Peter Crouch’s legacy is so much more than ‘The Robot’

He’ll probably be remembered more for his horrendous dance moves, but Peter Crouch is possibly one of England’s most unique strikers – ever.

(Moving swiftly on…)

The 6ft 7in striker – with possibly the most ironic name in football – may be nearing the end of his career, but despite being 35 he has proven once again this season that he can still score goals at the highest level.

So far this season, the big man’s opportunities have been limited, but that hasn’t stopped him chalking up three goals in his last four appearances (he’s also played himself into my Fantasy Team for next week, so I’m trying to be optimistic here).

Fantasy team predictions aside, Mr. Roboto has now scored 99 Premier League goals in his career, even though he’s often been used as a ‘target man’ as opposed to being a team’s main source of goals. A commentator’s dream for having ‘good feet for a big man’, the ex-Liverpool player had a surprisingly silky touch and was once the king of scissor kicks.

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Some of those goals have been truly outrageous, and we don’t think anyone could forget his blooter for Stoke against Man City in 2012.

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Although prone to scoring the odd screamer, Crouch’s key strengths were bringing others into play. Indeed, where Crouch really excelled was when he was used in a “big-man little-man” combo – with Defoe at Portsmouth and Spurs, with Michael Owen for England and now potentially with new Stoke signing Saido Berahino.

It’s this link-up ability which has allowed Peter Crouch to extend his career – after all, his game never relied on pace, which is so often the downfall of speedsters entering the latter stages of their career. His awareness of those around him means he is always a constant asset to whichever team he plays for.

Crouch isn’t one to shy away from the big occasion either – he provided the assist for Steven Gerrard’s first goal in the 2006 FA Cup final, and played in the 2007 Champions League final against AC Milan (the one without an epic comeback).

But where Crouch truly cemented himself as a man for all occasions was during his Spurs days, most notably when he scored against Manchester City to send Tottenham through to the UEFA Champions League. The match would essentially decide which of the two teams would make it through to the qualifying round for Europe’s elite competition, and a reflex header from Crouchy did the job.

In fact, you could argue that the goal sparked the Spurs revolution that has seen them turn from also-rans to bona fide title contenders!

Something else which should definitely not be ignored is Peter Crouch’s ratio at international level – 42 caps, 22 goals. Granted, three of those goals came against Jamaica, but they all count!

You have to wonder why he wasn’t picked more often for England – his last cap for his country came in 2010, but surely he’s a valid Plan B option? People are talking about Andy “I’m-always-injured” Carroll making a claim for a place in the next England squad, but we’d love to see Crouch back in the fold.

In fact, with Jermain Defoe in such good form this season as well, why not just bring them both back, stick them up front and let the good times roll…

This is why Crouch’s legacy is not just ‘The Robot’, but instead a man who has scored more Premier League goals than Dennis Bergkamp.


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