Just what is the point of Peter Crouch? I've been asking myself that question ever since he first appeared as an apparently fully fledged England football international, and ask it every time he somehow manages to notch up another cap. There have been some clueless-looking players in the England team down the decades, but Bobby Moore and other talented stalwarts must surely be spinning in their graves every time he takes to the field.
Peter Crouch is probably a very decent, hard-working bloke. I can't say, because I don't know him. But one thing he is not, is an international footballer.
However many goals he scores against the minnows of the world, he remains immobile, unimaginative and clumsy. In short, he has no place in a top football team. He can't even jump, and his inability to get more than inch or two off the ground almost completely negates the perceived advantage his height gives him (I suspect this derives from always being the tallest player in his age group all the way through his footballing career, meaning he never had to learn the technique).
I'm often driven to say, as yet another would-be attack founders because he holds play up ten yards inside his own half with a sideways or backwards pass, then embarks upon his doomed version of a run at goal, is that if Peter Crouch is the answer, then it must have been one very stupid question.
But there's more to it than that, I believe, and it should concern all those who follow the England team, and want them to do well. Peter Crouch's regular presence in the England football squad, and slighly less regular appearances in the team, are a clear indication of one thing: the growing lack of talent in English native footballers. It is becoming clearer game by game that England are not only lacking strength in depth, they are also lacking strength in the shallows. If you get my drift.