SHEFFIELD UNITED: TOP THREE MANAGERS WHO COULD REPLACE CHRIS WILDER
Updated: Mar 17
On Saturday evening, it was announced that Chris Wilder had officially left his post at Sheffield United.
The bombshell news had been apparent for quite a few days and official confirmation simply seemed a matter of time.
Truly, it is the epitome of Sheffield United’s abhorrent fortunes this term; at the time of writing, the Blades occupy the division’s ‘dungeon spot’ and sit twelve points away from safety.
For a while, it appeared as though the strugglers may not even surpass Derby County’s infamous record 11 points total of the 2007/08 campaign, achingly providing a staggering contrast to where they were not even a year ago.
So, whilst relegation is not yet mathematically confirmed, it is safe to say that Brammall Lane will be hosting Championship football come August.
But in the wake of Wilder’s shock departure, many have been left pondering who will be next in line to take the reigns at the South Yorkshire club.
Former Leeds boss Paul Heckbingbottom, who was in charge of the Blades’ U23 side since last July, has took the helm for the final nine matches of the current campaign and began his brief tenure with a 5-0 humbling away to Leicester City.
With the 2020/21 season done as far as Sheffield United are concerned, the pivotal priority surely needs to be appointing a suitable manager with the right ideas to repropel the stagnating side.
Who could that manager turn out to be? In this piece, I will be looking at three coaches who I believe would be a good fit at the club.
1) Eddie Howe
The notion has long been held that Eddie Howe is holding out for a job in England’s top flight, and he is well within his right to do so.
The 43-year old earned a glowing reputation for his phenomenal journey with Bournemouth, masterminding the Cherries’ astronomical ascendancy from lower league minnows to an established Premier League outfit.
However, since parting ways with the South Coast club in August 2020, Howe is yet to return to the world of management amidst a plenitude of rumours.
At this stage, Howe is surely someone who Sheffield United should be targeting.
Evidently, the Englishman knows how to get the best out of his teams. After all, he was the rightful recipient of the EFL Manager of the Decade back in 2015 and has won three promotions over the course of his career.
He can also work with young talent and, at Bournemouth, did a stellar job of developing some of the club’s brightest prospects.
Whilst at the club, the likes of Lewis Cook, David Brooks, Ryan Fraser and Aaron Ramsdale- the latter of whom is currently with the Blades - all blossomed under his tutelage.
And this is something he bears the potential to instill should he receive the Sheffield United job.
Ranging from Rhian Brewster to Jayden Bogle, a host of younger players on the red side of Sheffield would surely reap the rewards from his established ability to nurture the next flock of talent.
2. Neil Lennon
As of late, former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has emerged as one of the frontrunners to succeed Wilder.
Following a catastrophic campaign which saw the Scottish side concede a possible 10th successive league title to Glasgow rivals Rangers, Lennon is now actively seeking a new opportunity.
It is worth noting that, during his second spell at Parkhead, Lennon won five pieces of silverware after taking over from Brendan Rodgers.
Many would argue that Lennon may not be a safe bet for the Blades. In his last Championship tenure, he was in charge of Bolton Wanderers though, at the time of his dismissal, the Trotters were shackled to the bottom of the table.
However, Sheffield United will be heading into England’s second tier with an extremely capable squad that boasts crucial experience of previously gaining promotion.
3. John Terry
In contrast to the aforementioned candidates, John Terry is not equipped with a wealth of managerial experience.
But after biding his time alongside Dean Smith at Aston Villa, the former Chelsea skipper will be vying for a chance to cement his worth in the dugout.
And last month, ex-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp expressed an outlay of praise towards Terry.
“If I was a chairman looking for a manager now, John Terry would be top of my list,” said Redknapp.
“He’s at Villa but he may not be interested. I wouldn’t know what his long-term ambitions are, but I’m sure he would want to get into management.”
Over the years, the Championship has facilitated the opportunity for a wide variety of managers to prove their nous and we have seen the likes of Frank Lampard, Dean Smith, Graham Potter and Scott Parker all gracing the helm at various second-tier outfits before progressing to the top flight.
Whether Terry will subsequently reach these heights can only be attributed as a matter that will be told by time, though he could be a gamble worth taking for Sheffield United.
Who do you think is the most ideal managerial candidate for the Blades?