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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Keane 'at home now'
Tottenham boss Glenn Hoddle (right) talks to new signing Robbie Keane
Hoddle (right) says Keane (left) is 'home' now

Tottenham have certainly been the subject of plenty of ridicule recently.

An e-mail doing the rounds sent up Tottenham nearly signing more players.


He's 22 and I think he could slowly progress to that (Bergkamp/ Zola) quality
Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson fictionally asked about how they were going to compete with Tottenham now that Spurs had nearly signed Rivaldo and so many others.

Ronaldo and Christian Vieiri, according to the mischievous piece, were apparently next on the nearly hit list!

Not quite and, this time, no nearly about it, Spurs finally managed to sign a striker to answer some of the banter being sent their way.

Robbie Keane - a high-class performer - is not the final piece in the jigsaw for Tottenham but could be a major step in the right direction.

Arsene and Alex, and Gerard Houllier at Liverpool, can probably sit comfortably for the time being, although they may now have begun to look at Tottenham a bit more seriously after Keane's arrival.

"On the pitch he's got superb movement and first touch and as a striker when you play with your back to play you need that," said Hoddle.

"He will gives us something new. Teams who have defended against us will be challenged in a different way. And he's a cute player.

Robbie Keane meets his new fans at Tottenham
Keane has played at Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan and Leeds in his short career

"He has got end product and that's where the best players - your Bergkamp's and Zola's - are so good. He's 22 and I think he could slowly progress to that quality."

Hoddle knows that being top of the Premiership - a position Liverpool could move into depending on Monday's game against Newcastle - means little at this stage of the season.

But the signing of Keane could be a more telling factor for the club.

He showed he could score goals at the highest level at the recent World Cup. But, Leeds could not guarantee him regular first-team football and he was sold for 7m.

Keane said: "No player wants to be sitting on the bench.

"To get the best out of players you need to play them regularly. In my case that's what I believe.

"Off the back of the World Cup, I need to be playing now and I need to kick on from that.


I've intended to stick around every club I've been at
Robbie Keane

"Hopefully, I'll get the opportunity to play a lot more often than I have been."

He added: "I've intended to stick around every club I've been at. Sometimes in football that's the way it goes. I never once asked to leave a club and I don't intend to."

Hoddle has no intention of letting a player of his quality, who he has has been chasing for a while, go anywhere.

"He's at home now," said the White Hart Lane coach. "I think he will be here for a long time.

"I felt that I needed to express that to him - that he needed consistency to get the best out of him."

The reasons behind Keane's move from certain clubs has been because of a change in coach.

It is hard to see White Hart Lane's prodigal son - Hoddle - leaving any time soon, so that should mean a longer stay than usual for Keane.

Hoddle added: "I just feel that we have got him at a very good time and if we can keep him here, which I am sure will happen, I think he's got his best moments to come."

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