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Redknapp blasts Capello's use of Crouch

ESPN staff
October 14, 2010
Peter Crouch is a force in the air © Getty Images
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Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has criticised Fabio Capello's use of striker Peter Crouch during England's frustrating 0-0 draw with Montenegro in European Championship qualifying.

England were unable to find a way to pierce the stubborn Montenegro rearguard at Wembley on Tuesday night, and Redknapp believes Capello's men would have had more success by targeting Crouch in the air.

Instead, England persistently tried to get the ball into the strikers' feet, which played into Montenegro's hands as they crowded out the central areas of the pitch. "Peter Crouch is 6ft 7in tall so his best asset is an obvious one," Redknapp said in his column in the Sun.

"It's no good putting him up front and then trying to play the ball to his feet all the time. Peter is a technically good player but England should use his height - because he towers above most defenders. I'm the last one to advocate the long-ball game but, if you have a player like Steven Gerrard who can put the ball on his head from 35 yards out, do it.

"While he does that, the team can surge forward as a group and pick up the second ball, the knockdown they know is coming. If you're not going to make the most of Crouchie, don't play him, simple as that. Use a little striker instead."

Redknapp, sure to be a leading candidate for the England job after Capello leaves the post, has also laid down a blueprint for the future of the national team. The veteran manager believes that the much maligned Steven Gerrard-Frank Lampard midfield axis should be reinstated, with Wayne Rooney just in front of them.

"I have a vision of a 'golden triangle' for England," he said. "Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the middle, with Wayne Rooney playing off a striker and dropping back a little bit.

"In that way, he can play just in front of the two central midfielders and is a great link-man between midfield and up front. There is no doubt Rooney is still a world-class striker. But again when Lampard is missing, there is an obvious gap in the team.

"I think Rooney is perfectly suited to the role of dropping off a main striker, because he is superb at running at defences with the ball."

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