I asked 10 friends, three enemies and a nurse if they know Peter Crouch. Seven talked about his height, two talked about Liverpool, two others didn't know him at all while the nurse thought he was fantastic. It's almost impossible to talk about Peter Crouch without mentioning his extraordinary height.
At 31 years old, Peter Crouch is 2.01m of curiosity, efficiency and the dance moves that regaled even a prince. He is one of the most transferred strikers in recent Premier League history - 10 transfers in as many years since 2001 and he delivers. Crouch's plight is a short story of England's perception of a striker.
Crouch is not the typical Glamour-king ... he just delivers. I classify him in the same vein as Christian Vieri and Oliver Bierhoff. Crouch has not scored and may not score as much as these two, but he resembles them on an efficiency level.
Remember, Vieri got bored of Italy and became highest goalscorer in Spain without playing in Barcelona, Real Madrid or Valencia. Bierhoff moved to Italy and became the highest goalscorer with lowly Udinese in his first year while Ronaldo was in the game at Inter Milan.
Such players never create a buzz on Youtube with godly dribbles from another planet like Ronaldinho, or Messi. What they do is so efficient it may become boring. Who doesn't like a boring striker who gets it done is the question. Sometimes one is forced to wonder why certain obvious signs are continually missed by England managers.
Platini once said the advantage of having Peter Crouch is that he carries no risk of potential muscles injury ... Risqué! Maybe? But i think Crouch is the fear factor.
Ask Vincent Kompany what it takes to hold him in check. If there's really nothing wrong with the English appreciation of a striker how do you explain Crouch scoring 18 goals in 37 games for Portsmouth in 2002, 12 goals in 27 games for Southampton, 42 goals (11 in Champions League) in 85 games for Liverpool without being top choice striker.
11 goals for Portsmouth in 38 games in 2009 and 12 goals in 73 games for Spurs as a third choice striker. He is already on 14 goals with Stoke in 38 games ... that's impressive. Yet Andy Carroll makes it to the National Team with 8 goals for club and country in the past 2 years!
I just don't get it ... Oh my! Now I do. Andy Carroll looks like a rockstar and while in Liverpool, he reminded Liverpudlians of the Beatles while Peter Crouch just scored goals and did a break-dance robo-move. There's just one similarity between Crouch and Carroll. Its Crouchy's career goal tally, equal to Carroll's career games prior to his appearance last night... 162.
Crouch scored 18 goals in 17 starts for England eleven under McLaren and Capello and a total of 22 goals in 42 games for England by 2010. England doesn't need a star it needs a goalscorer. At 31, Robo-Crouch's chances may be fading for England, but he remains the most potent backup striker for England 11.
image: © Mafue