Redknapp maintains faith with odd man out Crouch
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Everton 1
Monday 25 October 2010
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has a very good reason for liking Peter Crouch – he means Spurs don't always have to play "perfect".
One point for Tottenham could have been three had Crouch converted a straightforward chance late in the first half. Later, the home fans were clamouring for Roman Pavlyuchenko but when the Russian came on it was to replace Aaron Lennon and play out wide, where part of his job was to play balls in the air to the beanpole striker.
Crouch is developing a promising understanding with Tottenham's new darling Rafael van der Vaart. The England man set up his Dutch colleague for Spurs' equaliser on Saturday, thanks to a howler from Everton keeper Tim Howard, who completely missed a cross to the far post where Crouch knocked the ball square to Van der Vaart for the closest of close-range finishes.
Van der Vaart's equaliser after 20 minutes, to cancel out Leighton Baines' exquisite free-kick, was the first goal conceded by Everton for 336 minutes. It is putting the ball in the other goal that has proved more difficult in a familiarly slow start to the season for the Merseysiders.
Crouch has yet to score in the Premier League this season but Redknapp is not about to lose faith. At international level, Crouch only gets a game when the England manager, Fabio Capello, has run out of options but he has a club manager who loves him. Redknapp knows Crouch is very much the odd man out in this Tottenham side, a target man surrounded by ball-players, but Harry loves him for that.
Redknapp claims the former Liverpool and Portsmouth striker is a key player simply because he gives Tottenham a way out.
"You take Crouchie out of there and you've got to play perfect football to break them down," Redknapp said.
"When teams have got numbers in there it's very difficult. You can drop the ball into him. You take him out and you've really go to play through teams. He gives you a different option, Crouchie."
The Spurs midfielder Luka Modric also acknowledged that it is handy to be able to play a more direct style and pop the ball up toward Crouch. "Sometimes we can't play the ball on the floor and we just give the ball to Crouch," Modric said. "He can flick the ball over to Rafa or someone else and it's a good relationship between those two. Peter gives us another option on the pitch."
Tottenham Hotspur (4-5-1) Gomes; Hutton, Bale, Kaboul, Gallas; Assou-Ekotto, Lennon (Pavlyuchenko, 69), Van der Vaart, Palacios (Sandro, 46), Modric; Crouch. Substitutes not used Cudicini (gk), Bassong, Jenas, Kranjcar, Keane.
Booked: Palacios, Van der Vaart, Sandro
Everton (4-5-1) Howard; Coleman (Beckford, 84), Jagielka, Distin, Neville; Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga (Hibbert, 78), Pienaar, Baines, Aiyegbeni (Saha, 62); Cahill. Substitutes not used Mucha (gk), Gueye, Duffy, Baxter.
Possession Tottenham 51%, Everton 49%.
Attempts on target Tottenham 8, Everton 3.
Referee M Jones (Chester). Attendance: 35,967.
Man of the match Jagielka. Match rating: 7/10.
Latest in Sport
England vs India report: England expects as Bell, Ballance and Buttler make B-line for victory
Louis van Gaal says he is inheriting a 'broken' Manchester United squad
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Manchester City's #AskJesus Twitter takeover quickly descends into chaos as Premier League champions are trolled relentlessly
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan