Sheffield United Opinion: Chris Wilder’s new contract underpins everything that the Blades management is trying to do
According to Sky Sports, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has been rewarded with a new three-year deal at Bramall Lane after guiding the Blades to a sensational promotion-winning campaign in the Championship this past season.
Following a see-saw battle for the automatic promotion places at the top of the table, Sheffield United successfully held off the challenge of West Yorkshire giants Leeds United and finished runners-up to Norwich City in the Championship.
The Blades operated in the upper reaches of the Championship for the entirety of the campaign and finally managed to capitalise on Leeds’ blip over the Easter Period to seal promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2006-07. Sheffield’s successful promotion-winning campaign means that top-flight football is set to return to Bramall Lane following a 12-year-long exile.
Wilder, who was named as the LMA Manager of the Year last season, has been one of the key driving forces behind Sheffield United’s revival in English football over the past few seasons.
A lifelong Blades fan, Wilder took charge back in the summer of 2016 when the club was tottering in League One and he guided Sheffield United to an emphatic promotion in his very first season as the manager.
The Blades came back strongly after a poor start to the 2016-17 campaign and went on to finish top of the table with a club-record tally of 100 points, thus securing automatic promotion to the Championship.
Sheffield were expected to struggle for existence upon their return to the second-tier but Wilder, with his charisma and acumen, defied the odds and helped the Blades to a respectable 10th-place finish in the 2017-18 campaign. As a matter of fact, the club also registered a 4-2 victory over city rivals Sheffield Wednesday away from home.
Sheffield’s impressive campaign in the Championship in the 2017-18 season laid down a strong platform from where they could kick on and achieve bigger things. And Wilder accomplished the unthinkable in the 2018-19 season, as the Blades surpassed all expectations to win automatic promotion to the Premier League, their second promotion in a span of just three years.
Well, it has been quite an eventful journey for Chris Wilder at Bramall Lane over the past three seasons and the fans would probably be ever-grateful to him for transforming the club’s fortunes with his Midas touch.
It is no surprise that Wilder is considered as a saviour by a large section of the fans because Sheffield United would probably have been playing in the fourth-tier by now had he not taken over at a critical time and steadied the ship.
Indeed, the Blades would have been in big trouble had it not been for Wilder’s divine intervention and with that mind, it is not difficult to see that Sheffield United have struck gold by securing his future with a new three-year deal.
We all know how clubs circle around like sharks these days to snap up promotion-winning managers and keeping him at the club was always going to be pivotal to their hopes of staying up in the Premier League.
Agreed, Wilder doesn’t have any previous managerial experience in the Premier League but, again, he didn’t have any either when Sheffield won promotion to the Championship. He passed the test in the second-tier with flying colours, despite lacking any sort of experience at that level, and it would be hard to back against him doing the same in the top-flight.
Just to remind the fans, Wilder has brought success to the Blades without any significant financial backing, which speaks volumes of his technical know-how of the game and man-management skills.
He loves to keep it simple and always seems to know what he is doing with his tactical tweaks, with his ability to extract the best out of his existing set of players making him a perfect fit for the club’s structure and organisation.
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Having enjoyed a successful stint as a player at Sheffield United, Chris Wilder lives and breathes the culture at Bramall Lane and there is hardly anybody better than him to carry the club’s legacy forward.
His new contract at the club underpins everything the Blades management is trying to do and the fans will be hoping that he can pull the rabbit out of the hat once again next season to keep the club in the Premier League.