Paul Merson

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Paul Merson
Paul Merson.jpg
Surname Paul Charles Merson
birthday March 20, 1968
place of birth Harlesden , LondonEngland
size 182 cm
position midfield player
Years station Games (goals) 1
1985-1997 Arsenal FC 327 (78)
1987 →  Brentford FC  (loan) 7 0(0)
1997-1998 Middlesbrough FC 48 (12)
1998-2002 Aston Villa 117 (18)
2002-2003 Portsmouth FC 45 (12)
2003-2006 Walsall FC 77 0(6)
2006 Tamworth FC 1 0(0)
National team
Years selection Games (goals)
1988-1990 England U-21 4 0(0)
1991-1998 England B 4 0(3)
1991-1998 England 21 0(3)
Stations as a trainer
Years station
2004-2006 Walsall FC
1 Only league games are given.

Paul Charles Merson (born March 20, 1968 in Harlesden , London ) is a former English football player . During his football career he was both for the clubs Arsenal , Middlesbrough , Aston Villa and Portsmouth as well as 21-times for the England national team active.

Athletic career

Born in London, Merson began his career at home club Arsenal, which he joined in 1984 as a junior player. He made his debut on November 22, 1986 against Manchester City and after a brief loan period at third division Brentford FC , where he made seven games, he returned to join the successful Arsenal team in the late 1980s under coach George Graham to establish. In the 1988/89 season Merson was then also a regular in the position of right winger (later also as a midfielder ) and won the English championship with Arsenal through a late goal by Michael Thomas in the last game against Liverpool . Merson had scored ten goals in the season, was elected U21 national team and also the best young professional of the past season.

Arsenal was able to win the English championship again in 1991 with Merson and two years later both the FA Cup and the League Cup followed, with Merson scoring the first goal in the League Cup final. In 1994 the club came to European honors when they won the European Cup Winners' Cup . Merson made his debut for the English national team on September 11, 1991 in a friendly against Germany .

Merson's career then took a hit when he admitted his addiction to alcohol and cocaine in November 1994 . The Football Association then arranged a three-month rehabilitation program for Merson, who then celebrated his comeback in February 1995, shortly before the dismissal of coach Graham . Under the interim coach Stewart Houston , Merson led his club into the second consecutive final in the European Cup Winners' competition, in which, however, Nayim's shot from the center line in the last minute of extra time against Real Zaragoza .

Also in the 1995/96 season Merson was a regular in Arsenal's team, which was now coached by the new coach Bruce Rioch and came in the following season under Arsène Wenger to regular missions. Surprisingly, after Arsenal finished the season in third place, Merson moved to relegated Middlesbrough for five million pounds, making it the most expensive purchase of a club that did not play in the top division. He left Arsenal after 423 games and 99 goals.

Merson developed into a key player in the team from Middlesbrough, who could celebrate the direct promotion as runner-up. At the 1998 World Cup he was the only English player who was not active for a first division club. It was used in the round of 16 against Argentina . Despite his goal on penalties , England subsequently lost it and was eliminated from the tournament.

In the fall of the same year, Merson was sold to Aston Villa for a transfer fee of £ 6.75 million. He stayed there for nearly four seasons and reached the FA Cup final with the club in 2000. After the end of the 2001/02 season , Merson moved to the second division club Portsmouth FC on a free transfer and was instrumental in the club's rise to the Premier League in the same season.

However, due to his advanced age, Merson did not dare to stay in the top English league and also wished to be able to stay more in his home in Sutton Coldfield in the future . His decision then fell in the summer of 2003 on the second division club FC Walsall, to which he again moved on a free transfer. Due to a gambling addiction , which he had cured in the Sierra Tucson Clinic in Arizona , he missed numerous games in a season in which Walsall slipped from a midfield place in the relegation zone. Just a few months after Merson's return, he took over from coach Colin Lee , whom the club dismissed after he was accused of negotiating with Plymouth Argyle about a vacant coaching post. Merson missed relegation despite a 3-2 win in their last game against Rotherham United due to a last-minute penalty and could not benefit from Stoke City's help , who should have beaten Gillingham FC . However, despite relegation, Merson was appointed as the club's permanent coach.

The 2004/05 season was difficult for Merson, both on and off the field. Walsall lost in all cup competitions against lower-class teams and according to information from the English media, Merson resorted to alcohol again and also relapsed in his gambling addiction. The use of goalkeeper Mark Bosnich , who had previously been convicted of cocaine abuse, was also very controversial in the club. Walsall threatened a second relegation and Merson responded with numerous signings by January 2005, including Julian Joachim, Andy Oakes, Anthony Gerrard (cousin of Steven Gerrard ), Craig Pead and David Perpetuini. The team then remained undefeated until May and was able to secure their stay in League One with this run .

After this difficult first coaching season, the club was more confident for the new 2005/06 season. However, this prognosis was not fulfilled and Walsall was again in the relegation zone. In March 2006, Merson resigned from his coaching position.


  • European Cup Winners' Cup: 1994
  • English champion: 1989, 1991
  • FA Cup Winner: 1993
  • English league cup winner: 1993

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