Peter Crouch's International credentials, upon a year-long shun upholding his England Fairytale..for now.
Should the 31 year-old's career end happily ever after?
To be sure, the Top Trumps card adorning Peter Crouch's sheer, sizeable, skeletal figure may only come up as a winner on his height stats. Additionally, if you search for "Peter Crouch" into Youtube, the suggestions will not drop down with "freestyle skills", "mazy dribble" or "wondergoals" anytime soon, but the rest of England's array of centre-forwards for Roy Hodgson to opt from look measly.
Strike partnerships that European nations boast, at a level England aspire to compete with, roll off of the tongues of global game enthusiasts. Holland have Huntelaar and Van Persie; Germany have Gomez and Podolski; Spain's 4-4-3 has Silva, Torres and Villa; England have Rooney and... Whom else do I hear one mutter under their breath to partner England's main man?
Peter Crouch may be off the scale, but he is still reaches heights worthy of England honours.
Danny Welbeck is the favourite of Hodgson, in spite of being still yet to discover his shooting boots since being let loose prematurely on the national set-up ahead of a Euro 2012 tournament. Andy Carroll (23) remains neither here nor there as ever in a club shirt, forget donning a Three Lions crest; that's when he does play a brief part offloaded on loan to West Ham due to inconsistency. A misfiring Darren Bent never fully hits it off to warrant more opportunities. Danny Graham and Ricky Lambert do not have a single England cap to their names. Neither does Grant Holt, who is same age as the main man in question: Peter Crouch, who should be rubbing his hands together at the seams of things, yet he is a prolific, 31 year old forgotten man. He is still capable, yet is appallingly overlooked.
Jermaine Defoe, could be considered, or even the relatively inexperienced 19 year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be put up on a pedal stool, starring in the positional hole behind Rooney, instead, but let's put it into prospective: A quintessential, old-fashioned centre-forward brushing shoulders with centre-backs is cried out for to thrive from Wayne's world class reative spark from a deep position, along with promising wingers which England produce in abundance to provide deliveries in assistance.
Most recently, Carroll and Welbeck have been chosen- along with Wayne Rooney and Jermaine Defoe- ahead of Crouch for those elusive places in the England squad for forthcoming World Cup qualifying clashes against Moldova and Poland. Welbeck and Carroll have flattered to deceive this season, with one Peter Crouch finding the net on more occasions than both of his successors.
The inclusion of Welbeck, a lively prospect at Manchester United, is not moot, whereas Carroll's is contentious, for he is a player who has terrible core strength and mobility. Quite Frankly, you can't make out whether he is 21 or 40. Age means a distinction of fitness, supposedly; one of few reasons why Hodgson favours Carroll over Crouch, yet back-up for the decision is ill-conceived. Devastatingly, Carroll is not even the more gifted footballer in my opinion. He is however, less obcsure and does have a heavy build to bully defenders which somehow over-rules all of the Stoke man's proficiency, seemingly putting him in a class above. Carroll is a normal forward; an amateur at a difficult job title.
Regardless of age, Crouch's International scoring record speaks for itself: 42 caps, 22 goals. That's an unbelievable ratio of a goal every two games at International level. 3 goals in 6 games this season for The Potters have further allowed the bid for a recall legs to stand on. It only takes Roy Hodson and his boffins to wake up to the facts.
So far this season, Crouch has been fully on-song. Compare him with Fernando Torres, whom can only be dreamt of pulling on an England shirt by English followers of the Premier League. Torres has scored 3 in 6, as opposed to the 4 buried by Crouch in the same amount of games. Of course, goals alone do not constitute, wholly, towards a striker's debt of performance to pay. Distribution has been a focal point of Crouch's play, heading long passes into the path of onrushing teammates. Faultless distribution, it must be added.
A shocking startle represents Crouch's exclusion from the national set-up for almost a year. Crouch has stated that he "does not carry much hope of a call-up." He admitted in early September, upon not receiving a call from Roy, “I’ll just continue to enjoy it. If the England call comes, great. If not, I’ve got Stoke to concern myself with.” If this comment does not show that Crouch has a burning ambition to play for his country again, I don't know what does.
Zonal Marking adulates that Crouch embodies "a good footballer". "His first touch is generally good, he’s an intelligent player in terms of the positions he takes up when the ball is wide, and on his day he can stroke a ball into the net with wonderful technique. Sometimes he is unplayable – his “perfect” hat-trick for Liverpool against Arsenal springs to mind as an example of his all-round footballing ability."
Well pointed out, Crouch's touch is nonchalantly unflappable. Primarily, his basic abilities set him apart as a fundamental acquisition for England, while merely his appearance stereotypes his ineptitude, only because of a presumption on the Striker's human mechanics. The mantra, "good touch for a big man" explicates the frontman.
As perhaps one of the most under-rated Premier League players on the ball, through a no-nonsense and sometimes strange-looking style of finishing, he possesses a deceptively assured touch and passing range.
In truth, Crouch's most advantageous assets are in the air. The fact that tactics may be invigorated to accommodate Crouch being able to delicately control a 60-yard cross-field pass is a query that fans and pundits can't get their heads around. Alternatively, it works to stunning effect. A goal is a goal and a successful style of football is a successful style of football, no matter what ideals to have been established to hound the "English way".
Nothing has changed in a year. Crouch continues to perform to the highest standard, as ever. However, Roy Hodgson’s appointment as England boss, plus, arguably, a transfer to Stoke City has cost Crouch International appearances. Hogdson has rightly introduced a policy which looks to hopefully build for the future and think twice about selecting players who thrive from the long ball game. Resultantly, Crouch was surely wrongly dismissed, part and partial of forward-thinking plans.
Crouch surmises everything potentially positive about England, but now somewhat vindicates everything wrong its liberties.
At 6ft. 7 inches, the journeyman's lengthy length is akin to Jack's beanstalk. Chiefly, I by no means stand for his intense and intricate football-opposing limbs posing a derailment to match-winning fervour. Gangly, anatomical awkwardness certainly moves England away from the Spanish crop. This could set in stone as a success in the future. It is one thing to take ideas from the Spanish model, but an extremely other thing to attempt replicating Spain's busy-body-famed nous.
Fascist subscribers to Marca principles many avid tactician's narrow-mindedness. The pompous cynics need to get out of our game, for they can't remain catalysts to ridiculous red herrings for much longer. What happened to the days when mulling in the ever-entertaining and beautiful imperfection that is English football didn't need comparison to be enjoyed? If one watches football, and International football in particular, to behold an art form and to see their team win in the process, they may be left with an inundate amount to be desired.
You won't see Peter Crouch masterminding a World Cup qualifying victory. Rather, you'll see him appearing as an impact substitute from the bench, causing havok on teams that are gradually getting smaller, for nimble-footed starts to attacks, in turn increasingly more inept at defending the aerial ability manifested in Crouch's play. To discard such a unique threat can be regarded as criminality to England's winning spirit.
Harry Redknapp tried and trusted a deployment to play to the "BFG"'s strengths and capabilities throughout his managerial career, although it must be noted that Zonal Marking's 2010 statistical article made a breakthrough to denote Peter Crouch being less one-dimensional and more multi-functional. England ought to take note.
If the friendly performance win against Spain back in June taught us anything, it taught us that the dogged English style can prove instrumental, at the cost of artistic beauty. Spain were unable to break down England's deep-lying defence, and Spain couldn't handle England's frantic pace on the counter attack. Peter Crouch retained the ball, playing a blinder that game. England can compete with European shams.
Crouch is the current living proof that England do not select players on the basis of current club form. Soon, we could be coming to terms with English players staying on at "big clubs" to retain a national place, or, upon signing for the likes of Man City or Tottenham, a new, unveiled instalment reveals in his press-conference, "I left for first team International football." Whether players are still patriotic enough to desire representing their country is another debate.
There is an argument that performing on a weekly basis is not sufficient progression to take through to International service. Equally, Stoke are a solid Premier League force, meaning Crouch has the grounds to settle back into the internationally scene unerringly. There will always be those deserving a call-up from "smaller clubs", but who unfairly do not get rewarded with a look in due to that reason on the whole.
Roy Hodgson's England payed the price, missing a vital ingredient at the Euros. A team set up to break up passing moves and counter attack with productivity lacked a man to hold the ball up up-front and draw advancing teammates into possession further up the pitch. England went back to basics,yet Peter Crouch, the original and best choice, was blatantly disregarded for a normal Championship-esque centre-forward.
With an adaption, Crouch's club Stoke City offer an example to be followed by England. Tactically and player-power-wise, Stoke bare comparison with England, especially in terms of so-called "advanced" opposition at major tournaments. At the end of the day, comparatively, Stoke sit 12th in the Premier League. 11 International teams are considered able to beat England.
Why do England continue to strive for supreme excellence when they can make use of the resources available to Roy Hodgson? Infrastructure takes years to build the sorts of players which Spain's system produce at breathtaking quality and vast quantity. Hypothetically, only 4 English players in the last decade could be considered Spain-esque, anyhow. Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard would be expected to walk into the Spain side. Seldom does it appear that those special footballers will be replaced by the up-coming generation.
Thus, instead of fitting in, and instead of being taught a lesson in the passing game, like Pirlo's Italy lectured at England's European Championship ultimatum in July, look at what Crouch achieves for Stoke. Imagine how he could translate that high-calibre forward play of a different nature into the England team.
Peter should go back to Never Never Land, in my eyes. Roy, Peter has never grown up to a hasbeen forward.
What's going on, Woy?