Many of you will have noticed that Mr. Paul Merson, afore last weekends matchup with Liverpool, had predicted a resounding Liverpool victory.

“If they don’t lose by more than three goals next week, I’ll be shocked. They’re not in the same class as this Liverpool team. If Liverpool turn up and they fancy it, they will rip Arsenal to absolute shreds. They’re just waiting to get found out! They’re like a boxer with a dodgy chin who hasn’t been hit yet, as soon as he gets hit he’s just going to spark.”

Now. It would be an unkind Arsenal fan who inferred that Merson’s apparent antipathy toward Arsenal stems from the traumatic events of 1997 when the manager sold him on to relegated Middlesbrough. With the right foot of Michel Platini grafted on to the body of a Sunday league clogger, he simply didn’t fit the mould of the two-footed warrior athlete favoured at the time. One foot can only take you so far, even if that foot is exquisite.

I can exclusively reveal, via a thorough search of the UK and world family records, that Paul Merson is only the latest in a long line of soothsayers, historians and futurologists dating back to antiquity. I present to you here a selection of their very best historical predictions.

777 B.C.

Greek historian Mersonatus:

“It is often said that men will compete against each other in sporting and athletic events. I can confidently predict that this will never happen.”

776 B.C.

First recorded Olympic games.

481 B.C.

Greek historian Mersonenes:

“There is no way the Persians can be beaten. The Greeks are extremely weak in defence, they’re just waiting to be torn apart. They will be found out.”

480 B.C.

Greeks defeat Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae.

42 A.D.

Mersonius, Roman writer and philosopher:

“If Claudius thinks he can invade Britannia, he’s got another thing coming! The tribesmen of the Cantii are too fierce, and he’s not used to the tides and weather. He’s like a boxer with a dodgy chin who hasn’t been hit yet, as soon as he gets hit he’s just going to spark.”

43 A.D.

Claudius invades Britain and installs general Aulus Plautius served as first governor of Roman Britain.

1535

Merson of Harlesden, philosopher and historian:

“She’s the one. She’s a keeper! Anne Boleyn will reign for many years and bear King Henry many male heirs!”

1536

Henry VIII executes second wife, Anne Boleyn.

1745

Paul John ‘Jock’ McMerson, Scots historian:

“Culloden Moor is going to be a bloodbath for Prince Charles. If Scotland turn up and they fancy it, they will rip the British to absolute shreds!”

1746

British defeat Scots under Stuart Pretender Prince Charles at Culloden Moor.

1911: Paul ‘Buster’ Merson, New York shipping journalist:

“Hoo boy! The RMS Titanic is coming to New York from Southampton and it’s going to be TERRIFIC. You wait till you see this thing. Unsinkable! You could fire a torpedo at the thing and it’ll stay afloat!”