The Merse
The Merse

SIXES AND SEVENS

Ludo sessions at Paul Merson’s house invariably end in destruction:

“They’ve (Liverpool) just rolled the last bit of dice.”

BRUCIE BONUS

After 11 years in the management game, Steve Bruce is beginning to get his bearings:

The one area of the pitch where we are a threat is up the top end.”

TIME FLIES

Although the passing of time is still a concept Steve finds a little confusing:

“The problem with Rio is that he has been in the England scene for ten to twelve years and he seems to have been there for years.

FIRST TEAM STRIP

No reporter deserves the trauma visited on Alan Smith at Villa Park:

“Villa are giving it the full monty to get the second goal.”

FIT TO DROP

Such has been the extent of Arsene Wenger’s injury problems,

Ronnie Whelan now takes an unorthodox approach to assessing the strength of his squad:

“Arsenal have people back from fitness.”

HELPFUL HINTS

He usually leaves the analysis to Andy Gray, but Richard Keyes is becoming much more confident since Jamie began giving him tactics lessons:

“What’s the first rule having got in front? Stay in front.”

BLACK FLY IN GEORGE’S CHARDONNAY

Zat Knight’s early gaffe at Old Trafford got Alanis Hamilton excited:

“Irony of ironies, last time out when they salvaged a draw against Sunderland, it was an own-goal that gave them that.”

SAFE BET

Brian Marwood has long perfected the use of the triple negative – an impenetrable commentary code that allows him to cunningly back both nags in a two-horse race. You know the kind of thing: “I don’t think there are too many people betting against him not scoring from the spot.” But during Argentina-Uruguay, Trevor Francis showed he might, finally, have a worthy rival:

The lack of spirit that’s been missing was there today.

ODD MAN OUT

Billo will always regret missing out on a call-up from Jack in 1990:

“You’re the only one of the four of us, Graeme, who’s played in a World Cup finals.”

TONGUE TWISTER

Stan Collymore isn’t sure if Antonio Valencia is flexible enough to emulate Cristiano at Old Trafford:

“Is he capable of filling the right-hand sided boots of Ronaldo.”

ON ITS MERITS

Words to live by from the hefty cannon of Johnny Giles philosophy:

“A pro can only be as good as he possibly can be.”

LAYING THE TRAP

At this stage, Jeff Stelling knows Paul Merson better than he knows himself:

“I’d be stupid if I sat here and said they’re (Liverpool) going to be out of the top four.”

“So, are they?”

SAVE OR BUST

Jimmy Magee calls in the receivers for Vito Mannone:

“The goalkeeper is in the frame of indebt.”

SHORT MEMORY

Steve Bruce upset a few people by making Becks man-of-the-match for his Wembley cameo in midweek. But by the time Sunderland had beaten Liverpool, he’d completely blocked it out:

It’s always good to get a big club after they’ve been playing in Europe.

PEST CONTROL
Eamon Dunphy rats out nemesis Stephen Hunt:

“I believe he’s getting a job with rent-a-kill when he retires.”

FEAST AND A FAMINE

Phil Thompson had no appetite for Heurelho Gomes‘ mixed performance at Pompey:

“He was caviar and cabbage.”

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THE HIPS DON’T LIE

And finally, when Shakira speaks, we tend to listen:

“Life is a soccer field, don’t you think?”

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