Crouchy: "I thought it might be a wake-up call, but we were fearless"
27 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
From Bern to the Bernabeu, via Bremen and the San Siro, Peter Crouch played a huge part in our Champions League story in 2010-11.
‘Crouchy’ scored that goal at Manchester City to get us into the Champions League play-off, then a hat-trick to make sure we lined-up in the group stages. He then scored in the opener at Werder Bremen, in the 3-1 win against Inter and of course the winner at AC Milan before seeing red in the quarter-finals against Real Madrid. A true rollercoaster ride.
As we step back into the Champions League arena in 2016-17, the striker, now at Stoke, has relived some of those memories...
Below: Rafa van der Vaart opens the scoring against FC Twente at the Lane
Spurs 4-1 FC Twente - September 29, 2010
Our first home match in the group stage had everything. Indeed, Rafa van der Vaart experienced just about every football emotion in the space of an hour in the pouring rain at the Lane.
Rafa had a penalty saved, scored a cracking opener and was then sent off. His was one of three penalties on the night, the second two converted by Roman Pavlyuchenko. Gareth Bale then scored a trademark goal to finish it off.
Below: Crouchy in action against FC Twente
‘There was no fear’
“I'd played in the Champions League before that for Liverpool and I must admit I thought before we went into the season, because it was our first time in the Champions League with quite a young side, it might be a bit of a wake-up call,” recalled Peter.
“But we just went out there and battered teams! It was unbelievable. There was literally no fear at all. We just went at teams. The Twente game was a prime example - we just went out there and attacked them. We played really well.”
Crouchy and Rafa
Having dominated the first half, that first goal was key - and it was the first of many Crouch-van der Vaart combinations we’d see that season.
“It was brilliant with Rafa,” said Crouchy. “I remember the first day in training I was knocking balls down to him and he was following me around wherever I was going on the pitch!
“He was always a step ahead of the defenders, wherever I’d put the ball, he’d be there, he always read it and it worked really well.”
Three days after beating Twente, we came from behind to beat Villa 2-1 in the Premier League. Rafa scored both goals - with two assists from a certain Mr Crouch…