Paul Merson holds no grudges with Walsall for being dismissed as manager - but maybe he should. Maybe he should read why he was sacked and wonder if he should really still be in the job.
Jeff Bonser, the Walsall chairman, issued a statement yesterday morning revealing the reasons for Merson's departure but effectively admitting that the former England international midfield player was a victim of bad luck.
In which case, why sack the man? If Walsall's failings are because of circumstances largely beyond Merson's control (i.e., a chronic injury list), does that not make him beyond the sack for the time being?
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Bonser clearly disagreed and, on Monday night, decided that Merson was no longer up to the task of running the Walsall team. If the parting was inevitable, the reasons are more open to debate.
"In all my 18 years involvement in football, I have never known a time when we have been so hard hit by injuries," Bonser said. "If all of these players had been available to Paul throughout the season, I have no doubt that our results and position in the league table would have been very different."
The problem for Merson was that he did not help his own cause. Though colourful, though talented, though endearing, he does not always master his personal public relations.
He effectively signed his own execution note when he suggested that he would leave the club if they lost to Scunthorpe United this coming Saturday. Merson knew he was walking a tightrope but admitting it was perhaps not the wisest course of action.
Bonser read Merson's comments and did not have a sense of humour about the matter. The decision to sack Merson came in the wake of Walsall's 5-0 defeat away Brentford last Saturday, leaving the club languishing in 19th spot in Coca-Cola League One.
The chairman said: "I felt that we had reached a point where it was in the best interests of both the club and Paul that this decision should be made. He accepted the position of manager at a most difficult time, following relegation from what is now the Championship, and the draconian financial fall-out that followed the demise of ITV Digital.
"Inevitably, relegation led to a number of key players leaving the club and a very limited availability of funds to rebuild the team."
In some ways, Bonser seemed to be giving a case for Merson to remain at Bescot Stadium, for the compliments flowed like champagne at a Hollywood party.
He said: "I have always admired the way that he has been prepared to give young players their chance and hopefully some of them who have been groomed by Paul will go on to have bright futures in the game, and will have much to be grateful to him for giving them their first chance. All of us at Walsall FC have enjoyed working with Paul and wish him every success in the future."
To be fair to Merson, even he believes that the sack was inevitable. His valedictory words, typically honest and disarming, suggest that Bonser probably made the right decision - if not necessarily for the right reasons.
Merson said: "It was a bit of a shock because I had trained yesterday [Monday] and was hoping to play again against Scunthorpe on Saturday. But there is absolutely no bitterness on my part at all.
"It is a great club where I have made some great friends. I will not have a word said against it. Of course, I am disappointed but how many chances can you give someone?"
Another one, perhaps?
Alas, it is too late for Merson but the former Aston Villa midfield player has already revealed who he believes his successor should be: David Kelly.
Kelly is one of the finest players in Walsall's history and he distinguished himself at international level with the Republic of Ireland. Kelly is the assistant manager with Preston North End but would relish the chance to return to Walsall. To some, this is the impossible job. It is Bonser's job to show the world that it is not.