Sheffield United Fan Column: A star in the Sheffield walk of fame must be inevitable for Chris Wilder after leading Blades into Premier League

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
In January I calculated how many points United might need to get automatic promotion.

At that time they had 50 points from 28 games, or 1.785 points per game, which over 46 games would amount to 82 points. I said then that 90 points would almost certainly be enough for second place.

So the fact that United now have 88 points from 45 games (1.956 points per game) shows just how well they have done since then – 38 points from 17 games (2.235 points per game).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After losing two consecutive home games in early December there have been just two defeats since. United have lost once away since Forest in early November. At Christmas United were ten points behind Leeds and nine behind Norwich. What the Blades have done since then is simply magnificent.

Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd: Simon Bellis/SportimageChris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Norwich have kept up the pace, but Leeds – oh dear. They have managed only 35 points from 22 games since Christmas, a points average that over a season would be struggling to make the play-offs.

I remember reading several months ago that Marcelo Bielsa’s teams fade towards the end of the season because of how hard he works his players in training. It appears to have happened again, and no amount of spying on opponents can make up for that.

But United have not won promotion because Leeds (as the song goes) have fallen apart again. They have won promotion because of a remarkable manager and the skill and effort of an undervalued, underestimated bunch of players.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The way Chris Wilder continues to find surplus to requirement players (Mark Duffy, John Fleck, Jack O’Connell, George Baldock, Enda Stevens, David McGoldrick, Ollie Norwood) and mould them into a winning combination is a rare and precious talent. A Walk of Fame plaque outside the Town Hall is surely inevitable.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.