Pundit Paul Merson has made an utterly ridiculous claim about West Ham ahead of the season opener against Bournemouth.

There are three certainties in life – death, taxes and that Paul Merson will say something daft about West Ham during the course of a season.

Merson is a great character. And to be fair to the former Arsenal star, he never sits on the fence. Which is what we want from our pundits.

But as a self-confessed lifelong Chelsea fan, he seems to enjoy the odd pop at the Blues’ London rivals West Ham.

The Hammers head to Bournemouth for the season opener on Saturday.

And the pundit has returned with his weekly prediction column.

Dagenham & Redbridge v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images

But it is fair to say some of his statements are well over the top.

In fact Merson has made an utterly ridiculous claim about West Ham ahead of the season opener against Bournemouth.

Assessing the game, Merson states that it is a “must-not lose” match for the Hammers. Yes you just read that correctly.

“West Ham seem to be taking two steps forward and five steps back this year,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

“They need to sort themselves out, if I’m being honest. Both these teams might end up in the bottom half of the table, and they’ve got big games to start their campaigns…

“Neither team can afford to lose this game, and I’m going with a draw between these two teams.”

Sorry did I fall asleep and miss three quarters of the season? A must not-lose – in the first game of the campaign!?

Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

It’s nothing short of laughable that Merson is piling such pressure on West Ham and David Moyes before a ball has even been kicked.

Is it any wonder managers face unprecedented pressure, stress and strain to keep their jobs nowadays when they’re up against these kind of statements?

For what it’s worth Merson does back West Ham to come away with a point. And any point away from home in the Premier League is a good one for a club like West Ham.

Given the turbulent summer transfer window at the club, perhaps we’d all accept that result.

Football is a game of opinions. And that’s part of the beauty of our great sport. But come on, this take from Merson is simply not on.


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