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Deconstructing the Crouch Signing, Limb By Gangly Limb

There is a scene in 80s thriller Black Rain in which the character played by the cracking Andy Garcia gets himself into a rather bad-tempered war of words and finger-wagging with some rather devious Japanese gangsters. In fact, the situation escalates a tad worryingly for Garcia, who soon finds himself defenceless, and faced by one of the said gangsters who is now tootling around on a motor-bike whilst wielding a great big samurai sword. As the gangster approaches him, sword a-flailing, Garcias angry expression turns to one of peculiarly calm resignation. Not panic, nor terror; more a philosophical acceptance of his fate. The deed is duly done, and Garcia

s head and body part ways, but that expression he wore has rather stuck with me.It

 

s the expression I now wear on learning that we have now signed Peter Crouch, for an undisclosed fee of presumably around £10 mil, give or take. Buying Peter Crouch leaves me feeling a little bit like Im about to have my head chopped off by a gangster on a bike with a sword it aint great, but there

s nothing I can do about it. (Sign Patrick Viera and I reckon I’ll have the expression of John Hurt when the alien nipper came a-popping out of his chest – but that’s an argument for another day…)Peter Crouch is a decent player. Good touch, pretty quick feet. While he has a curiously prolific scoring record for his country, he is not really a goalscorer - nor is he being bought for that purpose. Bent scores more goals, Pav is probably a more skilful player, but Crouch is being bought to bring the best out of Defoe. He will probably do so a fair degree of success, judging by their time together at Pompey, and indeed Defoe has been notably fulsome in his praise of the freakish one.

It is also worth noting that he is presumably a striker against whom opposition defenders would not particularly relish playing, due to his sheer gangliness

 

and doing what the opposition don

t want you to do is generally regarded as a good thing. (I am reminded of the fantastic England-Argentina friendly in late-2005, a cracking contest of opposing styles, with South American technique and English bustle slugging it out toe-to-toe. With England trailing 2-1 Crouch was slung on for the last few minutes, and managed to make a sufficient nuisance of himself at crosses for Michael Owen to steal in with a couple of late goals.)Yep, Peter Crouch is a decent player – but then this is precisely the reason I wear my look of philosophical resignation. He’s a decent player, and not much more than that. Not in the Palacios/Modric class, that will push us forward a step or two. He is Premiership standard. The top four in the country did not express any interest in him – instead we fought off Sunderland and Fulham for his signature. Morevoer, as I noted last week, he’s not as good in the air as he ought to be (didn’t work his back muscles enough as a teen, apparently), and he can encourage teams to resort a little too willingly to a long-ball game.

Still, we have him now. These, on the faceless forums of the interweb, are the times to grumble, moan and generally peer at the other side of the fence where the grass is always greener. Once Crouch’s comical frame goes lolloping across the hallowed turf at the Lane, on 16th August, we’ll give him a raucous cheer and hope that ‘Arry has got it right. He has, by and large, got it right so far.

 

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Published in Monday, July 27th, 2009, at 9:48 pm, and filed under Spurs transfers.

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2,308 Responses

  1. gra Says:

    it’s a squad game…and decent players are required to make a team.

    there werent many exceptional players in our team when we finished 5th back to back, but we had a balanced team and the right mix of experience and leadership.

    we havent just waffed £40mill on Crouch, we’ve paid the market rate. that’s fair.

    he’s a good player, but more importantly he improves the sum of our squad. we now have a balanced strikeforce between the remaining 4 (assuming bent leaves)…speed, leadership, holdingtheballup-ability, striking, heading, height, guile.
    obviously you’d rather have all these qualities in the single striker (see torres, and the genius Bulgarian that United snaffled from us; for which i want to piss in sir’s letterbox), but crouch brings the majority of these qualities and is the best on the market for that money (including wages)

  2. Graham Says:

    I believe Peter Crouch will turn out to be one of the outstanding signings of the season.With his work rate and surrounded by all the small,quick goers at Spurs(DeFoe,Modrick,Keane etc)I can see opposition defences getting utterly confused trying to handle this group.Once the central defence health problems are overcome Spurs will present a balanced,quality side prepared by a master football manager.As we say in Australia “she’ll be right mate”.

  3. Richard Says:

    Absolutely spot on Graham!

  4. phil Says:

    too right. graham. I hope it makes defoe and crouch our undisputed 1st choice pair, with keane and pavs forming a second partnership- of course there will be mix and match but i really like having solid partnerships throughout the team.

    what we need now (in my opinion)

    a centre-back with premiership experience. not an older player from abroad like naybet or a rocha, but someone who has played in the premiership for a while and could slot in if/when any combo of king, woodgate and dawson are injured. a year ago i’d have said richard dunne but his stock has fallen a lot lately. dervitte looks quality but a bit young.

    a defensive midfielder to cover palacios. surprised harry got rid of zokora, he seems like a harry redknapp sort of player! i personally wouldn’t mind vieira, bit of experience there would do us good.

    i would have said a left-sided attacker but i really want to see gio dos santos get a good run in the team, he was nuts in the Gold Cup and i can’t wait to see how he might turn up.

    getting very excited about the season now. come on you spurs.

  5. AllActionNoPlot Says:

    Fingers crossed Crouch has the same effect for Spurs as Heskey has for England – not necessarily the most naturally gifted player out there, but does exactly the job needed by the team.

    Agree with Phil as well – would love to see Giovani given a run, but get the impression he’s not a Redknapp favourite. Still hopeful on those Joe Cole whispers…

    Left-wing, centre-back, DM cover – we’re almost there.

  6. phil Says:

    why not sol campbell?

  7. Prosinecki Says:

    Ingrateful sods. Crouch is a class act and (it pains me to say) exactly what Spurs need.
    As for the “Not in the Palacios/Modric class, that will push us forward a step or two”, when you you guys realise you cant fill a team with skillful midgets!

    I agree with the bit about Andy Garcia though.

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