Crouch wants re-established; Striker hopes to be Capello's first choice up front.PETER Crouch insists he is ready to claim his place back as England's first-choice striker and fire the country towards the World Cup next year, writes MIKE MCGRATH Michael ("Mike") McGrath is Montana's current attorney general. He was elected in November 2000, and was unopposed for his second term in 2004. He is a member of the Montana Democratic Party. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. .
Crouch's statistics are impressive - 13 goals from 15 starts and another two strikes as a substitute - but he was still behind Emile Heskey Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey (born January 11 1978 in Leicester, England) is an English footballer. Known for his pace and strength, he is a striker currently playing for Premier League side Wigan Athletic. in the pecking order pecking order
Basic pattern of social organization within a flock of poultry in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank. For groups of mammals (e.g. until injuries meant the Portsmouth forward was needed against Ukraine in April.
The pressure was on Crouch to deliver and he did not disappoint, grabbing the opener in a victory that edged Fabio Capello's England closer to the finals in South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. .
Crouch admitted it felt like a breakthrough goal. "Yes it did," he said. "Everyone wants to start games and it's not always the case. We play with one main striker up front and it's been Emile for quite some time. It was important for me to get a game, play well and I scored so hopefully I have given the manager something to think about.
"I'd like to think the goal helped but the manager keeps his cards close to his chest. I felt I did well enough in the last game to warrant a start. Emile is back from injury and he was first choice beforehand, but hopefully I've given the manager some food for thought." Heskey's physical presence offers an alternative to Crouch's beanpole bean·pole
1. A thin pole used to support bean vines.
2. Informal A very tall, thin person.
Slang a tall thin person
frame, although both have the height Capello has been looking for to play just ahead of Wayne Rooney Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24 October 1985 in Liverpool) is an English footballer who currently plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team. or Steven Gerrard Steven George Gerrard MBE (IPA: ['stiːvn 'dʒɛɹɑːd]) (born 30 May, 1980, Whiston, Merseyside) is an English football player. He is the captain of Liverpool, where he wears the number 8 shirt. .
It looks like a straight fight between Heskey and Crouch for the qualifiers against Kazakhstan on Saturday and Andorra the following Wednesday, although Carlton Cole also adds competition.
England are expected to win both matches comfortably and a haul of six points would mean a huge stride towards next year's tournament.
"Obviously there is pressure on us to win the game (against Kazakhstan) and get the three points but it doesn't matter if we win it by one goal or seven," Crouch added. "The way we have been playing we have enough about us to score goals, and as a forward I would like to get a couple of goals." The clash in Almaty is a trip into the unknown for the England squad, who travel out tomorrow, but the only thing on their mind is maintaining their 100% record in Group Six.
"I can't say I have ever been to Kazakhstan on holiday," joked Crouch. "None of the lads have played against teams from there so it's exciting, but we have to make sure we get the right result. I don't know what the pitch is like, or the conditions. They are obviously going to be used to it, but for us it is a trip into the unknown. That's why we have to make sure we get it right, that's why we are going out there early, to get the timedifference right, ready for kick-off on Saturday." Crouch admitted he does not want the season to end now he is back in the England frame.
"For me personally it is just starting to get going," he said. "It's a shame it's finishing but from an overall team perspective it has been fantastic, you can't complain, we have a maximum amount of points and some great performances and hopefully we will finish on a high with these two games." Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole, meanwhile, missed training as a precaution.
Chelsea left-back Cole took a kick during the FA Cup final win at Wembley over Everton, while Ferdinand rested a problem he had before Manchester United's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.
Toffees defender Joleon Lescott, meanwhile, hopes to erase the memory of that Wembley defeat by playing his part in England taking a huge step towards the
World Cup. "I was disappointed at losing at the weekend but I'm fully focused," he said.
One of Lescott's early appearances for England was a nervous display in the defeat to Russia - but he feels he is a different player now. "I'd like to think I've progressed and got better since that," he said. "I was playing out of position at the time, at left-back, and I had never played there before. I always see myself as a centre-back and now I'm playing there I'm enjoying it a lot more."
QUALIFIERS Main picture, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard stretch during the England training session at London Colney. Peter Crouch, top, and Joleon Lescott, bottom, both hope to impress Fabio Capello.