Chris Wilder: one of their own.
It may sound like a slight overreaction when we say Chris Wilder is one of the best managers in the country, but anyone who knows anything about football would surely agree.
Sitting below the glistening lights of the Premier League whose superstars and global figures soak up the limelight, the Football League is an almost forgotten trove of raw talent and excitement. And like the side street restaurant brimming with tasty concoctions and treats dominated by the global brands, it sits there waiting for the odd passer-by, the curious or knowledgeable to take a closer look at what excellence they have in store.
And in this case, a more in-depth analysis of Blades boss Chris Wilder would reveal that he is about as sweet as they come.
Wilder’s immense journey started at Alfreton in 2001, and though his tenure only last seven month, he guided the Reds to four trophies, and kickstarted their charge up the non-league pyramid. Impressive, yes, but the best was yet to come.
In December 2008 Oxford United were not the stalwart Football League team we know them as today, languishing in the bottom half of the Conference National with not a hope in sight. A tumultuous period in their history which had seen the U’s relegated on the last day of the 2006 season, lose the play-off semi-finals in their first season in the Conference and two different managers stepping in, led them to Wilder. They were promoted a year later.
After dragging Northampton Town to a League Two title, Wilder was handed the opportunity to steer his beloved Sheffield United away from the doldrums of League One, and that is exactly what he has done since replacing Nigel Adkins in 2016. All the way to the Premier League.
Make no mistake about it, what Wilder has done at Sheffield United is truly remarkable. To revive a fallen giant like Sheffield United is not only in the club’s interest, and all those involved in it, but also the neutrals. We want an iconic team back like the Blades, we need it in fact.
He deserves every bit of credit he is showered in the coming months.
Sheffield United fans, how much does Chris Wilder mean to you? Join the discussion by comment below…
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