Collymore’s column: Spurs are at a crossroads, Arsenal need four new signings and the incredible work Steven Schumacher is doing at Plymouth Argyle

In his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore discusses some of football’s biggest talking points, including Spurs’ search for a new manager, which positions Arsenal need to reinforce and Plymouth Argyle’s potential promotion-winning weekend, plus much more.


Spurs are at major crossroads and only Daniel Levy can decide which way they go…

I can’t believe Spurs haven’t tried to rival Chelsea for Mauricio Pochettino. He still hasn’t been confirmed as Chelsea’s new permanent boss, so if I was Daniel Levy I would go to him and say ‘we’ll offer you better terms, we’ll give you plenty of time and we’ll finally spend the money needed to bring in some top quality players’.

I don’t know if Levy’s pride is stopping him from trying to re-hire Pochettino or not, I don’t think the pair ended on really bad terms, but I don’t think it was a particularly pleasant departure either. I am sure there is still some frustration on Pochettino’s part over the way he was treated and how his time in London came to an end.

Spurs are at a major crossroads now. They must make a decision over whether or not they want to be an elite club or a club that only sometimes plays in the Champions League. Levy can’t have his cake and eat it, and while I admire financially well-run clubs, prudent spending will only take you so far.

If Spurs are serious about becoming a competitive force and potentially winning silverware, now is the time for Levy to throw caution into the wind and spend some money. I also think he should take a step back from his role as chairman. If he won’t sell the club, or even open the door to possible investment, then he should at least look to restructure the hierarchy. There is no reason why he can’t be made a president and take on a more non-executive role and hire a footballing person who could become a CEO. That would make a lot of sense and I am sure it is something fans would welcome too because until they re-focus and have a fresh motivation, they’re just going to stay stuck in this perpetual cycle of just doing okay.

Arsenal need four signings in order to remain competitive…

I’m not going to go as far as to say Arsenal will struggle next season, but I don’t think they’ll have the same kind of campaign next time out as what they have enjoyed this term.

This was their chance to upset the odds and win their first title since 2004, and unfortunately, after being thumped 4-1 by Manchester City on Wednesday, that now looks very unlikely to happen.

manchester city v arsenal fc premier league

My worry for the Gunners next season is that the majority of clubs are going to be better. Manchester United will improve after Erik Ten Hag’s completes his first full season in charge, Manchester City will go again, Newcastle United are a team on the up, Brighton, Aston Villa and Brentford are all improving and Chelsea can’t get any worse, so for that reason alone, they can only get better.

Whether or not Arsenal can remain competitive, not only in the league but also in the Champions League, will depend hugely on who they bring in during the summer transfer window. As I mentioned above while talking about Spurs, I admire financial prudence, but it’s only going to get a club so far, so for Arsenal to kick on, they should prioritise two or three top, top players over several that may cost less.

I think a striker to rival Gabriel Jesus and a new midfielder would be smart moves, purely because of how many games they’re going to be playing and it will be unrealistic to expect Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard to play every game. Obviously, Jude Bellingham would be every club’s pick when it comes to a central midfielder, but if Arsenal can’t compete for him, they should definitely look to sign Declan Rice.

I also think their defence could do with some improvement if the room in the budget allows for it. I really like William Saliba but out of the four, I am not sure any get into Manchester City’s starting lineup. Ben White at right-back has done okay, but I’m not convinced he’s good enough in that position to become a Premier League-winning full-back, so if I was Arteta or Edu, I would be drawing up a shortlist of strikers, midfielders, centre-backs and right-backs.

Staying up could be too tough for the Toffees…

Everton are in big, big trouble.

After losing 4-1 against Newcastle United on Thursday night, they’ve got five really tough games left to play, including a home fixture against Manchester City.

Their survival is going to come down to the wire and I am not sure they’re going to be able to manage it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a record-low points tally among those that do stay up this season, but I only expect the Toffees to finish on 35 points, and I am not sure that’s going to be quite enough.

everton fc v newcastle united premier league

If they do end up being relegated to the Championship, out of all the clubs in danger, it’s actually Everton who I would expect to keep their manager the most. I think Sean Dyche is the type of character who would embrace the challenge of trying to get them immediately promoted too.

Steven Schumacher should stay at Plymouth Argyle…

Interestingly, on the subject of Everton and Dyche, there is an interesting little narrative forming in the EFL.

League One leaders Plymouth Argyle are within touching distance of being promoted to the Championship. Three points at home to Burton Albion on Saturday will see them return to a league they have not been in for over a decade.

Manager Steven Schumacher has had an excellent season – I have been really, really impressed with him. Although there was initial disappointment after Ryan Lowe left to take the Preston North End job at the end of 2021, Schumacher has stepped up and taken the league by storm.

wigan athletic v plymouth argyle sky bet league one

And following his impressive season in charge of the Green Army, I know there have been some concerns among fans that he, as a boyhood Everton fan, could end up on Toffee’s managerial shortlist, especially if both clubs end up in the same division next season.

Well, if that were to be the case, I would urge Schumacher to stay where he is. Everton are an absolute monster of a club but they’re one that is enduring a very, very tough period. There isn’t much stability there, whereas the opposite is true at Argyle.

The Devon-based club have got a really good thing going on at the moment, I am sure Schumacher is catching the eye, but there is no better time than now to be an English manager doing well in the EFL, so bide your time, be patient and keep doing what you’re doing, Steven!

Unai Emery faces decision over on-loan Aston Villa youngster…

Lastly, on Plymouth Argyle, one of their best players this season has been a lad who is on loan from Aston Villa; attacking midfielder Finn Azaz.

Unfortunately, he picked up an injury recently and hasn’t quite come back to top form, but he’s had an excellent season overall – directly contributing to 16 goals in 32 league games.

Aston Villa love their youngsters to go out on loan and showcase their talent, and Azaz has done exactly that, so it’s going to be interesting to see what Unai Emery does with him next season – whether he decides another loan is best, or possible promotion to the Villians’ first-team.

The post Collymore’s column: Spurs are at a crossroads, Arsenal need four new signings and the incredible work Steven Schumacher is doing at Plymouth Argyle appeared first on CaughtOffside.

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