In recent times we’ve been following with some interest Paul Merson’s brave bid for noun-free living. Dodgy fullbacks have had “an absolute torrid”, stricken strikers have “had a lot of medical on” and Sammy Lee followed “Big” into the Bolton job.

The latest installment in Merse’s conciseness-at-all-costs campaign?

“The gap between the Championship and the Premiership is a massive.”

Pioneering linguistic work aside, the Merse remains a modest fellow. Pushed on Rafa’s “concentrating on coaching and training my players” tantrum, Merse was wistful:

“I wish I had done that at Walsall – coach and train the players.”

He was somewhat less tolerant when it came to Stevie Mac:

“When he came out there with an umbrella, he should have been thrown out of the ground there and then.”

Whatever they say about the Merse though, he knows his audience. “If Harry Redknapp is watching now, he’s probably saying don’t link me with the job,” posited naive Alan McInally.

Merse was scornful:

“He won’t be watching. He’ll be watching the 12.40 from Ascot.”

Meanwhile, here’s poor old Merse losing his front tooth on Soccer Saturday a few weeks ago. Around 1m 20.

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