Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended Chris Wilder and his Sheffield United team.
The Blades have just one point from their opening six Premier League games after their 2-1 defeat to Klopp’s side on Saturday.
They are the joint lowest scorers in the division with only three goals. Alongside Fulham, they are the only team without a league win.
But Klopp doesn’t think that tells the full story.
“What a guy Chris is and what a football manager,” the 53-year-old wrote in his programme notes ahead of the game at the weekend as – quoted by Yorkshire Live.
“A brilliant leader for his club and without doubt one of the standout coaches working in England right now.
“I can’t remember for certain, but I am pretty sure I voted for him as manager of the season. And he would have thoroughly deserved it.
“It is typical that only a few games into a new season people already look for problems and issues but if they do so with Sheffield United they ignore performances.
“Having watched their games they still perform to an incredible standard.
“So far – and I think Chris would likely say this also – it’s been a case of luck and the bounce of the ball. This is a manager’s life.”
Klopp should give Wilder and United confidence
When it comes down to it there is only one thing that matters and that’s points on the board. Which is something United are badly lacking currently.
It doesn’t get any easier with potentially tricky fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea coming up. But Klopp is right in what he says about Wilder’s men.
The Blades are yet to be truly outplayed in any of their defeats so far this season. Particularly in the 1-0 losses to Aston Villa and Leeds United, it could easily have gone the other way.
Now, there is little sense in being blinkered and claiming everything is bad luck. Injuries to key players haven’t helped, but some responsibility has to be taken.
That said, the fact the Blades have been so close in all their games suggests points will start to be picked up soon.
Klopp is clearly a big fan of Wilder, having admitted he voted for the 53-year-old for manager of the year in 2019/20. The prize eventually went to the German himself, of course.
Considering what Klopp has achieved in his career, his opinion matters more than most when it comes to identifying outstanding coaches. And in Wilder the Blades have exactly that.