ISL 2017: Robbie Keane watches ATK's 4-1 loss to FC Pune City from the stands at Salt Lake Stadium
Never more than ever, ATK and their fans would have wanted to have Robbie Keane on the turf. He was anyways only supposed to cheer from the sidelines and take to field not before two weeks.
On his part Keane had announced on his Instagram page that he was “feeling good to be back soon”, adding an “On route to India. Looking forward to watching the boys tomorrow”, text towards the middle.
A peek from the media box to the VIP seating below confirmed that the much-awaited marquee signing was indeed lounging on the earmarked sofas.
No news of his presence had percolated to the spectators yet. Then the fateful thirteenth minute reared its ugly head to silence the sporadic roars that were few and far to come by. Latching on a mistake by defender Tom Joseph Thorpe, Emiliano Alfaro sailed into the box and found a free Marcelinho, the team captain to pass to, who of course had to just tap it in past the hapless goalkeeper, Debjit Majumder.
It won’t be until a few minutes after the unfortunate goal that Keane would be beamed from the stadium screen. A wishful greet sounded around the stadium. And why not? Keane’s expertise with finding the back of the net is widely known and respected.
Yet to play for ATK, he is a big hope and especially after Sunday’s pathetic game, marked by remarkably poor finishing. In a media interaction ATK coach, Sheringham had said, “We are missing him and we hope he recovers well."
It is no surprise that fans and the team cannot be patient enough to wait out the two weeks after which Keane would be able to display his deft touches.