West Ham fans respond to Paul Merson's underwhelming prediction about next season

The former Arsenal midfielder's West Ham comments have been discussed by supporters.

Paul Merson makes predictions for Sky Sports every week. And his mixed results show just how tough it is to forecast anything.

The same goes for most pundits. Robbie Savage predicted Sunderland would definitely go down with several weeks left of the Premier League season before saying Hull City would definitely go down a week later.

Ex-Arsenal man Merson, though, doesn't let the difficulty of making predictions deter him - after all, it's what he's paid to do.

And, ahead of next season, Merson made an underwhelming prediction about Sunderland and West Ham United. Indeed, the Sky Sports pundit suggested that both sides, as well as any other team in the bottom 10 of the Premier League, shouldn't be over ambitious and must simply aim to stay up and survive.

For West Ham fans, however, that provides a bit of a conundrum. The east London club are done with being a team who battle relegation. Supporters just don't want that anymore. West Ham want more - they want to be sustaining top-six challenges not just sitting in fourth after a few months then dropping to 11th. Otherwise the Hammers would have kept Sam Allardyce on.

So what do fans make of Merson's prediction? Here are a few of the West Ham faithful's comments on the HITC Sport pages...

The Cat wrote: 'Many won't like what Paul Merson has said but he's an ex professional with the knowledge, understanding and inside track on the game. What he has said is without emotion and in his professional assessment and to be honest, he hasn't said anything extreme, just common sense.

'Nothing groundbreaking is going to happen at Sunderland who need a total overhaul and have only just confirmed their manager who will have his work cut out just to stand still.

'As for West Ham, no manager confirmed as yet who will have to come in sharpish, assess the playing staff sharpish, recruit players sharpish, prepare for the Europa sharpish.....in fact West Ham at this stage of the season are behind the game, in terms of the other sides who WILL qualify for champions league and Europa places!

'Paul Merson, I make you right!'

Spyinthesky (in reply to The Cat) wrote: 'Well that's me convinced then, clearly you are the font of all knowledge. Meanwhile I find myself unconvinced by ex pros who when you do well Claim you are a top six team and when form declines claim you are relegation strugglers all in the same season. And we wonder why there are do few English managers of note. Hey an English footballer with an IQ higher than his age would be nice.'

Sibbo wrote: 'merson thinks sams a good manager shows you what he knows'

Andrew Coyle wrote: 'Didn't Paul merson have safc "nailed on for relegation" ? I like merson but I'm not paying too much attention to what he's saying this season. When the new manager's are in place and the money has been spent then let's have a look then, the premier league is very unpredictable as merson proves week in week out with his super 6 predictions.'

Philtheiron wrote: 'Yeah, I kind of get what he is saying. Generally speaking bottom (10) of the table teams are the ones that tend to struggle and the ones that stay up only survive because relegated teams get detached with to much to do to stay up.

'West Ham on the other hand should be part of the next group of teams up. Ie, not good/big enough to be challenging for the title, honours or European football but are striving for it.

'However, what is our Achilles heel just now is the relative lack of quality and small size of our squad. As was cruelly exposed last season.

'Without a manager, a relatively small budget (FairPlay regulations) and the distraction of the Europa league on a small squad, I can see where Merson is coming from.

'But having said all that we are a far better team not to mention a far bigger club than people give us credit for. And we will still surprise a few people this season. COYI!' 

Kenny Irons wrote: 'Nothing against Merse, but he ain't the brightest star in the sky, is he ? because a bloke is half decent at football doesn't make him an authority on the game - I mean, Shearer and Souness talk the biggest load of *****cks of them all. Yes, West Ham and Sunderland aren't going to qualify for the Champions League, but other than top 4 or 5 rest of Prem' is crap anyway, so anyone can sneak into top 10.'

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