Less than four months into the season and Sheffield United have parted ways with Slavisa Jokanovic, replacing him with the more well-known figure at Shirecliffe of Paul Heckingbottom.
Jokanovic was given his marching orders earlier today as the Blades confirmed that Heckingbottom will be the man to lead the club into the future. His title of ‘Football Manager’ will see him oversee a wider role than just first-team results. At his side, he’ll have Stuart McCall and Jack Lester, as well as another coach who remains unnamed as yet.
But what went wrong for Slavisa Jokanovic? This was, after all, a manager who had a reputation of getting teams out of the Championship. He was a welcome appointment in most fans’ eyes, too.
Well, according to Yorkshire Live, the writing was on the wall within just days of Jokanovic arriving in Sheffield.
While there’ll be stories doing the rounds in the coming days on and minor details surrounding Jokanovic’s departure, Yorkshire Live are clear in their view.
According to respected reporter Nathan Hemmingham, Jokanovic was left stunned by the state of the facilities at United. Namely, the Serbian is believed to have been seriously disappointed in the state of the Blades’ Shirecliffe training base.
Further, YL claim that Jokanovic was left furious with the lack of transfer activity in the summer. But for a late flurry of loan signings, United were pretty much at a standstill throughout the window. That, on top of the facilities being dire, is said to have irked Jokanovic.
That transfer window proved tiresome for everyone involved. Even down to the supporters. It wasn’t until deadline day that things even really started to get going. And even then, there were failings.
Alex Collado never arrived from Barcelona despite a deal all but being done and dusted. Likewise, Yann Karamoh never came in. An apparent work permit issue – not picked up by United earlier on – put an end to that one.
For Jokanovic, that left him without natural wingers to use in his preferred 4-2-3-1 system. A recent reverting to the more well-known 5-3-2, suggested the Serbian had bowed to certain pressures.
However, given that opening few days and the lack of investment in the training ground, it’s little surprise to see Jokanovic gone.
Paul Heckingbottom, then, faces a mammoth task to turn things around at Bramall Lane, Shirecliffe, and beyond.