Paul Merson has given his opinion as to which three clubs will go down this season from the Premier League.
Merson thinks Aston Villa have already gone, so what about the other two places?
The former Middlesbrough and Arsenal player sees both Sunderland and Newcastle surviving, with a big part of that (according to him) because they haven’t gone with a foreign manager. Merson choosing Swansea and Norwich to also drop into the Championship.
Paul Merson saying that it is ‘at your peril’ if you bring one of these overseas bosses in, when you are in a relegation fight.
All a bit puzzling when Merson’s main reasoning is based on Francesco Guidolin at Swansea.
The player turned pundit says that their defending looks terrible since the Italian arrived, particularly on set-plays and crosses.
Phew, thank god we have got the tactical genius of Steve McClaren rather than this clueless Italian…that is until you look at what has actually happened since Guidolin arrived in Wales.
In their five matches under the new boss, Swansea have picked up eight points, their only defeat being 1-0 against Southampton who haven’t conceded a single goal in six matches since Fraser Forster returned. What is more, they have only conceded four goals in these five matches.
Contrast this with Newcastle who have picked up six points and conceded 11 goals in this same period, whilst Sunderland with Allardyce have won five points and conceded nine goals.
I suppose Paul Merson does have his argument of dodgy foreign managers slightly backed up by Norwich, who have conceded 15 goals and only picked up one point in this five game period – thanks to a Scottish manager!
Paul Merson writing for The Star:
“I fear for Norwich and Swansea when it comes to relegation this season. There is always one team who end up on the glass mountain with moccasin slippers on, and it could be Swansea.
“You bring a foreign manager in at your peril at this stage of the season…because they don’t know this league and this kind of football.
“Swansea look terrible at crosses and set-plays at the moment. You have got to go with a proven manager in these situations who knows what it’s all about.
“Norwich could be in trouble too. They brought a lot of players in but some of them just look like signings to get you back up next season if you go down.”
“Barring Steven Naismith, who I think is a really good player, they don’t really turn your head and they just can’t get results at the moment.”