SOUTHGATE & CROUCH
Stuff India|July 2021
England boss Gareth and ceiling-bothering pundit Peter on fake crowds, VR training and the unknown ‘Crouchgate’ scandal

What are you both like when it comes to tech?

GS: I run my life on my phone, so without it I’m not quite sure how I would operate. I’m using apps for things like fitness, because I’m not able to get to the gym at the moment, and obviously there’s everything to do with work on there.

Years ago, the only accurate data we had was around how far people ran. Normally it was used in a really basic way: you’d get the fitness coach to bring it to you on a Monday and tell you this player didn’t run far enough and therefore we didn’t win. It was a really misguided way of assessing these things.

Now we’ve got so much accurate performance data around every pass that’s played, you can assess teams much more clearly. We’ve actually got too much – and we have to make sure the data we use is really accurate and specific, so we spend a lot of time sorting out what’s really relevant for the England team – relating to improving our own performance, but also preparing us for the next opponent. PC: What I love in tech at the moment are the Apple AirPods – absolutely loving them. We’re on series five of That Peter Crouch Podcast and I’m only now looking into getting a mic.

The show has got so big, I’ve got to the stage where I need a proper setup. I never really classed doing the podcast as a job and now it is, so I need to sort myself out. Chris [Stark] and Tom [Fordyce] are proper broadcasters – they’ve got the full setup, the noise isolation boards and whatever else. I’m literally with a mic in my front room. So yeah, I need a serious upgrade.

How did you feel about watching games on TV with the fake crowd noise?

GS: I turned it off. For me it’s more interesting without because I can hear the way players communicate, which is a really important piece of information when I’m watching players play. You learn a lot about leadership, who’s organising the others in difficult moments, so I prefer the crowd noise off.

PC: I wanted to hear the fake crowd noise. A lot of fans I know want to hear the players, but I’ve heard the players for 20 years, I don’t need to hear them! I prefer a little bit of atmosphere when I’m watching matches on TV otherwise it just sounds like a reserve game.

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