. Frustrating!

Fernando Torres, the man who was supposed to benefit most from the arrival of Keane, found himself injured. Keane's job changed in the process. He's now no longer the Spaniards cheeky sidekick, he's playing the top man, a role he's never had to play, and didn't have success playing.

Liverpool's form was effected, all of a sudden we're having to grind out results and struggling when teams take the lead against us. Something had to change.

Keane was left out of the side, not necessarily dropped as the media pointed out, but left out of the side for the good of the team. Rafa rotates, another fact! He has no problem leaving Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Ryan Babel or Daniel Agger on the bench, top players! So why such a fuss when Keane has to do his shift in the dug-out?

Things have changed yet again, Liverpool's system has become more 4-3-3 than 4-5-1 with Kuyt and Riera acting as support men brilliantly, Keane is back in the team and guess what? He's scoring goals! Three in two games as a matter of fact.

Torres is on his way back now, and things will change yet again, Keane may go through another dry spell, he may take confidence from his recent purple patch and flourish, it will be interesting if nothing else.

A month ago Rafa took so much stick for dropping Robbie Keane. In my opinion he deserves the praise for his recent mean streak.