Player profile: Tony Crane

Cod Almighty | Article

by Alistair Wilkinson

8 September 2003

Ho, ho, ho, Green Giant. OK, he's not green - but at 6'5" and by Town's usual height standards he is pretty massive. It's rather nice to have a 'big lad' at the back; it gives me a sort of warm fuzzy feeling of added security, like when an overly aggressive bouncer takes your side against the drunken lunatic, or in this case clod-hopping psycho Division Two forwards. Iffy Onuora take note.

It's not just his height that sets this lad apart. He's confident, even cocky. "No disrespect to them, but they're not any great shakes and we should have a great chance of beating [Bristol] City down there," he enthused, before we were beaten 1-0 by City down there. Hmmm - he'll probably soon have that youthful optimism cruelly crushed.

There have been many famous Tonys in the past and currently doing the rounds: Blair, Benn, Hancock, Soprano and many other fictitious gangsters throughout Hollywood's more violent archives. So how does our Tony match up? Well he's bigger; he's a footballer not a politician; he's had some first-team experience - 60 appearances in the last 5 seasons at Wednesday with 5 goals thrown in. He's got youth on his side - born in 1982 in Liverpool - and to persist with the gangster thing, I'm convinced Simon Ford is becoming his moll. With a few games of the season now played, he looks a reasonable defender, with room for improvement, in the Leveresque mould.

Many people have pointed out the similarity with our erstwhile defender and I'm not going to argue the point, but it's not just in ball skills that the similarity lies. The arboreal Crane has been seen rolling around injured with worrying frequency, much as was Mr Lever's habit in the olden days; and the sight of Mr Crane clutching his back and grimacing is already alarmingly familiar.

What else do we have to worry/celebrate about our first signing of the summer revolution? Apparently there is a question mark over young Crazy Legs' position. "Big old Craney is the problem of Hillsborough,", whose opinion is that he is in fact not a defender but a midfielder. The Guardian agrees with this stance, listing him as a member of the engine room. Tony himself has expressed a desire to play up front, which he did for Wednesday at the end of last season to not exactly rave reviews. So thank you Tony for helping relegate the Wendys, but you're at a proper club now so it's time to start playing seriously methinks.

Personally I think he should stay at the back. At the time of writing we have just played away at Bristol City and he was pretty damned good, back clutching aside. He's only young; he shows a lot of promise but needs to learn his trade from a more experienced player (and unfortunately this describes equally well our other first-choice centre-half). Overall I think he'll do well for the Mariners. We just need to find him a teacher, but old Futchers don't die - they just fade away.