NO RECIPE FOR SAVING BAD APPLES
YOU have to feel for Mark Cooper at Swindon, trying to keep Nile Ranger on the straight and narrow.
The striker was arrested this week after breaching his bail conditions, the latest of several brushes with the law.
As a manager, it can be very fulfilling to turn someone’s life around. But there’s only so much you can do.
I remember I had a lad at Sheffield United, Ashley Sestanovich, who I thought could be a really top player. Mick Jones wasn’t sure because he’d been in trouble, but I said: “Come on, Mick, let’s give him a chance”.
I tried like hell, but I couldn’t fight his nature. I even remember saying to him once: “Listen, son, you’re going one of two places. You’ll either go all the way to the top or you’ll end up in jail”.
Unfortunately, it was the latter. I eventually let him go to Chester and a couple of years after that, he ended up getting eight years for his part in a robbery.
You can try your best, but if a player can’t stay out of trouble, there’s very little you can do.