November 7, 2010

Redknapp’s persistence with Peter Crouch


The idea that Crouch is a good option as a lone striker in away games is based on his ball retention and ability to help out when defending set pieces. I would argue that his lack of goals (and shots) negates the positive elements that he may bring to the team.

Against Bolton, the only shot he managed in the 90 minutes that he played was an effort scuffed straight at the goalkeeper. Pavlyuchenko had one shot in his 45, scoring a spectacular goal.

Crouch’s shooting was a 100% improvement on the United game, where he didn’t manage a single effort – Pavyuchenko had two efforts (one deflected narrowly wide) in his 28 minutes.


And in the previous away game against Fulham, Crouch again managed just one effort during his 20 minutes on the pitch, whereas of course Pavlyuchenko started and scored.

Whilst I don’t rate Pavlyuchenko as highly as many, I personally feel that whilst Defoe is out, he is our best bet to start games. We are struggling for goals, and he has managed 3 despite only starting 3 league games. In his 8 league starts, Crouch is yet to find the net, and only has 3 assists. Is that enough to warrant Redknapp’s faith?

Images taken from Guardian Chalkboards.

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  • Anonymous says:

    Crouch is terrible. He should only be used as an impact sub…..last resort.

  • Si says:

    Need a complete overhall of the strikeforce asap! Not likely in Jan, but hopefully serious changes in the summer.

    Excellent write up Windy, I agree totally.

  • Anonymous says:

    think a lot of this poor performances are down to coaching staff, we have soo many of them yet not any department did their jobs to a standard,
    do they not recognise that our supporters travel a long way to watch shit like that.
    tha midfield was poor and subsequently our whole team collapsed, rednapp shud of started hudd and either wilson or sandro, also bently or snails pace nico, who just ran around falling over,
    crouch is an embarrasment to the forwards union, am sure if we played a junior player he would of scored by now, crouch has started nearly all games from the season begun, and has scored erm 0, or is it 1 goal, a super poor return, probably the leagues worst .
    also bale should of been given a bench spot until second half and if needed given a run, he looks tired.
    [Reply]

  • Anonymous says:

    He’s no better than a sunday league pub team player. He if flattered by the quality of players creating the chances he does (rarely) put away. His England tally is a case in point. Bench him.

  • Anonymous says:

    For a player of his size Crouch is a very poor header of a ball gets pushed of the ball to easily and gives away far to many fouls and please tell me how many premier league goals has he got this season oh thats right NONE!

  • I wouldn’t say Crouch is terrible in the League, as long as he is used in a 4-4-2 formation. In Europe, his size comes in very handy and we have truly benefited from his presence quite a bit. Having said all that, he still needs to start scoring in the league if he wants to hold onto his place.

  • Spur-78 says:

    I think you are wrong about Crouch, for the following reasons:

    * He might be tall, however he wins very few battles in the air. In addition to that, he is not a very good header of the ball either (how many times has he scored with the head, let’s say from 10 yards out?)

    * He simply can’t shoot under the slightest of preassures. I mean, every time the ball ends up humping and bumping along the ground at 3 mph. It os just not good enough, and in the last games he has been in a position to fire away a shot only to make a mess of it (defoe would probably have bagged a goal or two from those chances, and with ease)

    * He lacks pace – both with and without the ball. We can’t play the ball in front of him because he will never reach it and when we play the ball straight at him, he uses hours to controll it, only to play it straight back to the guy that gave it to him – so what exactly have we gained from it? Nothing at all…

    * Because of his lack of pace, he is not a particularly godd defender either.

    * when he plays, we tend to smash the ball up to him, rather than keep it on the ground. Although this has become better this year, he is still a kind of “bail out” for players who don’t dare to do something with the ball themselves: “What do I do.. eh.. well there’s always Crouchy up front”

    It is obvious that Pav has his downsides as well, and I like Crouchy, he gives his best every minute he plays. But at the end of the day it simply is not god enough.
    Pav has not got half as many chances as Crouch, though he is far more of a goalscorer. No, he is not a fighter, but honestly, do we really need and old school target man up front every single time? Isn’t it about time that we meet the likes of Bolton, Stoke etc playing our own kind of football, keep the ball on the ground, play quickly etc?
    Obviously, Harry hasn’t got the guts to do that. Ever since the three goals away at Young Boys he’s been obsessed with not getting “outnumbered” in midfield and not having a “big guy” up front to match the opponent’s big centre backs.

    In the long run we will pay for this and even as early as november that 4th place seems way out of reach.

  • Spur-78 says:

    “I think you are wrong about Crouch, for the following reasons”. WRONG sould have been RIGHT. Thank’s for a superb blog by the way!
    COYS.

  • I think El Webhi has a decent point here. Crouch does better against top opposition. Look at his England and European records. It is down to teams allowing other teams to play.

    Pressurise him and his body doesn’t allow him to play quickly enough. Probably a reason for the list of sides he’s played for.

  • Anonymous says:

    Crouch is the worst footballer I have ever seen in a Spurs shirt. Sometimes effective but based on ability he is hideous and how he is an International footballer is beyond me!!!

  • Windy says:

    elwehbi@ibleedhotspur – agree about the point in Europe, and agree that he can be useful when up front with, say, Defoe.

    Spur-78 – fantastic stuff, thanks for commenting. The last point is the most important IMO – our other players seem unable to play to his feet.

    As you say, Pavlyuchenko is hardly Mr All-rounder, but I personally think that he would offer more than Crouch at the moment. I hope he starts vs Sunderland.

  • Anonymous says:

    I did notice the Crouch criticism after the ManCity game when he got us into Erope and after Young Boys when he won the game with a hatrick after pav had failed again. I also noticed his five assists for VDVs five goals. the reason Harry doesnt play Pav is he is awful and doesnt try a leg away from home.Fickle?Spurs fans?

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t think it’s being “fickle” of other comments to point out that Crouch is not in form right now or to suggest that playing someone else might be a good idea. That’s not to say Crouch is a terrible player, it’s just that he plays much better in 4-4-2 as he did with Defoe. He’s kinda the foil for other players. Of course, Defoe isn’t around yet.

    In addition to the players effort/attitude and abilities during a match, the blame has to be somewhat with the manager, who is making match selections. Sandra and Palacios in the midfield together, really?

    So in Manchester we go full tilt against them and do reasonably well, but decide to go into defensive mode against weaker opposition? Palacios is also in crap form right now, why not let JJ have another crack at it? JJ and Sandro make a lot more sense than Palacios and Sandro.

    And what has happened to Kranjcar? Are players just suffering from lack of a reserve team to maintain fitness??

    But the big picture blame for the poor start to the season has to be with Levy and Co. for not splashing the cash when it was needed, in the summer, before the season started. Yes, VDV was an amazing deal, but we were also and more importantly crying out for a quality CB and a world class striker. That was the time to spend big, not to win the CL title, but to cement CL qualification for next year and the year after. Now it looks like that dream is quickly going down the drain unless something is done soon. Time to put the CL on the back burner and save our best players for the PL so they are fit and ready to play.

  • Spur-78 says:

    I can’t really see that I’m being fickle. As pointed out in my comment above, I like the guy for his working spirit etc, but I just don’t see what he contributes to the team, apart from his precence as a tall player, supposedly good in the air.

    I’m not saying he is a bad player, but he just might be a player on a 5-10th placed PL-team and not a regular on a team with ambitions of playing CL-football every year.
    That’s the way it is, Tainio, Malbranque – hard working decent footballers, but lacking the skills to push us all the way to the top.

    Crouch is of course better than those two, but his quite special style of playing causes the whole team to behave in an unfortunate way. Some of the football played between the likes of Bale, Modric, VDV, Tommy, Lennon (partially) this season has been the best football I’ve seen us play for as long as I can remember (our 1st half against Man City was marvellous apart from us not scoring), and I can’t see Crouch fitting in to this style: He stalls our play, using to much time on the ball, lacks pace going forward and is unable to go past a defender with the ball at his feet.

    I am not arguing that we should sell him or anything, but he shouldn’t be a regular starter and may have greater impact coming from the bench, both when we need goals and when we need to defend a lead.

  • daniel says:

    the only thing crouch has done passably this season in the league is head the ball back across the goal for VdV to finish. but that only works when VdV and Modric are playing together in the middle. the biggest problem against bolton in our attack was that we basically only had goal scoring potential from crouch (which, ha, by potential i mean he’s got a pulse and will be in the box supposedly) and modric. but modric was also saddled with the responsibility to go retrieve the ball from sandro or palacios to start something. he simply had too much to do as the only quality attacker in the middle of the park. bolton saw that and easily nullified crouch. modric, already fatigued from the inter match, ran out of gas and ended up ball watching. crouch can only be on the pitch with VdV AND Modric or a second striker to at least play decoy. we’re dire with him alone and only one attacking cental midfielder.

    this is all to say that i agree. pav should start league matches until january or defoe is ready, whichever comes first. yes, pav’s passing is abysmal (how many times did he play it to bolton yesterday?), but when he gets a look at goal he’s generally lethal and he can open space decently with his quicker movement.

    bottom line is if Modric and VdV aren’t on the pitch together, we need two strikers unless we have a lead.

  • Windy says:

    Some great comments here, and I agee with the majority of points being made – looks like we’re largely in agreement that Pavlyuchenko should start against Sunderland.

  • Ronnie says:

    Crouch is the worst striker we’ve had since Glen Hoddle’s Gary Doherty nightmare.

  • Anonymous says:

    its now 2011 and crouch has 1 goal from 20 games. he disgusts me, but not as much as harry does for playing him!

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