Man-management and transfers – especially loans – are part of his skillset but what he does best is improving players.
By appointing Moore as manager after a successful season-and-a-half at Doncaster Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday exhibited something they have not shown enough of in recent years – long-term thinking. To count for anything, it needs to be backed up by patience.
Moore has been very coy about the length of his contract, but it is to be hoped he has been given a decent but realistic tenure to make the changes he needs to.
One would assume he would not have walked away from the Keepmoat Stadium without it but football contracts are little more than an aspiration for the club, a compensation barometer for the manager.
There needs to be a determination on both sides to honour it.
With 16 senior players (including loanees) out of contract in the summer, not to mention financial realities, the Owls will need an even bigger overhaul than Garry Monk oversaw last summer, irrespective of what division they are in. It will need time to bed in.
The situation Moore inherits is not hopeless, but safety is far from guaranteed. If chairman Dejphon Chansiri was after a quick-fix firefighter, he should have looked elsewhere. Perhaps having tried to go down that route late last year only to sack Tony Pulis after 10 matches, he wants something more lasting. We can only hope.
Every club needs a clear idea of where it is going but too few do and fewer still have the determination to see it through. It was why it was disconcerting to hear Carlos Corberan, appointed to a self-righteous fanfare about footballing philosophies and entertainment values, talking on Tuesday night about Huddersfield Town playing more pragmatically during the relegation run-in. “Only” doing that got Danny Cowley sacked.
Rotherham United are not shy about playing slightly more rugged football, but having a manager in Paul Warne well into his fifth year in the job means they understand what they are and where they want to be.
Moving from Gerhard Struber to Valerien Ismael, a coach long on their radar, was a logical step by Barnsley, another South Yorkshire club with a clear methodology. It has not always seemed the right one but they appear to have learnt from mistakes and are currently benefiting from perseverance.
Even with a change of manager, League One Doncaster have that clear vision too. From the moment then-Belles manager Andy Butler took charge of the men’s team’s FA Cup tie at FC United of Manchester when Moore was Covid-isolating it was obvious there was a succession plan for when – not if – their highly-rated manager was lured away. Although Butler certainly left his imprint on his first team-sheet, there was a sense he was building on what Moore did, not rebuilding.
Moore will be different from Monk, Pulis and Neil Thompson, who had already taken charge of Wednesday this season, and maybe in time we might reflect the gear shift was too great so late in the season, but perhaps this shrewd thinker will keep things gradual before coming into his own in 2021-22. Then we can really expect a freshness not just in terms of birth certificates but also football.
There might not have been a new manager bounce last night – this column was written before the Rotherham game – but as Thompson found out, it wears off anyway. The longer-term effect of Moore will be of greater importance. For Wednesday’s sake, let us hope we get to see it.
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