Paul Merson has long struggled with any vaguely complex names, and it seems the rest of the footballing world has started to catch on.
It’s an ongoing joke on social media that Merson has trouble with any last names more difficult to pronounce than “Smith” or “Holding”. Whenever a player with a particularly lengthy last name comes along, fans laugh at the thought of the former Gunner trying to sound it out.
They don’t need to imagine his attempts to pronounce new Arsenal signings like Matteo Guendouzi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos anymore though, as Sky have released a video where he tries to do just that.
Thankfully Merson seems to be taking the focus on his pronunciation in a light-hearted manner, which is to his credit at least. With the size of most footballers’ egos you wouldn’t be surprised to see them take offence at something like this.
Hopefully he can get a bit more practice in before Arsenal get going on Sunday, because Guendouzi (or “Gianatsy”) could well feature against Manchester City at some point.
As long as Merson doesn’t get it as badly wrong as the Premier Sports commentators in pre-season, with their comments about “Ernie Smith Rowe” and “Angyamang”, we can forgive him.