Reports emanating from Britain suggest that Irish striker Robbie Keane is set to lose the captain’s armband at Tottenham Hotspur after taking 16 members of the squad on a Christmas party to Dublin earlier this month.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp had specifically forbidden any kind of Christmas party on principal, as he believes that footballers who earn high wages should not cavort around town like drunken louts.
The wheeling and dealing manager also pointed to instances at other clubs where such festive parties had seen unsavory incidents and behavior not suitable for sports stars that are supposed to be role models.
Redknapp had given Keane permission to take the party on what the manager believed was to be a golfing trip to Dublin. The players went early last week and were back to train before a subsequent 1-0 loss to Wolves.
Redknapp said that the trip in no way had any influence on that result as the team's preparation was perfect, but when details emerged that the traveling party to Ireland went drinking and eventually ended up in Copper Face Jacks nightclub on Hardcourt Street in Dublin, the manager was furious. While he acknowledged that his players had not caused any trouble, the fact that they disobeyed him left the manager seething.
The London Evening Standard has reported that Keane will lose the captain’s armband and that he will be fined with the rest of the Dublin revelers, with all monies going to charity.
This latest incident caps a terrible period at club level for the Irishman. Spurs sold Keane to Liverpool in 2008 and a disastrous spell on Merseyside ended when his old club took him back in the January transfer window.
However, Keane has not recaptured the form that made him a hero at White Hart Lane, and the 29-year-old is now third choice striker behind Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe.
If the relationship between Keane and Redknapp has been damaged beyond repair, then several clubs, Sunderland among them, are said to be keen on offering the Irishman a lifeline elsewhere in the coming transfer window.