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Robbie Keane on being dropped to Ireland bench by Martin O’Neill


Substitute, Republic of Ireland’s striker Robbie Keane leaves the pitch after the Euro 2016 Qualifier, Group D football match between Scotland and Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland on November 14, 2014. Scotland won the game 1-0. AFP PHOTO / IAN MACNICOL (Photo credit should read Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

The way he’s tearing up Major League Soccer, it’s easy to forget Robbie Keane’s place in any side isn’t concrete.

That was reinforced when Martin O’Neill decided to drop Keane from the Ireland starting lineup for the first time in 13 international matches, as O’Neill unsuccessfully tried to beat Scotland with a lone forward, Shane Long.

Keane subbed on in the 78th minute, and understands O’Neill’s strategy that he’s not the man for a lone-striker set-up. But he’s also adamant he can still be effective for his country, which lost 1-0.

From SkySports:

“If the manager wants to play with one up front, I’m not Niall Quinn or I’m not Shane Long - they are better at that than I am,” Keane said.

“If you play two up front and you want to score goals, that’s my game.

“Listen, I’d prefer to speak about the team rather than an individual, making a big deal out of someone else starting the game.

“The manager made a decision and you have to respect that. Playing one up front doesn’t suit me, I think that’s fairly obvious. I’m 5' 10", so it’s not my game.”

Ireland’s loss leaves them in a three-way tie for second place in Group D, and they hold two good cards in their hand: the 1-1 draw in Germany and the fact that they’ve yet to face one of the opponents above them (Poland).

L.A. Galaxy fans can rest well knowing the banged-up forward has been released back to L.A. before the first leg of their Western Conference final next weekend against Seattle.

Follow @nicholasmendola