Saturday, 6 March 2010

How does Crouch do it?

Along with crop circles and the pyramids surely Peter Crouch’s England goal scoring records should be up there with the world’s greatest mysteries.

This isn’t a slight at Crouch’s abilities, he is an established Premier League player, but his record in an England shirt is up there with the best.

Another two goals in midweek against Egypt brought his tally up to 20 in 37 appearances and he must be in contention for a starting role in South Africa. Granted he does tend to score goals against inferior opposition to boost the tally, but anyone who has a habit of putting the ball in the net is handy to have around.

However Crouch’s greatest asset – his considerable height – also works against him. Too often when he is on the field the ball is directed long to his head. Fabio Capello admits is a useful weapon to have in his armoury, but a direct game is not an effective permanent tactic at international level – the defenders are just too good.

Because of this he is often consigned to the bench along with another alternative, the speedy Jermaine Defoe.

But even in his fleeting appearances he makes himself hard to ignore. If Capello can ensure players aren’t lured into the temptation of playing it long all the time, he could yet be our (not so) secret weapon at the World Cup.

Read the rest of this entry.

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