The former England international believes that Newcastle are about the same as West Ham United, whom he has predicted to end up 14th in the league standings this term.
“Newcastle (15) are about the same as West Ham,” wrote Merson on Skysports.com. “I like Steve McClaren, he's a good manager, and I think they will just consolidate this year and don't want to be in a relegation battle.”
Newcastle narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season, and they will be keen on averting a similar scenario this time around.
However, Steve McClaren’s side have made a disappointing start to their 2015-16 Premier League campaign.
The Magpies started with a 2-2 draw with Southampton at St. James’ Park before going down 2-0 to Swansea City away from home at the Liberty Stadium.
Newcastle held Manchester United to a goalless draw at Old Trafford in their next game and then defeated Northampton Town 4-1 at St. James’ Park in the second round of the League Cup.
Last week, the Magpies suffered a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at home in the Premier League.