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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July 2005, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
A tall tale
Former England manager Graham Taylor
By Graham Taylor
Former England manager

Peter Crouch is a very good football player and joining Liverpool is a tremendous move for him, he deserves it.

Everyone simply talks about his height, because he's 6ft 7in, as if that's all there is to him.

But I can assure everyone he is very good technically and his touch will be as good as the other Liverpool players, there is no doubt about that.

He's had to live with jibes about his height and I'm so pleased for him because this boy can play.

People say Liverpool will just play the long ball now. Well, when does a long pass become a long ball, I mean what are people talking about?

Southampton's giant striker Peter Crouch
Peter would say his height hasn't affected him but I think it used to
Graham Taylor on new Liverpool striker Peter Crouch

Look at his touch, look at his passing, look at his control, how he lays people in, how he holds off defenders, that's the sort of player we are talking about.

There are too many people who will not look at him just because he's very tall. But look at Jan Koller, one of the best Czech strikers around - he's 6ft 7in too.

Peter has always wanted to be thought of as a good footballer.

He was in great form for a struggling Southampton side last season and he was scoring plenty of goals too.

Psychologically, he would say his height hasn't affected him but I think it used to. Now he's learned to handle the criticism and he knows he's a good player.

People don't realise this, but when you are as tall as Peter, you're not neccessarily going to be a good header of the ball because playing as a kid he's never had to jump, he's just towered over everyone.

So when you come into the man's game, you haven't got that upper body strength in your spine because you've never used it. He's become a better player because he's learned how to handle his body.

Niall Quinn is a first-class example for Peter to follow. You can see the progression of his career and what he became, how he used his height and Peter could go the same way.

Graham Taylor was manager of Aston Villa when they spent 4.5m on Peter Crouch in March 2002.

Crouch nets England squad call-up
12 May 05 |  Internationals
Crouch call-up divides fans
12 May 05 |  Internationals


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