Peter Crouch enjoyed mixed support during his time at Spurs, as some said he was the best thing since sliced bread while others seemed to hold him in the same regard as current forward Emmanuel Adebayor.
Crouch will always be popular with a group of Spurs supporters because he scored that goal against Manchester City, which allowed the club to get into the Champions League last time round.
Well, fate has had its say and Crouch is now in the unique position where he could end Tottenham’s push for a top four finish if he plays well against them this weekend for Stoke.
Crouch was taken to Stoke by Tony Pulis because he embodies everything which Stoke base their football around; hit the ball long to a target man and get people running beyond him.
There probably won’t be any personal malice on the part of Crouch this weekend but Tony Pulis is a clever boss, who should realise the significance of him facing Spurs.
It’s natural for any sportsman to raise his game when he’s playing against his former team, which is a reason for Stoke to use him from the start as they seek to break into the top half of the table.
That personal motivation on the part of Crouch is just an extra added bonus because he is good enough to help his side capitalise on Tottenham’s current weaknesses.
Pulis must stress the importance of getting people to run beyond him, because Spurs play with a very high defensive line which allows Crouch to knock the ball on or pass it into space for quicker players in the team.
He’s also arguably the best forward the club has in terms of control on the ball and holding up play, which should help release the pressure on his own team’s defence.
Everyone remember that goal against, once again, Manchester City last season which proves that Crouch is as good as anyone in the league when it comes to a piece of improvised skill on the break.
That could well be the way that the club are forced to play this weekend, as Spurs have no other choice but to go all out for a big win because anything less would seem them without the Champions League and possibly Gareth Bale next year.
He’s made 32 Premier League appearances this season with six goals and six assists which suggests he will be the experienced man to lead the Stoke attack and he will have the chance to stick it to the team he once secured European football for.
How do you think Crouch will get on this weekend?
image: © Mafue