Crouch famine puzzles Redknapp
Published 09/11/2010 | 05:00
Peter Crouch makes his 50th Premier League appearance for Tottenham tonight in the game against Sunderland with his manager admitting that he is confused by the England striker's failure to score in the league.
Since returning to White Hart Lane from Portsmouth in the summer of 2009, Crouch has featured in every league game for Redknapp, albeit sometimes from the bench.
However, each of his five goals this season has come in the Champions League and he last found the net in the Premier League in May, when his goal at Manchester City effectively sealed Spurs' debut in the premier European competition.
His previous league goal -- one of only eight in 49 games -- came, curiously, at Sunderland and now he has the opportunity to rediscover his league form.
"I don't know why he hasn't been able to score in the league," said Redknapp. "It's not through lack of trying. He has made goals for Rafael van der Vaart, but he's just not been able to score them."
With the emergence of Newcastle's Andy Carroll as a potential England striker, Crouch could be under pressure at international level but Redknapp believes he has done enough to impress Fabio Capello, who was at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.
"I am sure that Crouch loves playing for his country," added Redknapp. "His form has been great in Europe."
Meanwhile, fellow striker Jermain Defoe, out since August with an ankle problem, is closing in on a return for the first team -- which is more bad news for Ireland captain Robbie Keane. (© Daily Telegraph, London)