Ronnie Moore is Gene Hunt

BILLY's CONTRACT on the manager

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be singing the praises of a Hartlepool United manager for literally dragging us screaming into the relegation zone. Stand up Ronnie Moore because before your arrival we were a country mile behind the relegation contenders, We all had our grubby little faces and noses pressed up against the relegation dog fight shop window looking in and wondering what on earth was going on in there, particularly as we had no involvement at all in the proceedings. Talk about on the outside looking in.

I have got to say I like Ronnie Moore's management style. Basically he is from the old school, takes no prisoners, does not care who he upsets and tells it as it is (Surely, he was not an IOR appointment?) and all for the right reasons, the clubs survival.

Ronnie Moore is very Life on Mars as opposed to Live on Mars, as Matthew Bates found to his peril when Moore pointed out that the former Hartlepool centre half could do with shedding a few pounds. This was also probably a veiled warning to Bates to concentrate on his football rather than on his newly opened restaurant in Stockton.

In fact Ronnie Moore does remind me a little of Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt from the TV series Life on Mars which was set in the seventies, a time when political correctness and health and safety had yet to be diagnosed with the early signs of the onset of insanity. This would be about the same era as Ronnie would be plying his trade as a professional footballer.

Ronnie seems to have have all the characteristics of a Gene Hunt, because in the seventies people spoke their minds, called a spade a spade without bothering who they upset in the process of getting the right result /end product, and Ronnie does just that. He recently said that both our full backs, Darren Holden and, arguably 'Pools best player Michael Duckworth, were good going forward but neither of them could defend properly. He put this down to, and I use Moore's own words here, "It’s not their fault, they haven’t been taught how to defend", which is also a damning indictment of the previous managerial regime. That was a brutal statement to make, but in his eyes an honest one.

The next thing we read is that he is calling our recent signing Scott Fenwick a 'A young pup' because of his previous non-league pedigree (we might have to call on that non league pedigree next season!) and that as a former centre forward himself he was going to give him some one-to-one coaching. My reading into this is that Moore believes that the old dog can teach a young dog new tricks. Even in a few short weeks one can see an improvement in Fenwick's forward play.
"in the seventies people spoke their minds, called a spade a spade without bothering who they upset in the process of getting the right result /end product, and Ronnie does just that."
I think that in time Scott Fenwick will become a crowd favourite. Not only does he goes in where it hurts but he also is a goal scorer to boot ...though he has yet to score with his head.

Moore then told the press that Brad Walker is under impression in his own mind that Real Madrid would be coming at a moment's notice to sign him. That lad needs to give his head a reality check as next season he could be signing for a Real McDonalds.

The wide men were not to escape Moore's tirade when he pointed out that between the pair of them they had only 4 assists to their credit. (five if you count that dreadful/brilliant pass from near the halfway line that Jonathan Franks laid on for the Luton lad to score from). I felt this a bit harsh on Compton particularly as he has spent most of his season injured or sat on the bench, but hey ho the stats don't lie and to be fair to Franks he is trying a bit harder of late and his crossing has marginally improved.

Ronnie saved for last his best and probably truest sound bite for the media when he told the world that most of his under-achieving squad of players that those released from the club at the end of the season would be lucky to get a job at Asda. Very true but I would be a bit put out myself if I was an Asda employee and that work-shy lot were coming to work at my superstore.

Ronnie, like Gene Hunt, has that essential qualification for a manager/detective and that is having plenty of contacts. I am sure if it wasn't for the fact of our current league standing (and who currently owns the club or controls the purse strings), Moore would have had some decent permanent signings in by now. He has however got Bing in from Mansfield and Tish in from the other side of the country both of whom have proven to be excellent acquisitions and, unlike some of our existing squad, seem to be passionate about the task in hand, so much so that the pair of them have signed on to the end of the season.  (Stop press: Bingham has been recalled by Mansfield for obvious reasons ...they are wetting themselves re Pools' revival.)

A lot of what Moore puts into the media, and I dare say puts into the players minds, is 95% psychological,  even if some of it is bulls---, but if he is getting the message across, even at the expense of hurting people's feelings, so be it.

It would be great to go on a winning run ...goodness knows what Ronnie would come out with then. A lot of what he says is about belief. He said that the Pools players were hugely disappointed that even after the win against Plymouth, our relegation rivals also did well, and that we did not gain much ground. On the other hand we are now 7 points away from the two teams above us and 9 points adrift from the group above them. Admittedly 'Pools need to keep winning, but a lot of the teams above us won't win all their games. Some have to play the top teams, others will have to play each other, and then there is always one team that goes on a losing streak (hopefully not us.) Some of these clubs in the mix have yet to face a revitalised Hartlepool United second time around and I don't think that some of them will relish that thought, particularly at the Vic. So we are still well and truly in with a shout. GAME ON!

I already have a vision in my mind of next year's Pools calendar...