Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp says that Chris Wilder is “the best manager this club has ever had.”
Sharp was speaking to BBC Sport after Wilder guided the Blades to promotion from the Championship.
United will be playing in the Premier League next season for the first time in 12 years. It is the second promotion the club has achieved since Wilder became boss in 2016.
That first season in charge at Bramall Lane the Blades ended six years in League One by winning the title with 100 points. The next year they finished tenth in England’s second tier. Now they have ended 2018/19 as runners-up to Norwich City.
Sharp top scored for United this term with 23 league goals. Like Wilder, the striker is a boyhood Blades fan and will now be representing his beloved club in the top flight.
“If you’d told me when I signed for the club back in League One that we’d get promoted to the Premier League, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Sharp said.
“My first season didn’t go well but since the gaffer came in he’s been phenomenal – by far the best manager this club has ever had. I don’t think any fan will disagree with me.
“I look at Dave Bassett and Neil Warnock as great managers of this club but he tops the lot for me.”
Great Blades bosses
The aforementioned Bassett and Warnock are probably the other contenders for greatest ever manager – certainly in more recent times.
Like Wilder, the former also took the club from the third tier to the top flight. Bassett spent seven years at Bramall Lane, but couldn’t prevent them being relegated back to the then named First Division in 1994.
Current Cardiff City boss Warnock was the last person to take the Blades into the Premier League, back in 2006. They lasted one season, being relegated on the final day. Warnock left shortly after.