Paul Merson used to play for Aston Villa and he has rehashed one of his old provocative statements to get himself noticed.

Merson stating that ‘People say Newcastle are a big club…’ but they are ‘not as big as Villa’.

The clueless player turned pundit claiming that Aston Villa will be the biggest club to go down in the Premier League era.

A big club? Hmmm, they are certainly the biggest when it comes to having fickle fans, often in the past they can lose ten thousand off the gate in a week, with fans willing to come and watch Manchester United and Liverpool but then turning their backs when less attractive opposition turn up.

The same when it comes to how they are doing on the pitch, though Paul Merson sees supporters failing to turn up in their team’s hour of need as something to be applauded. With the former Villa player saying when he played ‘you couldn’t buy a ticket’ but now he thinks the supporters have every right to turn their backs – only 28,245 were at Villa Park when Palace visited.

Merson points out that Villa have won the European Cup but at the same time dismisses Newcastle as not having won anything for ’50-odd years’.

Newcastle winning a European trophy 47 years ago apparently irrelevant, unlike Villa winning one ‘only’ 34 years ago.

Whilst the fanbase isn’t everything, the fact that Newcastle averaged 44,000 in the Championship tells you everything about the two clubs, plus modern history tells you that in the Premier League era Newcastle have finished runners-up twice, third on two occasions, fourth on another and fifth on two as well.

Add in Champions League adventures and yes we might not have ‘won anything’ but we’ve had some fun in recent memories and not deserted our team just because of fading fortunes on the pitch.

Mike Ashley has done his best to alienate as many fans as possible over a long long nine years but despite that, pulling in fifty thousand (v West Brom yesterday 50,152) when in the relegation zone is further evidence of the loyalty (stupidity?) that still exits at St James Park.

I have to say, even the mackems are a bigger club than Aston Villa in this modern era, all three clubs have had success in years long gone but the north east shame the likes of Villa when it comes down to the support.

Paul Merson talking to The Star:

“Aston Villa are going to be the biggest club of the Premier League era to go down. Because they will go down. Let’s not kid ourselves.

“People say Newcastle are a big club and they went down. They’re not as big as Villa. They haven’t won the European Cup. They haven’t won anything in 50-odd years!

“When I played for Villa we got 40,000 every week. You couldn’t buy a ticket. Not any more.

“It’s not like Middlesbrough where the gate has suffered because people can’t get jobs and can’t afford it any more. The team’s no good. The football’s no good. So the people aren’t going.”

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