Crouch: Redknapp better than Benitez
The giant England front-man linked up with Redknapp for a third time when he moved to White Hart Lane in the close-season following previous spells under the much-experienced manager at Portsmouth and Southampton.
And the 28-year-old – who is set to start England’s friendly with Brazil on Saturday – says Redknapp and Benitez operate in completely different ways. “Harry wears his heart on his sleeve and will tell you if you’re playing badly,” he said. “Benitez isn’t like that and might not rip into you as much, or pat you on the back.
Crouch spent three years at Anfield under Benitez – who has come under increasing scrutiny following the Reds’ poor start to the season – and likens the Spanish tactician to current Three Lions boss Fabio Capello. “Benitez is the type of manager, similar to the England manager perhaps. You do have to work hard to get a well done," he said. “That’s the way Rafa plays it, and he’s done exceptionally well. I’d rather have Harry’s approach. It’s easier to deal with someone like Harry because he’s so open. “I can go and talk to him and he can explain to me why I’m left out and if I’m playing well. Rafa keeps his cards close to his chest.”
Crouch scored 22 goals during his three-year stint on Merseyside and still reflects upon his time under Benitez as the highlight of his playing career to this date.
“I found it difficult to score in the first part of my time there [at Liverpool] and the fans were fantastic to me. “I went on to score a good amount of goals and had the best years of my career. I’d love to see them win the league.”
The striker recently found himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons after being pictured in a nightclub following Spurs’ win at Crouch’s former club Portsmouth. And while the incident may have been overlooked by Capello, a well-known disciplinarian, Crouch admits he won’t be taking any chances again.
“It won’t happen again,” he said. ”He [Capello] has not said anything to me. Harry said ‘you’re an idiot, move on’. Quite straight forward.” The England forward is now setting his sights on booking his place in Capello’s final squad for the World Cup finals next summer. Crouch already has 16 goals in 34 appearances for his country and knows another impressive showing against one of the pre-tournament favourites will do his chances of being on the plane to South Africa the world of good. “If you can score against Brazil the manager will believe you can do it in a big tournament," he said. “Brazil are one of the top five teams in the world so to put in a good performance will be fantastic for your aspirations of making the side for the World Cup.”