The case for Peter Crouch

by Ashleigh Rose

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

What will it take for Fabio Capello to believe in Peter Crouch? An international record better than any other England striker? A cameo off the bench that includes a brilliantly taken volley? Or maybe two World Cups and a FA Cup winners medal? No, no Crouchy has all those in his locker, so what is it that Capello doesn’t ‘get’?

We all know that Crouchy has spent his whole life convincing people in his ability, I for one was one of those people having seen him arrive at QPR in the summer of 2000. But even as a raw youngster he was the stand-out player that season at Loftus Road and convinced me, yet the striker has had to spent the majority of this career proving people wrong about his talent – especially Fabio Capello.

Yet we are talking about a footballer who has played for his club and country and the very highest level. Take a look at Crouchy’s CV and you’ll see World Cup appearances, Champions League runs to the final and spells with Liverpool and a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur. Then there’s his actual international goal scoring record, which is nothing short of amazing and far exceeds anyone else in an England shirt – Wayne Rooney included. Yes you can point to a lot of the goals coming against ‘lesser’ opposition but that’s not Crouch’s fault, he can only score against whoever is put infront of him – and he does that consistently. He has 22 goals for his country in 42 internationals, most of which has come when he has started the game, yet last night a Championship striker bizarrely called-up out of nowhere was chosen to enter the field of play ahead of him and Capello continues to only use Crouch unless he really has to.

The thing is with Crouch, yes he may still look like the most awkward footballer on the planet and frustrate with how good he SHOULD be in the air as well as the amount of free-kicks he gives away but he delivers for England. Hell, he has always delivered for England and whatever club he’s been at too. Which is why Harry Redknapp continues to start with Crouch in Spurs Champions League matches, where he’s netted five goals in three games for Tottenham. The old adage of ‘his got a good touch for a big man’ maybe have been rolled out more times then Gareth Barry lost the ball last night but it’s true as Rafael van der Vaart has found to his advantage already this season.

I’m not suggesting that Crouch should be England’s number one striker as we all know that a fit and focussed Wayne Rooney is the team’s most potent weapon but Crouch should be more involved even when Defoe and Bent are also back in the fold. Not only for his goal scoring record but for the fact that defenders still don’t exactly know how to mark him properly and he does create space for others around him like Rooney and Steven Gerrard. That’s as long as England stop using him like a battering ram as they did with Andy Carroll and hoof the ball-up to him when they are clueless to find any other option – but that discussion is for another day.

England and Capello have always had that ‘big man’ option and while Andy Carroll may well be the future, Crouch is still the present and the goal last night was a timely reminder to his current England boss. Maybe this time he’ll listen.

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  • Liam Sheppard

    Nice bit on Crouchy, he’s not one of my fav players, but hes got to have more of a chance, record speaks for itself.

  • Mystical Mike

    As Liam points out, his record speaks for itself.

    He scores against top opposition too, which is something he was accused of not doing in the past.

    We all know Capello is wasting our time. Another dithering post match interview which made no sense what so ever.

    Please go now before we fall even further behind

  • Jones

    It’s so good to read a balanced thought out article about the big man,rather than the one eyed rants from some of the Spurs fans.Crouchie may not fit into the stereotype of a typical footballer – but isn’t that why the continentals can’t cope – and why Capello just doesn’t ‘get him’ Watch him each week and even when he isn’t playing well he works his socks off for the team.There’s a good reason Van der Vaart has scored goals for Spurs- most of them have come from Crouch’s assists. And he’s a nice natured intelligent sportsman – not a spoilt prima donna. Should be treasured,,

  • rich g

    The vast majority of his goals are in friendlys, or against very weak opposition, he cant cut it in the premier league, his record is appauling, he makes emile heskey look prolific, as well as the fact that when he plays the midfield often gets bypassed. He cant head a ball, his first touch and general all round control is terrible.How he gets games above championship level is beyond me, all the “crouchie” lovers will argue against all of this, i say, just check his premier league goal tallys.

  • Mark

    I’m sorry rich, but how does he ‘make Heskey look prolific’? Certainly in an England shirt it’s easy to see who has converted the most chances! I was at Wembley last night and the only ray of hope for me was when Crouch came on, and almost immediatly scored; against France, who are certainly not ‘weak opposition’ despite their appalling World Cup.

    As for his Premier League tally; it might not be the best, I’d love to see him score more himself, but the assists he has provided this season for Van der Vaart have been vital, as have been his goals in big games, like the City game last season that clinched 4th and the Champions League performances this season. And anyway, no one (apart from us Spurs fans) should care about his strike rate in the League when he keeps scoring for England (which is what this article is about isn’t it?).

  • dexylongshot

    Correctamonto Mark, it’s about his ratio in internationals and it is simply one of the best in world football. You don’t have to be a 20 goals a season striker in the league to convert it to International footy because the game is totally diiferent at that level. Messi scores bucket loads for barca but take a butchers at his ratio on the internation stage. It’s crouchy in reverse. I think I would always have crouchy in the squad, he causes problems because many international defenders just can’t handle him.

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