1 Feb 2008

Peter Crouch has scored or created a goal in 83% of his starts in the last 2 seasons. STOP IGNORING HIM RAFA.

Rafael Benitez’s illogical and infuriating refusal to regularly start Peter Crouch is an abuse of his position as Liverpool Manager, especially since the statistics prove that Crouch almost guarantees a goal or an assist when he starts games.

Just what does Peter Crouch have to do to be treated fairly by Rafa?.

As Liverpool’s top scorer last season, Crouch was an integral part of the team that got to the Champions league final. This season, he has not been given a fair chance in any shape or form, ignominiously ignored for the tragically inept Dirk Kuyt.

Benitez has fatally mismanaged Crouch and his statistics from this season and last season irrefutably prove one thing: If you start Crouch he will invariably score or create a goal.

Since Benitez is so fond of statistics, here are a few about Crouch that prove his important, measurable impact on the team when he starts games.

Season 2006/07


a) 19 starts. 13 as sub. (Total = 32 games).
b) 9 goals and 8 assists in 32 games
c) Directly contributed to 17 goals in 19 starts = A goal every 1.1 games).
d) Directly contributed to 17 goals in 32 games overall = A goal every 1.8 games).

Overall, Crouch had a direct hand in a goal in 89% of the premiership games he STARTED and 50% of games overall (Starts and sub appearances combines).

Champions League

a) 8 CL starts. 6 as a sub (Total = 14 games).
b) 7 goals in 8 starts = A goal every 1.1 games.
c) 7 goals in 14 games overall = A goal every 2 games.

Overall, Crouch had a direct hand in a goal in 90% of the CL games he STARTED and 50% of games overall.

FA/Carling/Community Shield

a) 3 games started.
b) 2 goals scored.

Domestic Totals 2006/07

a) A total of 49 games played (30 starts. 19 sub appearances).
b) Contributed 18 goals and 9 assists.
c) Direct involvement in 27 goals.
d) 18 goals from 30 starts = A goal every 1.6 games.

Overall, Crouch had direct involvement in 27 goals from 49 games (start and sub). This means he directly contributed to a goal every 1.8 games in which he played a part.

If we take Crouch’s England form into account:


a) 8 games played (4 starts and 4 sub appearances)
b) 8 goals scored in 8 games (Averaging a goal a game).

Totals: Club and Country combined

a) A total of 57 games: played (34 starts. 23 sub appearances)
b) 26 goals and 9 assists in 57 games.
c) Direct involvement in 35 goals.
d) 26 goals in 34 total starts = A goal every 1. 3 games.

Overall, in all competitions, Crouch directly contributed to 35 goals in 57 games (start and sub), meaning he scored or created a goal every 1.6 games.


Premiership average:
STARTS: Scored/Assisted every 1.1 games.
START + SUB: Scored/assisted every 1.8 games.

CL average:
STARTS: Scored/Assisted every 1.1 games.
STARTS + SUB: Scored/Assisted every 2 games.

England average:
STARTS: Scored/Assisted every game.

The most compelling statistic is this:

Crouch’s 18 domestic goals and 7 of his assists came from starts.

Thus, if we disregard sub appearances, his DOMESTIC stats for Liverpool read like this:

Games started: 30
Goals scored: 18
Assists: 7

So, in 30 domestic starts, Crouch was directly responsible for 25 goals!!

Okay - let’s look at the current season:

Benitez has granted Crouch a pathetic total of 4 premiership starts this season. I repeat: 4 premiership starts. This is utterly indefensible. It gets worse – in all competitions, Crouch has been given a starting berth in a measly 14 games.

His other 10 appearances have been 5 or 10 minute cameos as a sub, with precious little time to make any impact. Such treatment would be enough to shatter anyone’s confidence, but despite this, Crouch’s statistics remain impressive:

Premiership 2007/08
4 starts
Goals: 1
Assists: 2

CL Games
4 starts
Goals: 3

FA Cup
2 starts
Goals: 2
Assists: 1

Carling Cup
3 starts
Goals: 0

3 starts
Goals: 2

Totals – All competitions

Starts – 16
Goals – 8
Assists: 3

Crouch’s goal record from STARTS this season is 1 in 2. Add his assists on and he scores or creates a goal every 1.5 games. This is in comparison to a mere 2 goals in 12 substitute appearances.

Combining Crouch’s DOMESTIC starting stats from last season and this season, we get the following results:

Starts – 43
Goals – 26
Assists – 10

So – Crouch has scored or created 36 goals from his last 43 starts!


Crouch has scored or created a goal in 83% of his starts in the last 2 seasons.
He scores or creates a goal every 1.2 games.


Dirk Kuyt has scored ONE GOAL IN the last 24 HOURS OF FOOTBALL! Yet, according to Benitez, he is worth starting ahead of Peter Crouch.

In my view, Crouch MUST be given more of a chance, and in light of the mediocre options of Kuyt and Voronin, he surely must start every game from now to the end of the season.

It is not only WRONG, it is CRIMINAL to keep ignoring Crouch. In fact, I would argue that it is bordering on professional negligence. The job of any Manager in ANY industry is to utilise his workforce to achieve the best possible result for the company/team. Benitez is not doing that, and for whatever reason, he is cutting off his nose to spite his face.

Gerard Houllier made similar mistakes, as illustrated by his treatment of players like Jari Litmanen, Markus Babbel and Nicolas Anelka. Disturbingly, Benitez is displaying the same negative traits as Houllier: Illogical stubbornness syndrome; refusal to change tactics or approach; obsession with statistics like (‘But we had x amount of shots on goal!’); increasingly redundant excuses and blindly persisting with out of form/poor players whilst sidelining in form/better players for no solid reason.

If Benitez continues in this manner, he will have something else in common with Houllier: The status of 'former Liverpool Manager'.

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