Van der Vaart pays tribute to Crouch

Tottenham Hotspur star Rafael van der Vaart has spoken of the important role played by team-mate Peter Crouch in helping him enjoy such a successful debut season at White Hart Lane.

The Dutch international arrived in North London from Spanish giants Real Madrid on transfer deadline day last summer, and enjoyed a spectacular start to his first campaign in England, netting seven league goals in the first three months of the season .

Of those seven goals, England international Crouch assisted five, and Van der Vaart believes that the former Liverpool target-man possesses attributes that ensured his first season with Tottenham got off to the best of starts.

"Crouchy is a great player," Van der Vaart told Tottenham's official website.

"He is a big, tall guy but he can also play fantastic football.

"I remember in my first training session his heading ability was fantastic.

"He has a great technique, sees everything and when I played behind him it was easy to make goals.

"I think my first five or six goals were because he gave me the ball so he has been a really important player for me."

By Matt Maltby