One to Watch - Peter Crouch
Name: Peter Crouch
Date of Birth: 30/1/1981
Former Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Dulwich Hamlet, IFK Hassleholm, QPR, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich City, Southampton, Liverpool
League Appearances (Goals): 398 (109)
International Appearances (Goals): 42 (22)
Stat of the Day: Peter Crouch`s own goal against Everton last week was the 1000th Premier League goal scored this season
Everything about Peter Crouch points to anything but a footballer as a profession. Despite his ungainly stature and unconventional leg to upper body ratio, Crouch is actually a very decent footballer. Many dislike the striker, of which I can`t understand why; he has amassed over 100 career league goals, has an international goalscoring record better than 1 every 2 games and has a list of previous clubs longer than my Football Manager record. English footballing traditions still run riot in the modern game, and our obsession with height up front means Peter Crouch is an obvious player to 'stick up top and punt the ball to`. His heading, upper body strength and pace are poor. His impressive touches on the floor, good positional sense and link up play are something to be admired. I`m not for one second comparing Crouch to Messi, but do you ever see Barcelona chip balls into the Argentinean in the hope he`ll hold up or flick on the ball? The Englishman has scored some impressive and invaluable goals throughout his career, and it would be rude not to admire his determination and resolve in consistently producing at whichever club he has played for.
Peter Crouch started his career with Tottenham Hotspur after coming through their youth ranks, but he failed to make a first team appearance and after two short loan spells at Dulwich Hamlet and IFK Hassleholm he signed for QPR for a fee of £60k in 2000. He was the shining light in the Ian Holloway side that was relegated to Division 1 but with QPR`s financial demise, Crouch was sold to Portsmouth in 2001 for a fee of £1.25 million. He went on to score 18 goals in 37 appearances at Fratton Park, attracting interest from numerous Premier League clubs.
Aston Villa won the race to sign the striker as the clubs agreed a £5 million fee in 2002. His impressive form seemed to stutter at Villa as he only managed three goals in 30 appearances, meaning a loan spell to Norwich followed, where he helped himself to a further four goals in 15 appearances. Harry Redknapp decided to take Crouch to Southampton, where the striker was a big hit at the Dell. He scored 12 goals in 27 appearances and after Southampton`s relegation to the Championship, Liverpool swooped to sign the Englishman for a fee of £7 million.
Having initially struggled to find his feet at Anfield, Crouch soon began to display his attacking qualities in Merseyside helping the club to the FA Cup and Charity Shield in 2006, as well as featuring for England n the 2006 World Cup. Despite his goals and impressive performances for Liverpool he departed Anfield to reacquaint himself with former manager Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth. He spent another 12 months at Fratton Park where he formed a formidable partnership with Jermaine Defoe. Both strikers moved with Redknapp to Spurs where they both helped their club to a Champions League experience, before Crouch moved on to Stoke at the beginning of the 2011/2012 season.