Are Nigel Clough and Stuart Gray the new Harry and Ron?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
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Here’s one for you...

When was the last time that both sets of Sheffield football fans were happy with their respective managers at the same time?

Ten years, twenty years, more?

Without casting doubts on any of the managers in between - though there are plenty that would in many cases - there have been shall we say, some mis-matches over the years.

And let’s face it other than the Neil Warnock era at Bramall Lane neither set of fans have been happy for THAT long in recent years.

While Unitedites were loving life under Warnock from 1999 to 2007 Wednesday were decidedly UNhappy as their club worked through SEVEN managers of their own during Warnock’s reign across town.

While Owls fans were relatively content under Brian Laws, Unitedites were seeing their club consume Bryan Robson and Kevin Blackwell following Warnock’s ill-fated departure.

I reckon you have to go all the way back to the big two to find the time when both sets of fans were content with the gaffer,

Not since big Ron Atkinson and Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett took charge in the late 1980s have both halves of the city chanted their manager’s name with matching gusto. But it looks like that might be about to change.

Stuart Gray has impressed everyone with his tactical nous and man-management skills since he took temporary charge at Hillsborough in December last year and he was rewarded with a two-and-a-half year contract in January.

Nigel Clough is equally loved by fans, players and directors alike, signing a three-year deal last year.

Blades Chairman Jim Phipps told The Star he wants to give Clough the time and resources to build a lasting legacy.

It’s all a matter of opinion of course but can YOU remember such harmony among both sets of fans at the same time towards their managers?

Atkinson and Bassett are rightly legends at their respective clubs and it’s far too early and material conditions at both clubs too much changed since those heady Sheffield at Wembley days to make a comparison now.

But there is hope and a little promise for both.

At least for now...