The current standings are disheartening for Sheffield United, who find themselves at the bottom of the Premier League table with a mere eight points from 17 games. They trail behind Nottingham Forest by six points, and Forest are in the midst of a managerial transition from Steve Cooper to Nuno Espirito Santo.
The storyline surrounding Chris Wilder’s return revolves around replicating the success of his initial managerial stint. During his first tenure, he guided Sheffield United from League One in 2016 to a commendable ninth-place finish in the Premier League by 2021. Unfortunately, the subsequent season took a downturn, culminating in relegation after Wilder’s dismissal.
But Wilder has demonstrated a shift in his approach, moving away from the back three formation favoured by his predecessor, Paul Heckingbottom. This departure from tactical norms indicates that Wilder is not only reevaluating on-field strategies but also adopting a broader perspective to footballer in general.
The boyhood Blade told the Yorkshire Post: “I really am being 100% honest, I’ve not seen a league table and it’s a mindset I’ve changed. I always think it’s incredibly difficult not to look at a league table – whether you’re a manager, a player, whether it’s on social media or Match of the Day.
“But I really haven’t looked at a league table and I’m trying my best not to. I’m sure I’ll glance at one in the future but I’m really trying not to and hopefully that’ll cement me in my attitude which hopefully passes on to the players.”
Wilder later added: “You need an idea of what you need to do from a technical and tactical point of view but the biggest thing we had to work on pretty quickly was the mentality of the players because of the lack of belief and lack of confidence.”
Sheffield United have picked up three points from their first three games under Chris Wilder, but performances in general have been improved. The Blades pushed Liverpool all the way at Bramall Lane, and the 2-0 defeat had plenty of controversy surrounding it. The following match saw United beat Brentford in a game where Wilder’s side looked at ease and on another day could’ve won by multiple goals. Subsequently, the performance at Chelsea was good for the first half, but were caught knapping in the second half.