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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Liverpool buy the tall guy

24-year-old Peter Crouch has joined Liverpool. The 6’ 7” (200 cm) striker gave defenses fits for Southampton last season.

Crouch should join Liverpool’s training camp in Switzerland this week after a medical.

The final settlement price was 7 million pounds. Liverpool had 6 and 6 ½ million pound bids rejected. Once it became clear other clubs like Manchester City and Middlesboro were preparing to make offers Liverpool got down to business.

So what have Liverpool purchased? Being so tall Peter Crouch causes defenses problems in the air. They can’t defend him and have to be weary of players running off his headers. He’s accurate with the head and has a decent shot. The other thing that makes him tricky is the amount of space his first step creates.

There’s the good stuff. What else.

Liverpool are going to play the long ball more. That’s boring, considering the great passes on the ground Xavi Alonso and Steven Gerrard deliver. Luis Garcia also likes intricate touch passing with the strikers.

I’m not saying Crouch doesn’t have a ground game and has no touch, he’s got both and likes touch passing, but Fernando Morientes clearly has a more polished ground game and a significantly better shot.

Jose Mourinho whilst at FC Porto often used a substitution for a tall striker, usually Benni McCarhy or Edgaras Jankauskas, with success.

I think Crouch would be utilized better as a substitute in the same way. Peter Crouch is a good player at a good price but nothing I’ve seen convinces me he’s a better starting option than Morientes and Djibril Cisse.

6 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

spot on.

7/20/2005 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont under estimate Mr Crouch, as a Saints fan i was far from thrilled when we signed him this time last year. He is better on the floor than he is in the air. A great first touch and very skillfull, if Beattie is worth £6m then Crouch is worth £12m. Crouch given a run I promise will score more goals than Cisse or Morientes. Dont be fooled by his awkward look, the lad is quality through and through.

7/20/2005 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, as a fellow Saints fan i was none too pleased when we signed him. I live to eat my words, he will be sorely missed on the South Coast, the lad is a great finisher, better than both Cisse and Morientes. I think every Liverpudlian will be as surpised as we were. Crouchy is 1st class and we score on a regular basis, both in the air and on the deck. You have pulled off the best transfer of the summer.

7/20/2005 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another saints fan, totally agree!

7/20/2005 10:58 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Buying Crouch doesn't mean LFC *will* play more long ball, but it means they *can* if they want. It's about options. That's what we get with Crouch, more options. But it necessitates nothing, i.e. more long ball.

7/21/2005 6:20 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

James-

Good point, and Benitez is smart enough to know that route 1 football is not an effective long term way to win things.

7/21/2005 6:26 PM  

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