Paul Merson is paid these days to give his expert opinion on football, the Premier League in particular.
There has been the ‘occasional’ suspicion in the past that the former Arsenal player might not spend a lot of time doing the essential homework before opening his mouth.
Paul Merson has got a ‘few’ things wrong again, but on this occasion, maybe not all his fault…
Paul Merson talking to Sportskeeda ahead of Crystal Palace v Newcastle United:
“Newcastle were probably fortunate last weekend.
“But they are solid at the back.
“They have got some nice fixtures coming up and we can expect them to win their next two Premier League games.
“I don’t see how they won’t be in the top four.
“Newcastle have a very good defense and only need one goal to win a football match.
“Guimaraes will take time to recover from his injury and he’s probably got a two-week break.
“I don’t think it’s as bad as they think it will be.
“Crystal Palace is a tough game.
“They’re a bag of rebels and you don’t know what you’re going to get.
“They can cause you major problems, but their confidence is very low at the moment.
“I think they’re good enough to play out a draw in this match.
“Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United”
Newcastle United fortunate to beat Fulham last weekend? To be fair, Paul Merson not the only one to claim this and be wrong…in my opinion.
Just because one incident, Mitro messing up the penalty (which should never have even been given, as it was actually Pereira who fouled Trippier, standing on his foot), went in Newcastle’s favour, doesn’t define the whole game. Nick Pope didn’t make a save all game and their keeper had to make a fair few, Newcastle weren’t great but still by some distance the better side and deserved the victory. Plus, just because you don’t score until the 89th minute doesn’t mean it’s lucky either, simply keep going at the opposition and eventually getting what you deserve.
An amusing blunder above is clearly not directly his fault, the thing is, obviously any rational person knows Paul Merson doesn’t write this himself. He will be dictating it over the phone or zoom etc.
So it is very amusing that, by his standards, Paul Merson comes out with almost witty description of Crystal Palace BUT it goes badly wrong…’They’re a bag of rebels and you don’t know what you’re going to get. ‘
With elsewhere the use of the American ‘defense’ instead of UK English ‘defence’, I’m guessing whoever wrote this up after speaking to Paul Merson, is probably not English / British. So the bag of revels (the bag of various chocolate / chocolate covered stuff, where some of them are lush and others horrible, hence you never knew what you were / are getting) is meaningless and becomes bag of rebels!
Again, can’t really blame Paul Merson for saying Bruno Guimaraes is definitely missing today, as it was only late last night that an exclusive from The Mail revealed that Bruno had trained fine on Friday and is set to be in the matchday squad today.
There are actually plenty of things I can agree with, such as Newcastle having a very good ‘defense’ and as Paul Merson says, you do only need one goal to win a match, if you keep a clean sheet. In Newcastle United’s last eight matches in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, three times Eddie Howe’s team have done that, a trio of 1-0 victories. Indeed, they won another when not scoring at all, that home match in the Carabao Cup against Crystal Palace, three Nick Pope saves in the penalty shoot out doing the trick.
The thing is, there will be no complacency from Eddie Howe, as Crystal Palace have came to St James’ Park twice this season and in over three hours of football Newcastle couldn’t score a single goal.
Patrick Vieira relied on very negative tactics on both occasions (and that absolute refereeing / VAR shambles in the PL match that somehow ruled out either the own goal standing OR the push on Willock that was a crystal clear penalty in the same incident) but he won ‘t be able to do that in front of the Palace fans, especially when their last eight games have produced six defeats, one win and one draw, that run of results kicking off with defeat at St James’ Park in the cup.
Paul Merson predicts a 1-1 draw but hopefully Newcastle United can profit from Palace having to attack and play through them, whilst at the same time making it six PL clean sheets in a row…