Wrighty and Merse: Who wins in battle of the gaffes?
There are a lot of ex-Gunners currently doing the rounds as football pundits and commentators. On ITV, Lee Dixon makes regular appearances while Sky have Alan Smith and Soccer Saturday regular Paul Merson to call upon. We all know that ex-pros are prone to making a slip-up or two in the commentary box, but Merson seems to be in a league of his own!
Merson’s struggles with the English language are common knowledge among any of us who sit down in front of the telly at 3pm on a Saturday (we rarely have games on at that time). Whether he’s saying “he’s hit the beans on toast” or “Wheater headers it over”, poor old Merse doesn’t seem to get it right that often, but he has competition from an Arsenal legend.
Not all Wright
Since retirement, Ian Wright has had a stab at becoming a TV presenter, but as soon as that work dried up, he moved into the well-worn path of punditry. Despite his experience as a player and his obvious passion coming to the fore whenever he’s in the studio for an England game, Wrighty occasionally enters gaffe territory.
One of his most famous gaffes was made a couple of years ago when talking about Wayne Rooney, where he said “I don’t want Rooney to leave these shores but if he does, I think he’ll go abroad”, although he might not be making many until England’s next qualifier is screened live next month.
It’s pretty tight when judging who of the two is most prone to getting their tongues in a twist, but Merson just edges it. This is because he continues to say “headers” instead of “heads” repeatedly. Not even Wrighty would go that far!
TV time counts
For the start of the new season, both ex-Arsenal stars are expected to make yet more gaffes along with serial offenders like Mark Lawrenson and Chris Kamara, but with Merson being on TV practically every week, he’s sure to make the most mistakes and have greater opportunities to say stupid things.
However, it can be hard for him when he’s commentating on a game solo with no help from the rest of the Soccer Saturday panel! As for Wrighty, he will get his chance for England games, while he might pop up on radio from time to time as well as in print, but whatever gaffes the legendary former striker makes will surely be edited out.
Ladbrokes have recently created a game called Did They Really Say That? The quiz features some of the dumbest and most bizarre quotes to ever come out of the mouths of celebrities, football managers, pundits and commentators. It allows players to guess who from a random commentator, manager or celebrity came up with a quote that appears on-screen, providing plenty of laughs. Both Wrighty and Merse appear in the quiz among others moving from the pitch to the gantry.