And no, COS is not talking about Fernando Torres, who will of course make the starting XI for arguably Liverpool’s most important match of the season to date. It’s more a question of whether the former QPR and Southampton player that goes by the name of Peter Crouch can force his way into Rafael Benitez’s thinking for Tuesday night’s game after his stunning effort at the Emirates on Saturday.
The Guardian report that Crouchaldinho is far from confident, which is unsurprising considering he’s regarded as an impact player first and foremost. It’s also clear that Gerrard playing in an advanced role behind Torres is generally the way that the Liverpool manager likes to go.
“It’s pretty clear I probably won’t start,” said Crouch. “Obviously if the manager plays one up front, he is more than likely to go with Fernando – and rightly so, he’s been fantastic this season. Before when he was rotating at least I was getting a game here and there. But the manager’s obviously stuck with a formation now that seems to be working, and credit to the players that have been playing in that system. We have certainly been playing well and I think we have got a great chance of going through to the semi-finals now in Europe. But for me, I will just have to obviously keep working hard and try and change his mind.”
Does anyone think that the England striker has been used too sparingly this season for the Reds? Whenever he’s granted a start in a Liverpool shirt, he very rarely seems to disappoint, and some could argue that Benitez’s insistence on a 4-5-1 has been too defensive to win the league. Can Crouch hit the headlines against Arsenal by coming off the bench to ensure his team’s passage into the semi-finals of the Champions League?