Ask Crouchie! Our resident columnist is back to answer YOUR questions

Ask Crouchie! Our resident columnist is back to answer YOUR questions… on the pathetic Patrick Bamford VAR decision, why he can forgive Ademola Lookman’s bizarre penalty (but Scott Parker might not)… and looking like Gareth from The Office

  • Patrick Bamford’s disallowed goal disgusted me, VAR should be scrapped
  • Ademola Lookman’s Panenka penalty was bad – but I know how he feels
  • Harry Kane will join the 200 club but beating Alan Shearer’s record is a tall order 
  • My Movember moustache is coming along nicely, and Abbey seems to like it! 

Nothing gets Peter Crouch fired up more than VAR, and, having been at Selhurst Park on Saturday, Sportsmail’s resident columnist is ready to vent his fury. 

He also has views on bad penalties, Dennis Bergkamp and how his moustache is taking shape… 

Peter Crouch answers more of your questions as part of a weekly series hosted by Sportsmail

Patrick Bamford was found to be offside as he was pointing to where he wanted the ball

Madred6times via Twitter

Yes, Madred. How can you be offside pointing where you want the ball played to? It was an absolutely pathetic decision. It was soul-destroying for me, being inside the stadium as a pundit, so God only knows how Patrick Bamford is feeling.

Let me talk you through it. We were watching the game unfold and I saw Bamford provide the finish to a beautiful move.

He celebrated and started to walk back, as did Crystal Palace’s players. Nobody thought there was anything wrong, nobody had the slightest sense of being aggrieved.

Then we get word through that Stockley Park are checking.

Two years ago, Patrick Bamford would have had a goal, but now it’s descended into farce

The longer things tick by, the more you get a feeling in the pit of your stomach that it is going to be ruled out. When it was, I was disgusted and it simply reinforced the feelings that I am happy I am no longer playing.

Two years ago, that is a perfectly good goal. Now it has descended into farce and I would even bet that defenders would be happier to see things revert to how it used to be. We are saying someone’s shirt sleeve is the reason they are offside? Oh come on!

It is so hard to score in the Premier League, every forward protects their numbers and statistics with pride.

Bamford is trying to be the top scorer in the division and trying to get into the England squad, so what might that disallowed goal do at the end of the season? I wish we could scrap it. It’s a joke. 

Germany’s Der Klassiker was on Saturday. Do you take interest in European Leagues?

Liam Wraith via Twitter

I do keep an eye on things, Liam. There was a particularly bad VAR moment that cost Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski what appeared to be a perfectly good goal against Borussia Dortmund, so we are not alone in being frustrated.

Given that BT have the Champions League rights, it’s important to have an eye on what is happening in Europe and I have always enjoyed watching other competitions. As a kid, every Sunday was devoted to Serie A on Channel 4. I just don’t think we should lose sight of the quality we have here. 

The VAR drama isn’t limited to the Premier League, as Robert Lewandowski found out

What are your thoughts on the standards of international football?

David Brooks via Twitter

I’m not going to insult you, David, and say that international football is a step up. It isn’t.

I can imagine it is hard, too, for the players who are going away with England for matches in empty stadiums and know they aren’t going to get many minutes.

The problem with internationals now is the qualification process for tournaments. There is never any danger and you almost know that England are going to get through their group, whether it is for the European Championship or the World Cup. There always seemed to be jeopardy when I played. 

So it doesn’t have the same sense of excitement or drama as the Premier League — or the Champions League — and I know there are lots of people who hate it and will never switch on to watch an England game.

Personally, though, I always feel nostalgic about England. I was reminded that it is almost 10 years to the day since I scored the last of my 22 goals (it came against France in a 2-1 Wembley defeat) and I loved the opportunities England presented. 

Unfortunately, international football doesn’t have the same drama as the Premier League

Ademola Lookman’s penalty at West Ham. What was he thinking?

Daniel Joseph via email

I have been there, Daniel. I can’t turn around and say ‘What was he thinking?’ as I once tried a Panenka and succeeded only in clipping the ball straight over the bar. My aberration came when playing for England against Jamaica before the World Cup in 2006. 

Having already scored two goals, I was given the chance to get my hat-trick but I got under the ball completely and chipped it straight over the bar. Fortunately I got another opportunity to score later in the game and I left with the match ball; you can imagine the messages my team-mates left for me.

When I walked back to the dressing room, Steve McClaren took me to one side and said: ‘Don’t do that again.’ I made light of it at the time but if I had not completed my hat-trick — the only one I got for England — I’d have regretted it for the rest of my life.

Ademola Lookman had no confidence issues, he simply got his technique wrong. How forgiving Scott Parker will be, however, remains to be seen. Fulham are fighting for their lives and they should have taken a point. Showboating in a team that is near the bottom isn’t a good look. 

Ademola Lookman showboating when his team are near the bottom is not a good look

However, Crouch has been in the same boat as Lookman before after his own panenka miss

You’ve been tweeting about Dennis Bergkamp. What is it about him that you love?

Martin Laurence via email

Did you see the clip I posted, Martin? The assist Bergkamp conjured for Freddie Ljungberg against Juventus in 2001?

I will say now that is the greatest assist in Champions League history. It might even be in the 10 best of all time.

Bergkamp was a hero of mine. The first time I played against Arsenal was for QPR in an FA Cup tie and being on the same pitch as him, you realised he was playing a different game from everyone else with his outstanding control and vision.

I put him in a bracket with Eric Cantona, Peter Beardsley, Matt Le Tissier and Gianfranco Zola, the types of players you would spend money to watch. I love players with good touch and those five were on a different level.

Think of some of the goals Bergkamp scored, such as pulling the ball out of the sky for finishes against Argentina, in the 1998 World Cup, and against Leicester to complete a hat-trick. I don’t think we should ever forget how good he was. 

Dennis Bergkamp was a hero for Peter Crouch, who puts him up there with the best of all time

How’s your moustache? My girlfriend won’t look at me, she thinks I look so bad…

Tom via Twitter

I’ve had some incredible look-alikes sent to me so far, Tom. From Yosemite Sam to Burt Reynolds. I’ve even been called a South American drug lord. Does ‘Pedro Crouch’ have a ring to it? Remarkably, Abbey seems to think it is OK, so we will crack on with it for the time being.

The only trouble is I keep forgetting that I’m growing it. I’m supposed to be a credible football pundit and then I get a glance of myself and realise why people are saying I have a resemblance to Gareth from The Office.

Will Kane become the Premier League’s highest ever scorer?

Thomas Ramage via email

The numbers are staggering. He’s got 201 for Tottenham now and he could end up with 300 for the club before he finishes. He’s a certainty to join Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney in the 200 club for the Premier League but beating Shearer’s total of 260 will be a tall order.

Kane is not only Tottenham’s best scorer, he’s also their best creator. He’s like two men rolled into one. The best compliment I can pay him is that if you wanted someone to take a shot to score from 25 yards to save your life, I’d pick Kane every single day.

Harry Kane’s numbers are staggering, but he has a task to best Alan Shearer’s total of 260

Honours even in the big showdown, but who’s happier: City or Liverpool?

Mick Fitz via email

What a game, Mick. I thought I was watching the action in the first half on fast forward as it was being played so quickly.

The technical quality and the desire for both teams to go at it was frightening. Liverpool could have had it sewn up but, equally, they could have lost it in the 15 minutes before the break.

The point is better for Liverpool, as City will feel they should have won with the penalty miss.

You saw the influence of both managers in the second half as they reined their teams in to stop it being a basketball match. A draw was the right result and, if you don’t mind, I won’t get worked up again about VAR. But on this determined showing, Liverpool will win the league.

Stay safe during the international break. See you when the Premier League returns. 

A point was better for Liverpool, as Manchester City had a big chance to win the game




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