VAR, Daniel Levy and Jesse Lingard’s stunning form at West Ham … these were some of the questions awaiting Peter Crouch this week.
However, the only place Sportsmail’s regular columnist can start is the future of Tottenham’s headman Harry Kane …
Harry Kane wants to play in the Champions League next season, but Daniel Levy does not bow
Harry Kane wants to leave Tottenham if they don’t finish in the top four – how hard will he find Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s negotiating skills?
Josh Kay via email.
We don’t always get what we want, Josh. I want to finish 18th in Augusta one day with a three-shot lead, but I accept that probably won’t happen. Harry Kane may want to play in the Champions League next season, but Daniel Levy just won’t bend.
I know how tough Daniel is when it comes to deals. When I was at Spurs I had never given anyone a problem, I had scored some important goals and thought I was going to stay for a while – but everything changed when Stoke came up with a £ 10 million offer.
Daniel called me and said he accepted the offer. I told him I didn’t want to go. He replied, “If you stay, you won’t get a number next season.” It was so blunt. We had an exchange of views on it, but there was only one result on the horizon.
People talk about Levy’s reputation, but his only agenda is what’s best for Tottenham
People talk about Daniel’s reputation, but let me put it this way: his only agenda is what’s best for Tottenham. If I had ever been in a position where I had a football club, I would like Daniel to lead it because he puts the club’s interests above all else.
He doesn’t act in sentiment and it doesn’t matter what Harry has been doing for the past seven years. If he really wants to go, it won’t happen unless there’s an astronomical fee involved – and that puts a limit on who can afford him.
I also feel that the circle of potential destinations will be further limited by his ambition to break Alan Shearer’s scoring record in the Premier League. Tottenham will not do business with Chelsea, I doubt he will get the trophies he wants at Manchester United, so that leaves only one domestic option: Manchester City.
He doesn’t deal in sentiment and it doesn’t matter what Kane has been doing for the past seven years
Will Jesse Lingard return to The Theater of Dreams?
Washy 1971 via Twitter
He might return to Old Trafford, Washy, I’m not sure he’ll go back to the Theater of Dreams! I have no doubt Manchester United will keep a close eye on him and consider whether he can thrive in the red again. He’s confident and has the class to play that false nine role.
You can’t speak highly enough of him right now. He has been involved in 11 goals for West Ham since debuting for them on February 3. Which team does not want a player of that quality in their line-up? Maybe United had a plan for him to get out there and rediscover himself. Or…
Jesse Lingard has performed brilliantly since being loaned out to West Ham in February
How much should United Lingard sell for?
Ashsmi via Twitter
Echoing the last answer, Ashsmi, he may have been meant to go out and show himself to potential suitors. If so, I think United will try to get £ 20m plus. Even today, that would be amazing value.
Personally, I think Jesse would be better off leaving. He plays with the chains at a club where he is wanted. Why would he compromise that by taking the chance to return to United and find out a few months later that he is a bit of a player?
Suddenly the old mentality creeps in, the doubts and all the good work disappear. This new start has been fantastic for Lingard. It has also done him good to get away from control in Manchester. I hope West Ham gets that deal on the line.
Crouch thinks Manchester United will try to get £ 20m plus for Lingard (above)
If a player scored with a ball bouncing out of his sleeve, would VAR rule it out?
Martin Jones via email
Where do we start with this one, Martin? If we say that VAR doesn’t allow goals when a sleeve is on one of those awful yellow dotted lines, it should be that a goal scored from a sleeve is allowed to stand. Personally, I would expect it to be ruled out for handball. But that’s where the problem lies: no one knows what’s going to happen from one game to another.
I was at Fulham v Wolves on Friday night and the goal that Willian Jose had ruled out made me absolutely sick. It reinforced why I have never been more happy to be retired than now.
Wolves’ Willian Jose saw his attempt out because his teammate Daniel Podence was offside
Employees from both teams shouted at the experts at BT Sport asking what was going on
Imagine how he felt? Desperate to break his duck for Wolves, he makes a brilliant header and a computer rules it out.
Glenn Hoddle said something that stuck with me – why would fans want to pay a lot of money to go to games if they don’t know what’s going on?
No one in Craven Cottage knew what was wrong with Willian Jose. We had staff from both teams yelling at us on our portal to let them know what was going on. How can that be right? People at home are kept fully informed, but people involved in the match are kept in the dark!
They’ve done their best to kill football this season. I want to talk about goals and luck and having great games. As this system continues, with all the uncertainty swirling, the important things we should be focusing on will remain in the background. It is a joke.
What is your prediction for the top four?
And Golding via email
Oh, Dan. You brought me to the scene and I don’t really know which way to go.
This weekend’s results have blown things wide open and Leicester, who I had humiliated as certainties after beating Liverpool in February, has been swept right back into it.
Chelsea is flying and looking good for a spot. Liverpool are in the race, but they have a little bit to do to convince me that they will stand up to their challenge – although the impact of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s goal against Aston Villa can be enormous.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea is flying and looking good for a top four spot this season
I’m going to answer this in a different way: it would be an achievement if West Ham did it. Their fans have been through so much and it always felt like drama around the corner. Over the years, I have so often failed to see the trust there should be between supporters and a team.
What David Moyes has done to rebuild the situation is unbelievable. When he was at Everton he had a team full of excellent characters and he has that now with West Ham. You watch them and see players ready to put their bodies on the line.
They go all the distance in this race.
It would be an achievement if West Ham made the top four – their fans have been through a lot
Would you start Dean Henderson in England’s first Euro 2020 match?
George Owen via email
I wouldn’t do it, George. I’m not saying that as a reflection on his competence, but as an understanding of the way Gareth Southgate works. He’s been working with Jordan Pickford for six years right when he was in charge of the Under 21s. He trusts him and Pickford has never left England.
Henderson played for England once, 45 minutes as a substitute in a friendly against Ireland. Pickford has 30 caps, he has been number 1 at a World Cup and he will be number 1 at this European Championship.
It is unlikely that Dean Henderson will be England’s number 1 at this summer’s European Championship
Is Marcelo Bielsa the kind of manager you would have liked to play for?
Jade Craddock via email
Absolutely, Jade. I watch Patrick Bamford and how he plays and try to imagine what it would have been like. I have always enjoyed being at the forefront of a highly valued team and watching Bielsa develop the guys in his Leeds team, it would have been a pleasure to work with him.
I know he’s worried about him because his contract expires this summer, but there’s no way he won’t be in charge of Elland Road next season.
He has lived 12 months without fans in the stadium. Why would he leave when there is so much admiration for him?
The way they won in Manchester City on Saturday showed why they were so endearing. Less than 10 men, stoppage time draw, most teams would settle for a point. Leeds went broke and wasn’t brilliant to watch. May it take a long time.
Stay safe and healthy until next time.
The legendary Marcelo Bielsa has brilliantly developed his Leeds team over the past few seasons