Home Championship Peter Crouch answers YOUR questions on Chelsea vs Man City, Edinson Cavani, Wayne Rooney and more

Peter Crouch answers YOUR questions on Chelsea vs Man City, Edinson Cavani, Wayne Rooney and more

by Football Frenzied

The season is reaching its defining days and the questions keep pouring in for Peter Crouch to answer. 

A mixed bag this week sees Sportsmail’s resident columnist tackling Wayne Rooney’s managerial career and Edinson Cavani’s future – but he starts with praise for Thomas Tuchel.

Thomas Tuchel’s (left) Chelsea beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Saturday evening

What do Chelsea need to do to close the gap on Manchester City next season?

Charlie Smith via email

Another transfer window, Charlie. If Chelsea can get a top-class central defender, one out of the highest bracket, that would put them in with a huge chance next season. Thomas Tuchel took over a really good squad but it is still behind City at the minute, for all the progress they have made.

I cannot wait to see the next steps Tuchel and Chelsea make because I have been bowled over by the impact he has made. I’m so impressed and nobody in Europe would want to play them in their current form.

They put a marker down for the Champions League final on Saturday. City will not play the line-up they used at the weekend on May 29 but it will be in their minds, the damage Chelsea can do in a one-off match.

If you were giving me a free bet on that outcome, I would back Chelsea at the respective odds.

Tuchel's team are one top-class defensive signing away from being serious contenders

Tuchel’s team are one top-class defensive signing away from being serious contenders

Deal or no deal for Edinson Cavani?

Aaron Hodge via email

Deal, Aaron! Deal all day long. When Cavani signed last autumn, someone asked me whether he would end up going the same way as Radamel Falcao, who had a disappointing time at Old Trafford after he signed as a free agent in 2014.

There is a perception that United have become a retirement home for players of a certain age but I thought it was disrespectful to pin that on Cavani. I have always loved him and he has proven what an outstanding striker he is with eight goals in his last seven games.

This idea that he is past his best is a nonsense. I hear people talk about Harry Kane being ‘old’ at 27, for goodness sake.

You can see Cavani looks after himself. He leads by example and he is capable of continuing to contribute for United. They need to tie him down to another deal.

Edinson Cavani has been brilliant and Manchester United need to tie him down to a new deal

Is Wayne Rooney wasting his time or can he genuinely progress at Derby?

Matt Jones via email

He is not wasting his time, Matt. It’s a great place for him to start and you should not underestimate how valuable the experience of the last six months has been. You don’t just walk into a top Premier League job. You have to earn it and Saturday’s draw with Sheffield Wednesday was big for him.

Wayne will have gone through every kind of emotion during that 3-3 draw. His record as a player is second to none, but he would have been terrified about having a relegation on his c.v. so early as a manager. He coaxed the result out that his team and club needed. In a strange way, I was actually a little bit envious of him at the weekend. No other profession can take you on the emotional journey that football does and the release you get when meeting a big target is incomparable.

Wayne was always going to be a manager. He’ll progress from here. 

Derby is a great place for Wayne Rooney to start as a manager and he has gained a lot there

Derby is a great place for Wayne Rooney to start as a manager and he has gained a lot there

Now Gareth Southgate has three extra picks, how should he use them?

Julian Walters via email

On one hand, Julian, Gareth will be relieved he has room to manoeuvre. There is scope now for players such as Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish, who have had injuries, to be included even though they have been out in recent months.

There is potential to call up another striker and I spoke last week about the progress of Ollie Watkins. He has more of a chance of being included now ahead of Patrick Bamford, who cannot expect to get in after not being called up for any get-togethers this season.

But I don’t think having 26 players is a good thing and I understand Gareth’s reservations. I’ve been to tournaments with lads who know they are not going to get game time and their attitude is different to those who know they are starting – 26 is too many.

Gareth Southgate's reservations over an enlarged Euro 2020 squad are understandable

Gareth Southgate’s reservations over an enlarged Euro 2020 squad are understandable

Who has got the bigger rebuilding job – Arsenal or Tottenham?

Jade Craddock via email

Great question, Jade. If Son Heung-min and Harry Kane left Tottenham this summer (not that I believe that will happen) it would be a huge challenge for my old club to try to start moving forward. Replacing two world-class players in one window would be next to impossible.

But I look at Arsenal and I really worry. I was working at the Emirates on Sunday night and there was a police cordon outside the stadium when I got there, bracing themselves for more protests. I could not have more respect for Arsenal but I wonder where they are going.

I appreciate some people may feel I am going back into the dark ages when I talk about the Invincibles but that team, to me, were everything Arsenal should stand for: tough, uncompromising but brilliant and beautiful with it. They have none of those qualities at the minute.

Look at the men who have been captains in recent years? Laurent Koscielny refused to come back when he had the armband so he could get himself a move!

I do not see a lot of what Arsenal once represented in the current squad. They have their work cut out to get back.

Arsenal and Tottenham are both in trouble but the Gunners' slide is really worrying

Arsenal and Tottenham are both in trouble but the Gunners’ slide is really worrying

Do teams really ‘put their flip flops on’ when they have nothing to play for?

Ed Chapman via email

Nobody does it deliberately, Ed. But it is human nature to slacken a little bit when you have hit a target, such as winning a title or securing promotion – look at Liverpool’s little dip last season after they had become champions.

This is the time of year when you get freak results but it has nothing to do with players consciously trying less.

The days of lads going out partying in the final week of the season is over – there has been a complete culture change in football over the last decade.

Have Liverpool still got a chance of finishing in the top four?

Liam W via Twitter

They could not have asked for a better weekend, Liam. I initially thought West Ham were the dark horses for fourth place, but Sunday’s defeat by Everton has opened it up and Liverpool will see an opportunity.

Leicester’s run-in is loaded with difficulty – games against Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham – and Liverpool are back in the picture thanks to their 2-0 win over Southampton.

West Ham appear to have the easiest run-in but if Liverpool beat United at Old Trafford on Thursday – that is the game that holds the key to everything – it would take a brave man to bet against them. It is Leicester’s to lose but the pack are closing.

If Liverpool can beat Manchester United it will be hard to bet against them for the top four

If Liverpool can beat Manchester United it will be hard to bet against them for the top four

Sin bins for tactical fouls — what do you think?

Gavin Lee via Twitter

No, Gavin. I cannot agree with you on this and I wouldn’t ever want to see them. Football is football – let’s not turn it into rugby or ice hockey. We have had too many rule changes that have ruined things in recent years. Let’s not add any more.

Realistically, Can Leeds become European contenders next season?

Forg 90 via Twitter

Why not, Forg? I love watching Leeds play and they were superb on Saturday, fully deserving their win over Tottenham.

They are only going to get better with experience and I hope they sort out manager Marcelo Bielsa’s future quickly and he signs a contract extension.

What might work in their favour is being out of Europe. While others have packed schedules, Leeds can properly attack the top six. They have shown they are capable of going head-to-head with the best sides. It is all in front of them.

Until next week, stay safe and well.

Source: DailyMail

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