By Joe Crilly
Last Updated: 6th March 2020
DO you have to win a trophy to be crowned Manager of the Year?
Recent history suggests so, but there have been a few exceptions to the rule.
Tony Pulis scooped the gong in 2014 steering Crystal Palace out of the drop zone in November to their then best-ever Premier League finish (11th).
Harry Redknapp won it in 2010 after Tottenham’s dramatic win saw the North London side finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League for the first time.
Sheffield United are just five points off a top four place (with a game in hand) and boss Chris Wilder would surely be worthy of the award if they were at Europe’s top table next year.
WILDER IS A WINNER
His peers rate him, Wilder was named League managers Association (LMA) manager of the year last year
Yes, Liverpool are walking the title under Jurgen Klopp and producing some staggering numbers while doing so.
Klopp’s side have maintained the standards set last term, while Manchester City’s have dropped off big time.
So what the Blades are achieving carries a huge amount of weight bearing in mind they were scrapping to get out of League One three years ago.
Wilder has been given support to sign players.
But the likes of Chris Basham, Enda Stevens, John Fleck, Ollie Norwood and John Lundstram, all Championship operators last term have all stepped up making a mockery of some of the recruitment made by some of the big boys.
The Blades were written off last summer, expected to head south back to the EFL, but Wilder has proved them all wrong.
A MAN WITH A PLAN
Managers are nothing without players, however, players need to trust a manager’s plan to fulfill their potential and everyone knows exactly what is required of them for 90 minutes.
Wins over Arsenal, Everton and draws with Manchester United, Spurs and West Ham prove what a good outfit the Blades are this term.
There is something to be said about teams made in the image of the manager.
Wilder is honest, positive, hard-working and straightforward with every member of his squad knowing exactly where they stand with him.
Thrown in a system of play, defenders who can defend, neat, tidy, mobile midfielders with forwards prepared to work their socks off, you have a great chance.
So if Redknapp and Pulis are worthy, then so is Wilder. The Sheffield United manager is 5/1 second favourite behind Klopp to win the Premier League Manager of the Year at the end of this season.