I always watch these videos. I never share them. But this one I am sharing, because it’s one that I will go back to from time to time.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder speaks about our 0-1 defeat to Manchester City last night:
Quotes of note:
You’ve got two clubs there tonight that are a million miles apart. One’s spent about a billion pounds and the other one is on its own journey, which I’m not embarrassed about… and we’ve gone toe to toe with them and left everything out there.
I thought they were excellent, outstanding. I thought every part of the football club was outstanding tonight.
And he’s right. It’s not often I feel this proud after the Blades lose. We went down fighting. We tried our best, but sometimes, your best simply isn’t enough and this was one of those times. Manchester City are undoubtedly the best team we’ve played or will play this season. The fact that the scorer of their only goal is probably worth more than our entire squad put together gives me some solace, even if it gives us no points.
A draw would have been wonderful, a win amazing. But we’ve clearly raised ourselves for this run of Big 6 games over the past month. We now need to keep it going as we head into a run of matches against the rest of the Premiership.
It seems like only the week before last that I was saying just how good the Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is. And with Aston Villa promoted to the Premier League this afternoon via the playoffs, this graphic made it on to my twitter feed:
Now, in no way am I saying that £8.6million is not a lot of money, but everything is relative and when you see it relative to how much others have spent (and you note that Leeds and Derby didn’t even get promoted), suddenly it doesn’t seem like that much of a lot of money.
In fact, compare it with the money flying around the top leagues of Europe and it’s less than 10% of a Paul Pogba (hopefully you don’t get the 10% with the mouth or the mood swings), and just 4% of a Neymar.
And that’s all we’ve spent in the last three years.
Wilder is clearly very shrewd when it comes to the transfer market, and very good at getting the best from the players he has. That’s a great skill to have in the lower leagues, but can it translate to buying the right players (here I am assuming that he has the right money to do so) to stay up in the Premier League? Obviously, I hope so. But I’m also a realist:
Just checking now, we’re the hot favourites to be relegated next season (4/6 on), with Norwich (4/5) and Villa (11/10) close behind. Burnley, Brighton, Newcastle and Southampton are considered the most at risk of those who survived this season. Given the recent record of promoted teams, that’s no surprise, but we’ve bucked the odds before and I’m sure we’ll make every effort to do it again.
The kerfuffle of the Championship season run-in may have just about blown over for Blades fans, but the excitement is only just beginning to build and the awards for our manager keep on coming in:
Add that to LMA Championship Manager of the Year, EFL Championship Manager of the Year and EFL Manager of the Year and you can maybe begin to understand what a special talent this guy has. I mean, he could have spent over £20 million over two years on new players, got six fewer points and we could still be in the Championship next season, but that didn’t happen*.
Next season is going to be very, very tough, and simply surviving is going to be the objective. But I’d rather be playing Liverpool than Luton Town, Man City than Millwall, Chelsea than Charlton. We’ll get beaten – maybe quite often – but at least we’re in the Premier League, and that’s mainly down to this guy.