6 Dec 2007

Liverpool legends united in their support for Peter Crouch

Ian Rush has joined his old team mate John Aldridge in expressing public support for Liverpool’s most underrated striker, Peter Crouch.

Speculation has been rife all season that Crouch is set to be offloaded sooner rather than later. This has been compounded by unfair treatment from Rafa Benitez, who has consistently dumped Crouch (one of Liverpool's most effective players) on the bench.

Liverpool legend Rushie can’t understand why Benitez would want to sell Crouch:

"He has done nothing wrong. Every time he has played for Liverpool he has been superb. He's a fantastic different option for Liverpool and England and has never let Liverpool down”.

Rafa has recently stated publicly that Crouch is not, in fact, for sale.

“The players in a top side know sometimes they will not play every game but you can see how important Peter Crouch is for us. We want to enjoy and see Crouchy score a lot of goals. Always you know Peter in every training session is a very good professional. He is always ready if he must play and if he is not playing he is working hard to be ready for the next time."

Despite this apparent show of faith, the rumours continue to persist, with Manchester City being the latest club linked to the big Striker. There’s no smoke without fire, and I sincerely doubt the sincerity of Benitez’s remarks, especially since Liverpool were hawking Crouch around earlier in the season. Indeed, in October, Jason Burt in the Independent claimed:

“Liverpool set the ball rolling for Crouch's expected transfer by contacting a number of Premier League clubs earlier this week, partly in an effort to drive the price for the 26-year-old as high as possible".

Who knows whether that is true or mere speculation, but Burt made a specific claim: Liverpool had contacted a number of clubs re the sale of Crouch. To date, no one connected with the club has publicly refuted this, and given the fact that the club usually publicly deny incorrect reports of possible player transfers, this seems prescient.

Ian Rush and John Aldridge may not have been able to play together due to their similarity in style (utter nonsense if you ask me!) but when it comes to Peter Crouch, they are united in their views. Earlier in the week, Aldridge argued that Crouch should always start with Fernando Torres, and on the subject of Crouch leaving, he stated:

"There is so much speculation that Crouch might move in January. The manager says he has no problem with the players and the player says he has no problem with the manager so hopefully Crouch will still be with Liverpool after the transfer window has closed because I think it will be good for the club if he is"

I have been defending Crouch for the months and months, and I’ve written several articles supporting the Striker, so it’s great that the support is growing, as it is just ridiculous in the extreme for Benitez to consider selling Crouch. Once again, Crouch’s goals and assists record displays quite clearly that he is an excellent goal scorer and should not be sold:

1) 11 goals in the last 13 Champions league games (4 goals in 3 CL starts this season)
2) 6 goals and 2 assists in 11 starts this season. (Prem/CL/CC/England).
3) 18 goals and 7 assists in 30 starts last season.
4) 14 goals in 24 internationals.

This is not to mention Crouch’s superb technical skills; and unparalleled ability to take control of the ball and hold it up and his ability to make defenders panic, creating space for others.

Despite being messed around by Benitez this season (3 premiership starts?!) Crouch continues to deliver and had gone about his business in a professional manner on and off the field. Ian Rush agrees:

"Benitez can't ask Peter Crouch to do anything else. He has done exactly what he's been asked to do”.

Of course, there will always be a minority of ignorant, pig-headed ‘fans’ who will try and drag Crouchie down with lies and exaggeration. A typical example of this is the oft heard moan that he shouldn’t complain about rotation, and he should drop his off-field activities and concentrate on playing football.

The hypocrisy of such views is breathtaking. First of all, Crouch did not criticise Rafa’s rotation policy; he merely had the audacity to state that he found rotation ‘frustrating’ in answer to a direct questions. This is nothing compared to some of damaging the stuff Steven Gerrard comes out with, but of course, Gerrard is given a pass.

The same goes for off-field activities. I’ve seen lots of comments lately criticising Crouch for attending book launches and minor events off the pitch. Again, the hypocrisy is laughable. Steven Gerrard was recently in Italy on behalf of Adidas – was he slammed over it?! No. And didn’t Gerrard also write a much ballyhooed book last year?! Yes. It seems there is one rule for Crouch and another for everyone else.

As John Aldridge argued earlier in the week, Crouch must stay and he should be Fernando Torres’ strike partner. Crouch continues to improve as a player, and it’s about time people started accepting that Crouch is actually an excellent player, something Rushie emphasised:

"He has become a better player simply by being at Liverpool Football Club."

For me, Crouch is England’s best Striker (Yes – better than Rooney at being a STRIKER) and the most technically gifted English player in the premiership. Letting him go would be a mistake of epic proportions, and I just hope more Liverpool legends speak up for him publicly.

As I used to shout so often in the past, ‘Well in Rushie!’

LFClive - Liverpool FC news service


Post a Comment