Football Expert & Columnist
Aston Villa 1-4 Stoke: Peter Crouch can play his way into England's World Cup squad
Striker remains a top-quality striker who offers a different attacking threat...
Last Updated: 24/03/14 10:08am
Crouch hasn't played for his country since 2010 despite scoring 22 goals in 42 internationals after falling down the pecking order behind the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll and Rickie Lambert.
But Phillips told Sky Sports the towering forward does have the ability to force his way into Roy Hodgson's squad for this summer.
The 33-year-old was named man-of-the-match by Sky Sports expert Niall Quinn "for showing what experience and professionalism is all about" as he got on the scoresheet along with Peter Odemwingie, Steven Nzonzi and Geoff Cameron in Stoke's 4-1 victory over Aston Villa.
"I had the pleasure of playing alongside Crouchie for a season at Southampton and know what qualities he brings," said Leicester forward Phillips, who won eight England caps.
"We all know what his England record is like and he showed today he's top quality. The most experienced player on the pitch - he's not getting any younger but he holds the ball up well and he worked that back four and at times Nathan Baker and Ron Vlaar couldn't handle him.
"He was involved in the goals and he got himself one; it was a really good all-round centre forward's performance and if he continues to play like that for the rest of the season, why not?
"His England record is great, he's great to come off the bench and he gives you that different threat, that different angle. He's a top-quality player."
Christian Benteke gave Aston Villa an early lead but by half-time the hosts found themselves 3-1 down as Mark Hughes' side rallied strongly.
"We highlighted Fabian Delph and Benteke as dangermen and they got off to the perfect start - both of them were involved in the opening goal," explained Phillips.
"Delph showed great strength and drilled the ball back to Benteke who took an excellent first touch and hit a composed finish. Two or three months ago he would probably have lashed that but he's in excellent form at the moment. It was good centre-forward play.
"Villa were looking really good at that stage but credit to Stoke for coming back into the game and they deserved their lead. It was great centre forward play from Odemwingie for Stoke's equaliser and the second goal was excellent too.
"Villa thought they had contained it but it was a good back heel from Marko Arnautovic to Erik Pieters, who easily pushed off Andreas Weimann and delivered a great cut back and there was Crouch to tuck it away. Stoke deserved it but it was such a sloppy goal from Villa's point of view.
"Crouchie showed he's got good feet for a big man. That was one of the things that surprised me when I trained with him day in, day out.
"He was at the heart of what Stoke did well. They've been known as a long-ball team but they played some good stuff today. There were 15 passes up to Nzonzi's goal - which was another really good finish; for me he came close to man-of-the-match.
"It was a really, really good away performance from Stoke - their second away win all season. Looking at that today, you can't believe they haven't won more away from home; that was the perfect away performance. But Villa helped them because I thought they were very poor today."
Paul Lambert admitted that the performance from his side - who last week beat league leaders Chelsea - simply wasn't good enough and Phillips said the Villa boss must be perplexed by his team's inconsistency.
"They've beaten Arsenal convincingly already this season, they've beaten Man City and Chelsea and then you think they are going to follow it up with another win against Stoke and then they go and play really poorly," he said.
"As Paul Lambert acknowledged it was second best all over. He was spot on. From what I watched last Saturday evening to today, it was a completely different side and you can't have that at this level because you get punished.
"Credit to Stoke but Villa will have to train hard this week and they'll have to lift themselves and they will and it wouldn't surprise me if they went and got a result against Manchester United!
"They are an up-and-down team - Paul Lambert must be pulling his hair out. It must be so frustrating."