Alan Biggs: Why I think Sheffield United's Chris Wilder not Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp is the top boss

Jurgen Klopp or Chris Wilder? Depends if you’re biased, which this column obviously is.

Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 1:00 pm

Arguing over the Manager of the Year is always a less than an exact science, an academic exercise you could say.

In which case, academic evidence has emerged that Sheffield United’s Wilder is the best-performing boss of 2019-20.

Because success is relative. And is there a better criteria than comparing performance with budget and outlay?

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Debates have been raging over whether Chris Wilder or Jurgen Klopp has been the manager of the year  (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Debates have been raging over whether Chris Wilder or Jurgen Klopp has been the manager of the year (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ok, you can prove many things with figures - but the following set of statistics doesn’t lie.

A study projects that Klopp will have paid more than £1m per point this season. Wilder, as of before the Everton game, had paid less than a quarter of that at an estimated £237,193 per point.

Fair dos, Liverpool are marvellous champions, winning the title by a landslide and playing brilliant football.

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If the manager of the year award follows then no-one can begrudge Klopp the accolade.

But there’s more. BetVictor’s admirable study shows that the Blades are not only the most cost-efficient side in thIs Premier League; they are the most effective financially at that level since Aston Villa finished seventh on £217,000 per point back in 1998.

Wolves have also squeezed out a lot this season - but at more than double Wilder’s expenditure with £521,983 per point.

Each of Manchester United’s points has cost £2m.

Any disappointment and deflation, after two defeats, about Sheffield United having to settle for eighth, ninth or tenth place is ridiculous when you think about it.

The season has been a triumph. Ask their fellow promoted clubs with Aston Villa possibly joining Norwich in instant relegation.

I’m no great fan of stats in the sense that there is such a blizzard these days you can end up with snow blindness.

But Manager of the Year has a measure you can readily accept and acknowledge. Life is about what you put in and what you get out.

On that yardstick, there is surely no argument. Don’t forget either that the winning manager is judged by his peers.

Or that the League Managers Association’s criteria considers managers “who inherit poor sides or financial difficulties” and that the award is not reserved for “only those managers who do not have such constraints and have won trophies.”

Only five times has the Premier League manager been handed the LMA’s ultimate accolade.

So maybe I don’t have to be biased after all. Considering what Sheffield United have brought to the Premier League table, it has to be Wilder.

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