Flying planes and delivering pizzas: Nigel Clough’s first Sheffield United side, 10 years on from his arrival

One starlet made it to the very top while another resorted to delivering pizzas to make ends meet

Exactly a decade ago, Nigel Clough was appointed as the new manager of Sheffield United - and inherited a Blades squad facing a real struggle. United had picked up a little under the caretaker charge of club legend Chris Morgan, following the disastrous experiment of David Weir that lasted only 10 league games and brought only one win, and Clough’s arrival was the catalyst for a remarkable season that saw the Blades reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and finish only one place adrift of the play-offs, after effectively surrendering almost a quarter of the season.

“I am very proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to manage here,” Clough said at the time. I will try and build a team and squad capable of getting promotion. We are not miracle workers, it takes time to mould and recruit a team. To be realistic, let’s get out of the bottom four and then get a squad together that can challenge.”

United certainly did that, losing in the play-offs the following season before Clough was sacked - somewhat harshly, in the view of some. Things had to get worse before they got better, with the Nigel Adkins experience followed by Chris Wilder’s era. But what happened to the first United side that Clough picked after being appointed on October 23, 2013? Some have made it to the very top of the game, while another was reduced to delivering pizzas to make ends meet after falling out of the game...

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