Martin Smith column: Chris Wilder is such a special commodity at Sheffield United

There are times in the history of a football club when it needs to be bold.

When it needs to think big, make ambitious plans and trust those in charge to deliver.

For Sheffield United the time is now, the man is Chris Wilder.

The football his team is playing is as good as anything you’ll see outside the Premier League and better than some within it. And it’s improving.

Everyone can see United are on the up, they have cohesion, desire and ability. 

Across the Pennines 48 hours after Friday’s draw we saw a team with a bit less possession but with a goal threat from every attacking touch.

Brilliant manager, world class players and a way of playing that the team understands, loves and thrives on. That’s what a few billion quid can bring.

Sheffield United don’t need a new manager. The way the Blades are playing is something to behold.

Chris Wilder is a special commodity, a man with a method, a mission and a will to get things done his way.

Even Wednesday fans would acknowledge that in their heart of hearts. But because the Owls stuck at it, defended as if their lives depended on it, rode their luck and grew in stature as the game progressed they were able to frustrate United who couldn’t find a way through.

It’s time for change at both clubs.

United’s divided boardroom needs to come together to back Wilder with the financial clout he needs to make this very good Championship side into a Premier League team.

No-one expects Sheffield United to have access to a trillion-dollar family fortune that Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has made available to Manchester City. But real investment is needed if the club wants to turn this genuinely exciting and progressive team into a football force.

Meanwhile Wednesday are in a dip. They will come again but they too need to re-focus, bring on their precociously talented youngsters and let them flourish.

Most fans couldn’t give a flying pig about what happens to the other lot. But this city needs both teams back in the Premier League.

At the moment United are much closer to that.

Regular Blades watchers have been saying this for months and now the whole country has seen the evidence.

United need to take the next step.

The time is now, the man is Chris Wilder.