Paul Merson has been talking once again about north east football.

The former Arsenal player has given us the benefit of his knowledge this time about young talent in the north east.

Talking to the Daily Star, Paul Merson was looking at the problem Sunderland had of attracting a new manager (obviously written before Sam Allardyce’s confirmation on Friday night).

Whilst on that subject, Merson said that the mackems have to give a new manager at least four years but then added that one of the problems was that both Sunderland and Newcastle have got no kids ar all coming through.

There are obviously serious problems at Newcastle United’s academy, especially when you look at the results, plus it not being helped that Mike Ashley has postponed indefinitely the multi-million pound development of the training ground and facilities.

However, despite this, there are seeds of hope for Newcastle as for example the following are away on international duty at the moment:

England Under 20s – Alex Gilliead

England Under 19s – Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman

Scotland Under 19s – Kyle Cameron

England Under 17s – Paul Woolston

Paul Merson:

‘It’s unbelievable because they are such a big club, they get 40,000 a week. But you don’t get long enough to succeed there.

They’ve got no plan. They’re playing a game of three-card brag and they’ve got five high. They need to have a plan.

They need to stick with their next manager for four years, even if they go down. Otherwise it will keep going on and on forever.

They’ve got no kids coming through, and that needs to change. It’s the same at Newcastle, they’ve got nobody. That’s a big part of the country.

They need to start bringing young players through and giving them a chance. It’s no good bringing in a manager just to keep them up. They need to think long term.

Sam Allardyce would do a job for them. But does he want another job where he’s just fighting fires? He might want more than that.’