Martin Smith column: Sheffield United boss will need financial clout soon

'Listen, we're not in the market for £1m and £2m players any more.'

Monday, 23rd January 2017, 4:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 11:52 am
Chris Wilder, manager of Sheffield Utd.

A dagger to the heart of Blades’ fans ambitions or another welcome dose of reality from who a manager knows the score in League One?

That was United boss Chris Wilder talking about bringing in a striker in the kind of down-to-earth terms that has made him one of the best managers outside the top divisions. Everyone know the score.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

United have splashed on players who have not lived up to their billing in previous years and can’t afford to make similar mistakes again.

Wilder’s ability to spot what the team needs to make the next step has so far been spot-on and despite Saturday’s disappointment and the Walsall mini-wobble United are stop of the league and looking good for promotion. But there are limits to managing on modest resources.

If and when that promotion day dawns United will need to back their manager with real money if the club is to make its mark in the championship.

n Would the great crested ego that is Donald Trump make a decent football boss? He sees conspiracies all around him, specialises in creating siege mentalities and media distractions, thrives on a burning sense of injustice. Sound familiar?

A lot of top football managers have brought those characteristics to clubs and created winners. Though Trump looks like a fictional lower-league owner who’s made his money in fruit machines and imported underwear, it’s sometimes understandable a club can fall under the spell of a larger-than-life character.

Charisma is a powerful and positive attribute if put to the right uses. It can lead to all sorts of problems when it isn’t. At least a football manager can be sacked.

Only death, impeachment or resignation can save us from at least four years of Trump and his weapons of mass distraction.

Like many football managers Trump is a success after failures - he’s been bankrupt six times – and he’s a master of media management and manipulation.

As a manager or chairman he might earn respect for his ability to survive and eventually bring success.

But it’s one thing to be a dynamic and charismatic football boss and another to be the most powerful man in the world. Let’s hope he brings more dignity to the job than he’s showed so far.