In recent weeks, Spurs fans have been crying out for Harry Redknapp to land his Tottenham squad another striker. I am sure he would love a complete striker with some real goal-scoring quality. With some of the statistics at White Hart Lane this year, you can see why.
The Tottenham team cannot be accused of not scoring enough goals, but their strikers can. Wide man Gareth Bale and forward Rafael van der Vaart have contributed 11 each, with 7 and 9 league goals respectively. Next on the list of top scorers is Roman Pavlyuchenko with 9 (5 league), and then Peter Crouch with 7 (1 league).
So I ask today, if Tottenham were to buy a new front man, who should they look to offload, Crouchy or Pav?
You need to ask what kind of a player each is. Crouchy is a tall man but not good with his head. He may win headers but not score them. He is deceptively good with his feet. On the other hand Palyuchenko is an inconsistent player, occasionally producing moments that show-off his ability but also spending parts of the game drifting in and out of the action.
Neither has scored enough goals in the league this season to warrant a place in a side that wants to finish in the top 4. So we must judge their usefulness in other parts of their game, and what options they give Tottenham.
Sadly, for Pavlyuchenko he does not compare to Crouch in terms of creating goals. He may be able to score a few more, but does not score enough to prove he is more useful to the team than Crouch. His 1 assist in the EPL this year stacks up rather insignificantly to Crouch’s 6.
The frustration with Crouch is that Spurs play with two of the quickest wide men in the league and he does not score often enough. A striker who is so tall should dream to play with Bale on one wing and Lennon on the other, with the addition of a cultured left foot from VDV on set plays. Also, he is not that great as a target man. It is these points that highlights his problem with a lack of goals.
However, with Van Der Vaart on fire, picking up off Crouch’s scraps in and around the box, he looks like an increasingly more likely option. The two seem to have developed a rather exciting partnership up front.
I feel that with Bale, Lennon, Van Der Vaart, Modric and one of Palacios/ Huddlestone starting more often than not, Spurs are going to look to play one man up front with VDV just behind him, particularly away from home. I would always choose Crouch in this role ahead of Pavlyuchenko.
Lastly, and most importantly Crouch provides a useful plan B option, and is a better asset on the bench should Spurs choose to change their shape and direction. His size alone is a reason for this, and especially in the Champions League he has shown that his physicality is something that European sides are not used to dealing with.
The lifeline for Pavlyuchenko seems to be regarding the type of player Spurs might buy. If Tottenham choose to sign a player like Andy Carroll, it would be Crouch who makes way. But the question here assumes that Spurs are signing a top draw striker, and if they do I would prefer Crouch on the bench to Pavlyuchenko.