Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Man Utd

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Peter Crouch answers YOUR questions… including on Calvert-Lewin, Man United and pie!

6 min read

Another weekend of high drama in the Premier League as we head into the international break. 

And here Peter Crouch, Sportsmail’s resident columnist, provides answers on Manchester United‘s failings, the rise of Dominic Calvert-Lewin… and his packed lunch dilemma.

Peter Crouch answers more of your questions as part of a weekly series here for Sportsmail

Peter Crouch answers more of your questions as part of a weekly series here for Sportsmail

Will Edinson Cavani be another Radamel Falcao at United? 

Jonny Woods via email 

There has been a bit of a lack of respect to Cavani, Johnny. He is one of the best strikers we have seen in Europe over the last decade, he’s got all the attributes to be successful in the Premier League with his aggression and ability to score heavily.

But… there has to be a but. I do not understand why he has suddenly become a target for United, just as the transfer window is about to close. It’s not as if it’s a surprise that Cavani has been on the market — he’s been linked to a variety of clubs and leagues!

United confuse me with their approach to how they do business. It feels like they try to sign the best name available, as if that makes a statement rather than actually having a solid plan as to how to make genuine improvement.

Can you explain why they bought Donny van de Beek? I’m not saying negative things about his ability — he’s a lovely footballer — but what is the grand plan for fitting him into the side? Or is he just a really expensive back-up for Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba?

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Edinson Cavani after his release from PSG

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Edinson Cavani after his release from PSG

It is a confusing deal and people have compared it to the signing of Radamel Falcao in 2014

It is a confusing deal and people have compared it to the signing of Radamel Falcao in 2014

Imagine how Mason Greenwood feels about Cavani coming in — what would have happened to Greenwood if Jadon Sancho had arrived? None of it adds up. They wanted to spend £100million on a right-sided forward when they have one who has emerged from their academy.

If they have £100m, they should have gone out and signed the central defender they have been crying out for.

Look at how they imploded against Tottenham and tell me what area of the team needed improving. I don’t think either of us would have said the attack first.

What have you made of the Leeds start and where will they finish?  

Ciaran Wallace via Twitter

They are just a great team to watch, Ciaran. I was engrossed in the game against Manchester City, as it was like a throwback — two teams that just wanted to attack and didn’t really worry about the consequences of bombing forward.

It says everything about the belief Marcelo Bielsa has instilled in his players that they were able to shake off a nervous start and go toe-to-toe with City. I like Luke Ayling. I like Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford. And Helder Costa impresses me whenever I see him.

Leeds United are a great team to watch and I think they will finish comfortably in the top half

Leeds United are a great team to watch and I think they will finish comfortably in the top half

They are going to concede a few goals just from the adventurous way they play but they are going to score plenty and I don’t think anyone will underestimate them. I’d go as far as to say they will comfortably finish in the top half. My only regret is for the supporters. 

They have waited 16 years to be here, to have a team in the top flight they can be proud of. But now they have got everything they have wished for the fans have to watch it on television. Just imagine how good Elland Road would have been on Saturday. What a shame.

Quite simple, Crouchie: rate my pie (BELOW)…

Craig Corny via Twitter

My God, Craig! That is absolutely first class. I have always loved a pie and Bovril at half-time. 

Now that I’m working for BT Sport we used to get looked after with whatever catering was on at the stadium where we were broadcasting but these days no food is provided.

Abbey has been doing me little packed lunches to take to work — I had a bit of pasta yesterday at Leicester with a ham and cheese sandwich — but if you are rustling up pies of that quality, I really might have to think about my lunch arrangements going forward.

Who is the best referee you have experienced and why?

Lee Poole via Twitter

I have to be honest with you, Lee — referees didn’t really make that big an impression on me during the majority of my career.

The reason is I was so obsessed with making sure my own performances were good that I didn’t want to waste too much energy thinking of other things. 

The best officials were the ones that you could chat to during the match and you could have some banter with but I wouldn’t say I had a great rapport with any one man in particular.

It’s only in later life when I’ve spoken to Mike Dean that I’ve appreciated the job they do.

Will Dominic Calvert-Lewin get his chance with England?

Bainesy’s left-foot via Twitter

I love him, Bainesy. I loved your left foot, too, I should add. But back to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. He looks like an old-fashioned No 9 but to mark him out as some kind of target man would be grossly unfair.

He’s got a lot of natural ability, he runs the channels and reads the game well. He’s a talented boy and he is well on course to score 20 goals this season. It would be a bit of an anti-climax if he didn’t smash through that target, given the start he has made.

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin reminds me of myself in terms of the start to his career

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin reminds me of myself in terms of the start to his career

In some respects I can see similarities from my own career in his. He had a tough time at the end of last season but something seems to have clicked. It was the same for me. When I was 23 I had just joined Southampton and a very good year propelled me forward.

Once you have that taste of being in the England squad you don’t want to let it go and he is bursting with confidence. The same applies to Everton.

My God, what a difference from last season. It’s still early days, of course, but they are flying right now and it is great to see.

How would you have felt to be a Fulham player when Tony Khan started tweeting about players?

Matt Thomas via email

It never ends well, Matt, when someone from the board starts poking their nose into team affairs. I felt sorry for Scott Parker and his players because you knew what was going to happen when those comments started to appear.

I remember an incident from my first time at Portsmouth when I was only 19.

We had a spell under Graham Rix where we went a month without winning and at the end of it Milan Mandaric — the then owner — came to see the squad. He told us we were not getting paid.

It never ends well when a board member like Tony Khan starts poking their nose in team affairs

It never ends well when a board member like Tony Khan starts poking their nose in team affairs

‘I didn’t want to come down to the locker room,’ he said. ‘But you haven’t won, so that means you haven’t been doing your job and that means you are not getting paid. Why should I pay you if you are not winning matches?’

He genuinely didn’t pay us, either. We ended up needing to get the PFA involved to sort things out and it was just a horrible time. When owners get involved it just reflects terribly on everyone.

Fulham have had a difficult start and scrutiny of this kind was the last thing they needed.

If you could see two PREMIER LEAGUE BOSSES swap places for the season, who would you PICK?

Jade Craddock via email

Brilliant question, Jade. I have always been fascinated by the idea of how the top managers would perform under different constraints so I am going to say I’d love to see Pep Guardiola and Sean Dyche swap jobs.

Guardiola is a genius but he plays a certain way with fantastic players — could he adapt and get Burnley’s squad performing as Dyche has done?

Equally, could Dyche be expansive with more creative players and get results? It would make fascinating viewing and a great debate. Until next time, stay safe.

I'd love to see Burnley boss Sean Dyche and Man City manager Pep Guardiola swap jobs

I’d love to see Burnley boss Sean Dyche and Man City manager Pep Guardiola swap jobs

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