Ask Crouchie! Our resident columnist is back to answer YOUR questions… Liverpool needed Timo Werner, Tottenham should have signed Callum Wilson and West Ham fans should beware for a bumpy ride this season
- Peter Crouch has answered more of your questions for his Sportsmail column
- This week, he digests the first weekend of action from the new Premier League
- Crouch says Liverpool need new signings and should have signed Timo Werner
- Crouchie also warns West Ham fans to strap in for a bumpy ride this season
After most Premier League teams have began their 2020-21 season and clubs make moves in the transfer market, there are plenty of talking points to discuss.
Sportsmail’s resident columnist Peter Crouch has been answering some of your questions and explained why Timo Werner has him excited, why West Ham fans face anxiety in the coming months after a first loss of the season… and tea-drinking etiquette.
Peter Crouch answers more of your questions as part of a weekly series here for Sportsmail
Do Liverpool need signings to retain the title?
Andy Jay via Twitter
They do, Andy. It’s never a bad thing to bring in new players to freshen things up. Liverpool are still my idea of champions and their squad is fantastic but there are always areas that need some investment.
I looked at the defence against Leeds. They have got three great players in Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip but I believe they could do with another addition there, as I wouldn’t want to see Fabinho used as the fourth-choice central defender.
Look at the second goal they conceded, to Patrick Bamford. It was a rare mistake by Van Dijk that had a hint of complacency about it. Does he make the same mistake if Liverpool have signed a central defender this summer and pressure is being applied to his place? Competition raises your standards by an extra one or two per cent.
There are only so many times Mohamed Salah, who baled out his team, and Sadio Mane can produce heroics. Adding another midfielder — such as Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara — or back-up striker would be welcomed. I have a feeling they missed a trick not getting Timo Werner.
Liverpool are still my idea of champions and their squad is fantastic but they need new players
Which club will most miss having fans in the stadium?
Sean Brown via Twitter
Leeds, Sean. Definitely Leeds. I played at Elland Road a few times and, I mean this in the most respectful sense, it was horrible. The fans make it an ordeal for visiting supporters and I can remember the buzz there for Marcelo Bielsa’s first match against Stoke two years ago. In the Premier League, the intensity would have been even greater and would have given them such a lift.
It’s hard to put a points tally on what their supporters would be worth but I can assure you a full Elland Road would make a positive difference.
It’s difficult to adjust to the way life is now. I’m in a privileged position to still be able to go to matches for BT Sport and it was fascinating to be at Craven Cottage on Saturday, hearing Mikel Arteta give instructions to Arsenal’s players in four different languages and Scott Parker bark out orders.
We must be honest, though, and say the game is everything with fans. It might seem an obvious point but the buzz and the noise of the opening day was missing and it was surreal leaving the stadium afterwards, walking down the River Thames with nobody other than joggers in sight.
I played at Elland Road a few times and, I mean this in the most respectful sense, it was horrible
Who will Spurs sign before the window shuts?
Dan Rigby via Twitter
Good question, Dan. Jose Mourinho has made it clear he wants to sign a striker. The next time I see him, I’ll remind him I’m still available! I mentioned earlier Liverpool might regret letting Chelsea sign Timo Werner but I would have loved to have seen Tottenham go all out for him.
It wouldn’t have been a signing to the detriment of Harry Kane. I watched a lot of RB Leipzig in the Champions League last season and Werner is versatile. He could have played anywhere across a front three and really transformed Tottenham.
That would have been a dream signing but why did Tottenham let Callum Wilson sign for Newcastle? He wouldn’t have caused the slightest bit of trouble if he wasn’t playing every week, he has got quality and would have fitted straight into the squad.
Tottenham will be much better under Jose this year but I think the summit of their ambitions in the league will be battling with Arsenal to try and force their way into the top four.
Liverpool and Tottenham may regret letting Chelsea sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig
Should I be excited about Newcastle this season?
Dean Smith via email
I’ve never hidden my admiration for Steve Bruce, Dean. I think he did brilliantly last season to deal with all the problems of the fans who still love Rafa Benitez — and all the issues that were constantly in the background off-the-field.
This summer he has made some really sensible signings. I’ve mentioned Callum Wilson and what a lift he will have from scoring on his debut in an away win — there will be better-looking goals from him this season but none will mean as much as the first.
Jamal Lewis is a talented boy, Ryan Fraser was a shrewd free signing and the same applies to Jeff Hendrick, who I worked with at Burnley. He will fit perfectly into the dressing room and keep popping up with important interventions.
You have got nothing to worry about over the next 12 months. I know the 5-1 friendly defeat by Middlesbrough had some people worried but pre-season form is meaningless, particularly in a summer such as this. I hope Newcastle can now thrive.
Callum Wilson netted on his debut and what a lift he will have for Newcastle moving forward
What do you think of West Ham’s situation?
Always Irons via Twitter
They will be all right but I would say strap yourself in because it is going to be a bumpy ride. I don’t envisage West Ham being relegated with David Moyes in charge, he’s too experienced and will grind out the necessary results.
I’ve watched the situation over the last couple of weeks and I would say it took a fair bit of courage for Mark Noble to tweet his frustration over the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom. The easy thing to do would have been to say nothing publicly and to bitch about it in the dressing room.
Someone from the board will have spoken to Noble about it, I’m absolutely certain. But fair play for him having the conviction to speak up. I don’t know a huge amount about Diangana, so I respect what Noble says. He is the link between players and fans.
West Ham will be all right but I would strap yourself in because it is going to be a bumpy ride
Chelsea for the title, Crouchie?
Prasana Uthayakumar via email
Not this year, Prasana. I’m excited about the transfers you have done. You might have seen in my guide to the season that I said I would pay to watch players such as Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva. You’ll see elsewhere in this column how much I rate Timo Werner.
There is absolutely no doubt Chelsea are going to be better and they are going to be much nearer to the top, in terms of points, than they were last season. I would expect them to open up on Monday evening with a win at Brighton, too.
But in terms of overtaking Liverpool and Manchester City, I just don’t see it at this moment in time. We are talking about two of the greatest teams in the Premier League era — maybe even two of the greatest teams we have ever seen.
Frank Lampard has taken decisive action to improve the areas of the squad he felt were weak but there is more to it than just spending to cut the huge gap that was between them and Liverpool last season. Frank is ambitious but he is also realistic. He knows the steps required.
Chelsea will not win the league but I’m excited about the transfers they have done this summer
Is it wrong to stir your tea anti-clockwise?
David Brooks via Twitter
What have you done to me, David? I’m here now pretending to stir a cup of tea, as I normally would, and realising that I do it anti-clockwise. Is it wrong? Does it matter which way you stir? Surely the only thing that matters is the choice of biscuit to accompany it. Mine is a Viennese sandwich. Very posh.
You had short hair and long hair — what’s the best style for scoring goals?
Terry Pipe via Twitter
Short hair, Terry. It can’t be anything else. Every summer it was the same. I’d grow my hair for a bit and when we would report back for pre-season, it would fall in my face and get on my nerves and then I’d be straight to the barbers.
I could never have worn an Alice band, as my Dad would have given me too much grief. I can report back now that I’ve still got my lockdown hair and I’m seeing how long I can take it. I’ll happily make an appointment, however, if any clubs are looking for a veteran striker! Until next time…
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