Issue Taylor keeps Jacobs to underline the importance of retention

As told by Michael Wood

Peter Taylor was quick to share praise with Wayne Jacobs are the 3-1 win over Rochdale on Tuesday night with the new City manager crediting his inherited number two with a couple of match winning nudges. Following that Taylor could not speak higher of the ten year Bantams left back saying:

He’s a very good professional and a really honourable man and hopefully he is as happy as I am with him.

Jacobs had faced near unprecedented criticism in his role a Stuart McCall’s assistant with some supporters suggesting that he was simply incapable of doing his job on the basis of training sessions watched, on the club’s warm up and warm down procedures, on the way he points during games. Mark Lawn has wanted “an experienced number two” brought in over Jacobs during McCall’s time at the club.

Peter Taylor – the man who has been brought in because of what he knows about football – knows enough to want to retain the services of Jacobs beyond the end of the season when the assistant’s contract expires and despite the arrival of Junior Lewis as a coach this week.

To Taylor Jacobs offers a link not just to the past of the club – he is a link back to the Premier League and back to Wembley and Chris Kamara – but to recent years under his and McCall’s stewardship. Jacobs is not just the other ginger legend – he is every coaching session in the last three years, every games played and the payers reaction to it. He is player that he and Stuart watched and he is all the knowledge that comes with working with the current squad for three years. He is knowing the name of Michael Flynn’s wife and he is being able to say from first hand experience just why City went from top to outside the play-offs this time last year.

That Taylor values all that knowledge says much about his approach as a manager which is one of augmentation and – that word again – stability rather than revolutions. His Hull City team that went up two divisions contained the likes of Ryan France and Ian Ashbee who ended up playing in every division for the Tigers and as he gets to grips with the City squad one might wonder how many of the Bantams squad could do the same and step up league after league. We can but hope.

Perhaps the effect of Taylor and Jacobs can be seen in Robbie Threfel’s arrival at City. Imagine Taylor turning to Jacobs and asking who takes change of the dead ball situations and Jacobs explaining how since Paul McLaren left no one had grasped the nettle. The Liverpool loanee’s delivery has added to City’s arsenal and had a significant part in every goal on Tuesday night.

Taylor made it clear from his interview – before, one assumes, he had met Jacobs – that he wanted to retain the staff already at the club. He is a manager who understands the merits of the knowledge at the club and the merits of carrying on with the things that Stuart McCall has brought, pruning the poor, adding to the good.