Chris Wilder has been called a coaching “guru” and compared to Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa.
Wilder has made a huge impact on the Premier League this season after getting Sheffield United promoted. The Blades are currently sixth in the table with 18 points after 13 games.
Their impressive run has included draws with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, as well as victory over Arsenal.
The form of Wilder’s men is coupled with enviable tactics. The South Yorkshire side have been heralded for their overlapping centre-backs – but that is just part of the story.
Their slick passing and high energy pressing style has already seen them get the better of many more established top flight teams.
Why Wilder is like Leeds boss Bielsa
Ian Holloway thinks that Wilder is a truly unique coach. While others take their influence from those who have come before, Holloway thinks the 52-year-old has a style all of his own.
“Most managers are an adaptation of somebody. For example, Pep Guardiola was heavily influenced by Johan Cruyff,” the former QPR manager wrote in his The Sack Race column. “But if you look at Wilder no one else is doing what he’s doing – I want to ask him who he’s been influenced by.
“I think other people will start copying him soon if he continues with this success he’s having.
“It’s a bit like how Marcelo Bielsa is a guru for people, Wilder will be the same. Everywhere he’s been he’s had success, and I can only see it continuing. Last season Bielsa even made a point of saying ‘well done’ to Wilder after Sheffield United beat Leeds.”
It is of huge credit to Wilder that he is being spoken about in such a way. Bielsa is thought to have been an influence on Mauricio Pochettino and the aforementioned Guardiola, among others.
Yet it is wholly deserved. What Wilder has achieved at Bramall Lane in three-and-a-half years with two promotions and distinct tactics is nothing short of remarkable.