West Brom struggles show why Sheffield United are right to stick with Wilder - Sheffield United News
West Brom struggles show why Sheffield United are right to stick with Wilder
Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

West Brom struggles show why Sheffield United are right to stick with Wilder

West Bromwich Albion have conceded 17 goals in four home games since naming Sam Allardyce as manager.

Struggling in the relegation zone, Slaven Bilic was sacked as boss after drawing 1-1 at Manchester City in mid-December and quickly replaced by Allardyce.

Since then, the Baggies have lost five of their seven Premier League matches and been knocked out of the FA Cup by Blackpool.

Their most recent outing on Tuesday night was the reverse fixture against Man City at the Hawthorns. It resulted in a 5-0 defeat, which means the West Midlands side have by far the worst defensive record in the English top flight.

They have let in 48 goals in 20 games. Next are Crystal Palace, who have conceded 36.


Sheffield United – the only team below West Brom in the table – have let in 32.

At home, the Baggies have also been beaten 5-0 by Leeds United, 4-0 by Arsenal and 3-0 by Aston Villa since Allardyce took charge.

It hasn’t all been bad, with a 1-1 draw at Liverpool and victory over rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers the two high points.

But for a manager heralded as a specialist in avoiding relegation and shoring up leaky defences, Allardyce is struggling to live up to the billing.

Why Sheffield United are right not to follow West Brom

Photo by Nick Potts – Pool/Getty Images

Some Blades fans would maybe have liked to see their club move for Allardyce before West Brom did.

Under Chris Wilder, they are on course for the worst points total in Premier League history. That unwanted record is currently held by Derby County, who picked up 11 in 2007/08.

Ahead of this evening’s trip to Manchester United, Wilder’s team have five points from 19 games.

Despite the struggles, there has never been any suggestion Wilder would be sacked. The 53-year-old has been publicly backed by both the owner and chairman.

Even if, as expected, the South Yorkshire side are relegated, Wilder will not be removed from his position.

This is because of what he has achieved since taking over at Bramall Lane in 2016. Since then, the Blades have been promoted twice and secured their highest league position since 1992.

This season is the first time there have been major problems during Wilder’s hugely successful time in charge.

But football is fickle and like the Baggies, the club’s hierarchy could have made the change and brought in someone like Allardyce.

In the process, they would have ended all that Wilder has built. They would also cut ties with a man who, as a fan and former player, has an unbreakable bond with the Blades.

And probably would have still been relegated.

In an era in football of instant gratification and short memories, the Blades bucking the trend to stand by Wilder is a welcome change.

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