Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder steered his side to promotion to be named the Championship Manager of the Year in 2019, and his success in the Premier League has led some to believe he could be worthy of receiving the accolade in the top flight this term as well. Pep Guardiola has won the award for the past two seasons running, but Manchester City’s abysmal title defence means it is unlikely the Spaniard will be considered this time out.
Moving up to the top flight from England’s second tier is notoriously difficult, and a lot of newly promoted sides fail to cut the mustard when they make the transition. Indeed, last term both Cardiff and Fulham instantly dropped back down into the Championship after spending one season in the Premier League. Norwich and Aston Villa came up in the 2018-19 campaign but are both locked in a fierce relegation battle already this time out.
Of course, Wilder has some fairly stiff competition when it comes to picking up the Manager of the Season trophy in May. Jürgen Klopp is the clear favourite after steering Liverpool to an unassailable 14-point lead at the top of the table. Barring a major catastrophe, the Reds will go on to lift their first-ever Premier League title. This will make the German the red-hot favourite to win the Manager of the Season award. Brendan Rodgers is also making a pretty strong case to be considered. He has transformed a fairly mediocre Leicester City side from two seasons ago and turned the Foxes into a formidable top-four outfit.
Because there is such raging competition for the accolade, it would be considered a somewhat risky bet staking on Wilder to win. But this risk could be mitigated somewhat by the use of a free bet such as at Space Casino betting on football which comes with a free £20 stake for new players, and this free money is perfect for those who want to bet on riskier outcomes.
Considering the resources at their disposal, the Blades’ statistics over the first half of the campaign have been highly impressive. Wilder’s team was deemed a group of misfits with no real pedigree, but the 52-year-old has turned them into a well-oiled machine. With just over half a season played, United have the joint-second-tightest defence in the league with third-place Leicester. They have only conceded 21 goals in 22 games, while Liverpool are the only side better than them in this regard with 14 goals conceded.
Wilder has managed to pick up wins against Arsenal and Everton, and held top four-challenging sides Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to draws. The only two away games the Blades have lost so far were against Liverpool and Manchester City.
With Klopp’s Reds runaway leaders, it seems fair to assume that the German will be Manager of the Season. But, if Wilder somehow manages to get his newly-promoted side into the Champions League spots at the end of the campaign, the humble Stocksbridge-born tactician must be in with a shout.
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