This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Chris Wilder has just put pen to paper on a new three-year deal which will keep him at Sheffield United until at least 2022.
Now that he has been handed a new contract, the hierarchy at Bramall Lane must keep the faith in him for the duration of it.
Wilder has done an incredible job everywhere he has been.
He got Oxford United back into the Football League, before winning League Two with Northampton. Two promotions in three years with Sheffield United followed, and they are now gearing up for their first Premier League campaign in over a decade.
He won the LMA Manager of the Year award last season for the job he has done, and there is probably an argument to be made that he is the best manager the EFL has seen in the past decade.
Of course, we’ve seen other clubs rise up from League One to the Premier League rapidly. Nigel Adkins’ Southampton and Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are both excellent examples.
But while Saints rose up the ranks very quickly, they did so with a squad full of ready-made stars. The likes of Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin were turning out for the Saints, while Bournemouth were backed by a billionaire owner.
Wilder’s Blades are a rag-tag group who found the best form of their careers under the management of the 51-year-old. Players such as David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp encapsulate this theory. The former was released by Ipswich just 12 months before winning Player of the Season at Sheffield United, and the latter recorded his best-ever goalscoring campaign in the Championship at the age of 33.
Southampton proved to be fine without Adkins as Mauricio Pochettino and then Ronald Koeman shone at St Mary’s.
However, it’s hard to argue against United’s squad being one of the weakest in the division and they’re already being tipped for relegation – if they do go down though, they must keep hold of Wilder at all costs.
The former Northampton boss is the man who sparked their rise through the leagues, and while the players deserve credit it’s hard to argue that this group would have been promotion contenders without him.
Fans of Norwich, Sheffield United and Ipswich name their club’s worst ever manager in the video below…
The Blades should take a page out of Burnley’s book. The Clarets kept Sean Dyche at the helm when they were relegated in 2015, and two years later he was guiding them to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League.