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Featured Image Credit: Alamy & BT Sport
Peter Crouch sat down to discuss absolutely everything about Tony Pulis' legendary Stoke City team and it's a fascinating watch.
For those of you who are unaware, Stoke earned promotion to the Premier League in 2008 and developed a reputation for being the roughest team about.
Pulis had a group of players who fully bought into his methods and they delivered some incredible results over the years. The Potters even reached the 2011 FA Cup final and played in the Europa League the following season.
Crouch moved to the bet365 Stadium that year and his size meant he was the perfect target man for a Pulis team.
The former England international sat down with Joe Cole for an episode of the 'The Joe Cole Cast' last week and claimed Stoke could've given THAT Barcelona team managed by Pep Guardiola a run for their money.
He explained: "I bought into it because when I arrived there, there was a lot of players that were playing above themselves, but the attitude and camaraderie in the group was amazing.
"It was one of the best dressing rooms that I’ve ever been a part of, you just knew you were going into battle everyday and going to get a result because of the work rate, attitude, the endeavour and dedication.
"I reckon at that time we were only team that could beat Barcelona. We just made things horrible.
"If [Lionel] Messi or [Andres] Iniesta came to the Britannia at that time, I reckon we could have turned them over because we made it horrendous for teams."
"If Messi and Iniesta came to the Brittania at that time I reckon we could have turned them over."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 20, 2022
"We trained in the middle of the pitch before we played Arsenal just to cut it all up."@petercrouch reminiscing about his time at Stoke is absolutely incredible! 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/rSTnwbNbXa
One team Stoke always managed to beat is Arsenal. Arsene Wenger's luxurious brand of football never fully clicked against Pulis' smashmouth style and that was by design.
Crouch revealed Stoke use to train in the middle of the pitch in an attempt to cut the turf up with their studs. Arsenal were always going to dominate possession, so it made ball retention much trickier.
The 41-year-old continued: "We trained in the middle of the pitch before we played Arsenal just to cut it all up," Crouch added.
“The grass had grown longer and I remember looking at Aaron Ramsey and he couldn’t see his boot! He went Crouchy and I went 'that’s just what we do here.' It was brilliant."
Crouch added: "Tony always said, fair play to him, he could adapt but he didn’t. His best line of all-time for me was when he felt like we were getting ahead of ourselves.
"It’s one of the best lines I've heard in football. He said 'don’t get ahead of yourselves lads, you’re bang average players in a fantastic system.' I can’t argue with that."