I went 18 games before scoring for Liverpool back in 2005 and I’ve been asked if I ever worried I’d never get a goal and if my team-mates were giving me stick.
Frankly, it was the worst time in my football career.
I remember my dad saying ‘you’re going to a massive club, European champions at the time, just get your first goal and your confidence and you’ll be fine’.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 19, 2020
I thought ‘yeah I’ll get in there, get one early, get the monkey off my back and then bang’. But it just wasn’t happening.
In my defence I felt like I was trying to do too much. But not too many clubs would have stuck by me.
I went 18 games without scoring. Everywhere I went people knew, it was on the back of the papers.
I think the total time without a goal had clocked up to 24 hours, and on the front page one of them had Jack Bauer from 24 mocked up with different pictures of my face looking in anguish, and I thought it just couldn’t get any worse.
I stopped watching TV and just wanted to hide in my house. It was horrible. My dad had to keep dragging me out after games and have a few beers with me because I just didn’t want to leave the house.
Then thankfully the first goal went in – which in truth probably wasn’t even my goal – against Wigan. It went about 40 yards in the air and the keeper Mike Pollitt inadvertently helped me out by trying to tip it over the bar but instead it went in.
At that moment the whole ground was shaking. It was an electric atmosphere at Anfield for that first goal.
I got a load of stick. Loads and loads. But you know what, the Liverpool fans stuck with me and I’ll always remember that to this day.
More from Crouchie…
My goal drought during my early days at Liverpool was a nightmare.
The pressure was growing and growing, but I’ll never forget the support the fans gave me and the incredible atmosphere after my first goal at Anfield.
Read the full story of Crouchie’s worst career moment here: Peter Crouch: I’ll never forget Liverpool fans for support during nightmare goal drought
I’ve been asked if players read transfer news and worry about their place in the team.
Yes, it does happen, and often when you confront the manager about it, they’ll lie to you about it!
Read the full story of Crouchie’s take on transfer gossip here: Peter Crouch: Players get nervous about transfer rumours – and managers will lie to you about it!
Anfield is probably the best home ground I played at, but away it would have to be the San Siro.
One year my nan came over to watch me play for Tottenham there – and ended up watching the game with the ultras!
Read the full story of Crouchie’s nan’s San Siro experience: Peter Crouch: I played for Tottenham at the San Siro while my nan was with the ultras!
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