Jimmy Shan: Why Darren Moore is the ‘full package’ as a manager
Written by Simon Austin — January 26, 2023
DARREN MOORE is the “full package” as a manager and will reach the top of the game, insists his Sheffield Wednesday first-team coach Jimmy Shan.
Wednesday take on Fleetwood Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, having already put out giants Newcastle United in the last round. The Owls are also flying high in League One, where they sit just three points behind leaders Plymouth with a game in hand.
Shan joined Wednesday at the end of September - a move which reunited him with manager Moore. The duo have a long association that goes all the way back to their days working together at West Brom's Academy.
When Moore became Baggies boss in 2018, he made Shan his first-team coach. Then, when Moore was controversially sacked in March 2019, Shan became caretaker manager and led the side to the play-off semi-finals, where they lost on penalties to local rivals Aston Villa.
“I’ve known Darren a long time," said Shan, who joined Wednesday in September. "When I was 18s coach (at West Brom), he came in and assisted me and then went onto first-team duties. I’m delighted to be part of his staff again.
“We’ve got a really good professional working relationship as well as a personal one. It’s almost a perfect fit for me to be asked to come and work with him again - and with the size of the club and the direction they want to go in.
“I hadn’t worked with Darren for three years and I’ve certainly seen an evolution in terms of his coaching. First and foremost, his man-management skills and ability to inspire and motivate are top class.
“That comes from the power of the man, his character, his humility, his ability to get on with people and connect with people. But also he’s a shrewd tactician. In my first 10 games at Sheffield Wednesday I think he played six different formations.
“That ability to adapt tactically and plan tactically, I think he’s the full package. Because of the character of the man, you really want to do well for him. He’s going to be a top-class manager."
Moore was sacked by the Baggies when they were fourth in the Championship. He moved onto League One Doncaster Rovers and led them into the play-off places, before joining the Owls in March 2021. The decision of West Brom to sack Moore was “scandalous”, according to Shan.
“Darren almost kept the team in the Premier League and left them fourth - he was dealt a terrible deck of cards in terms of how they got rid of him," Shan told TGG.
“Then to go to, no disrespect to Doncaster Rovers, to League One - Darren should at worst have got another opportunity in the Championship because of what he had achieved and his pedigree and his win percentage and the way he had transformed the football club.
"Hopefully for Darren his career will continue to evolve."
Moore now finds himself at one of English football’s sleeping giants - a side with a stadium capacity of almost 35,000 that finished third in the Premier League and reached two Cup finals 20 years ago.
“Until you work at a club like this you don’t really appreciate the magnitude of the club and how big it is,” Shan said. “It is a club that deserves, bare minimum, to be in the Championship.”
The Owls got a taste of top-flight success with their 2-1 win over mighty Newcastle in the previous round of the FA Cup.
“I think you’re always a little apprehensive when you’re taking on a team in such a rich vein of form and obviously Premier League opposition, but we had a gameplan and thankfully everything came off on the day,” Shan said.
“We were delighted with the performance and everything we spoke about in the build-up, the players were able to action. It was a good performance. On the day we rode our luck at times and Cam Dawson made a couple of really good saves but I think it was well deserved.
“It was good to put that feeling back in around Sheffield and hopefully it gives the lads a bit of a lift as well for our league campaign. Hopefully now we can put our foot on the gas and kick on. We’re in the automatic promotion places.”
The man who scored both of Wednesday’s goals in that 2-1 win, Josh Windass, has a bright future in the game as a coach when he finishes playing, says Shan. This is something the player himself is interested in.
“He’s a football thinker,” Shan said. “He’s always asking questions, he always wants to learn and he’s a student of the game. He’s certainly got the right mindset to fall into a career of coaching or management when he finishes playing.
“He’s asking saying ‘did you see this game last night Jim? They did x and y.’”