Classic Paul Merson “Rafa Benitez couldn’t have done what Neil Warnock has done at Cardiff though. No chance”
Paul Merson says that the game at St James Park is the biggest one in the Premier League this weekend.
Can’t disagree with that.
Paul Merson says that Newcastle will win the game by a narrow margin.
Can’t disagree with that prediction either.
Paul Merson declares ‘Imagine if Newcastle lose? There’d be uproar.’
I agree with that one as well, though probably in a different way to him. No doubt he’d like to imagine the uproar would be because of fan unhappiness with Rafa Benitez, at least to some extent. Whereas, it would simply and squarely be Newcastle fans furious that this is the predictable point that Mike Ashley has brought us to, staring relegation in the face yet again, what would be three times in the last nine Premier League seasons under this owner.
Paul Merson amusingly/annoyingly also adds: ‘Rafa Benitez couldn’t have done what Neil Warnock has done at Cardiff though. No chance. Warnock is pulling up trees. He’s an unbelievable manager.’
It is transparent that this is purely and simply a desperate attempt by the Sky Sports pundit to try and draw attention to himself, via over the top comments.
No doubt he isn’t referring to winning the Champions League, La Liga or Europa League?
No way Rafa could do what Warnock is doing?
What, getting promotion and then outperforming against the odds with minimal investment in the Premier League? I think Rafa well and truly ticked those boxes in the past two seasons and is trying to do the same this time, although repeating that 10th place finish was made totally impossible once Mike Ashley insisted on £20m+ profits in the summer transfer window.
In the summer, Neil Warnock had a £50m net spend advantage on Rafa Benitez, as he was backed up to a point.
On top of that, whilst Rafa Benitez doesn’t look to be getting the go ahead to bring in any credible signings this January window. Neil Warnock and Cardiff are currently in talks to sign striker Emilano Sala for around £20m, as well as taking Everton forward Oumar Niasse on loan with an option to make it permanent.
He may be a pain in the backside but Neil Warnock has done a canny job this season.
However, to then suggest Rafa Benitez, with his wealth of experience from winning the Champions League and La Liga, right down to managing in the English and Spanish second tiers, couldn’t have done as well as Warnock, is as laughable as Merson’s credibility as a pundit.
Cardiff have arguably been in even worse form than Newcastle with one win in the last seven games (all competitions), including losing to Gillingham.
As Merson correctly points out, they got absolutely battered at home to rock bottom Huddersfield in their last Premier League game.
Cardiff didn’t have a single effort on target and the visitors had 61% possession, 10 corner against Cardiff’s 3, with 14 shots to the home side’s 3.
Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:
“This is the biggest game of the weekend.
“This is huge. A cup final.
“I watched Cardiff against Huddersfield and they got battered – it was just that Huddersfield wouldn’t have scored in a month of Sundays.
“Cardiff wouldn’t have either, by the way
“Rafa Benitez couldn’t have done what Neil Warnock has done at Cardiff though. No chance.
“Warnock is pulling up trees. He’s an unbelievable manager.
“I’m leaning just towards Newcastle here, who have got superior players to Cardiff. That will be the difference.
“Imagine if Newcastle lose? There’d be uproar. They simply can’t lose this game. And won’t.
“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Cardiff 0.”
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