With the transfer window now officially closed until January, I invite you to peer into the utterly incomprehensible world of Paul Merson’s definitive “club-by-club transfer window grades”.
Compiled in alphabetical order, Sky Sports have no doubt cajoled “Magic Man” Paul Merson into giving each Premier League club a school-like grading relating to their performance in the transfer window; a task which has thrown up some absolute gems.
Beginning with Arsenal, we see the first three clubs all given exactly the same grading by Merson, leading to a suggestion that he was struggling for inspiration from the very start of the process, an assumption which is only given more weight when the former Gooner refuses to go into any detail whatsoever when discussing the club’s two biggest signings of the summer when stating “Shkodran Mustafi is a good player, and Granit Xhaka from Gladbach looks a decent midfielder too”.
It may not have been the strongest of opening gambits but perhaps he was just warming up, right? Wrong. I won’t lie to you, by the time I had finished reading Merson’s musings on Chelsea’s window I was forced to double check the site to make sure I wasn’t reading a parody piece, it really is that odd. Having started by saying “I don’t think Marcos Alonso is good enough” and following it up with “David Luiz? No, no, no, no.” he goes on to give them an A+ grading. His reasoning? “Because Kante is that good.”
Whilst his thoughts on Palace aren’t actually that outlandish, his refusal to even highlight the coup that Leicester City have pulled off in bringing in Islam Slimani to the UK from Sporting Lisbon is laughable, as is the decision to award them the same grading as Hull City, who spent £14 million on Tottenham’s forgotten man Ryan Mason.
The rest of the article sees Merson lapsing into full “geezer” mode on numerous occassions, never more blatantly than when he claims that Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is “different gravy”.
His decision to award Watford a C, only to qualify it by suggesting that “if they stay up, it’s an A” spectacularly misses the point of why he has been asked to dish out gradings in the first place, although you get the feeling that he was saying anything to finish it off by that stage.
We probably shouldn’t be surprised by Merson’s failure to grasp a grading system used in the formative academic years of every child across the UK, it was always likely to be a stretch for him.
You may or may not be waking up happy with Palace’s transfer business on the final day of the window, but I’d wager a fair amount of money on the above article making you snigger at least once or twice regardless.