‘First league goal’ stat is so unfair, says Spurs striker

PETER Crouch has launched a passionate defence of his contribution for Tottenham this season.

The 29-year-old has appeared in all 13 of Spurs’ league games this season but scored his first domestic goal on Saturday in the 4-2 win over Blackburn Rovers.

However, the England striker feels that that much-publicised statistic is unfair, and devalues his overall contribution to the Lilywhites so far this season.

“I’ve scored six this year. I’ve been part of another five maybe so that’s 11 goals, and I think you boys in the media worry about it more than I do to be honest,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves scoring goals, and I’m no different. When you’re a striker you do get judged on that, but I’ve been scoring goals in the Champions League and loving every minute of it.

“The last goal I scored was against Inter Milan, so that was only a couple of games ago. I’ve always felt confident that I’d score goals, and it was pleasing to get one at the weekend because people like to talk about things like that don’t they.

“I’ve been pleased with my performances. The manager wouldn’t play me if he didn’t think that I was having an impact, and I feel that I’ve been having an impact.

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“Just because I haven’t scored in the league, I still feel that I’ve been making contributions. I’ve made maybe five of the goals that Rafa [Van der Vaart] has scored, from knock-downs, and as long as I’m contributing then that’s great. But as a striker obviously you are judged on goals and you’ve got to make sure you score them.”

With Jermain Defoe closing in on a return to the first team, Crouch is likely to face greater competition for his place at Spurs in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Andy Carroll’s rise to stardom could threaten the Tottenham striker’s status at international level.

Crouch and Carroll were both called up to the England squad that will face France at Wembley on Wednesday night and - while the Newcastle forward will have a scan on a groin injury tonight – Crouch has again been forced onto the defensive.

“I’ve watched Andy Carroll and I think he’s a fantastic player. He’s a great talent and he fully deserves his call-up,” he said. “But I don’t look at other players, I just look at myself and do as well as I can for Tottenham, and if that catches the eye of the England manager then great. If not then I’m happy doing the business here.

“A lot of the time everyone’s talking about other people but I’m very proud of my record for England. I don’t think I’ve ever let the country down whenever I played, so it’s up the manager who he decides to play, and other people can speculate of course.”