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Category: Peter Crouch

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Peter Crouch, the affable beanpole who won over fans everywhere | Paul Wilson

The former England striker, who has retired at 38, had an unusual skill-set and took the robot dance back to the massesWith the possible exception of Brent Sancho, the Trinidad and Tobago defender whose dreadlocks he grabbed when leaping to score a hea…

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Peter Crouch retires from football at the age of 38

• Forward retires with 42 caps and 22 goals for England• ‘Our wonderful game has given me everything’The former England striker Peter Crouch has announced his retirement from football at the age of 38.The 6ft 7ins forward made his English league debut …

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Peter Crouch returns to Premier League at age of 38 after signing for Burnley

• Striker leaves Stoke with Sam Vokes going in opposite direction• Crouch: ‘I’m not 25. But my attributes haven’t waned’At the grand age of 38, Peter Crouch is back in the Premier League.The former England striker, who has been used sparingly by Champi…

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Premier League farewells: six players who may say goodbye on the final day

Sunday will bring the curtain down on several big-name Premier League careers – whether or not they realise it just yetIt is the end of the Premier League season and inevitably it will be goodbye from some of the game’s big names, whether or not they r…

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Crosses are falling in the Premier League: why the focus on target men? | Sean Ingle

While the stats show that West Ham and Stoke score more goals when Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch play, there is little to suggest that Chelsea using them as a Plan B would have workedHow times change. At the dawn of the Premier League the news that Che…

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Chelsea’s hunt for a medieval big man adds intrigue to football’s space race | Barney Ronay

Seeing Andy Carroll or Peter Crouch at Chelsea is too good to hope for as it could confirm suspicions about the basic numbers of effectiveness and opportunity in elite teamsIt is nearly 40 years since a famous photo emerged that left the nascent Indian…

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Stoke’s Peter Crouch slams ‘farcical’ clampdown on contact at set pieces

• Referees have been directed to be tougher on pulling and pushing in the box
• Mike Dean gave both Stoke and Manchester City spot-kicks

Defending set pieces is in danger of becoming a farce because of new directives issued to referees regarding pulling and pushing inside the area, Peter Crouch has warned.

The Stoke City and former England forward made his damning assessment after watching his team’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, a game in which two penalties were awarded by Mike Dean. The first came on 27 minutes after the Stoke captain, Ryan Shawcross, was spotted grabbing Nicolás Otamendi’s arm as he looked to make contact with a Kevin De Bruyne corner, while the other was given on 47 minutes after Raheem Sterling was deemed to have unfairly blocked Shawcross as he tried to run on to a corner from Joe Allen.

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Jürgen Klopp claims final place deserved after Stoke long-ball tactics

• Liverpool manager says Stoke goal was double offside
• Mark Hughes praises Peter Crouch despite missed penalty

“Hopefully a good night out in London,” was Jürgen Klopp’s response to being asked what winning through to a Wembley final would mean to his players. He was joking, of course, just as he was when he claimed Stoke had launched 500 long balls into the Liverpool penalty area.

It felt a little like that at times, but the Liverpool manager had not been counting. Klopp did not even see the penalty shootout properly – he was asked to sit down and his view from the dugout was obstructed by his own players – yet he knew Liverpool had come through a difficult test.

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Premier League Asia Trophy: five things we learned

Arsenal and Arsène Wenger may have found their Shangri-la for new season, Everton face test and the 6ft 7in Peter Crouch heightens interest in Stoke City

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, was in a particularly upbeat and relaxed mood this week. Team sponsors Emirates laid on a customised private jet that resembled a hotel, so the squad all arrived fresh and rested. His staff had bagged the best hotel in town, the one normally reserved for visiting presidents and royalty: the Shangri-La, should you ever be in need of a bed in Singapore. The players loved the pool and Wenger had nabbed the best training facilities of all three clubs, too, at the American School.

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Peter Crouch and Glenn Whelan sign two-year contract extensions at Stoke

• Crouch committed to the club until he is 36
• Hughes: ‘They are both fantastic professionals at Stoke’
• Stoke win closing tie of the FA Cup fourth round

Peter Crouch and Glenn Whelan have signed two-year contract extensions with Stoke City, the Premier League club have announced.

The former England striker Crouch, who celebrates his 34th birthday on Friday, had been linked with a move away from the club with his existing deal due to expire in June, but is now committed to the club until 2017.

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Peter Crouch and Glenn Whelan sign two-year contract extensions at Stoke

• Crouch committed to the club until he is 36
• Hughes: ‘They are both fantastic professionals at Stoke’
• Stoke win closing tie of the FA Cup fourth round

Peter Crouch and Glenn Whelan have signed two-year contract extensions with Stoke City, the Premier League club have announced.

The former England striker Crouch, who celebrates his 34th birthday on Friday, had been linked with a move away from the club with his existing deal due to expire in June but is now committed to the club until 2017.

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Peter Crouch main West Ham target as club seek cover for Andy Carroll

David Sullivan: club have offers in for three or four strikers Hugo Almeida and Samuel Etoo among names reported Continue reading…

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Hughes backs Crouch for World Cup

• Striker is ‘international class’, says Stoke City manager
• Hughes believes age may deny Crouch World Cup place

Peter Crouch has received support from his team-mates and his manager who believe the former England striker is worthy of a place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.

The Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam tweeted: “Crouchy back in the England squad for the World Cup” after watching the target man boss his opponents in the 4-1 destruction of Aston Villa, triggering a colourful debate on social media. But Mark Hughes fears Roy Hodgson will overlook Crouch in favour of younger alternatives.

“Peter is an international-class player,” said the Stoke manager emphatically. “He’s proven that and he’s got a great record. He gives you a focal point and his link-up play is excellent. I thought he was outstanding again today.

“Maybe people in charge now are looking in different areas and are looking for a similar type of player, a player who’s as effective as Peter Crouch, but maybe they think his time has come and gone. If he was asked to go I’m sure he wouldn’t refuse the offer.”

Crouch was instrumental in Stoke’s first goal as the visitors exploited Villa’s dreadful defending to come from behind in what proved to be a rampant away win. Crouch’s downward header set up Peter Odemwingie in the 22nd minute, just four minutes before he himself found the net with a cool, first-time shot from Erik Pieters’ pass.

Hughes was particularly pleased to see Stoke banish the idea that they are long-ball merchants. Their third goal following a slick move of 19 passes.

“We’re not too renowned for passages of play like that,” he quipped. “Maybe people will sit up and take note of what we’ve tried to do here. Today we had a cutting edge. The manner of the performance and the margin of victory – all in all it’s a very satisfying display.”

Paul Lambert was smarting afterwards. “The goals we lost were really, really poor,” the Villa manager he said. “It was unlike us. We looked lethargic and never got going. We were definitely second best. That wasn’t good enough.”

Lambert was particularly disappointed to have been turned over so easily after such a battling win against Chelsea last week. “We never defended well at all, not like we did the other day against Chelsea. When we play teams like Chelsea and Arsenal it’s a different game, a different atmosphere, different everything. It’s not that they weren’t up for it. They just didn’t get going.”

Lambert did not use the enforced substitutions of Andreas Weimann and Karim El Ahmadi as excuses. “We lost a couple of lads to injury, Andy and Karim – but we were still second best. The goals we lost were really, really poor. We take nothing away from Stoke, they deserved to win the game. [Injuries] do disrupt you a little bit but I’m not going to use that as an excuse.”

Next for Villa is a trip to Manchester United on Saturday and Lambert is confident his side can put in a good display. He added: “We’ll be really up for it. Like the Chelsea game, no one expects us to get anything. It’s a great game to play. As a footballer you want to play these sort of games and it’s up to us to try to get something from them.”

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Peter Crouch is England World Cup candidate, says Mark Hughes

• Striker is ‘international class’, says Stoke City manager
• Hughes believes age may deny Crouch World Cup place

Peter Crouch has received support from his team-mates and his manager who believe the former England striker is worthy of a place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.

The Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam tweeted: “Crouchy back in the England squad for the World Cup” after watching the target man boss his opponents in the 4-1 destruction of Aston Villa, triggering a colourful debate on social media. But Mark Hughes fears Roy Hodgson will overlook Crouch in favour of younger alternatives.

“Peter is an international-class player,” said the Stoke manager emphatically. “He’s proven that and he’s got a great record. He gives you a focal point and his link-up play is excellent. I thought he was outstanding again today.

“Maybe people in charge now are looking in different areas and are looking for a similar type of player, a player who’s as effective as Peter Crouch, but maybe they think his time has come and gone. If he was asked to go I’m sure he wouldn’t refuse the offer.”

Crouch was instrumental in Stoke’s first goal as the visitors exploited Villa’s dreadful defending to come from behind in what proved to be a rampant away win. Crouch’s downward header set up Peter Odemwingie in the 22nd minute, just four minutes before he himself found the net with a cool, first-time shot from Erik Pieters’ pass.

Hughes was particularly pleased to see Stoke banish the idea that they are long-ball merchants. Their third goal following a slick move of 19 passes.

“We’re not too renowned for passages of play like that,” he quipped. “Maybe people will sit up and take note of what we’ve tried to do here. Today we had a cutting edge. The manner of the performance and the margin of victory – all in all it’s a very satisfying display.”

Paul Lambert was smarting afterwards. “The goals we lost were really, really poor,” the Villa manager he said. “It was unlike us. We looked lethargic and never got going. We were definitely second best. That wasn’t good enough.”

Lambert was particularly disappointed to have been turned over so easily after such a battling win against Chelsea last week. “We never defended well at all, not like we did the other day against Chelsea. When we play teams like Chelsea and Arsenal it’s a different game, a different atmosphere, different everything. It’s not that they weren’t up for it. They just didn’t get going.”

Lambert did not use the enforced substitutions of Andreas Weimann and Karim El Ahmadi as excuses. “We lost a couple of lads to injury, Andy and Karim – but we were still second best. The goals we lost were really, really poor. We take nothing away from Stoke, they deserved to win the game. [Injuries] do disrupt you a little bit but I’m not going to use that as an excuse.”

Next for Villa is a trip to Manchester United on Saturday and Lambert is confident his side can put in a good display. He added: “We’ll be really up for it. Like the Chelsea game, no one expects us to get anything. It’s a great game to play. As a footballer you want to play these sort of games and it’s up to us to try to get something from them.”

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Peter Crouch: Revitalised Stoke striker happy to put Strictly on hold

Abbey Clancy’s dancing trophy outglitters his FA Cup winner’s medal but forward is focused on visit by former club Liverpool

There is not a moment’s hesitation by Peter Crouch when he responds to a question about who is the most famous person in his house these days.

“Not me any more, I tell you,” Crouch says laughing. “People come up to me all the time, talking about my wife more than me, it’s a nice change. She was brilliant. Unbelievable. I didn’t know she had it in her, to be honest.”

Crouch is talking about Abbey Clancy, the model who won Strictly Come Dancing last month. The striker flew 140 miles from Stoke after he had scored the winner against Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium to get to Elstree Studios in time to see his wife holding the glitterball trophy that now has pride of place on their mantelpiece. “My FA Cup winner’s medal went to the side,” Crouch says, chuckling.

It has been a whirlwind few months for the pair. Clancy’s commitment to her dancing meant that Crouch, in between being a Premier League footballer, was dashing home to look after his two-year-old daughter Sophia most afternoons and, occasionally, being asked to turn into John Travolta in the evening. “It completely consumes your life, I think, when she was doing that,” Crouch says. “She was still practising the steps at home, so I did a little bit with her in the kitchen. It doesn’t need me to tell you that I wasn’t quite as good as her dance partner.”

Self-deprecation comes easily to Crouch. A genial man with a great sense of humour, Crouch has always had that endearing quality of being able to laugh at himself – something perhaps best summed up by that brilliant answer he served up many years ago, when he was asked what he would be if he had not made it as a footballer. “A virgin,” Crouch replied.

These days Crouch is quite a catch, particularly for the paparazzi. On Thursday the Daily Mail website carried a story (in the loosest sense of the word) that was accompanied by 11 photos of Crouch, Clancy and Sophia enjoying, as one picture caption put it, “a low key outing in north London”. They had left the house for a cup of coffee.

Some footballers love the spotlight but Crouch sounds genuine when he says that he is not interested in courting publicity, even if it is nigh on impossible to keep a low profile when you are a 6ft 7in former England centre-forward with a celebrity wife. “Obviously being on Strictly is a big thing and people love it, and me being a footballer as well, we are both well known, so I understand what comes with it. But it’s certainly something I don’t really enjoy or relish,” he says.

While the beautiful blonde wife fits the footballer stereotype, Crouch is unlike many of his peers in other respects. He refuses to turn his body into a work of art or decorate it with diamonds – “There’s enough tattoos and jewellery in our dressing room,” Crouch says – and he has no desire to be part of a popularity contest on Twitter, where it is easy to imagine he would have quite a following. “I’ve thought about it many a time but there’s a lot of people that I try to avoid in this life and they seem to be on there as well,” Crouch says with a wry smile.

The reality is that Crouch is happiest playing or talking football, even if that means accepting the fact that, as he prepares to celebrate his 33rd birthday at the end of this month, he is unlikely to experience the thrill of pulling on an England shirt again. Crouch scored 22 goals in 42 games – a strike rate up there with the best – but he has not appeared for England since November 2010 and has all but given up on his hopes of playing in a third World Cup finals, in Brazil, this summer.

“I look forward to watching the World Cup and being a supporter but playing for England is not something I look to now. I think as soon as the new manager [Roy Hodgson] came in I wasn’t part of the plans and that’s been the case throughout. There’s a lot of good young players out there now, so hopefully they can carry the fight. As for my personal ambitions, I always loved playing for England and always felt I did well. So I’d never say I’m retired, because if called upon I’d jump at the chance but I can’t see that happening.”

For Crouch, it is about knuckling down at Stoke, where he admits it has been “up and down” since he joined from Tottenham Hotspur for £10m in 2011.

He was player of the year after scoring 14 times in his first campaign but the goals dried up last season. This term Crouch gives the impression that he is enjoying his football far more on the back of Mark Hughes replacing Tony Pulis as manager.

“Now I’ve got a little bit more support [up front] than I had under the previous manager, I think that’s fair to say,” Crouch says. “The way we played away from home, it was me up top on my own and then five midfielders and four defenders. It was like: ‘Get on with it.’ So that was frustrating at times and hard. You had to sacrifice yourself for the team, which was understandable. Certainly now the manager wants to be a bit more expansive, he wants to try to go and win, away from home as well, so I’m getting a bit more joy, I think.”

It also helps that Hughes is a former striker. “He’s played that role when you’re up front on yourself and I think he understands that you need runners and people supporting you or it’s not worth it,” says Crouch, who has scored five times this season. “I’m not the type of player that’s going to run in behind, or go past three and score. I need support, I need crosses, I need people running off me for me to have an effect on the game, and I think we’ve got that now.”

Liverpool’s visit on Sunday evokes fond memories for Crouch, who looks back on the three years he spent at Anfield, between 2005-2008, as “the best time of my career”. His only regret is that he was left out of the starting line-up for the 2007 Champions League final against Milan, which Liverpool lost 2-1. Crouch was given 12 minutes as a substitute in a match that he believes Liverpool could have won if Rafael Benítez, the manager, had been bolder.

“At the time I was angry,” Crouch says. “I think it’s understandable if you miss out in a big final. When are you going to be given that opportunity again? You look at it these days, there’s some top players who have never played in a Champions League final, so I count myself fortunate to have got there, and I did play some part. But I just felt we could have won that game if we’d had a few more attacking players on the pitch.”

On the whole Crouch can reflect on the last decade with plenty of satisfaction. “Winning the FA Cup [with Liverpool in 2006]… I grew up on that. When I was a kid, the FA Cup was the one, it was bigger than the European Cup even. So to win that, for me, and my dad as well – we used to watch it together – was brilliant. Scoring the winner in the San Siro to help get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League [with Spurs], scoring in the World Cup against Trinidad & Tobago … they’re all moments that certainly stick out.”

It is tempting to wonder whether there could be another landmark experience in years to come, if the man who gave us the “Robot” follows in Robbie Savage’s footsteps by taking part in Strictly one day. “Maybe,” says Crouch, smiling. “You never say never but at the moment I’m still enjoying playing. I’ve seen how hard my wife worked, there’s no way you could combine the two, so that’s for when you finish. But I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.”

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The Carlton dance and other requests that’ll make stars want to punch you

After much cajoling, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Alfonso Ribeiro finally caved in and performed his famous dance on I’m A Celebrity last night. But how do other celebrities cope with public demands to see their party tricks?

The nation has been waiting, perched on the edge of its sofa, nails bitten to the quick, breath bated. And last night, finally, it happened. Yes, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! contestant Alfonso Ribeiro caved in and busted out his Carlton dance from much-loved Will Smith sitcom vehicle The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Oh happy day. Christmas came early, bearing the gift of iconic 90s comedy choreography.

Despite previously vowing “there will be no dance until I’m voted out” – this is clearly a man who has been dogged by demands for the Carlton dance for the 17 years since he stopped playing Smith’s clumsy clown of a cousin – our reluctant hero changed his tune, stopped his incessant moaning and made a transparent bid for votes by teaching swimmer Rebecca Adlington his signature moves. Campmates Joey Essex, David Emanuel, Amy Willerton and Vincent Simone also joined in. Because, like, who wouldn’t?

In the original TV show, the Carlton dance is set, of course, to Tom Jones classic It’s Not Unusual. And *clumsy segue klaxon* this sort of thing isn’t an unusual phenomenon in the fabled world of celebrity. Here are half-a-dozen other weary figures plagued by requests to “do that thing you’re famous for”, complete with their coping strategies:

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1. Mo Farah

Since he won double gold at London 2012 and celebrated with “the Mobot” (a move invented, oddly, by Clare Balding), Mohamed Farah CBE can’t go anywhere without requests for Mobot selfies. He freely admits there are times when he doesn’t want to do it ever again: “You’ll be in the middle of dinner and someone will ask for a picture. It’s like: ‘At least let me eat my food.'”

Survival strategy: Run. It’s not like anyone can catch him.

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2. Steve Coogan

The nation’s favourite press regulation campaigner is still plagued by people shouting “Aha!” at him – his Alan Partridge character’s catchphrase from 20 years ago. Honestly, Lynn.

Survival strategy: Do it back. But louder. Coogan says: “Sometimes, if I’m in the mood, I might turn around, spread my arms and shout it at the top of my voice back at them, which freaks them out. They usually run off in the opposite direction.” In a poignant moment on 2010’s meta-sitcom The Trip, Coogan even stood alone in the rugged Cumbrian landscape and bellowed a mournful “Aha!” across a valley.

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3. Peter Capaldi

At least until he takes over at the controls of the Tardis, genial Glaswegian actor Capaldi is most associated with Malcolm Tucker, the splenetic spin doctor from The Thick Of It and In The Loop. “If you’re Richard Wilson and people see you in the street they shout: ‘I don’t believe it,'” says Capaldi. “But with me, people demand a bollocking or ask me to tell them to fuck off.” So the mild-mannered actor does. “And sometimes I mean it.”

Survival strategy: Take on an even more famous role. And in the meantime, enjoy guilt-free swearing at people in the street.

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4. Ricky Gervais

“Do the Brent dance!” This is the refrain that follows Gervais, no matter where he goes and what else he achieves. Obviously, he refuses. At first, anyway. Gervais and The Office’s David Brent have many things in common, one of which is the inability to resist strutting their stuff. Altogether now: “I sort of fuse Flashdance with MC Hammer s**t …”

Survival strategy: Just give in and do it.

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5. Peter Crouch

The 6ft 7in striker became a cult hero in 2006 when he celebrated goals for England by launching into lanky-limbed robotics. Crouch soon got serious, though, announcing that he would only perform it again if England were to win the World Cup: “It’s not about robotic dancing. It is about scoring goals and winning matches.” However, he partially reprised it three years later for a Comic Relief sketch and apparently still does it at parties. There are even rumours that he will follow wife Abbey Clancy on to Strictly Come Dancing and bust it out beneath the famous glitterball.

Survival strategy: Leave them wanting more. And be so tall, they daren’t argue.

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6. Richard Wilson

The venerable luvvie can’t escape his “I don’t believe it” catchphrase from when he was One Foot in The Grave’s curmudgeonly pensioner Victor Meldrew. He now only performs the line at charity events in return for a small donation. “People shout it at me in the street all the time,” says Wilson. “It gets irritating. I usually just wave and avoid eye contact. The worst is when people want you to say it. I don’t on principle – but they pay their licence fee, so they think they’ve a right to hear me say it to them.”

Survival strategy: Charge, refuse or resort to violence. Playing himself in the classic Father Ted episode “The Mainland”, Wilson reacted to Ted shouting, “I don’t believe it,” at him by beating the priest up. Twice.

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