Early Doors

A dream come true… again

Early Doors

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Some people are calling it: 'The deal that saved deadline day', while others might settle for: 'Spurs fringe player goes out on loan'.

Either way, Robbie Keane's loan move from Tottenham to Celtic provided the sole moment of mild surprise on an afternoon when not even Sky Sports News's Jim White could maintain interest, nearly talking over the 'Bongs' as SSN self-importantly deputised Big Ben to announce the transfer window's closure.

You can always rely on Harry Redknapp to liven up days like these - witness his inexplicably shedding of right-backs yesterday -  and his decision to shed a player he signed for £10m and made captain just a year ago prevented deadline day from disappearing into oblivion.

Thousands of Glaswegians flocked to Celtic Park at midnight to welcome Keane, who had this to say to the assembled masses:

"This is a dream for me. It's no secret that I'm a Celtic fan and I always wanted to play for them."

No secret? Early Doors cannot lay claim to the best contacts book in football, but it had no idea Keane was a Celtic fan.

After all, his arrival at Anfield in 2008 prompted this quote: "As a fan, joining Liverpool is a lifelong dream of mine and one I couldn't let pass me by."

Forget John Terry's infidelity, Robbie Keane has been caught bang to rights as a football bigamist.

Easy as it is to mock a player for pledging his undying allegiance to whatever team is picking up his wage bill, did Keane really do anything wrong?

The cynics (ED included) would have loved it if he had said: "I can't promise I'll be cartwheeling down the aisle of the team bus as we pull into Rugby Park, but I'm getting paid £65,000-a-week and I should score a few goals."

But it would have been a phenomenally churlish way to thank the thousands of fans who came out at midnight to greet him - even if his claim that they "have work in the morning" might not apply to every fan prepared to drop everything on a Monday night and congregate outside a football stadium?

Why not say it is a dream to sign for Celtic, even if you said the same about Liverpool 18 months earlier?

Footballers always provoke envy because they have a 'dream job'. Why shouldn't they be enthusiastic about it?

As for the accusation of bigamy - who, in an idle moment, has not imagined how their fictitious playing career might pan out?

In Early Doors's case, it imagines coming through the ranks at Nottingham Forest and scoring the winner in the play-off final (a lifelong dream), before going on strike a la Pierre van Hooijdonk and engineering a move abroad. Three years at Fiorentina (good club, lovely city, natty shirts - a dream) would be followed by a similar period at Atletico Madrid (a dream to follow in the footsteps of Kiko, Fernando Torres and Fabricio Coloccini) capped off by an unlikely Europa League triumph.

ED would then spend its peak years at a generic top Premier League club (you know, just to get Richard Keys to notice - rest assured it would be a dream to kiss the badge), before swanning off to play out its career among the dinosaurs at Adelaide United (great climate, total lack of effort - dream conditions).

The point is, it is possible to dream of playing for more than one club. Keane wouldn't be only young Irishman to harbour a fondness for both Liverpool and Celtic.

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POST-SCRIPT: To all the Irish posters on the message board saying that you also support both Celtic and Liverpool, Early Doors would like to ask you a question on behalf of its colleague, a frustrated Shelbourne fan from Dublin. Don't any of you support an Irish team?

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: David Sullivan on West Ham's bargain basement signing: "Mido is a rich boy, even though he is still only 26. He doesn't need the money but he wants to prove something in England. So he is willing to play for £1,000-a-week."

FOREIGN VIEW: Italy coach Marcello Lippi contradicted his own boss over his future, saying whether he stayed in the job could depend on results at the World Cup.

"I haven't said that I'll leave after South Africa," Lippi, whose contract runs out after June's finals, said.

"Now I'm only thinking about the World Cup. First let's concentrate fully on the World Cup and then who knows. It depends on results."

However, Italian federation chief Giancarlo Abete, at the same meeting of Italian coaches, had very different ideas.

"We have a positive relationship with Lippi and I've said that there will be total clarity over the national coach's job before we leave for South Africa," he said.

COMING UP: Four live text commentaries tonight. Hull City v Chelsea in the Premier League, and Wigan v Notts County and Crystal Palace v Wolves in the FA Cup. Plus Robbie Keane's possible debut in Kilmarnock v Celtic.

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