Merson says Arsenal would win the league with ‘Redknapp’s tactical nous’, is immediately proven spectacularly wrong

Paul Merson has made the rather brave suggestion that Arsenal would be more likely to win the Premier League if they had Harry Redknapp as manager instead of Arsene Wenger.

Whether or not he means it or is deploying the trick most pundits these days use of producing outlandish claims to get attention rather than provide meaningful analysis is up to you to decide.

Either way, Merson has been instantly embarrassed after eagle-eyed Twitter user Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) dug up some old quotes from one of Redknapp’s former players Rafael van der Vaart.

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While criticism of the former Tottenham manager may be over the top and bordering on downright snobbish at times, it does seem unlikely that he’s anymore tactically sophisticated than Arsene Wenger.

According to an old interview with Van der Vaart during his Spurs days, ‘There are no long and boring speeches about tactics (at Tottenham). There’s a clipboard in our dressing room but Harry doesn’t write anything on it.

‘It’s not that we do nothing – but it’s close to that. For instance, last weekend Gareth Bale scored a header against Blackburn from my corner.

‘But we didn’t train one minute on it, it was pure luck. Good kicking, good heading, nothing more.’

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that approach if it works for you, but it does suggest the Merse is being a little OTT on his old buddy Harry.

‘People say he’s a wheeler-dealer and it’s so disrespectful,’ Merson was quoted on Sky Sports.

paul merson

‘Tactically, he’s one of the best I’ve worked with. If Arsene Wenger had Harry Redknapp’s tactical nous, Arsenal would win the league.’

Unless the day really comes when Redknapp steps into the Emirates Stadium with his blank clipboard and actually wins the title through ‘good kicking’ and ‘good heading’ alone then, sorry, we’re just not convinced.

More Stories Arsene Wenger Harry Redknapp Paul Merson Rafael van der Vaart