In the week between Nigel Clough’s departure there were several names linked with the Blades manager’s job.
The influence of a few quid being staked, in what is likely a limited betting market, saw several names rise to the fore and a few surprising names listed at longer odds.
As each new name became hot on the bookmakers’ odds listing, it became increasingly clear that there were few names to excite the fans and a limited number that would find near universal approval from United supporters.
Co-Chairman Jim Phipps was besieged on social media by fans demanding that the club don’t employ a particular candidate, or stating that another candidate must be interviewed.
The one name that did find appeal with many fans was Nigel Adkins.
Yes he had all the facets we wanted in a manager and a superb CV of promotions, but how likely was it that he would be willing to drop down to League One?
Fans of other clubs mocked our optimism, but what we had in our favour was the size of the club, the infrastructure in place and the platform for success.
Do I think we have the right man? Yes.
Do I think we have a better manager following the change? Yes.
We have a manger who knows what it takes to get out of this division and has taken a club that one stage further.
We have a manager known for his man management skills; positivity and encouragement abound.
We have a manager who believes in playing football the right way. Possession and passing are key to his footballing mantra. Mind you so did David Weir and Nigel Clough, but Weir’s football went nowhere; left, forward, right and back to where you started from, whilst Clough’s football was about protecting the point. Adkins similarly focuses on clean sheets, but his sides tend to score goals, promotions achieved with an average of around two goals a game.
So as a Blades fan I look forward to the coming months in a way that I was not a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to seeing Adkins addressing the gaping gaps in the line-up that Clough failed to deal with in the final five months of the season. I look forward to seeing who he brings in to enhance a starting XI that has some core elements already in place. I look forward to seeing a new era commence at Bramall Lane.
Yes, there have been too many new starts in recent years, but this time we are all behind an appointment and even if wobbles occur, we need to back the manager, not get on his back. As the club’s hashtag said on his appointment - #UnitedTogether