Sky Sports presenter gets into heated Arsenal-Tottenham debate with Paul Merson

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has spoken multiple times about how Spurs’ project is different the other top six clubs due to their transition into the new stadium.

The Argentine emphasised this yet again in a recent press conference, where he delved into Tottenham’s unbeaten record at White Hart Lane in their last season at their former home.

He said the team then has had to re-adapt to Wembley for the last couple of seasons and suggested that this had probably cost them the chance to win trophies.

Pochettino also pointed out how Spurs’ stadium transition is hardly discussed in the media anymore even though the problems Arsenal and West Ham United faced with their move into their respective new grounds were well documented.

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling asked about Pochettino’s comments to former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday, and Merson suggested that Tottenham will inevitably have to sell players due to the costs of their new stadium.

Merson on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday (Sky Sports News, January 26th, 12:48) said: “Arsenal had to sell players and Tottenham are not as big as Arsenal y’know what I mean so how can they not have to sell players? I think that’s where the manager knows this and is just having a little dig without…”

Stelling abruptly interrupted Merson to fire back at the former Arsenal player for his remark.

He said, “Just like you’re having a little dig by saying Tottenham are not as big as Arsenal.”

Merson, however, doubled down on his initial remark responding, “I don’t think they are at this moment, in time who knows, if they can start winning stuff then they will overtake Arsenal but…”

A heated argument then ensued between the two where they debated if history should come into the debate and Stelling pointed out how the Lillywhites now regularly qualify for the Champions League, unlike their North London rivals.

Paul Merson eventually backtracked a little from his initial remark.

He said, “I had to pause before I said it (Arsenal being bigger than Spurs). It wasn’t as if I would have said it over the years so y’know what I mean, y’know.”

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  1. Like most Arsenal fans the penny hasn’t yet dropped. They are about to realise that their owner is doing a repeat of what the Glaziers did with Man U to gain control. By coincidence it will cost about the same as the brand spanking new year Spurs stadium. They are already pleading poverty with no money to spend this transfer window. The owner has treated himself to a nice Christmas present. Guess who is paying for it ?.

  2. A few years ago Tottenham had a big buy period and many laughed when it did not immediately gel. Meanwhile Arsenal and Wenger were doing the usual panic buying. We ended up with a lot of sub-standard players. Mustafi, Elneny, Xhaka, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, and homegrown players who could never play in a title winning side, AMN, and Iwobi. Added to that players who were going backwards like Mkhitaryan and we did not even choose. Kolasinac who was a freebie option and defensively flawed. A kind of upmarket Andre Santos. Meanwhile Tottenham are smiling whilst Kroenke is sucking the soul out of Arsenal. In terms of creativity the minute we lost Santi and Jack our midfield became mentally sterile, except Ozil and he is not played so can never be truly match fit. Madness with such a player. So Spurs are directed better, managed better, playing better, have their new ground and are at their pinnacle. Not anywhere near our pinnacle of course as ‘invincibles’ but sadly ahead of us. So with our present bunch of chance. ‘Greedy Stan Kroenke’ is using us as a Portfolio club. The fact that an owner can only have one club in the UK was to prevent the dilution and corruption of Portfolio ownership. Somehow Kroenke has got round that by owning Stateside, he has five clubs. The focal point being the LA Rams. Kroenke has invested a few billion dollars in his LA/Olympics projects. An Arsenal in the Black and making a profit are a great insurance policy against that investment which could backfire. He will not let Arsenal go into the red and owe money. His money. The Greedyman is a spitting image type character in the States much like his soul clone Trump. Only when Kroenke sinks Arsenal will rise. As for Tottenham ‘Pride comes before a fall’. Things change.

  3. Of course AFC are bigger, in what world are they not. We attacked our most successful ever manager and hounded him out of the club, because his best at that time, was CL place finishes and cups. Tott have one of those tied down yet they believe that that makes them bigger, you’re having a laugh.


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