Methodical, detailed, highly respected and a good bloke: What Darren Moore will bring to Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday have secured themselves the sort of progressive, forward thinking young manager that many supporters have been yearning after for a long time.

By Liam Hoden
Monday, 1st March 2021, 3:12 pm
Darren Moore
Darren Moore

And they have got themselves a bloody good bloke too.

Darren Moore’s reputation in the game is incredibly high, built not just on being one of football’s nicest men but on his work developing young players at both academy and senior level over the best part of a decade.

In less than two years he helped to make Doncaster Rovers arguably the premier destination in League One for top flight clubs to send young players needing first team experience at the level.

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At a club which looks to operate with a level of financial sustainability rather than splashing the sort of cash some of their rivals in the division do, he saw such an approach as key to putting together the strongest possible group in the circumstances.

The likes of Matt Smith and Taylor Richards - on loan from Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion respectively - have been consistently top performers in the division this season and both look set for bright futures at a high level.

The trust Moore has built during his time at both West Bromwich Albion and Rovers will have been a major attraction for the Owls, who are operating under their own financial restrictions at present.

Around the promising crop of loanees, he put together a young and hungry squad packed with potential and carved them into one of the top performing outfits in League One this season.

And he did so with an entertaining, high tempo brand of football that brought plenty of goals. Despite a run of five games without a win, Rovers still sit second in the goals per game standings in the division.

The openness of play often leads to plenty of goals being conceded too - something which hampered his side in the Championship at West Brom. But he remains confident that his side can outscore the opposition.

The ball will be moved quickly, on the floor and with a determination to get through the thirds as quickly as possible - without sacrificing possession. Patience will be required as a Moore side will look to dominate the ball, even if that means holding onto possession from a deeper lying position until opportunities open up.

It will be interesting to know the time which the Owls plan on giving Moore, because he has shown himself to be someone thinking in the long term rather than the short.

Moore craves time on the training ground to work with his players and drill into them exactly what he wants from them on the pitch.

He has been known to hold back on handing debuts to new signings in a bid to ensure they are fully prepared to play in his team.

But when it comes to saving Wednesday from relegation this season, time is not on his side and he will have to forego some of his usual detailed work.

His appointment at Rovers came only three weeks ahead of the start of last season but, remarkably, there were few teething problems at the start of the campaign. That should give Wednesday some heart, although it is unlikely they will see the best of a Moore side for some time.

He will already have in mind a long term project of where he wants to take Wednesday and it will stretch well beyond the end of the current campaign.

There is an element of stubbornness with Moore as a man. When he has belief in an approach, he will stick with it and work to improve the team, regardless of how successful it is in the present. Ask Rovers fans about their team playing out from the back.

And when it comes to signings, he will not be rushed into decisions. Often he will have a player lined up and ready to go, but take the weekend to think it over - even if it means a risk of missing out on that signing.

As a figurehead for the club, you could hardly wish for a better man.

Polite, friendly, and respectful, he wins people over quickly with a flash of a big smile. His character and demeanour are everything you would expect from someone with strong faith.

He will show the passion on the sidelines that supporters adore.

But when it comes to speaking before or after games, Moore presents a calm persona and radiates that to his players also.

Always, no matter the circumstances, it is about only focusing on the next game. And his players repeat it in almost a cult-like manner.

Moore will not rake his players over the coals when they are under-performing. Nor will he overly laud them on an individual basis when things are going well.

Such level-headedness can be a little frustrating at times, particularly during periods where things are not going so well.

But behind the scenes, the players will know exactly what he thinks and where he feels there is need for improvement.

He brings with him his right hand man Jamie Smith, not as high profile a figure but one with an incredibly strong reputation as a coach, who the Rovers squad respected greatly.

Whether the appointment of Darren Moore has been made at the right time or not remains to be seen.

But the Owls have nevertheless landed a deeply dedicated and passionate individual who pours over the smallest of details in his quest to improve his side at every opportunity.

He is a safe pair of hands who has the capability to guide Wednesday back on the right track.