Crouch: Why I didn't receive flak on Pompey return
Peter Crouch believes he wasn't given a hostile reception when he returned to Pompey because he'd been a hit for Liverpool and England.
But speaking to Four Four Two magazine, the striker revealed Southampton fans were less forgiving of his Blues past when he made his debut for Saints in 2004.
Crouch returned to Fratton Park in 2008 from Liverpool for a fee of around £11m.
Between his first spell at PO4 – during the 2001-02 season – and rejoining Pompey, Crouch spent the 2004-05 campaign at St Mary’s.
On his Southampton bow, the current Stoke City marksman received flak from the home fans.
But Crouch feels the Fratton faithful didn’t give him a similar greeting when he rejoined the Blues because he’d been a key player for both Liverpool and England.
‘I think signing for Southampton having been with Portsmouth (was more difficult),’ he told Four Four Two.
‘I’d made a name for myself at Liverpool and was playing for England by the time I went back to Portsmouth, so I think they thought it was a good signing.
‘But joining Southampton after being a bit of a failure at Aston Villa – that was tough.
‘I was booed by my own fans in my first match.’
Crouch’s second spell at Fratton Park culminated in Pompey’s 2008-09 UEFA Cup campaign.
That season, Tony Adams’ side almost delivered a memorable victory over the mighty AC Milan.
The Blues were 2-0 up with six minutes remaining, before substitute Ronaldinho and Filippo Inzaghi struck late to earn the Italian giants a draw.
Crouch thought the Blues were on for a famous win before the Brazilian legend came off the bench.
‘It was frustrating, as we had them beat,’ he added.
‘I think the fans would probably still say it was one of their greatest ever moments.
‘We absolutely battered Milan and that’s not something you can take lightly.
‘It was only when they brought Ronaldinho off the bench and he scored an incredible free-kick that they got back in the game.’
Crouch first joined the Blues in 2001 and played alongside Robert Prosinecki, which he revealed was an ‘amazing’ experience.
‘Playing with him was amazing,’ said Crouch.
‘He was a real character, but what a player. He didn’t really move very much, although he didn’t need to.
‘I think I scored about 19 goals that season and he put pretty much every single one on a plate for me.’