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Paulo: 'Let me manage in England'

PUBLISHED: 16:28 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:07 05 October 2010

Exclusive By Bryan Kay in San Jose ENIGMATIC former West Ham striker Paolo Wanchope is plotting a return to the Premiership as a coach – and he plans to call on his old boss Harry Redknapp for help. The lanky Costa Rican, who called time on his playing c

Exclusive By Bryan Kay

in San Jose

ENIGMATIC former West Ham striker Paolo Wanchope is plotting a return to the Premiership as a coach - and he plans to call on his old boss Harry Redknapp for help.

The lanky Costa Rican, who called time on his playing career at the turn of the year, arrives in England in May to start the UEFA B licence course.

And he says Redknapp was one of the influences who convinced him a job in management was the right move after hanging up his boots.

Wanchope endured a troubled one-year spell with the Hammers from 1999 to 2000.

Redknapp recently wrote in a newspaper column about an incident in which the striker had initially refused to accept being named as a sub, and then later came off the bench to score two goals in a 2-1 win.

But Wanchope appears to hold no grudges.

"I have to be open to take advice from the managers that I had," he said. "You want to learn about the methods. For me it is always nice to have something from everyone. Harry is a good coach, manager and person. He was always positive about the players and always tried to play good football.

"And you can see the end product now. We had a good year, we played in the UEFA cup and we had good players.

"The club and the fans should be very proud. Because from there, look how far people like Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick have gone. I think when you go back years, West Ham have always had good talent and a good youth system."

Wanchope scored 15 goals in 46 league appearances for West Ham after moving from Derby County in a £5.5 million deal.

The hitman was capable of moments of brilliance, but his inconsistency inevitably followed him wherever he went.

Wanchope puts much of his problems down to persistent knee problems that began in 1996 and led to the decision to retire from the game while starring with Chicago Fire in the MLS in the United States.

"My scoring record was quite good. All of my career my problems were my knees. When I was at the top of my game I had a setback and I had to wait six or seven months to come back again. I started to play well again and something happened, but I did enjoy some great times."

As for his fledgling coaching career, he says he knows he must start at the bottom, but would not rule out a future link with West Ham.

"I don't think you can say you want to go to a particular club because you have to impress people and see who wants you," he said.

"(But) I'd like to go back and see the progress, the stadium and the training facilities. It would be nice to do something between West Ham... and Costa Rica. Maybe the youth teams could come over here or from here to the there. Or take some good Costa Rican players over there."

In the meantime, he plans to work with his local team Herediano - where he also played - and the under-19 Costa Rican national team.

"It is my ambition to manage in England, but of course first of all I'd like to start here in Costa Rica," he added. "But hopefully I can do the right things and make an impression.


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