Ask Crouchie! Our resident columnist is back to answer YOUR questions

Ask Crouchie! Our resident columnist is back to answer more of YOUR questions… from the Tottenham star who only knew FIVE Premier League players, to how Craig Bellamy left Jamie Carragher gobsmacked and my nightmare honeymoon in Ibiza

  • Peter Crouch has answered more of your questions in his Sportsmail column 
  • Crouchie names a former Tottenham star who admitted to not enjoying football
  • The big man also reveals how Craig Bellamy left Jamie Carragher speechless

There’s still no sign of when football will be returning, but there’s still plenty of interesting football chat to be had.

Sportsmail‘s resident columnist Peter Crouch has been answering some of your questions that have got him thinking most this week.

From a former Tottenham star who didn’t enjoy playing, find out what’s on Crouchie’s mind this week, and how Craig Bellamy left Jamie Carragher speechless.

Peter Crouch answers your questions as part of a new weekly series here for Sportsmail

Did you know a gifted player who didn’t enjoy playing football?

Des Whatton via email

There are a few contenders but I’d have to say Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who I played with at Tottenham is the best example. He would tell us straight out that he had no interest in football whatsoever.

He could name four or five players who were household names from the Premier League, but other than that he didn’t have a clue who was who.

Benoit did things differently from the rest of us. For instance, he would turn up for pre-match meals with a hot chocolate and a croissant while we had to load up on pasta and eggs.

Crouch reveals Benoit Assou-Ekotto openly told his team-mates he had no interest in football

If you asked him who we were playing, he wouldn’t know. He didn’t watch any games, he would just get on with things, do his job and off he went.

He was a quiet lad and liked being on his own. He didn’t socialise with us but he certainly had talent. He could have gone a lot further, that’s for sure.

Who was the worst for ‘verbals’ during a match?

Mark Fisher via email

How things changed through the course of my career. When I started out, loads of people would be jabbering away through games.

Kevin Muscat, for instance, was terrifying because if he said something you knew he meant it.

The former striker also recounts the time when Craig Bellamy left Jamie Carragher speechless

He was a very aggressive man, to put it mildly.

Robbie Savage and Craig Bellamy were relentless. Jamie Carragher tells a story about Bellers. Carra played a ball up to Robbie Fowler and then had a go at him for not running into space. Bellers, playing for Newcastle at the time, turned to Carra and said: ‘Who the **** do you think you are you talking to? That’s Robbie Fowler!’

Even when it had nothing to do with him, Bellers could not help getting involved. Carra was gobsmacked. In my final few years, those types of players had all but disappeared.

Choosing players you played with, who’d make your Spurs and Liverpool five-a-side teams and who’d win?

Jade Craddock via email

That’s one of the best questions yet! I’m giving it a twist, as I’m adding a sub for each side.

For Tottenham, I’d pick Heurelho Gomes in goal; Ledley King at the back; Luka Modric and Gareth Bale in midfield with Rafa van der Vaart up front. Jermain Defoe is on the bench.

Luka Modric makes up part of Crouchie’s dream Tottenham five-a-side team to face Liverpool

As for Liverpool, it’s Pepe Reina in goal; Jamie Carragher at the back; Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso in the middle and Fernando Torres up front. Robbie Fowler would be ready to come on. That would be an epic showdown and I’d pay good money to watch it.

I actually think Tottenham would be favourites, as you’d struggle to get the ball off them. I’m going to duck making a decision on who wins and I’d love to hear from readers who they think would come out on top and what the score would be.

Crouch’s ex-Liverpool team-mate and defender Jamie Carragher makes Reds five-a-side team

Which former team-mates had the worst touch?

Olly Roberts via Twitter

Oh, Olly… that’s ruthless. The first thing I will say is that to make it as a professional footballer you are highly skilled, talented and determined. I wouldn’t, for a moment, dream of belittling someone who I played alongside.

The best I could say is that perhaps Darren Moore wasn’t best suited to playing out from the back. I love Darren to bits, he was a man mountain at Portsmouth and helped me so much. I think we would both agree, however, that his qualities were more centred on force rather than finesse!

Do you count your first Liverpool goal — it was dubious! And have you had goals stolen or awarded to you that someone else deserved?

Dave Rossall via Twitter

Of course I count my first Liverpool goal, Dave! I was actually the third-last player to touch the ball before it ended up in the back of the net that day in December 2005.

The shot took a deflection off Leighton Baines then Mike Pollitt, the Wigan keeper, pushed it in. So you may have a point.

I scored another later in that game, so I’m sticking with the brace. If you saw last week’s column, you will know I admitted to scoring one with my hand against Arsenal in May 2017. I definitely didn’t deserve that one.

Crouch counts his first Liverpool goal despite the ball deflecting twice before finding the net

There was another goal for Portsmouth that I think could be up for debate. I moved back there from Liverpool in 2008 and one of my first games was against Everton at Goodison Park. We were winning 2-0 when Jermain Defoe clipped a shot on to the bar and it bounced on the line.

I had no intention of going through the same debacle I had endured at Liverpool, where I’d waited four months for my first goal, so I bundled the ball in and ran off to celebrate.

Looking back, Jermain’s initial shot might have gone over the line. Better to be safe than sorry!

Which player complemented your style best?

Leo Taylor via Twitter

I loved playing with Steven Gerrard, Leo. He was an absolute joy. I would have to say Rafa van der Vaart was my best partner. We hit it off from our first training session. He knew where to run, how to pass and we just had the perfect blend.

Former Tottenham midfielder Rafa van der Vaart was my best partner, Crouch reveals

What’s your worst and best holiday experience?

Ian Collins via email

The best has to be Hawaii, Ian. Such a wonderful, peaceful place. The best holidays don’t necessarily have the best stories, though. So we must head to Ibiza for the most memorable for all the wrong reasons. This wasn’t just any ordinary holiday, either. It was our honeymoon.

We got married in June 2011 and as it was so late in the summer for me, we decided to just go on a short hop to Europe before I returned to pre-season training.

We stayed in the north of Ibiza at a resort but on our first morning, we got down to the pool and there was not one free sun lounger.

With nowhere to sit, I decided it would be good to get a boat over to Majorca for a little day trip. We set off but that’s where the ‘fun’ started.

The sea was that bad for the crossing, Abbey turned green, the stewardess was hanging over the side being sick, and I was hanging on for dear life.

There were dolphins chasing the boat at one point and when we docked in Majorca, it’s fair to say the captain’s haunted face was an indicator that not everything had gone to plan.

Crouch recalled his honeymoon in Ibiza with wife Abbey after getting married in June 2011

Which team-mate took longest with the hairdryer after training or a match?

Mike Chapman via email

Only one man for this, Mike. It was Bolo Zenden who I played with at Liverpool.

He loved a hairdryer and he would stand in the centre of the dressing room, in a little pair of briefs, making sure everything looked right. He used to get relentless stick but it never bothered him at all.

Did you look up at a massive crowd and panic in front of goal?

Jim F via email

I didn’t, Jim. I don’t think the size of the crowd matters — whether it is 80,000 or 5,000 or even just 100, there is always pressure when people are watching you. I always got a buzz from it but I did have some team-mates who would worry.

The one occasion where I allowed my emotions to get the better of me was the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid in 2011. 

The target man believes his emotions had got the better of him against Real Madrid in 2011

I had always wanted to play at the Bernabeu, my heart rate was up and the giddiness I felt enabled Marcelo to take advantage and get me sent off.

I wasn’t giddy because there were 90,000 in the stadium. It is always the magnitude of the game that gets your blood pumping, not the number of spectators. There is no other feeling like it.

Until next week, as always, stay safe and well.




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