Lanky goal maestro Peter Crouch might not have a future at Anfield with Rafa Benitez implying that the freakishly tall striker might be most effective sitting on the subs bench and occasionally coming on for cameo walkabouts.
Crouchigol came on for 19 minutes, and when Benitez was asked if making the lanky Englishman sit glumly on the bench, Rafa replied:
“Maybe that’s right, some players are like that. Some players, when they play for 20 minutes, are more important for the team that way. We did better towards the end but perhaps there were three reasons. Harry Kewell was on, Blackburn were getting tired and then there was Crouch, too. So there were three things together.”
Upon loping on Crouch made space for both Gerrard and Kuyt to go close, as well as having a header cleared off the line â€“ not bad for a 19 minute run out. Blackburnâ€™s ex-Liverpool left back Stephen Warnock, once of Liverpool, didnâ€™t bother to hide the fact that he is in love with Peter Crouch. Warnock said:
“They brought on quality players in Kewell and Crouch and they changed the game. It made it more difficult for us. They went more direct with Crouch and it seemed to suit them. Crouchie is a great player. He’s one of those that almost any team would love to have in their starting line-up. But they seem to use him in a different way and the manager there seems to think that works for him. But he’s a real asset when he comes on and it must be frustrating for him when he’s not starting.”
So can Rafa afford to keep treating Crouch like this when he appear to make an impact when he plays, or is he freezing him out on purpose?