Despite his tendency to predict for us to lose this season, Paul Merson has stated that we’re ‘not getting relegated’ so should play our strongest team in the FA Cup this season – also stating that a takeover is essential to keep our world class manager in Rafa Benitez.
Whilst takeover talk was top of the agenda, the Sky Sports pundit said the following on Sky Sports’ ‘The Debate’ alongside Ian Wright last night, urging us to take the FA Cup seriously in a bid for some much needed silverware:
“I think Newcastle are a prime example for the FA Cup.
“I think if you didn’t support Sunderland, who wouldn’t want to see Newcastle win the FA Cup this year, because number one, their supporters and number two they haven’t won anything for god knows how long.
“They’re middle of the table, they’re not getting relegated, they’re not going to get in the top four, they should play their strongest team all the time.
Interesting here that he says quite categorically that we’re not getting relegated given we’d be in the bottom three if his predictions for us had come true this season.
Merson’s tended to be anything but complimentary towards us this season, but surprisingly, he thinks safety is a given and quite rightly feels we should go all out to win the FA Cup.
The infamous pundit then commented on the takeover, stressing the importance of one to keep Rafa Benitez at the club – a man he rates as one of the top 10 managers in the world:
“Buy the club for £300 million? If you want to be successful, one you’ve got to keep the manager because he’s probably in the top 10 in the world and the other thing, you need at least another £300million (to spend on players), at least £300 million.”
Merson isn’t wrong here. Not only will it take over £300m for Staveley and co. to buy is in the first place, a huge amount of money will also need to be invested into the squad if we are to be genuinely successful.
Surprisingly positive and complimentary comments from Merson here – especially when you consider how uncomplimentary 95% of his predictions have been!