Yesterday was the day Sheffield United ended their 6 year stay in league 1 as promotion was finally confirmed with a 2-1 win over Northampton. For manager and lifelong blades fan Chris Wilder it meant back to back promotions with two different clubs from two different leagues. What made the day even better for Wilder was promotion was secured at his former club Northampton where it’s exactly a year ago today he guided the cobblers to promotion from League 2. Wilder now has 3 promotions on his CV with his other coming with Oxford in 2010 from the conference and he is now being regarded as one of the best managers outside the Premier League.
Wilder likes his teams to play free flowing attacking football as well as pressing the opposition and these tactics have been a masterstroke the last 2 seasons as Northampton romped to the league 2 title last season and he is set to do the same now in league 1 with the blades with promotion now sealed and also a 9 point lead over 2nd place Bolton. The success don’t seem like it will stop for Wilder at the moment and I feel there is a very good chance they could compete at the top end of the Championship next season due to the whole squad having the momentum from this season to carry on. It’s not impossible either Southampton and Norwich are two examples of teams who have done back to back promotions from League 1 to the Premier League in recent years and both was achieved with the same managers Nigel Adkins and Paul Lambert.
One thing Wilder will have over them though is he is a blade through and through. Sheffield United is his club, he’s from there, played there and most importantly he understands what the expectation is amongst supporters as well as knowing what the club requires. He is already a hero at the club and he is set to enhance that with the wonders he is working. It was clear to see how much it meant to Sheffield United fans yesterday, 6 years for a club like them in league 1 is far too long, with the fan base and facilities of the club championship football is at least the minimum expectation, but could blades fans be dreaming of a return to the premier league next season?
It certainly wouldn’t be out of the question but at the same time the championship is one of the hardest leagues to get out of. Whatever happens next season and in the near future for the blades though it’s safe to say Chris Wilder has got the club back on the map and things are looking up. With Wilder at the helm success is sure to continue and they could well be top dogs in Sheffield next season. This sleeping giant for the last 6 years could well be on it’s way back.