Crouch - Best foot forward

The ball appears to roll down the body of Peter Crouch before finding the net
Image: Crouch: Feet first

England striker Peter Crouch says defenders will be in for a surprise should they face him in the World Cup finals.

6ft 7in star promises feet will do the talking

England striker Peter Crouch says defenders will be in for a surprise if they come up against him in the World Cup finals. Crouch's height at 6ft 7in makes him an obvious aerial threat, but the Tottenham front man says he is just as threatening with his feet. The former Portsmouth man has notched 21 goals in 38 England appearances and he hopes to be defy his reputation as a target man by surprising opposition defenders in South Africa. The 29-year-old will find out on Sunday whether he has made Fabio Capello's final 23-man squad after the Three Lions take on Japan in Austria.


And he believes he can help England's attempts to win their first major international trophy since 1966 by using more than his head. Crouch said in the Sunday Mirror: "I think people look at how tall I am and just see me as the kind of player that can only play when the ball is in the air. I think my goals record at international level speaks for itself, to be honest. "You have to back yourself - and I do believe I am good enough to play for England and do well at the World Cup. Why not? I certainly think there is a shock value when I play. "Perhaps defenders who haven't played against me before will look at me and think that I am only a threat when I'm heading the ball. "I'm better than that - and maybe defenders will get a surprise at the World Cup when I've got the ball at my feet if I am picked. I think my team-mates will tell you that I am much more than an old fashioned target man who can only play one way." Crouch was a part of the England squad for the 2006 finals in Germany and found the net in a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago with a towering header. The big striker said he was pulled up for fouls too easily by referees in the tournament and admits it was a frustrating time.
But Crouch believes his game has matured since the tournament four years ago and that he can use the experience to the Three Lions' advantage this time around. He added: "It was a big frustration for me because I was being penalised for challenges that referees in the Premier League would have allowed. "But experiences like that have made me a better player. I learned after the last World Cup that you have to adapt the way you play in certain situations. "I still think some referees are a bit too quick to give free kicks against me for innocuous challenges, but I think I have altered my game quite a bit as well."

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