According to a report from The Athletic today, Sheffield United have already considered parting ways with manager Slavisa Jokanovic this season.
The Blades have picked up a very mediocre 20 points from 18 games this season under the Serbian. They sit 17th in the Championship table, just five points off the bottom three and a whopping 20 points off the top two.
Jokanovic was brought in to replace Chris Wilder. It was always going to be a tough ask. However, he was the number one choice in the eyes of many, and Blades fans were pleased to get the former Watford and Fulham man.
But according to The Athletic, the defeat against Blackburn Rovers a few weeks back prompted talk of another managerial change. That day at Ewood Park was one of misery. The atmosphere was toxic in the away end, and United’s players were booed off.
The Athletic claims that the club strongly denied any talk of Jokanovic being let go just yet. However, it suggests that ‘chatter’ has remained and that the Serbian could well be under more pressure than we think.
If the club is already having second thoughts about Jokanovic and results don’t improve quickly, then it might well be best to act now rather than drag it out.
It would, of course, be a costly and quick divorce for United. Further, it would be an admission that the club got it wrong, and leave the Blades board very much back at square one.
The report claims Paul Heckingbottom is the man being considered again for the manager’s job. ‘Hecky’ did well to steady the ship last term. But he’d be an uninspiring appointment in reality.
Ultimately, the board has a decision to make. They either backtrack and get rid of Jokanovic at a cost now. Or, they take the plunge and let him overhaul this ailing squad in January. That means a number going out the door, and a raft of new players arriving.
One way or another, something will have to give here. And when rumblings like this start, it normally only ends one way.