You can dislike the punditry, but Merse is an impossible man to loath. 'It'd be like hating a shaggy dog that runs up to you and wants you to throw it a stick,' say the boys...
The summer window is officially open, and Premier League clubs have wasted no time in doing deals. But what do you remember of the transfer silly season so far?
* Jack Wilshere was accurate with 44 of his 47 passes v QPR on Saturday.
* The much-maligned André Santos made four tackles, five interceptions, two effective clearances, four accurate crosses out of five attempts and had more touches (100) than any other player v QPR.
* Arsenal have conceded just six goals in nine PL games - the best defensive record in the division.
* Alex McLeish amassed 11 points from his first nine games as Villa boss last season. Lambert's Villa have six points.
* Gabriel Agbonlahor has failed to score in his last 28 PL appearances. He took no shots v Norwich on Saturday.
* Darren Bent was on the pitch for 21 minutes v Norwich. He touched the ball five times and did not complete a single pass.
* Juan Mata has scored or assisted nine PL goals this season. Only Robin van Persie (10) can beat that contribution.
* Lone striker Fernando Torres (18) has attempted fewer shots than either Mata (21) or Eden Hazard (20) this season.
* David Luiz found a Chelsea teammate with only one of his eight attempted long balls v Man United.
* Everton have taken more shots (173) than any other PL team this season.
* Leighton Baines attempted 15 crosses v Liverpool and an impressive seven reached a teammate.
* Both Phil Neville (94%) and Leon Osman (87%) recorded a better pass completion rate than Joe Allen (84%) on Sunday.
* Fulham have thrown away ten points from winning positions this season.
* Even without those points, Fulham have double the points (14) than the same stage last season (7) and have scored eight more goals.
* Bryan Ruiz has created more chances (13) and been credited with more assists (4) than any other Fulham player despite starting only four PL games.
* Luis Suarez has scored with six of his 56 shots this season so takes 9.33 shots for each goal. By way of comparison, Demba Ba has scored seven goals at a rate of a goal every 5.14 shots.
* Suarez has been involved (scored or assisted) 80% of Liverpool's PL goals this season (excl. own goals).
* Joe Allen had made just 18 tackles in eight PL games for Liverpool before Sunday. Against Everton, he made six.
* Man City have scored in each of their last 15 Premier League games.
* Mario Balotelli has taken more shots (21) than any other PL player without scoring this season.
* Balotelli completed four passes and attempted three off-target shots in his 45 minutes on the pitch v Swansea on Saturday.
* Man Utd have already played five PL games in which they've both scored and conceded at least two goals this season. They had only four such games in the whole of last season.
* Robin van Persie has scored or assisted ten of United's 24 PL goals this season - more than any other player in the top flight.
* Michael Carrick and Van Persie were the only United outfield starters who failed to make any of 26 tackles v Chelsea.
* Newcastle United
* Demba Ba has scored 30 goals in 55 PL games for West Ham and Newcastle.
* Ba and Papiss Cisse scored in the same PL match for the first time since February v West Brom on Sunday.
* Hatem Ben Arfa has embarked on more dribbles (83) this season than either Aston Villa or West Brom.
* Norwich's seven PL goals this season have been scored by five different players.
* Anthony Pilkington attempted 11 crosses v Aston Villa but only one reached a teammate.
* Wes Hoolahan has created two chances per game for Norwich this season - exactly the same figure as Antonio Valencia and Mark Noble.
* QPR had 12 points after nine games under Neil Warnock at the start of last season. This season they have three points.
* They have picked up nine red cards so far in 2012.
* Bobby Zamora completed just seven passes and attempted no shots in 73 minutes v Arsenal.
* Reading have thrown away ten points from winning positions this season.
* Jobi McAnuff has created only seven chances this season but has been credited with four assists.
* Reading have dropped below Stoke in the pass completion stakes this season with an average of 68.7%.
* Southampton have conceded more goals (26) after nine games than any team in PL history.
* The Saints did not manage a single shot on target v Spurs until the 66th minute.
* Morgan Schneiderlin and Adam Lallana are third and fourth in the PL's 'average interceptions made' list.
* Stoke City
* Stoke have averaged just 39% possession in the Premier League this season.
* Stoke have won only one of their last 15 PL games.
* Charlie Adam attempted 11 crosses v Sunderland but only one found a teammate.
* Sunderland have recorded just 12 shots on target in eight games this season. They managed none at Stoke on Saturday.
* Adam Johnson attempted eight crosses v Stoke but none reached a teammate.
* Sunderland have won only one of their last 16 PL games.
* Swansea have the fourth-best pass completion rate (85.7%) in the Premier League - higher than either Chelsea or Liverpool.
* Leon Britton has recorded the same pass completion rate (92.3%) as Paul Scholes this season.
* Swansea are two points and five goals better off than the same stage last season.
*G Gareth Bale has created more chances (20) than any other PL player without recording an assist.
* Sandro has made more interceptions (34) than any other PL player this season.
* William Gallas found a teammate with all 41 of his passes v Southampton on Sunday.
* West Brom have picked up just four points from a possible 15 against top-half opposition this season.
* Romelu Lukaku has hit the target with 11 of his 20 shots in the PL for West Brom this season.
* The Baggies made 23 tackles v Newcastle on Sunday with James Morrison topping the tackle charts with five.
* Only Man City (7) and Man United (6) have scored more goals from set-pieces than West Ham (5) this season.
* They are the only team not to attempt a single through ball this season.
* Andy Carroll won a massive 14 aerial duels v Wigan but failed to record a shot on target.
* Wigan make 43% of their attacks down the left-hand side and just 27% down the right.
* Manchester United are the only team to have won fewer aerial duels than Wigan this season.
* There have been just nine goals in nine first halves involving Wigan this season. The second halves have brought 17 goals.