Chris Wilder is standing against strong competitors in the race to win the premier league manager of the year.
The Sheffield United mange is contending for the spot of the manager of the season with the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Frank Lampard and Brenda Rogers. Chris Wilder first season coming into the premier league has been exceptional and spectacular. Sheffield United’s way up through the Football League pyramid this season has been a huge success.
Though Sheffield United ended the table log at 9th position, it was a success compared to those clubs who also benefited from earning their promotion in the same year as Norwich City and Aston Villa.
The difference between the three head coaches who gained promotion, then, is that while Daniel Farke and Dean Smith were successful in some of those areas, Wilder – and his assistant Alan Knill – were accomplished and effective in all of them. That’s very rare; it’s why teams that bounce into the Premier League and make a true impact in their first season tend to be remembered.
For Chris Wilder specifically, though, it’s only one part of his candidacy. From a broader perspective, his personal success is very powerful in what it preaches and the assumptions that it continues to disprove. His non-league to Premier League story is well-told, of course, but its significance probably isn’t yet fully understood.
No matter where his Sheffield United finish the season and whether that entitles them to European football or not, theirs has been a miraculous eleven months. Because of the results achieved, because of the football played, and because of the many reclamation projects at this team’s heart.
Last month Chris Wilder was beaten by Liverpool Jurgen Klopp to win the BBC sport Premier League manager of the season. Jürgen Klopp has a total of 49% votes – followed by Chris Wilder with 32%.