Monday, October 12, 2009

12 October 2009: Mariner

Rumours have been around for a fortnight, but it seems to be getting more credible by the day.

Paul Mariner, former England striker and Plymouth Argyle protege back around the time of my birth, might be coming back to Home Park at the age of 56. Not, sadly, as a centre forward but as a coach of some description.

He was first touted as being a 'Club Ambassador' in the attempt to get games in the 2018 World Cup, were England to be named hosts, played at Home Park. Then rumours surfaced that Paul Sturrock was to be sacked due to Argyle's astonishingly long winless run, and Mariner was the man to take over. Then Argyle won two in a row, so that rumour died down a little.

But then a news story came up that Argyle had approached Mariner's current employer, the New England Revolution, with a view to Mariner becoming 'Technical Director' at Argyle. So there was more to this than met the eye.

And so now, over the last few days, the UK news outlets are getting hold of it and it seems that some kind of announcement of some kind of change is imminent. One rumour is that Sturrock will move up to 'Director of Football' with Mariner coming in as Head Coach - just like Saints with Steve Wigley and Sir Clive Woodward. Which was arguably the biggest managerial screw-up and disaster of Rupert Lowe's tenure at Saints, and that's saying something.

The other, more substantiated rumour, is that Mariner will come in as Sturrock's assistant, replacing Kevin Summerfield. That one comes from the Plymouth Evening Herald and so might just have a grain of truth to it.

Hmm... I wonder what Billy Rafferty is up to these days?

Postscript: The Daily Mail version of the story lines up with the Herald's assessment of Mariner as new assistant, but stops short of making it clear whether his appointment will cause cancer or cure cancer.

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