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?
* If PL games ended after 45 minutes, Arsenal would be languishing in 13th place. They have not been winning at half-time since December 17 v Reading.
* Abou Diaby successfully dribbled past five Stoke players on Saturday but lost the ball through poor control five times too.
* Mikel Arteta has recorded the best average pass completion rate in the PL this season at 92.5%.
* Villa have won just two of the eight games they have been winning at half-time this season. They have conceded 34 of 49 goals in the second halves of games.
* Christian Benteke has scored or assisted 14 of Aston Villa's 23 league goals this season.
* Ciaran Clark produced five tackles, six interceptions and 12 effective clearances in 90 minutes v Everton. But he completed just three passes.
* Chelsea have thrown away 14 points from winning positions this season - ten of those have been thrown away under Rafa Benitez.
* They are still three points better off than at the same stage last season.
* Frank Lampard has scored ten goals but recorded exactly zero assists in the Premier League this season. He joins Demba Ba as the only two players to have scored more than five goals without setting up a single one.
* Everton have rescued a massive 21 points from losing positions this season.
* Leighton Baines attempted a massive 19 crosses v Aston Villa, set up five attempts on goal and was rewarded with his first PL assist since September.
* Seven of their eight shots on target v Villa came from Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe.
* Fulham matched Manchester United for shots (16) at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
* They have won only one of the eight games they have been drawing at half-time this season.
* Bryan Ruiz produced more successful dribbles v Man United (4) than any other player on the pitch.
* The Reds have still not beaten a team currently in the top half of the Premier League.
* According to Opta, Pepe Reina has made eight individual errors leading to goals since the start of last season.
* Steven Gerrard's record of nine PL assists this season matches his previous best campaign and the totals of Juan Mata and Lukas Podolski this season.
* Man City have picked up seven fewer points and scored 17 fewer goals than the same stage last season.
* James Milner created five chances v Liverpool with six of his 11 attempted crosses reaching a fellow City player. David Silva created no chances and was dispossessed by Liverpool players five times v Liverpool.
* City's pass completion rate of 78% v Liverpool was their lowest in any home game this season.
* Wayne Rooney has now scored ten PL goals from 61 shots. Adam Le Fondre has reached the same total from 43 shots.
* Nani recorded no shots on target, no accurate crosses and a 57% pass completion rate v Fulham.
* Tom Cleverley recorded an impressive 97% pass completion rate and set up four chances v Fulham.
* Newcastle United
* Newcastle came from behind to win a PL game for the first time since October 2010 when they beat Chelsea 3-2.
* Moussa Sissoko has had the same number of shots in two games (8) as James Perch has produced in 20 games this season.
* Newcastle's players made 23 interceptions v Chelsea with Jonás Gutiérrez (7) and Yohan Cabaye (6) the interception kings.
* No team has picked up fewer points from their last eight games than Norwich (3).
* No Norwich striker has scored in Norwich's last nine PL games.
* Canaries keeper Mark Bunn recorded a 8% pass completion rate at QPR - just one of his 12 attempted passes reached a teammate.
* Christopher Samba and Shaun Wright-Phillips were the only two QPR players not to contribute to a total of 25 tackles v Norwich.
* QPR have picked up just seven points from their last eight games and scored just three goals in those eight games.
* Adel Taarabt had six shots and created six chances v Norwich but the game still ended 0-0.
* Reading have scored 13 of their 32 goals in the final 15 minutes of PL matches this season.
* Their 14 points from eight games puts them in better form than any other team outside of the top seven.
* Jimmy Kébé completed just ten passes in 90 minutes but scored both Reading's goals v Sunderland.
* Southampton have thrown away a league-high 24 points from winning positions this season.
* They had a massive 17 shots at Wigan on Saturday but only two were on target.
* Morgan Schneiderlin is the king of PL interceptions with 85 for the season and ten v Wigan.
* Stoke have exactly the same points (30) and scored exactly the same number of goals (24) as the same stage last season.
* They have scored just one goal in their last five away from the Britannia Stadium.
* Stoke commit more fouls per game (13) than any other Premier League club.
* If games ended after 45 minutes, Sunderland would be in fifth place ahead Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.
* Adam Johnson created six chances for his Sunderland teammates at Reading on Saturday but none were taken.
* Both Sebastian Larsson (44%) and Steven Fletcher (48%) recorded pass completion rates of less than 50% v Reading on Saturday.
* Michu has not scored in his last six Premier League games.
* The Swans have failed to score in five of their last six PL away games.
* No player has taken more shots than Ki Sung-Yueng (33) this season without scoring.
* Gareth Bale had nine shots v West Brom on Sunday. Only Luis Suarez (5.8) takes more shots per game than Bale (4.5)
* No player has taken more shots than Gylfi Sigurdsson (33) this season without scoring.
* Jermain Defoe has scored just one goal in his last ten PL games despite 37 attempts.
* West Brom have picked up just one point in their last six games - making them the worst team in the PL on form.
* The Baggies had only 30% possession v Tottenham on Sunday.
* West Brom attack down the middle of the pitch (33%) more than any other PL side.
* Matt Jarvis has created more chances than any other Pl player (28) without recording an assist.
* The Hammers have picked up 73% of their points at Upton Park this season.
* They were 75% successful in aerial duels v Swansea with Andy Caroll winning the ball ten times in the air.
* They are two points better off than the same stage last season and have scored six more goals.
* Shaun Maloney, Arouna Koné and Jean Beausejour have each made five PL assists this season. No other Wigan player has produced more than one.
* Beausejour has produced two accurate crosses per game this season. Only Nicky Shorey, Leighton Baines and Barry Bannan have better records.