Saturday, 6 October 2012

Peter Crouch's England Exile Mystifies Tony Pulis

Peter CrouchTony Pulis has urged Roy Hodgson to end Peter Crouch’s international exile. 

The Stoke City boss was beaming after skipper Ryan Shawcross was called up by the England supremo for next week’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland. 

But he insists several more of his squad have gone without the recognition they deserve.

Hodgson penalised Crouch for his refusal to go on standby for Euro 2012 last summer and the giant striker last donned the Three Lions’ shirt two years ago.

“Crouchy has played so well for us, so I’m really disappointed for him, although he’s a big boy and he’ll take it on the chin,” said Pulis.

“We have been disappointed that one or two of them haven’t been chosen over the last two years like Matt Etherington.

“Roy has a difficult job. He’s decided not to go with Peter. We’re disappointed but we understand and I’ve spoken to Peter about it. 

"I’ve told him the best thing he can do is keep on doing what he is doing. He’s started this season on fire, he’s been our best player and his goal tally is very good.

“On a personal note, though, it will be good for me to be able to tell him, “Take a couple of weeks break.”

Shawcross returns to the England fold after recently rejecting the chance to play for Wales.

He was an unused substitute against Egypt in March 2010 under Fabio Capello, but Pulis has long tipped the centre-half to establish himself as an international regular.

“We’re absolutely delighted as a football club right through from the chairman to the youngest lad in the Academy for Ryan.

“He’s a fantastic footballer and a real role model on and off the pitch. It’s a great honour, but I’ve told him to keep his feet on the ground.

“Peter was the first one to go up and congratulate him.”

Crouch will be among a trio of Stoke players making an emotional return to former club Liverpool on Sunday, along with summer signings Charlie Adam and Michael Owen.

The five-goal marksman scored twice as the Potters claimed their first Premiership victory of the campaign against Swansea last week.

Now the Staffordshire outfit may fancy their chances of winning for the first time at Anfield for more than 53 years after the Reds’ torrid start to the season.

But Pulis, who was there to watch Udinese beat them in the Europa League, knows his side face a different game when Brendan Rodgers beefs up his line-up for Stoke’s visit.

“Liverpool are a fantastic football club. 

"They were very unfortunate against Udinese as they were in complete control of the game and the second goal was an unfortunate goal.

"It will be a tough game and they had half a dozen players who didn’t play in the Europa League who will be back against us.

“Brendan needs backing which I’m sure they will give him otherwise Liverpool wouldn’t have appointed him. He has got exceptional players like Suarez.

“Crouchie, Charlie and Michael will enjoy going back. When I was at Liverpool they were saying they were all looking forward to seeing the boys back.”

While Crouch has prospered in front of goal this term, Owen is yet to register and even start a game for the Potters since arriving at the Britannia Stadium on deadline day.

But Pulis stresses the veteran striker will be eased carefully into contention, while his presence has proved a morale booster.

“Michael’s been smashing for this club. He is getting fitter and his time will come. He’s been a bit unfortunate as the team has played so well.

“He’s lifted the profile and the players have trained harder and player better as a result of him being with us.”

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