- Paul Merson is an Arsenal legend, while he has also represented several other clubs
- However, his loyalty as a supporter has only recently been discovered
- CHRIS SUTTON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a clown It all starts
Football fans are shocked after discovering who pundit Paul Merson is backing.
Merson, 55, enjoyed a hugely impressive playing career before retiring in 2006 and embarking on a career in media.
After graduating from Arsenal’s academy, he made more than 300 appearances for the Gunners and also enjoyed successful spells at Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth and Walsall, which he also managed.
The former striker won 21 caps for England and represented the Three Lions at the 1992 European Championship and the 1998 World Cup.
It has never been entirely clear who Merson – who regularly appears on Sky Sports’ flagship football program Soccer Saturday – is supporting, with most assuming he has the closest ties to Arsenal given his history with the club.
Football fans are shocked after discovering who pundit Paul Merson is backing
His loyalty as a fan has come to the fore since Chelsea defeated Tottenham 4-1 on Monday
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However, Merson’s loyalties have come to the fore in recent days following Tottenham’s 4-1 defeat to Chelsea on Monday in one of the most frenetic Premier League encounters of all time.
And it turns out the former Arsenal academy graduate is actually a fan of Mauricio Pochettino’s side, leaving football fans across the UK in shock.
Merson’s love for the Blues is not well known, but ahead of their win over Spurs the pundit had told Sky Sports: ‘I have a lot of confidence for Chelsea on Monday night. I’ll be shocked if they lose.’
He was widely criticized for this prediction, given Spurs’ previously unbeaten start and Chelsea’s early season problems.
However, after the game ended, he took to social media again, adding, “All those people who called me clueless, I hope you go to bed. COYB’, with the latter part of that message referring to ‘Come on You Blues’ – a common call for Chelsea supporters.
Merson also responded to another fan who criticized his prediction, saying, “You’re going to have to put up with me for at least another four to one years. COYB.’
In fact, Mailsport understands Merson is a season ticket holder behind the goal at Stamford Bridge and has become increasingly open about his love for Chelsea in recent months, with the former striker also spotted among the traveling fans during away matches.
But his comments after Monday’s clash have caused shock among people around the world after they realized who he is supporting.
One confused fan said: ‘Is Paul Merson a Chelsea fan?’, while another said: ‘Paul Merson is a Chelsea fan?’
Merson had celebrated Chelsea’s win and lashed out at those who criticized his prediction
Football fans couldn’t quite understand Merson’s support for Chelsea
Merson has also been frequently spotted away at Chelsea matches in recent months
Other users said: ‘I’m still so baffled that Paul Merson is a Chelsea fan,’ while another fan said: ‘Can someone explain to me how Paul Merson came through the Arsenal academy and went on to play 300+ senior games? playing for them, yet openly being a Chelsea fan?’
Meanwhile, other supporters couldn’t quite understand where Merson’s loyalties lie, with another fan saying: ‘I know he’s from West London. But Paul Merson, a graduate of the Arsenal academy and a man who spent 12 very successful years there as a Chelsea Die Hard, is the strangest thing I see in football on a regular basis.’
Given his celebrations on social media after Chelsea defeated his former club’s arch-rivals Tottenham, an additional supporter joked: ‘It’s so strange to me now that I know Paul Merson is a Chelsea fan. Even stranger, it seems, is that it brings the fan bases together.”
Despite Monday’s defeat, Spurs remain 11 points clear of their London rivals and will look to return to winning ways with a trip to Wolves on Saturday, while Chelsea host Man City on Sunday.