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Dumbfounded when I typed Paul Merson into Google

4 years ago

Who needs experts…?

After the Crystal Palace game, I typed Paul Merson into Google, to see if the result had stirred him enough to re-evaluate his view on Newcastle United’s season so far.

I was dumbfounded when I spotted a webpage with the hyperlink ‘Paul Merson – Football Expert’.

At first glance, I thought it might have been a fake Twitter page, however, on closer inspection it was actually the Sky Sports website.

You have to admire a man who has gambled away thousands over the years, being paid to make predictions on football fixtures. That in itself should deter anyone from taking him too seriously. Let alone using his prophesying as guidance for an accumulator.

The word ‘expert’ and the people masquerading as such, has become cheapened over recent years. Either people don’t believe them because their predictions mis-interpret a prevailing mood (Brexit, Trump).  This leads people to ignore their forecasts completely and rely on pre-existing beliefs and opinions.

Strangely, Merson seems to embody both in terms of the Toon.  His predictions are consistently wide of the mark, yet he refuses to re-assess his preordained view.

At the end of the day, anyone can make predictions and be wrong. I do think, however, there is a general narrative of negativity from the media towards NUFC.

The most galling in recent weeks was from Kieron Dyer, presumably wanting to earn his ‘expert’ stripes.

It seems as though the former tractor boy, who reached the pinnacle of his club career in a black & white shirt, wants to make a name for himself in the media by belittling the ambitions of Newcastle fans (an original viewpoint of course). Now, this isn’t a prediction, more of an opinion. Which everyone is entitled to. However, when opinions are based on dubious facts and lazy assertions then they need to be outed as such.

This persistent opinion that Newcastle fans are deluded and expect Top four finishes is ridiculous. We won the Championship in unspectacular fashion last season and have done the bare minimum in terms of squad reinforcements. Not recruiting a proven top-flight striker is the most conspicuous absence.

However, we are grinding out results with disciplined, balanced performances thanks to the genius of Rafa’s tactical acumen (at times our defence has been as tight as the belt around Mike Ashley’s waist and the grip on his wallet).

However, for some reason the ‘experts’ don’t seem to recognise this and dismiss every result as a fluke, gleefully rubbing their crystal ball(s) to reveal a season of plight rather than flight for the magpies.

I say long may this continue for Mystic Merson, it’s been working great so far.


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