The proof will be in the pudding for Mariners with Redknapp

It remains to be seen exactly what value Harry Redknapp will be to Central Coast Mariners as a consultant, but if he does make a trip here at the start of the next A-League season, the players better be careful they don't send any stray kicks in the direction of the 69 year-old at training.

Redknapp

Source: Getty Images

Redknapp doesn't take kindly to being hit by loose balls, as this video shows (please note: LANGUAGE WARNING).




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Central Coast announced last week that Redknapp, who has been out of full-time management for 12 months and is now picking up advisory roles, as well as a recent stint in charge of Jordan for two FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, would be coming on-board.



The deal, according to the Mariners, would include Redknapp spending some time at the club during the season, although Redknapp subsequently said in a radio interview in the United Kingdom: "No, no, I won't be going. It's a long way. Thirty-odd hours on a plane".

"I came home the other week and it took me a week to recover. It's a long way, but it's a fantastic country when you get there."

Redknapp also described the club as the "South Coast Mariners".



Central Coast owner Mike Charlesworth tried to straighten that ship, and said it had been agreed Redknapp would, indeed, visit Australia as long as he wasn't tied up coaching a national team at the time.

He said having Redknapp "on the ground in Australia will have a really positive effect on everybody from the coach to the players and all the way through the club to the office staff".

"He’s one of the biggest brands and characters in global football. If he says something, whether it's humorous or not, people write about him.



"That’s what we need and what the A-League needs. For us to have an ex-EPL manager working with us in this way, has created news and interest.

"When he comes over, I am expecting him to be very hands-on in everything he does. We want him to be involved on every level and every aspect of the business as much as possible in the days and weeks that he is involved with the club."

That will be the proof in the pudding, whether there is any genuine depth to Redknapp's involvement or whether it amounts to not much more than a publicity stunt.

As Charlesworth suggested, Redknapp attracts publicity. The manager has never been short of a good quote. 

There are countless examples, but here are just a few.

Harking back to his playing days at West Ham United: "Even when they had (Bobby) Moore, (Alan) Hurst and (Martin) Peters, West Ham’s average finish was about 17th. It just shows how useless the other eight of us were."

And.

"I sorted out the team formation last night lying in bed with the wife. When your husband’s as ugly as me, you’d only want to talk football in bed."

And another.

"After shooting practice yesterday, I had to drive up the M27 and collect four balls."

During his last season in full-time management, with Queens Park Rangers, Redknapp said after a home loss to Liverpool why he had left Moroccan international Adel Taarabt out of the team.

"He's not injured, he's not fit. He's not fit to play football, unfortunately," Redknapp said.

"He played in a reserve game the other day and I could have run about more than he did.

"I pick people who want to try, who come in every day and work, train and show a good attitude. When he starts doing that, if he ever can, maybe he'll get a game. I can't protect people who don't want to run and train, and are about three stone overweight."

Redknapp was recently called in to coach Jordan in two World Cup qualifiers. While they thrashed hapless Bangladesh, 8-0, they were then belted themselves by Australia 5-1 and it appeared he could do little to help.

Perhaps, within such a short time-frame, Jordan may have been better off having someone much more familiar, with the players, in charge.

The A-League has come a long way. If someone like Redknapp was to come to Australia and spend a full season or at least half the season at a club like the Mariners, thoroughly examining their systems and being a genuine agent of positive change, it might be worthwhile.

But if it turns out to be a short-term visit in which his involvement doesn't run deep and merely scratches the surface, what would be the point?

Surely there are people either already involved with the club, or football in Australia and looking for an opportunity, who would be able to do a better job than that.


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5 min read
Published 6 May 2016 at 1:27pm
By Greg Prichard