Robot dancer Peter Crouch talks celebration suck ups and embarrassing muck ups.
What began as a dancefloor mickey take turned into an almost inescapable trademark for Peter Crouch. When he busted out the robot dance celebration against Jamaica in 2006, he admits he had no idea it would follow him around for the rest of his career – let alone be retired and then resurrected to mark his 100th Premier League goal. But as a connoiseur of the art of goal celebrations, what does the striker – who has hit the net 168 times and counting – think makes a great one?
DON’T FORCE IT
Scoring a goal is the best feeling in the world and you don’t want to lose it. But it can go wrong in the heat of the moment. Look at Bolo Zenden when he tried to copy Asamoah Gyan’s dance at Sunderland. It was a disaster. Do what comes naturally. I should know because I fell foul of this when I scored my 100th league goal and tried to form an ‘0’ with my mouth. I looked like the world’s worst James Bond.
It’s okay to think about what you’re going to do but you risk looking stupid if you overplan your celebrations. Remember: messages on a shirt may never be seen. I saw one guy go a season without the message written on his vest being seen. It can become like a curse if it keeps dragging on. He tried to put on his vest on the sly and in the end he just got rid of it.
DON’T BROWN NOSE
This one is a big ‘no-no’ from a player’s point of view. I’ve seen a couple of random ones like this. Runs to the manager are not ideal and sucking up to anyone is not the best. I’ve seen one guy where he must have kissed his ring and looked up at his missus about 30 times. I think it might well have been an apology more than a celebration.
Rooney’s knockout celebration is one of my favourites. It’s a great example of when something bad is going on you can put it to bed. As soon as you can laugh at the negative headlines it shows you aren’t bothered. He’d been in the news for getting sparked with a punch and there was a video. The celebration from him was the perfect response.
This is the one I talked about in my book because this is the absolute pinnacle. It’s so cool and it just works. Cantona’s celebration after the chip against Sunderland: standing still, not smiling and drinking in the crowd. That was special. That was just him. I wish I could do that but I just couldn’t. It worked so perfectly because it was Eric Cantona.