ARSENAL LEGEND Paul Merson has angered his former club’s fans by selecting just TWO Arsenal players in a combined North London derby XI.
Asked to make his selection on TV show The Debate, the former Highbury hero could only find room for a pair of Unai Emery’s men, alongside nine players from the Spurs squad.
4 Paul Merson selected this combined Spurs and Arsenal XI ahead of the north London derby this weekend
Merson picked striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and mercurial midfielder Mesut Ozil, but couldn’t bring himself to add any more of his old club’s players to the fantasy side on the Sky Sports show.
The pundit, who played 384 times for Arsenal, winning the old First Division title twice, was asked to select a team made up of the best players from the two sides, ahead of the north London derby at the Emirates this Sunday.
Merson was scathing in his assessment of his former side's chances in the match, saying: "I think Arsenal are way off (Tottenham) at the moment – they need four (new) defenders. That’s a lot of defenders!"
And despite ex-Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood including NO Arsenal players in his XI, it was Merson’s picks that seemed to enrage Gunners fans the most on social media.
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Is this a joke?
— Tom Powell (@Tom__Powell) November 29, 2018
Dier isn't superior to Torreira, no chance
— Chris.AFC93 (@chrissy1893) November 29, 2018
Torreira and Bellerin both been fantastic this season. No surprise that Merson can’t see that. Arsenal will once again beat Spurs after a lot of pre game drizzle
— GöönerChris (@chrisgoona) November 30, 2018
Y'all need to start blocking that Paul Merson he so anti Arsenal.
— Chris Nwaoyo🔥🔥 🔥 (@thachrismafia) November 30, 2018
Eric Dier..Merson must be on the jungle juice again
— Seamus Morris (@seamus_morris18) November 30, 2018
Another reason why I don’t watch any punditry or listen to any Sky Sports commentary anymore. Experts 😂
— Red White Gooner 🔴⚪️ (@RedWhite_Gooner) November 30, 2018
Merson tried to justify his selections on the show, saying: "If Ozil turns up, on his day he walks into all the teams (in the league) in my opinion.
"You just gotta hope you push his bed against the wall on one side, and then he has to get out the right side of bed. And then we’ve got a chance!"
He continued: "I’ve tried to get two Arsenal players in. I can’t make a case at the back…you go with Dier, Dier gives them protection.
"I think Tottenham have got (what is) not far from being the best pair of centre halves in the world of football – I think they’re that good."
Getty – Contributor4 Merson spent 12 years at Highbury between 1985 and 1997 and now works for Sky Sports as a pundit
PA:Press Association4 Former Tottenham midfielder and manager Tim Sherwood picked no Arsenal players in his combined XI
Asked about his own selections, Sherwood explained: “I just couldn’t find any room for (Arsenal players), unfortunately. I’m not being biased.
"Hand on heart, I wanted to try and find room for one of them. Maybe Aubameyang is knocking on the door, but the way (Spurs) are playing at the moment…"
Merson interjected to ask: “Couldn’t you have played Alli instead of Winks and put in an Arsenal player up front?”
Sherwood’s reply was blunt. “No. I couldn’t do it, Merse.”
Getty – Contributor4 Merson is now a pundit for Sky Sports
Tweeter R Sen may have had the best response to the pair, though….
The real question is do we actually care? Only thing that matters is the result on Sunday #COYG
— R Sen (@RSenLive) November 30, 2018