An anecdote-driven narrative of the classic footballer's ‘DOs and DO NOTs’ from the ever-popular Arsenal legend and football pundit Paul Merson, aka ‘The Merse’.
When it comes to advice on the pitfalls of life as a professional footballer, Paul Merson can pretty much write the manual. In fact, that's exactly what he's done in this hilarious new book which manages to be simultaneously poignant and gloriously funny.
Merson was a prodigiously talented footballer in the 80s and 90s, gracing the upper echelons of the game - and the tabloid front pages - with his breathtakingly skills and larger-than-life off-field persona.
His much-publicised battles with gambling, drug and alcohol addiction are behind him now, and football fans continue to be drawn to his sharp footballing brain and playful antics on SkySports cult results show Soccer Saturday.
The book delights and entertains with a treasure chest of terrific anecdotes from a man who has never lost his love of football and his inimitable joie de vivre through a 25-year association with the Beautiful Game.
The DO NOTs include:
DO NOT adopt 'Champagne' Charlie Nicholas as your mentor
DO NOT share a house with Gazza
DO NOT regularly place £30,000 bets at the bookie's
DO NOT get so drunk that you can't remember the 90 minutes of football you just played in
DO NOT manage Walsall (at any cost)
How Not to be a Professional Footballer is a hugely entertaining, moving and laugh-out-loud funny story.
Some of The Merse's one-liners:
"The lad's like a fish up a tree."
Translation: that player looks a little lost and out of his depth
"It's a worldy strike."
Translation: that is a world class long-range goal
About the author
Paul Merson was born in Brent, London in 1968. He won two League Championships, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a European Cup-Winner's Cup during his 12 years as a legend of Arsenal, before his surprise transfer to First Division Middlesbrough in 1997.
He was instrumental in Boro gaining promotion to the Premiership in 1998/99, but left the club less than a month into the new season to join Aston Villa for £6.75 million. After five years with Villa he moved to Portsmouth in 2002 and was key in helping Pompey achieve promotion to the Premier League in 2003.
Paul then played for - and managed - Walsall before finally retiring in 2006 after more than 600 appearances and 126 goals in a glittering career which also brought 21 England caps.
Merson is now a panellist on SkySports' iconic weekend football results show, Soccer Saturday.