Peter Crouch podcast: Donkeys, stealing goals and football’s faceless men

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May 13, 2020
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    Peter Crouch

    That Peter Crouch Podcast airs every Tuesday and Thursday

    There was the usual excellent, eclectic mix of anecdotes in this week’s That Peter Crouch Podcast.

    The former England striker will be responding to your questions every week, and in the latest episode he talks about being happy as a donkey, stealing goals from mates and his dislike for football’s “faceless men”.

    You can send in your questions for future podcasts to peter.crouch@bbc.co.uk.

    ‘I’d be happy to be a donkey’

    The podcast starts with a question from Elliott in New Zealand. He mentions the great analogy Crouchy once gave of buffalo and gazelle defenders, and he wanted to know which one he was and what his strike partners would be: a buffalo or gazelle?

    Crouch: Someone rapid upfront with me usually works quite well. I’d be the buffalo to his gazelle. Or, for want of another analogy, I think a donkey to a fox, something like that.

    Donkeys have been falsely labelled, they work hard, they constantly pull their weight, put a shift in and get results. They never complain, they win games, they hopefully have a huge impact on a football pitch and I think that’s why I’d be happy to be a donkey. Whereas a fox is more cunning, someone who sniffs around the six-yard box, a fox in the box.

    I think a donkey and a fox is a nice turn, but you don’t get these kinds of partnership anymore. It’s a dying art.

    ‘If we didn’t get on, he would have tore into me’

    Conversation then turns to the selfish mentality of strikers and how they only really look out for number one…

    Crouch: I remember one particular scenario when I have gone to Portsmouth. I thought ‘I’m not going through this again where I sign for a new club and don’t score for so many games’.

    Jermain Defoe went round two, chipped the goalkeeper, hit the crossbar and it bounced down. I headed it in, it was close whether it was already over the line, but I ran to the fans so everyone knew it was my goal.

    Jermain was celebrating the goal as well. It was like a goal-off. I claimed it massively and he did. If we didn’t get on, he would have tore into me. It was my first goal for Portsmouth away at Goodison. It was touch and go whether it was mine.

    I remember when Jermain signed for Portsmouth, he wouldn’t speak to David Nugent over that England goal against Andorra. Jermain’s shot squirmed under the goalkeeper and was rolling slowly towards the line, when Nuge became Usain Bolt and tapped it in. He was fuming over that.

    ‘They feel like faceless men’

    Ah, the dubious goal panel. Strikers up and down the country undoubtedly all have stories of a time when a goal has been taken off them. Fair to say Crouchy isn’t its biggest fan…

    Crouch: They are secret. They were taking loads of goals off me at the start. It all boils down to the Liverpool period.

    To be fair, it wasn’t my goal but I was desperate for one, I was like, ‘go on, let me have it’. It goes to this dubious goals committee but they feel like faceless men. Who are they? No-one knows.

    It is like football’s biggest mystery.

    I was at a game recently and I made my feelings known about this panel and this guy came up to me and said ‘I was on the panel’. I can’t remember his name. We will get them on the podcast, do the robot voice on them, and ask them to tell us goals they have chalked off and why.

    And how would Crouch solve the problem…

    Crouch: It’s black and white. If the ball is goal-bound it’s the striker’s goal. You really do have to favour the attacker. A defender does not want an own goal to his name, it favours everyone to give the striker the goal even if it’s hitting row Z.

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    May 13, 2020
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