Issue Is some Moore what Bradford City meed?

As told by Michael Wood

Darren Moore is – it is said – on the verge of returning to Bradford City.

The detail is skechy at the moment with talk from one side of a loan – highly unlikely considering his age – while other talk of two year deals and pay cuts. Regardless and rather ironically it seems that the man replaced by David Wetherall after falling out with the club over a contract is about to sign a contract to replace Wetherall.

Is the signing – should it happen – a good one? One can never be sure but aside from Stuart McCall’s return in 1998 it is hard to remember a deal that seemed so stacked in favour of success.

At thirty-four it is doubtful Moore has much pace but in April 1999 when he was cruelly exposed by Marcus Stewart of Huddersfield Town that problem became apparent and it has not stopped the player winning two promotions with West Brom and one with Derby since. Mark Bower is hardly the fastest to go alongside Moore but one plays naturally down the right and the other the left and a good partnership could be formed. A speedy right back – Ben Starosta perhaps – to provide sprinting cover would be no doubt be appreciated.

We fight in a league where smarts often count for less than brawn and possessing both – brawn in massive amounts – then the benefits of having Moore in McCall’s side are obvious. It is hard to imagine anyone in League Two bullying a partnership of Moore and Matthew Clarke should City want to combat the big fellas line up that they occasionally face in the fourth tier of English football.

Off the field – and assuming Moore does knock back the interested Championship and League One clubs to return – then one suspects that the main attraction of the move is Wayne Jacobs the Bantams number two who converted Moore to Christianity while the pair were at Bradford City and works with him in his Faith In Football charity. As a senior professional at the club one can only assume that this cultural difference is a positive influence – the experiences of Portsmouth suggest it is by no means a bad thing – and should the antics of younger footballers not be entirely to Moore’s tastes then he can always do as Reading’s 1980s winger Trevor Senior did and sit in the luggage racks of the team coach when the lads put on adult entertainment.

More seriously Moore was highlighted as one of the bright spots of a dire season for Derby and his figured in promotion success at almost every club he has been at. His return – should it happen – would bring with it the type of experience, the spine of the team and the physical presence needed to get out of League Two.