Darren Moore exit from Sheffield Wednesday wouldn't be a surprise but it would be the wrong call
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And the crowd doesn’t need appealing to anyway. In spite of everything, it will be there again in numbers and voice this Thursday as Darren Moore’s team attempt the near impossible.
The only plea from here is the hope that a decent and dignified man is treated with the dignity he deserves.
And I think that will be the case, despite warnings of the potential toxicity of the occasion with Wednesday’s collapsed top two bid followed by a calamitous 4-0 cave-in at Peterborough in the first leg of the play-off semi-final.
Predictably it raised a crescendo of social media calls for Moore’s dismissal, which were never too far from the surface even during that club record 23 match unbeaten run.
But I’m not convinced the majority of supporters - the silent majority, let’s say - are committed to the removal of a boss who fell short of automatic promotion on an incredible 96 points.
That said, Moore needs a vastly improved second leg performance, if not an improbable result, to sway the the issue.
Even then, we have no way of knowing how owner Dejphon Chansiri - whose view is the only one that counts - would react to a second season of narrow failure after relegation in 2021.
Nothing would surprise me either way. He is impossible to second guess.
It’s a close call. I’ve seen calm and well-structured arguments for a change beside the angry, knee-jerk ones. There are no tablets of stone here.
However, as a single observer, I find it impossible to back calls for sacking a man who has brought so many elements of the club together and stands to come so unluckily close.
At Peterborough, too, the fates were against him. He picked a line-up that few quibbled with, answered demands for an attacking set-up and watched an experienced team fall apart.
Even then, it was never a 4-0 sort of match. Something like 3-2 would have been about right on the balance of play, chances and key decisions.
So I’m pinning that one on the players, although Moore’s attempts to right wrongs from the bench were either too late or ineffective.
Of course, he shoulders responsibility for it, as all managers do. But there are times when they can’t do right for doing wrong.
And let’s not forgot it usually takes big clubs more than two tries to escape League One. Witness Leeds, Sheffield United and Sunderland of recent times.
As for the crowd, you can only wonder at the quality and depth. A lashing out in frustration - in all directions - is fully understandable.
But one abiding truth here. It’s never about one person and one thing when the wheels come off at a football club. Or when they stay on.
It’s a collective responsibility starting at the top.
And we need to see the force of that responsibility being taken this Thursday, regardless of the result, on a night that could still, just about imaginably, resonate at Hillsborough forever.