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Peter Crouch and Gareth Bale Overcome Negativity To Shine For Spurs

 Peter Crouch and Gareth Bale Overcome Negativity To Shine For Spurs

It’s ironic that Peter Crouch and Gareth Bale were two of the many heroes starring for Tottenham Hotspur Wednesday night in their impressive 4-0 win against Young Boys. Both players have received their fair amount of ridicule from not only armchair supporters, who have belittled them during parts of their career, but also managers who have often underrated the two players in question.

Throughout the 2010 World Cup, I was crying out for England to start Peter Crouch up front. He’s the type of player who is more skilled with his feet than his head. He’s difficult to defend because he adds a different dynamic to the teams he plays for, challenging for the high balls and causing havoc in the box. At Liverpool, he was underutilized by manager Rafael Benitez. He deserved first team football there, but got relegated to the bench. He made some appearances, mostly in Europe, but he wasn’t given the chance he deserved.

At Tottenham, Redknapp has been more open to playing Crouch. But even then, he’s not a guaranteed starter. But Tottenham gives Crouch the opportunity to play more often and to show us, the viewing public, how gifted the footballer is.

Gareth Bale is a similar story. After he came to the forefront at Southampton, he moved to Spurs and began lighting up the league. But he went through a spell of time at Tottenham where it seemed the manager’s tactics were to have him play more defensively. And as time went on, he became a running joke because it seemed that Tottenham could never win when he started a match.

At the same time, when I was watching Bale play for Wales during international games, he was a completely different player who was allowed to bomb forward and who completely ripped up the left wing. Then, a few days later, he would play for Tottenham and he looked like a completely different player, unable to do what he does best.

Thankfully both Peter Crouch and Gareth Bale have overcome the jokes that football supporters have made about them and need to be treated more seriously based on their on-the-pitch skills. Now that the Champions League beckons, we can hopefully these two players (among others) shine on the European stage. I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll perform.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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9 Responses to Peter Crouch and Gareth Bale Overcome Negativity To Shine For Spurs

  1. Lennon says:

    I will admit, upon Crouch’s arrival at Spurs I was a little unsure of what to do with him. I wasn’t sure he could do any one thing better than the strikers we already had, besides the obvious fact that he’s eleven feet tall. Boy, was I ever wrong. Crouchie has by far the most delicate touch of all our strikers despite his awkward appearance, and his ability to hold up the ball makes the attacking midfielders, the wingers, and the striker opposite him that much better. Between Crouch’s frame and hold-up play, Defoe’s clinical finishing, and Pavlyuchenko’s ability to create chances all by himself, I’d say we have a strike force that covers all the bases despite the lack of a “top-class” striker. I don’t know that Robbie Keane fits in well despite what he means to the team, and I’d be fine seeing him leave to make room for a new, more elite striker.

  2. mushr00m says:

    Better with his feet than with his head? Is that a typo?

  3. mushr00m says:

    But his value lies in the height, not because he good with the ball at his feet for a big guy.

    • The Gaffer says:

      It’s both. His greater value is with his feet, but the added bonus is his height. The whole joke about Crouch being “Good feet for a big man” is silly. Being tall or short doesn’t have an impact on ball skills. It has an impact on his balance, and how quickly he turns, and how he plays. But ball skills are ball skills. And Crouch’s ball skills are very decent.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Mark says:

        I agree, he’s better than Tore Andre Flo ever was.

        And Bale is on fire (and he just turned 21 a month ago), which brings back the old question which Southampton trainee would you have bought, Bale or Walcott?

  4. Right now Bale is something else. He´s already shown some amazing performances for Spurs. It will be interesting to see how he fares up against some top European sides – especially given that he is still ony 21. An almighty player for the future and hopefully one that Tottenham can keep ahold of.

    • Scott Mac says:

      Funny that Gaffer mentioned his head being weaker. I agree, but it is a Crouch header that I will never forget. Sitting in a GCSE exam and texting sneakily during the WC 2006 ENG vs Trinidad, Crouchy’s header ended the draw and ended my birth nations hopes of advancing!!

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