Euro 2012: Should Peter Crouch Be Back in the England Squad This Summer?
With two stunning goals in the last two weeks, there are rumblings that Peter Crouch should be in line for a return to the England squad.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis stated:
"Whoever gets the job, whether it's Harry or whoever, looking at the strikers Peter is an option. [Wayne] Rooney is going to miss the first two games and nobody can tell me Peter can't do this or that. He is playing as well as ever."
With 13 goals in 32 games this season for Stoke, Crouch has had a fine season. However, on the international scene, he has fallen out of favour.
Crouch's last international game was all the way back on November 17, 2010 against France, a game in which he scored.
Has Crouch been frozen out for a reason? Or is it about time the big man was back in the England fold?
Crouch's skill is often undermined by the fact that he doesn't do what people expect of him.
At 6'7", it is natural to expect him to be a classic tall-target man, inside the area powering in crosses. But that's not what Crouch's game is all about.
He's not afraid to drop back to pick up the ball, has a surprisingly good first touch and knows how to play in his strike partner. He provides a solid number of assists for a striker.
The goal against Manchester City (see video) shows this, while his goal against Wolves at the weekend shows that he can use his head when he needs to.
One problem for Crouch, especially on an international level, is the amount of fouls he commits.
Often these are cases where he would be given the benefit of the doubt in the Premier League—where he is backing into a defender.
However, continental referees will usually side with the defender.
This is the clearest downside to Crouch, but one that is worth accepting when you consider the skill and awkwardness that he provides.
A shot that is often taken at Crouch's goalscoring record is that they have been notched up against weak opposition.
While that may be true, what's the problem?
In that case, play him against Sweden and the Ukraine and he should be fine. He has scored recently against France, so he has the ability to cause them trouble as well.
Even if Crouch is purely used as an impact player coming off of the bench, he will be more useful than having three carbon copies of each other sitting there.
It is never a bad thing to have a Plan B if things aren't going your way.
If Crouch doesn't go, then there will most likely be a selection taken from Darren Bent, Fraizer Campbell, Danny Welbeck, Jermain Defoe, Daniel Sturridge and Gabby Agbonlahor.
Should Peter crouch be taken to Euro 2012?
While they are all fine players in their own right, they are all too similar.
There may also be calls for Grant Holt, Bobby Zamora or Andy Carroll to be taken.
Grant Holt has had a fine season for Norwich and is the second-highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League at the moment, behind only Wayne Rooney.
Yet he too suffers from the problem of fouls. With seven yellows and one red this term, he has a far worse record than Crouch.
His lack of experience at the international level could also work against him, although if Crouch isn't taken Holt may be the next best option.
Meanwhile Zamora's form suffered since he moved to QPR, while Carroll has never really got going at Liverpool.
If Harry Redknapp takes on the England job then it may be good news for Crouch as the Tottenham manager has bought him twice, for Portsmouth and Spurs.
If not, then Crouch may be watching this summer from the sofa, which is a shame for England fans across the country.
Crouch should be on the plane to Eastern Europe this summer, and hopefully we'll all be doing the robot with him.
Which strikers would you take to the Euros if you were England manager? Comment below.
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