Blades of Glory: Chris Wilder and the Rise of Sheffield United

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Sheffield United have taken the Premier League by storm this year. Led by Chris Wilder, the Blades are maximizing their potential going into the winter break.

At the start of the 2019/20 campaign, Sheffield United were the bookmakers’ favourites to go down.

NBC reporting at the time a 58% chance that they would get relegated, a full 10% more points than the second favourites, Norwich City.

Under Chris Wilder, they have been promoted twice over the last three seasons, but there were concerns over whether his squad and tactics could handle the rigours of the Premier League.

The summer signings didn’t allay those fears. Ageing Everton centre-back Phil Jagielka, Bournemouth cast-off Lys Mousset, and Swansea forward Oli McBurnie were the headline names.

The re-signing of Manchester United’s U-23 goalkeeper Dean Henderson was seen as a slight gamble, considering the lack of Top-Flight experience under the young stopper’s belt.

As of February 7th, twenty-five matchdays into the season, Sheffield United are 6th in the table, defying all preseason predictions.f

Even those that thought the Blades would adapt well to the Premier League did not envision this and a lot of the credit has to go to Wilder’s setup and tactics.

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