After all, his problems with drugs and drink apparently put paid to his first marriage, he didn't do too well in his brief stint in management at Walsall, and he struggles to pronounce the names of several high-profile international players whilst doing commentary for Sky.
But that it to totally underestimate a man who made 289 appearances for Arsenal over a 12 year period, and gained 21 full England caps.
For Merson has a shrewd footballing brain - he demonstrated that time and again during his Arsenal playing career, and his ability now to read and analyse a game is pretty impressive (although you might have to strip away the self-deprecating manner and malapropisms to really appreciate it).
And, as far as Arsenal is concerned, Merson speaks as a fan and totally understands how they are feeling. So when he expresses concern at the club's lack of transfer activity this window, and predicts that Arsenal will go on a last day panic buying spree on Monday if they suffer defeat to Tottenham at the Emirates this afternoon, Merson is merely reflecting the view of many supporters.
Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger would do well in future to take note of Merson's views, as he is doubtless a bellwether for the fans, who are becoming increasingly concerned and frustrated that success this season is already in the balance.
image: © p_a_h