Grant relishing Keane quality

BY foxsports • February 2, 2011

Avram Grant hopes Robbie Keane can have the same impact on West Ham's fight for Premier League survival as Carlos Tevez did three seasons ago.

The Argentina striker, now at Manchester City, produced a run of goals which helped the Hammers beat the drop at the end of the 2006/2007 campaign, including the only goal in a famous win at Old Trafford before then going on to sign for Manchester United.

Keane's arrival - initially on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season with a view to making a £6million deal permanent as long as West Ham stay up - is certainly expected to inject fresh life into the club's attack.

And Grant, who takes his side to Blackpool tomorrow night knowing victory could lift them off the bottom and out of the relegation zone, feels Keane has the potential to make a major impact.

"I hope so. Robbie has the qualities to do it," Grant said. "However, I don't like to compare players. I have known Tevez for many years personally.

"He is a great player and has scored goals wherever he has been, but the same has happened for Robbie Keane.

"Robbie has scored goals everywhere and he can do the same for us. I think the style of the team is good for him."

However, Grant is aware West Ham do not have the luxury of allowing Keane time to find his feet in new surroundings.

"Tevez came at the start of the season (for West Ham) and didn't play. You always have to give time, but we don't have time. We need to do it as quickly as possible," he added.

"This is one of the reasons we wanted Robbie Keane. He knows English football and knows our team.

"I don't think it will take Robbie long to settle in. Every game he will get better, but I think he will get used to it very quickly."

West Ham are Keane's eighth club since leaving Wolves, including a loan spell last season with Celtic.

However, the much-travelled frontman is confident he can adapt quickly and be a useful addition to the West Ham squad.

"When I went back to Spurs I think I had a massive hand in keeping the club up, they were in a similar position to where West Ham are at the moment," Keane said. "Spurs have gone on now to big things, so good luck to them.

"I am here now, it is a challenge and one I am looking forward to.

"If I am guilty of moving a few clubs to be playing football, then I am sorry about that, but I prefer to be playing football than just sitting on the bench and picking up my wages.

"Like anyone, it is frustrating when you are not playing and I am no different. It is very difficult to deal with, but there are a lot of players who are in the situation I am in. However, I just want to do all I can to play football."

Keane is not concerning himself with any parallels drawn with Tevez, who remains a popular figure with the West Ham fans.

The Republic of Ireland striker said: "I am not really looking for hero status, I am just here to play football.

"If I can help the rest of the team keep West Ham in the Premier League, then it will be great because everyone will have done their job."


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