Ask Crouchie! Peter Crouch is back to answer YOUR questions

Ask Crouchie! Sportsmail’s Peter Crouch on Tuchel’s crucial test at Chelsea, Alexander-Arnold’s England hopes, Becker’s new moustache – and one record the ex-England man wants to LOSE!

  • Sportsmail’s resident columnist Peter Crouch is back to answer your questions 
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold showed exactly why he should be going to the Euros 
  • Thomas Tuchel faces a key moment at Chelsea after his West Brom debacle 
  • Arsenal were so bad it took me until late on to see Alisson looked different! 

Peter Crouch returns to pick through the big issues. 

Topics arriving in his inbox included personal landmarks, worries for Mauricio Pochettino and a test for Chelsea. 

But the only place for Sportsmail’s resident columnist to start is an England selection puzzle…


Peter Crouch (left) answers more of your questions as part of a weekly Sportsmail series

I called this a long time ago, Oliver. The moment Gareth Southgate called Reece James up in November, even though he was suspended for two of England’s three games, I thought to myself that Trent had problems.

The first sign of a problem with his form, out went Trent.

Has this been Trent’s best year? No. I’d be lying if I attempted to say it has been. But I can’t get my head around why so many people have jumped on a bandwagon to make out he’s a right back who gets skinned every time he sets foot on the pitch. He doesn’t – he’s absolutely top drawer.

Jurgen Klopp was delighted with the full back’s performance in a 3-0 demolition of Arsenal 

He’s a very good defender but his strength is going forward. And I don’t see how England can go to the tournament without that. 

Did you see the ball he put in for Diogo Jota’s first goal at Arsenal? His delivery and range of passing is Kevin De Bruyne-esque at times.

Put it this way: if I’m Harry Kane and it’s the first match of the tournament, I know which right back I want firing in crosses to me. Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and James are all quality but Trent supplies balls that are a centre forward’s dream. 

Surely he has to go?

Gareth Southgate faces a vital decision over his right-back selection at this summer’s Euros 

Can you see Sergio Aguero playing elsewhere in the top flight or would that be odd?

Paul Kelly via Twitter

It would be odd, Paul. Very odd. But I have learned over the years to be surprised by nothing in football and if Aguero was to end up at Chelsea, for example, you would have to applaud them for doing the business.

I’m surprised Manchester City are ready to let him go. Yes, they have been dominant this season and are going to win a lot of trophies without having used him but, as I see it, Aguero still has two more years in him at this level in which he will score 20-plus goals.

I think he will go to a club abroad and the fact Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are being linked with him shows what quality he has got. If he went to Chelsea, it would be like when Frank Lampard went in the opposite direction and signed for City on a free.

It never looked right seeing Frank in that kit and it was weird when he scored against Chelsea at the Etihad. I’d have the same feelings with Aguero. 

He is a Manchester City legend and nothing should happen for that to change.

Sergio Aguero’s next move will be a key transfer this summer, when he’s set to leave Man City 

The Argentine is a City and Premier League icon, but he is now being linked with Chelsea 

Will you be calling for James Milner to be a Liverpool starter from now on so you keep your substitute record?

James Edwards via email

To be honest, James, I’m praying for him to get back on the bench! Being known as the man who was brought on so many times is not exactly a record that I want to shout from the rooftops.

There have been times when, to be blunt, I’ve been a bit embarrassed by it.

Saying that, it was put into context by one of my mates. He said to me to stop complaining as he would give his left arm to make just one Premier League substitute appearance for just one minute. I’ve got 160 of them – it’s not all bad, really.

It shows durability and I have to take my hat off to Milner. I played with Gareth Barry, who has the all-time record for Premier League appearances, and they are similar characters. 

They don’t always get appreciated but, my goodness, they are fantastic professionals and dressing rooms know their quality.

I remember James Milner scoring as a 16-year-old for Leeds. Look at him now, aged 35. What an absolute credit to the profession.

James Milner (right) is closing-in on Crouch’s record for the most appearances as a substitute 

What do you think Thomas Tuchel learned from the collapse against West Brom?

Dan Chapman via email

He has been a revelation since he came in, Dan. I have to admit I had my doubts about him initially but the work in the first three months has been encouraging.

The game on Saturday changed after Thiago Silva’s sending-off and Chelsea got caught out when they went chasing goals of their own.

Chelsea have got a very good squad and, with that talent, they should be around the top-four places.

What I am interested to see, however, is the way Tuchel responds to things if, and when, the situation becomes difficult.

The players at Stamford Bridge are still the same as when Frank Lampard was in charge.

They downed tools on him when they hit difficulties and what’s to say they wouldn’t do the same to Tuchel? They are still the same characters after all.

Thomas Tuchel was  baffled as his talented Chelsea side collapsed to a 5-2 loss to West Brom

Have you known players and managers being sympathetic towards their old clubs, specifically in a game where those teams were desperate for points?

Chris Parkhurst via email

Not that I know about, Chris. I have always been of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what former ties you used to have with a club – you are there to win, first and foremost, and the consequences don’t matter to you.

I have never understood why some players feel it’s necessary to apologise after scoring against old clubs. 

If you don’t want to be disrespectful to them, aren’t you being disrespectful to your current employers, who are paying you well, and the fans for doing what they expect you to?

Are Arsenal really making steps forward under Mikel Arteta or is the gap too big to bridge?

Ben Richards via email

This is the thing, Ben. When Arsenal are good, they can be very good. But when it doesn’t happen, they look miles away and they went out with a whimper on Saturday. 

Liverpool, for all the troubles they have had, were never not winning that game.

They were so in control, it took me until the 89th minute to realise Alisson had a moustache. Seriously! 

The cameras never seemed to be on Liverpool’s goalkeeper and it was only at the end, when he kicked a ball forward for Mo Salah, that I realised he’d changed his appearance.

Yes, Arsenal seem to have a plan with Arteta but they are short in so many areas. It’s not going to be a quick fix, that’s for certain.

Arsenal were dominated by Liverpool and put in one of their worst performances of the season

Alisson’s new moustache didn’t get much air-time at all as the Gunners failed to trouble him 

Is it too late for James Maddison to win Gareth Southgate over?

Fearless Fox via Twitter

Not at all, Fearless Fox. I have been singing Maddison’s praises for the last two seasons and one of the things I love about him is that he takes after your name… he’s fearless.

He’s such a good player, in a different era he would have been one of the first picks on the teamsheet.

It’s unfortunate, in some ways, that we have so many players of a similar ilk. And when I say ‘so many’, I mean high-class. Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho – they can all run with the ball. Mason Mount, who was superb last week, has got class as well.

Unfortunately, some will be on holiday during the tournament. I actually have a bit of sympathy for Gareth Southgate. 

If he leaves some names out and we do badly, he will get: ‘Oh, you should have picked so and so.’ If he does well, it will be: ‘Of course he should, he had him and him.’

Maddison certainly has the ability to get there. He only has one cap so far but I wouldn’t discount him just yet.

James Maddison has been in stunning form this season but he running out of time for the Euros

How much of a blow will it be for Mauricio Pochettino if he doesn’t win Ligue 1 with PSG? Should he have waited for a Premier League job?

Tom Clements via email

The defeat by Lille will have stung on Saturday, Tom, but what a fantastic job that is for Pochettino. 

PSG always look to me like they will explode at one point and really dominate Europe. 

He couldn’t say no to that job. What was he going to do – sit and wait for Manchester United?

Lille might be in pole position but they only have a three-point lead. Pochettino will fancy his chances of cutting back that deficit.

I hope he does because he needs trophies on his record. It’s all set for a thrilling spring.

Until next time, stay safe and well.

Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG fell to a 1-0 defeat against new Ligue 1 leaders Lille on Saturday 




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