Crouch vs Gudjohnsen – Tottenham’s striking dilemma

One of the best moments from the weekend’s play was watching Peter Crouch produce a deft flick-on to set up Jermain Defoe during Tottenham Hotspur’s game at Birmingham City. Not many assists will beat it for comedic value this season. While stooped on all fours, Crouchy got his head to a position barely a foot above the penalty area grass below, and allowed the ball to skim off his bonce and into the path of the on running Defoe. One nil to Tottenham. It really was a sight to behold as this six foot and seven inch beanpole of a man completed the ultimate ‘Crouched’ header.

But it seems as though the England target man is not pleasing  some sections of the Spurs faithful quite so much. The 29-year-old has had nine different clubs throughout his career and despite scoring on a fairly regular basis at most of them, seems to always be the nearly man and never truly loved. He has even produced 18 strikes from his 35 caps for England, yet most of the nation seems unable to take to the big man.

It has become apparent that Crouch is seen as a contributing factor to Tottenham’s less fluid form over the past month. The fans don’t see him as a player suited to the free flowing football they wish to see. It seems harsh as on paper their form really isn’t too bad, but the North London club’s following have always demanded style to go along with results.

So do you think Harry Redknapp should bite the bullet and put Eidur Gudjohnsen straight into his starting 11?

There is no question that when Gudjohnsen was on form for his previous English clubs, Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea he was a very stylish player to watch, equally happy to produce goals for others and bang them in himself. But since his summer move from Barcelona to AS Monaco he has struggled to find any form and was still to score for the French club when ‘Arry waded in to bring the Icelandic international to White Hart Lane on loan. It will be interesting to see if this switch revitalises him.

Defoe is quite clearly Redknapp’s first choice striker and after his strike at St Andrews will be confident of producing a similar run of goals to the one he went on earlier in the season. The question is now who should partner the diminutive goal-getter. It is worth remembering that two recent games in which Crouch did not start were the home fixtures against Wolves and Hull City, which produced just a single disappointing point between them. So maybe the giant forward is more important than some of the Lane’s regulars would care to admit?

If Gudjohnsen can re-discover his old creative self then it could prove to be a masterstroke. Defoe would thrive on the blonde-haired forward’s intelligent use of the ball. With Big Peter to bring off the bench to mix play up and give the opposition something else to worry about, this could be the best option.

Both will need to prove their credentials over the coming months and with Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko looking unlikely to seal moves away from the club today there will be fierce competition on the Chigwell training ground.

Who do you think should partner Jermain Defoe? Crouch has my vote, even if it is simply on the off-chance he will produce more unintentional and amusing assists like the one at St Andrews.