Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has changed his mind on Graham Potter and the Manchester United job – just months after tipping the Brighton chief for the Old Trafford vacancy
Paul Merson has backtracked on his previous claims that Graham Potter should be considered for the Manchester United job – and he’s also questioned whether the Brighton chief has faltered recently after starting to believe his own hype.
Potter has forged a reputation as one of the Premier League’s most exciting young managers since he was appointed by Brighton back in the summer of 2019. The 46-year-old has earned rave reviews for his work on the south coast, where he’s helped the Seagulls evolve into one of the top-flight’s slickest footballing team.
A host of high-profile club’s – including Tottenham – have reportedly considered Potter for managerial roles as a result of his impressive work at Brighton. And Merson was so impressed with the credentials of the Seagulls boss that he urged United to appoint the up-and-comer as recently as January.
He previously told Sky Sports: “I’m a big fan of his, I think he plays brilliant football. If I was Man United, I’d be watching Potter, I’d be watching Potter. I think the way they [Brighton] play their football – and they haven’t got the quality of Man United players – and they play this great football. And if I was Man United, I’d be monitoring him. I’d think, ‘why not go for him?'”
Unfortunately for Potter, the Seagulls’ form has slumped dramatically in recent weeks. A run of six straight defeats prior to Brighton’s 0-0 draw with Norwich on Saturday has seen Brighton slide down the table – and Potter’s stock plummet.
And Merson has now backtracked on his previous claim that Potter would be a good fit for the vacant role at Old Trafford, as the Arsenal playmaker insisted that Potter’s recent tinkering has had a negative impact on the Sussex outfit.
Merson told Sky Sports: “We were talking six weeks ago, I was waxing-lyrical, I thought he was unbelievable, great manager, could be the next Manchester United manager. All of a sudden, he starts changing his team, popping it around, taking Lamptey off when they’re on top against Newcastle and Bissouma doesn’t play in a game then they bring him on.
“Does he start believing in his own publicity and I think it’s backfired. It’s all about timings; if they were where Arsenal are now, he would be majorly thought of as one of the top runners for the Man United. Now? No chance.”
While nothing has reportedly been decided in the race for the vacant role, Ajax chief Erik ten Hag has appeared to nudge ahead of Mauricio Pochettino in recent days.