Is Crouch really the best England can currently offer at CF?!
England lost again in miserable fashion on Wednesday night to a neat and organised Spanish team. England don't play as a team, they don't play with co-ordination or composure, they don't play with rhythm or confident intent. They lack charisma and character. It's consistently bad and boring to watch this England team.
There are so many faults with this England side on an individual and team level but my focus in this post is on one player and one position: I simply can't believe that it appears that Peter Crouch is really the best English centre-forward option currently playing in the whole of England?!
Thankfully there is Wayne Rooney but he is more a Bergkamp deep-lying striker type than an out-and-out centre-forward. And it is in this crucial area that England appear to have a real lack of quality resources hence the selection - it seems - time and again of Crouch for the national team.
Crouch has some merit: he has good touch, always gives his best effort and has an excellent ability to score amazing scissor-kicks volleys. But he also has a lack of mobility, a lack of pace, a lack of power, a lack of overall sharpness, a lack of dribbling skill and a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.
Many of these limits stifle a team from playing sharp, pacy, attacking football- and this is what England have to aim to achieve if they want to reach a higher level of achivement.
For me he is easily contained by good defences and his level of talent is simply not good enough for top class international football. He has scored goals for England but the calibre of match and oppostion - predominantly friendlies against lacklustre and limited opposition - need to be taken into account in deciding what his real worth is in the greater scheme of how to make England into a big force at international level.
A few years ago there was Shearer, Ferdinand, Sheringham, Owen, Cole, Wright, Fowler - all prolific strikers and at a higher talent level than Crouch. On Wednesday there was only the increasingly disappointing and stagnating Defoe as an option to the tall Liverpool forward. This is poor times for England when this is the current status-quo in the centre-forward line.
Darren Bent and Andrew Johnson - two strikers with more all-round sharpness and dynamism than Crouch - were injured for the friendly and I'd be looking for these two to battle it out to be given the starting role as England's centre-forward in future matches. The can simply offer more to the team than the limited Crouch in the important centre-forward position.