Jermaine Jenas is one of the few pundits playing devil’s advocate as Chris Wilder’s time as Sheffield United manager looks to be coming to an end.
It’s more than 24 hours since it was first reported Wilder would be leaving his role at Bramall Lane. Yet still there has been no confirmation from the club either way.
But with United playing Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, some communication is needed.
Wilder could even still remain as boss – although it seems unlikely. That’s less to do with the poor performances this season and more because of an apparent breakdown in his relationship with the board.
If there is no way of repairing that, then as much as most supporters wouldn’t want to see it, unfortunately the only option is for Wilder to go.
What Jermaine Jenas thinks
Most pundits, fellow managers and fans have come out in support of Wilder.
They largely think the board are making the wrong decision if he leaves. If Wilder hasn’t decided that himself, of course.
Which is unsurprising considering what the 53-year-old has achieved during nearly five years in charge. Since taking over in 2016, the Blades have been promoted twice and achieved their highest league finish since 1992.
Yet while Jenas doesn’t necessarily disagree, he also points out that Wilder isn’t completely blameless.
“From the owner’s point of view, he would probably say, ‘I’ve backed you in the market’,” the former midfielder told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“This season alone, Rhian Brewster came in for £24m, Aaron Ramsdale for £18m. Oliver Burke, Max Lowe Jayden Bogle. There are a lot of players that came in.
“I imagine the conversation was more about quality and what is needed in the Premier League to go to that next level. He (Wilder) obviously feels he was banging against a door that wasn’t open when he was taking certain players at a certain price tag to help keep Sheffield United in the league.
“He obviously feels like he wasn’t supported in that and has decided to make it more vocal. Which I thought was at a strange time as well.
“But essentially there’s been a breakdown in terms of what each other wants. It seems pretty inevitable what the outcome is going to be.”