Will Dave Jones prove the write man for Hartlepool United?
Having had the applications drop in the inbox, then went through interview after interview, chairman Gary Coxall was left in absolutely no doubt as to who was best suited to take Hartlepool United forward.
Dave Jones was yesterday handed the reins at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, taking over from recently-sacked Craig Hignett.
The appointment of Jones may be seen as a step in the wrong direction by Pools by some. The recent trend seems to be to appoint managers young enough to still be playing, or even turn to ones who have never kicked a ball in anger.
Jones, at 60, is strictly from the old school, of that there is no doubt.
But given Pools’ plight, the former Stockport, Southampton, Cardiff, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday chief is just what the doctor ordered, bringing experience and know-how to the table, as the club look to steer their way from the dreaded League Two dropzone.
But what do we really know about Jones? Who is he? And how does he work? A measure of the man lies in the mark he has left at the places he has worked.
A simple look at his record may beg the question – why has he been out of work for so long, having left Sheffield Wednesday back in 2013?
Well, the simple answer to that is, that he hasn’t. He has been working as a footballer advisor to former club Cardiff.
The Scouser spent the best of six years in South Wales between 2005 and 2011, leading them to the FA Cup final in 2008, a game they lost to Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth.
But he returned to the club in 2014, not as a manager, but to help advise on footballing decisions, by appointment of owner Vincent Tan. So, it is not quite true to say he is coming to the job cold at Pools.
Another measure of the man himself is in his conduct with the Bluebirds.
Every manager has run-ins with the press. They accept it will happen, so do we. It is part and parcel of the job.
But rarely ever do you get an explanation of a manager’s conduct from the man himself. Often words are exchanged and that is that. But years after leaving Cardiff, WalesOnline writer Steve Tucker got a letter from the old boss having written about how Jones “disliked him”.
The letter read: “Dear Steve, I was recently sent an article you wrote by a friend of mine down in Cardiff.
“After reading your article which, on reflection, I thought was a fair assessment of my time at Cardiff, you say I never liked you and we never got on.
“To be honest it was never that I disliked you, it was more a dislike of the stories you wrote.
“You only knew me as the manager, I only knew you as a reporter, but there are times now when I look back and feel my response to you was not always correct and sarcasm was used to questions or articles.”
It carries on addressing a number of issues. Now, this may all seem irrelevant to Pools and Jones now, but believe me, it is not.
What the club needs is a straight-talking, no-nonsense operator who is keen to address problems at source and deal with them properly.
The above example goes to show that is exactly what Pools have managed to attract.
Later in the letter Jones reveals: “My style as a manager is to win. I trust my players and staff and to protect them and the club when and where I thought needed.”
Trust is something that has been lacking at Pools in recent months. A reconnect in that sense would be no bad thing. And get the team winning again would certainly go down well.