Paul Merson has wrote in his column for the Daily Star that Arsenal’s appointment of Mikel Arteta is just like UFC superstar ‘Conor McGregor trying to fight Floyd Mayweather’.
Merson has made some bizarre claims in his time as a pundit, but this surely has to be one of the most surprising things to come out of the former Arsenal star’s mouth.
Arteta’s return to the Gunners was announced yesterday, as per Arsenal’s official website, the Spaniard has signed a three-and-half-year contract with the north London outfit.
This is the former Arsenal captain’s first ever managerial role, Arteta had been honing his craft under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage at Manchester City before returning to the Gunners.
Here’s what Merson had to say on the former Arsenal captain’s appointment:
“Mikel Arteta taking on the Arsenal job is like Conor McGregor trying to fight Floyd Mayweather.”
“It’s one of the biggest jobs in football and you’re giving it to someone who has never managed in his life!”
“Mikel is a lovely bloke and I’m sure he’s a very good coach. For him it’s a job you just can’t turn down.”
“But good coaches don’t always make good managers. You see it time and time again. And he has no experience at all.”
“If the Arsenal board think they are suddenly going to start playing like Manchester City just because Arteta has worked with Pep Guardiola for a bit, they need to wake up and smell the coffee.”
Merson’s doubts are understandable, we just can’t get over how the Sky Sports pundit has made his point by referencing a completely different and unrelated sports event – that occurred two-and-a-half-years.
Perhaps Merson is just reiterating that just like McGregor, Arteta will find the task of stepping up to handle Arsenal’s players as difficult as a fight with Mayweather.