Peter Crouch's international goalscoring record easily stands comparison with the best strikers of his or any other generation.
But 20 goals in 37 international appearances have not been enough to stop the Tottenham striker from fretting over whether he will be on the right side of Fabio Capello's final cut for England's FIFA World Cup™ squad.
Two goals against Egypt in England's last outing and the strike against Manchester City that booked Tottenham's place in next season's Champions League have bolstered the lanky forward's case for being regarded as the first-choice partner for Wayne Rooney in England's attack.
Yet with Capello considering travelling to South Africa with only four recognised strikers, the 29-year-old is conscious that he still has work to do to complete his seduction of a coach he regards with the fear-tinged awe of a bright but slightly unruly pupil confronted by a disciplinarian headmaster.
"All I can do is do what I've done, give my best and hopefully it's good enough," Crouch said at England's training camp in the Austrian Alps. "We've got fantastic players with England and lot of strength in depth. We've got players who've scored a lot of goals this year as well. But hopefully my record will stand me in good stead and give me a chance of hopefully starting."
Changing with Capello
Capello is expected to take both Crouch and Emile Heskey to South Africa. But his first message to his provisional squad on their arrival here was that no-one's place on the plane to Johannesburg is subject to a confirmed booking. "In his first meeting he said he's got to cut the squad down," Crouch revealed. "He just said, 'Do as well as you can. Work hard and that day will come when it comes.'"
Having grown accustomed to the style of Capello's predecessors, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren, Crouch admits Capello's rules-based system has come as something of a culture shock. "You have to be on time, everything," Crouch said. "Whether it is with regards to footwear, conduct around the hotel -- every time you're being judged.
"He's very hands-on. Every training session, he'll be involved in it and if he sees something he won't be afraid to tell you and lets you know where he wants you. And he'll organise you better.
"He's got a hell of a lot of respect from the lads because of his previous exploits in winning Championships and Champions Leagues," Crouch said.