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There has been a certain tension between fans and the board at every football club across the world, and whilst both want to see their team succeed, at the end of the day football is a business, and business is booming.
The amount of money changing hands during the 2017/18 summer transfer window beggars belief. Neymar alone cost PSG a rumoured €222 million in transfer fees and a further €45 million per year in wages, which all needs to be funded somehow.
Credit: Neymar Jr. via Facebook
So what if you can’t compete financially? How do you obtain that elusive silverware? You take a little bit of inspiration from Leicester City and arguably one of greatest upsets in sporting history and whilst the players will take many of the plaudits, it was behind the scenes where the title was won.
Manager? Head Coach? Two titles with essentially the same meaning but both are equally as key to success at any football club. As with players, the big names in football take all the praise: Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Jupp Heynckes, Antonio Conte the list goes on. All household names, all regarded as some of the best managers in the world, all at some of the biggest clubs in the world, and all very, very pricey. For the amount of money it would take the lure the likes of Jose Mourinho to your club, you could likely assemble a very competitive Championship squad.
Cast your eyes past the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga. Down in the Championship, League 1 and below, there are some very capable managers who do not get the recognition they deserve – namely Chris Wilder. Wilder would have been a relative unknown prior to Sheffield United’s exploits so far this season. The high-flying Blades currently sit third in the Championship, just three points off second and the automatic promotion places, having been one of the favourites for relegation this season; however, the latest betting odds now put Sheffield at a mere 25/1 to win the Championship outright.
Source: Chris Wilder via Facebook
Wilder's rise started with Oxford United back in 2008, where, in his first full season in charge, he guided The U’s back into the football league via a 3-1 playoff final victory against York City. Over the next three years, Wilder became stagnated in mid-table obscurity before being rumoured to have a disagreement with the board over finances and leaving the club for league two rivals Northampton Town, taking the club into League One during the 2015/16 season.
Wilder then joined his boyhood club Sheffield United as their new manager on a three-year contract, following the dismissal of Nigel Adkins. He oversaw Sheffield United's promotion into the EFL Championship as champions in his first season, securing 100 points in the process, with a great sense of attacking football.
With Sheffield United one of the favourites to get relegated back to League 1 at the start of the season, you would have been forgiven to expect a scrappy campaign, but instead, they sit fourth in the Championship. Wilder isn't just one of the best English managers, he's one of the best managers in England; he currently has the third highest win percentage for managers in 2017 behind only Pep agers in 2017 behind only Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte. He needs to start being taken seriously. Oxford United should have supported him; it could have been them to sit atop of the Championship.