Sheffield United’s 2019-20 season has so far been a fairytale story. The Blades under Chris Wilder currently sit in 7th place, five points behind fourth place Chelsea with a game in hand.
Chris Wilder’s men were heavily expected to go down in their first season in the Premier League since the 2006-07 season.
They have exceeded expectations and have collected some big scalps during the season so far. A 2-2 draw in August away at Chelsea was just the start. They have since beaten and drawn against Arsenal, drawn against Tottenham and also drawn against Man United.
Should Sheffield win that aforementioned game in hand, they would be just two points off Chelsea and into fifth. With Man City’s looming two year Champions League ban, the fifth place finish would mean Champions League football, which nobody would have put in the same sentence before the season started.
Chris Wilder has got the likes of Bournemouth reject Lys Moussett having a great season and has turned John Lundstram into a Fantasy Premier League legend. The goalkeeping of Dean Henderson this season has some having him down as the heir apparent to David De Gea.
The back four has also been impressive with left back Enda Stevens and centre back Jack O’Connell earning plenty of plaudits.
That’s why I strongly believe Wilder should be named the Premier League Manager of the Year.
As a Liverpool fan, I would of course love to see Jurgen Klopp win the award. Klopp has done an excellent job in guiding Liverpool within grips of winning the league title for the first time in thirty years.
However, the team finished second last season and the team was expected to do well, albeit not be 25 points clear. Liverpool would simply be Premier League champions at time of writing had it not been for the virus delaying football.
Sheffield United were in the Championship last season and whilst a few predicted Liverpool to be Premier League champions, not even the most die hard Sheffield United would have bet on their club being in the Champions League conversation.
Even a Europa League campaign next season would be a remarkable achievement and much more than what was expected.
This is why Chris Wilder for me is the man for the award as he has brought the good times back to Sheffield. Their season is almost certainly going to end with celebrations, unless the virus does in fact cancel the season.
This would then raise questions as to what would hurt Sheffield fans more, the Tevez transfer playing a big part in the Blades going down or a virus from China stopping them from European Football and potential Champions League football.