Sheffield United: Why Blades shouldn't be concerned about the Chris Wilder to Sunderland link - for now at least

Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder
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Success breeds speculation in football. It is an inevitability.

A striker bangs in 28 goals in League Two and suddenly every side in the Championship is being linked with him.

And the same goes with managers. Winning promotion gets you noticed, particularly when it is achieved in an emphatic manner.

So Sheffield United fans ought to get used to Chris Wilder's name being mentioned in relation to clubs searching for a new manager.

Back in May he was named by Sam Allardyce as the man he would handpick to replace him at Crystal Palace this summer.

But links to do not need to be as explicit as that, as is the case with the club he is currently being linked with.

Right now, Wilder is being tipped to be the next man in charge of Sunderland

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes had looked certain to take over at the Stadium of Light before a late U-turn.

And on Friday, Wilder joined the likes of Simon Grayson, Kevin Phillips and Nigel Pearson at the top end of the odds list for the next Sunderland manager.

But do not expect to see Wilder unveiled on Wearside any time soon.

Sunderland announced on Friday - in the wake of McInnes' rejection - that they were in talks with parties interested in taking over the club.

As a result, the club says they cannot imminently conclude their search for a new manager because they will be unable to offer assurances about the future to any potential candidate.

It is this uncertainty which saw McInnes back away from the job.

And it means the Black Cats will have not made a concrete approach to any other target in the wake of McIness' decision to remain at Aberdeen.

In short, do not be worrying yourself all weekend that Wilder could be heading off up the A1.

It will not last forever with Sunderland putting a time limit on takeover discussions because of the need to bring in a new manager. But those tasked with making the big decision could have changed dramatically by then.

At this stage this speculation over Wilder could all be put down to the shift in the betting market.

Friday saw him backed in to as short odds as 4/1 after sitting in the no man's land of 25/1 just two days prior.

Anyone who has kept an eye on similar betting markets know they are wildly erratic and all too often inaccurate.

Where speculation is in play much more than actual information and fact - as is the case here - changes in odds are driven by bets being placed or simple inquiries being made about odds.

Bookies look to protect themselves from losing more cash that necessary so will shorten odds quickly if there is any betting activity.

All it would have taken is for a mini-surge of people sticking a few quid on Wilder getting the job for the bookies to act.

Of course, it would be foolish to categorically rule out that there is some genuine interest there.

After all, Wilder has done a phenomenal job, not only at Bramall Lane but at Northampton and Oxford beforehand.

And his superb results have come having built incredibly tight-knit groups, willing to leave it all out on the pitch and battle their socks off for each other.

That sounds exactly what a beleaguered Sunderland outfit needs, particularly a once proud institution experiencing a growing disconnect between players and supporters. Sound familiar?

The fact he is not one of football's big names does not matter either. If the Black Cats were willing to throw their weight behind Derek McInnes, surely it is not too much of a stretch to suggest they would do the same with Chris Wilder.

But wrestling him from Bramall Lane would not be an easy task for any club.

He is Sheffield United through and through with his passion for the Blades undoubtedly playing a role in their dominance of League One.

And he will no doubt fancy his chances of guiding United into another promotion chase. It might not be this season - though he will not rule it out - but the Blades are unquestionably on the up after several years of slog.

So if there was the potential for him to depart of his own accord, he is not going to up and leave at the drop of the hat.

And how much more tantalising are Sunderland's prospects in the near future than those of the Blades? It would hardly be no-brainer of a decision for any manager, never mind one with United flowing through his veins.

So rest easy for now. There are plenty of reasons why you should not be worried about Wilder's future just yet.