Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder says that Mauricio Pochettino is his “favourite manager in the Premier League.”
Wilder will be up against the Tottenham Hotspur ace next season after the Blades sealed promotion from the Championship.
The 51-year-old was a guests on Football Focus this weekend and revealed his admiration for Pochettino.
“He’s my favourite manager in the Premier League,” Wilder said.
“The way he brings everybody in. The players who play week in, week out, they’re the easy ones to manage. It’s the boys on the outside that you have to invest time and live in and do step up – like (Lucas) Moura has.
“The work ethic of the team, the way his team plays, his recruitment.
“We’ve nicked a few sessions out of there. Our sports scientist guy, who’s our first team coach now, used to work at Tottenham.
“Is imitation the best form of flattery? We managed to get an insight into a few of his sessions and they were great sessions.”
Wilder and Pochettino
A system that Pochettino popularised in English football in recent times is the that of the wing-backs. Spurs have primarily reverted to a back four this season, but in 2016/17 the three/five man defence brought them great success.
That same campaign was Wilder’s first in charge at Bramall Lane and he too implemented this style. It has worked for the Blades ever since, with the being promoted from League One that term with 100 points.
Two years on from then they have now returned to the top flight for the first time in 12 years.
Wilder’s demeanour may make him appear like an old school English coach. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Wilder’s unique approach has earned praise from legendary foreign coach and current boss at Leeds United, Marcelo Bielsa. His fellow Argentine was a great influence on Pochettino.
A well known student of the game, even the 63-year-old has never seen the overlapping centre-back technique that Wilder has introduced so successfully for the Blades.