Chris Wilder is set to lose his job as Sheffield United head coach today, according to, well, everyone on the internet, but based on Matt Lawton’s story in The Times (subscription required).
Football isn’t fair, we know this, and Wilder losing his job would be another prime example of that truism. He’s done a fantastic job at United, and overachieved massively last season. This year has seen a correction, that’s all; with the squad they have, the Blades should be battling relegation, particularly when you look at the quality of some of the other Premier League teams in the same boat (Fulham, Brighton).
The Blades’ woes this season have been clear for all to see (can’t score goals, don’t have Dean Henderson in goal), but it does seem like odd timing, i.e. it’s too late in the season to effect real change with a new manager, so you may as well stick with Wilder until the drop. However, Lawton claims that Wilder’s relationship with the club’s Saudi owner, Prince Abdullah, has deteriorated, “specifically over the issue of new signings”.
This is the one mark against Wilder. The players he has signed to score goals – such as Lys Mousset and Rhian Brewster – just haven’t scored goals. Hardly any goals. In Brewster’s case, no goals at all. Wilder wanted Ollie Watkins last summer, it should be said, but Aston Villa got him instead, and you can’t blame Wilder for missing out there. There’s no sentiment in the transfer market.
I’ve also read rumours that Celtic are interested in appointing Wilder as their new manager, but this seems less concrete than Lawton’s scoop. We should find out soon enough…