Is Robbie Keane Yelling Too Much?

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To yell or not to yell in soccer. Robbie Keane always be yelling at somebody. Should players yell at their teammates? Should older more experienced players yell at younger players? Is yelling effective at getting a young player to learn something or is there a better way…demanding the ball is good and one thing but yelling at a player when they make a mistake, not sure if that’s helpful for a young player.

LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane is passionate, but it seems to yell quite a bit at his teammates, specifically Gyasi Zardes. If  Zardes doesn’t play the ball to Keane when he thinks he should get it then Zardes is going to hear about, loudly. In fact, Keane will run towards Zardes as the other team moves up field and yell at him.

You hear from LA Galaxy circles that Robbie Keane is a sort of a mentor to Zardes, that Keane has high hopes for the young forward. But is Keane yelling at him the best way to get the best out of Zardes?

There are moments where it looks like Zardes should take the ball on his own and try to score, but instead he looks to cut the ball back to Keane. It’s as though Keane is in his head so much that he’s taken out of his own game.

But perhaps Zardes just knows Keane is passionate, and will yell no matter what and it doesn’t bother him so much cause he knows Keane just wants to score and to win games. To Zardes’ credit, he seems to take all the yelling in stride – he’s still scoring goals like this one. A sort of Robbie Keane like goal. Plus, Zardes is learning how to play those little give and goes and how to stay calm in front of goal, which is what makes Keane such a fantastic goal scorer.

And to Keane’s credit, if he makes a mistake, if he miss a run Zardes has made, he’s the first to raise his hand and tell Zardes “my bad”. I saw Keane do this versus New York, Zardes had made a run into the box and Keane tried to shoot instead of playing the ball across the goalmouth, Zardes certainly didn’t yell at Keane but Keane waived his hand and passionately gesticulated an apology for missing him. I think that goes a long way in the Robbie Keane and Zardes partnership. Keane can’t always be yelling at Zardes and he’s got to own up to his own mistakes.

If there’s a rule in Robbie Keane’s training manual about how to play forward it’s don’t over hit the ball and try to smash it in the net. Stay calm and try to make the extra pass or the subtle cut to get passed an over aggressive defender. Zardes seems to have picked that up. And he’s got a lot more speed than Keane ever had, so he will be much more dangerous in the long run if he keeps improving.

It must be a fine line though, a young player needs to know how to play simple, not over dribble, make the right pass, but you can’t break him down so much he doesn’t play his own game.

I love Robbie Keane. You can tell he just loves to play. Maybe he’s boosting Zardes up at training just as much as he tears him down at times during the game.

Oh yeah, Robbie Keane’s also having a MVP like season for the LA Galaxy. I’m sure Bruce Arena could careless if Keane’s yelling at players if he’s on such a goal scoring tear for the team.

Finally, one other thing to keep in mind: Zardes makes $173,000 a year playing for the Galaxy while Keane makes $4,333,333. Yes, that’s quite a big difference. Zardes though will be getting a raise soon if he keeps playing so well, and he might want to thank Keane for yelling at him so much.

I remember a player saying that if nobody’s saying anything to you, if they’re not yelling at you when you make a mistake, then they don’t care anymore. They’re yelling at you because they know you can do better.

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