Francis, now on the staff at Stoke City, worked with Crouch at Spurs.
"I'm very close to Peter Crouch," Francis told The Sentinel, "having started him off in his career as his manager at both QPR and Tottenham.
"What happened was totally out of character. He's been to World Cups and has a lot of experience, so you don't expect that.
Francis, a senior member of Stoke's managerial think-tank for the past three seasons, takes particular pride in the success of players he nurtured earlier in their careers.
"Yes, over the years there has been loads of players such as Nigel Martyn, Les Ferdinand, Trevor Sinclair and Crouchy," he explained.
"Some of them were playing for their country when I was still their club manager, so you do have a proud feeling when you see them go and represent England."