Every week, Sportsnet.ca will chat with soccer commentator James Sharman about the big stories and issues surrounding the Premier League.
SN: Will Mauricio Pochettino be back at Tottenham next season?
SHARMAN: Pochettino made some rather odd comments following his pre-match press conference this week. He suggested that if Spurs won the Champions League this season, he might then feel it would be time to try something new.
Having heard the comments, I think perhaps his intent was somewhat lost in his broken English. That said, the emotion he showed at the final whistle in Amsterdam might hint at a man who is walking a fine line between happiness and frustration.
All that said, I do think he will be back next season. The two jobs he was linked most closely with, Real Madrid and Manchester United, seem to have close down. Barcelona might be in the market for a new man now, Max Allegri is rumoured to be on his way out of Juventus, and PSG is PSG, so there could be options.
Assuming Tottenham give Pochettino a transfer budget, something he has not had for the past two transfer windows, then I believe he will be back.
Which player has been the biggest pleasant surprise and which has been the biggest bust this season?
In Sportsnet.ca’s season preview published last August, I suggest Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez should be the player to watch, and I meant this in a positive manner, so he has to be my bust of the season.
As for pleasant surprises, Ben Chilwell at Leicester City has been excellent, and although highly touted he has become England’s stand out fullback, so he gets a nod or two.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is another excellent young fullback who will likely get a big move to a big club this summer. However, how can I not go with Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser, with 14 assists and 11 goals.
Looking ahead to next weekend, what do you expect from the FA Cup final between Watford and Manchester City?
This week’s UEFA Champions League action proved that expectations mean absolutely nothing. So, sure, I expect Man City will easily beat Watford, after all they are rested, and could be on the verge of a domestic treble. But Watford is a team with enough quality to cause problems, therefore anything can happen. See what I have done there? Avoided the question, as my soccer reality has been blown up after the week we had.
Is there any chance Liverpool pips Manchester City for the title on the final day of the season on Sunday?
See above. Listen, if Manchester City blow it against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday it would be one of the greatest shocks and choke jobs. But, have we learned nothing from this past week? Yes, there is a chance. It is a tiny chance, though, especially as Liverpool still have to beat a superb Wolves side, while the hangover from Tuesday is still lingering.
If there is hope for Liverpool fans, it is that Brighton played Arsenal really well last weekend, and looked a relaxed bunch, with no pressure on their shoulders.
Here’s some food for thought. Man City have only scored five goals in its last four games, so I have a feeling we’re in for a shellacking, and my money has City destroying the Seagulls, and taking away all drama in the Premier League title race by halftime.