People familiar with Wilder have reportedly called Sheffield United tactics and training 'basic' - Sheffield United News
People familiar with Wilder have reportedly called Sheffield United tactics and training 'basic'
Photo by Peter Powell - Pool/Getty Images

People familiar with Wilder have reportedly called Sheffield United tactics and training 'basic'

The Sheffield United tactics and training under manager Chris Wilder are “basic”.

That’s according to some lower league figures familiar with Wilder and his teams, reports The Independent.

It’s believed the drastic downward turn in form this season is a better reflection of his Blades team – rather than their impressive return to the Premier League in 2019/20.

United have made the worst start in English top flight history this term and are currently bottom of the table with two points from 14 games.

This is in stark contract to the last campaign – their first in the Premier League in 12 years.


Under Wilder, the Blades achieved their highest league finish since 1992 as they ended in ninth place.

Yet as the South Yorkshire side were flying high last season, the doubters were already predicting their downfall.

Apparently they think Wilder’s tactics are “basic” and the 53-year-old lacks “nous”.

His training methods have also been called into question. Wilder is said to focus on fitness and shape, rather than coaching or development.

Critics say his one innovation of overlapping centre-backs was actually down to assistant Alan Knill and has now been found out.

Are the tactics at Sheffield United ‘basic’?

Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images

This is scathing assessment of Wilder and his team. Which perhaps should be expected considering the dreadful start to 2020/21.

It does also point out that nine of their 12 defeats have been by a single goal and the only time United have truly been outplayed was during losses to Chelsea and Southampton.

Yet it still seems to misunderstand just what Wilder has achieved at Bramall Lane.

The club was entering a sixth successive year in League One when he took charge in 2016.

Two promotions and that ninth place finish have happened since then. As Wilder recently pointed out, this is only the Blades’ 12th top flight campaign since 1970.

All with a squad of players whose experience has mostly been in the Championship – or even League One. Even the new signings Wilder has brought in since promotion are generally young and raw.

Last term, George Baldock and Enda Stevens started every league game. John Egan and Jack O’Connell also helped them to the fourth best defensive record in the division behind the top three.

It’s quite something to argue Wilder hasn’t developed four defenders who had seven Premier League appearances between them before last season.

Knill may have also have come up with the idea of the overlapping centre-backs, but surely that is a sign of a strong coaching team?

It’s Wilder who has implemented it to great success.

The last person to call the Blades “basic” was Garth Crooks in August 2019. The pundit predicted they’d struggle.

We wonder how that assessment turned out…

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