For many players who faced the Black Stars and the various clubs John Paintsil played for, the defender was a hugely intimidating and formidable opponent.
For former England striker, Peter Crouch, however, facing the lanky Black Stars defender, however, was a nightmare that he couldn’t wait to end.
Having been on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from the versatile Painstil, who was at the time playing centre-back for Fulham, the usually mild-mannered Crouch began a trash-talking session that he would soon come to regret.
Speaking on BBC 5 Live’s ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’ a couple of years ago, Crouch hilariously detailed his traumatising encounter with Paintsil and why he’ll not want to see the Ghanaian any time soon.
“He went through me so I started giving him a bit of stick. I said ‘you’re useless. How are you even on this pitch? Your mates are laughing at you. You cost your team every week’. I had to check the back of his shirt for his name, I was giving him a lot of stick”
While Crouchy might have been pleased with himself at that moment for having got under the player’s skin, what happened next, convinced him that his trash-talking days were over, after they had barely begun.
“Then I just saw him switch, he changed. I asked [Paintsil’s teammate] Aaron Hughes ‘what’s the matter with this fella?’ He said ‘he’s a nutcase.’ Basically, ‘what have you done?!”
Crouch added that after some threats from the defender that he would end his career, convincing him that he had taken on the wrong person at the wrong time, he beat a hasty retreat.
He attempted to avoid Paintsil further in the game by moving over to the other centre-back.
This had no effect apparently on John, who was seeing red and couldn’t care less about formations and strategy at that moment, basically abandoning his post to seek revenge.
This had Paintsil wondering whether he might have played his last ever game.
“[Painstil] said he was going to end my career, he said he’d break my legs. He was playing the right side of centre-half so I conveniently moved to the left side. He didn’t care about formations and tactics, he left a massive hole at one side of the pitch and was following me around. I was thinking ‘Oh my God, he’s going to kill me. He was trying to throw these elbows in.”
While stating that he didn’t ‘snitch’ on Paintsil to the ref during the game, Crouch admitted that he ratted him to his dad.
“I didn’t grass on him. I told my dad afterwards, and he was fuming,”
The moral of the story is obviously football should be violence-free.
But also, trash-talking is great on the football pitch but against Ghana’s John Paintsil, it might be best to keep your mouth shut.
Here’s a video of Crouch speaking to BBC 5 Live
When sledging goes wrong, by Peter Crouch 😬🎥BBC Radio 5 live Sport
Posted by BBC Sport on Wednesday, October 17, 2018