Big Sam Backs Crouch For Success

Last updated : 19 June 2006 By Matt Bottom
Allardyce told "Crouchy is my top man. Everyone can knock him because of his height, the fact that he is ungainly or sometimes not pretty to watch - but he is the best striker England has at the moment.

"He is also developing a goal record worthy of any striker at international level and the fact that he scored his first World Cup goal will give him a major boost.

"It was a big game for him after that dreadful miss and he might easily have gone the other way after that but he picked himself up and has now slammed the criticism down people's throats. Brazilian, Argentinian, Spanish and Italian centre-halves will find it very difficult to cope with Crouch."

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor has warned Bolton off midfielder Ben Watson.

"There's no doubt I want to keep Ben," he stressed.

"My top priority is keeping all my best players."