Spurs could compete for the title, says Crouch
PETER Crouch believes that Spurs have the ability to challenge for the title next season, but admits that the club's primary aim will be to establish themselves as a regular top-four side. Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti recently stated that Spurs could...
By Ben Pearce
PETER Crouch believes that Spurs have the ability to challenge for the title next season, but admits that the club's primary aim will be to establish themselves as a regular top-four side.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti recently stated that Spurs could be gunning for first place next season rather than fourth - and that was before the Blues were demolished at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
However, Crouch is warning his Lilywhites colleagues not to get ahead of themselves, and to focus on delivering Champions League football - first this season, and then on a consistent basis.
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"I heard that [what Ancelotti said] and that's a credit to the way we've been playing. I look at our squad and think we've certainly got enough ability to get there," said Crouch.
"We're not there yet. They've been there for a number of years consistently. If we could get into the Champions League it would be a great achievement, and if we could build from there it would be fantastic, but you've got to stay there.
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"I've been fortunate enough to play in the Champions League and it's the best competition in the world. I think a club like this deserves to be there. But the top clubs that have been there for a number of years have had the consistency to stay there and that's what we need."
Spurs have taken pole position in the race for the top four in the last five days, beating Arsenal and Chelsea to turn a four-point deficit behind Manchester City into a two-point lead.
The challenges continue to come thick and fast as Tottenham travel to Old Trafford on Saturday.
And Crouch admits that the race for the top four could be decided in Manchester - but at Eastlands, when Spurs visit Man City in just over two weeks time.
"It was a fantastic win over Chelsea, all the lads are really pleased," said Crouch. "I heard fans saying that they would take three points from these three games against the top three, so six from two isn't bad!
"It's a dream start. I think we've got enough players to beat teams like that, especially at White Hart Lane.
"We've repeated our performance against Arsenal, and all that after 120 minutes at Wembley on the Sunday. We've shown character, obviously our fitness level and enough quality to beat two of the three best teams in the country.
"We've set ourselves up fantastically well in the last two games, when a lot of people wrote off our chances of getting any points from them. We've got a fantastic chance of finishing fourth now and we'll try to grab it with both hands.
"I think the game at Man City will have a huge impact on it. We're the two closest to that fourth place. It will be a big, big game and if we can go there and get a result then we're half way there."
Gareth Bale's incredible second half to the season reached new heights last week with winning goals against both Arsenal and Chelsea.
Crouch first heard about the prodigious left-back five years ago during his year at Southampton, but the striker left St Mary's for Liverpool in May 2005 - just three weeks after Bale signed for Harry Redknapp's south coast outfit as a 16-year-old.
"I didn't know Gareth then but I'd heard what a good player he was coming through, and he's really starting to show it now," said Crouch.
"He's maturing now as a player. He's stronger, quicker, he's got everything as a player really. I think he can go on to be a top player. He's probably the best I've seen at that age in that position.
"He's been magnificent this season, the energy he shows getting back, and he creates so much going forward. Chelsea had an experienced full-back [Paulo Ferreira] and they changed him at half-time, and that's credit to Gareth and the way he's been playing this season.
"He's settled into the club now and he's playing the football of his life. He'll go on and be at the top level for a number of years.
"When I joined the club everybody was saying 'what a fantastic player'. It takes a while to sort out what you should be doing in games, and scoring goals helps his confidence as well. I think he'll be a fantastic player for years to come for Spurs.