Wilder, the manager always wanting more

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As Sheffield United prepare to face Arsenal on Monday Night Football, Chris Wilder tells Sky Sports why he wants more than just survival and how he is dreaming of decades of hometown dominance for his boyhood club.
Sheffield United are Premier League now but there is a whiff of Sunday League about the coffee Chris Wilder is sipping on a drizzly morning at the club’s Shirecliffe training ground, perched high – ironically – in rival Wednesday territory.”Lick of paint, new leather seats, but same old instant in a paper cup!” he laughs as we settle down in a tarted-up meeting room at a complex home to elite-level footballers but still hinting heavily at a past life as a working men’s club. “Premier League, eh? You’d think I’d be able to get a decent cup of coffee now. I’m not asking for much!” Wilder is hardly high-maintenance – he has remained earthy and affable as his compelling blend of old and new has thrust him up all the way up the pyramid – but behind some gentle ribbing is a reminder that, in the words of one long-serving member of staff, “his fingerprints are all over the club”.His touch has been transformative wherever he has worked, though he insists the fundamentals of the job have stayed the same from non-league Alfreton and Halifax to the “champagne division” where he has led his club after two promotions in three seasons. It hit home, though, when Liverpool came to town and Jurgen Klopp dropped in for a post-match beer. Sheff Utd vs Arsenal October 21, 2019, 7:00pm Live on Wilder is mixing it with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League “Do I feel like a Premier League manager now? I just feel like a manager – the job hasn’t really changed – but there are certain times when it gets you. Like when I get Liverpool’s teamsheet! They haven’t left anyone out! They’re playing the full hit! You’re going, ‘Oh wow…’. “Jurgen popped in after the game, which was refreshing; it’s an amazing league to be in but that’s a little thing that has slightly disappointed me because that doesn’t seem to be a given now. It was really interesting to hear about their recovery and their preparation. They flew from Liverpool to Doncaster. It took them 11 minutes! Eleven minutes! I’ve been banging on at the club that we might have to fly for a couple of these long journeys and the European champions are flying 11 minutes to Sheffield!”But having a manager working at a top world club in the office was brilliant. At the end of the day, there are two groups of players, two groups of staff. We’re trying to win, they’re trying to win – let’s have a beer afterwards and chat about the game.” 2:59 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League He is doing it, to remarkable effect, his way but he is thirsty to learn as he plots keeping Sheffield United in the division – and plenty more.Wilder: By those who know himWhen Jagielka saved the day”Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, they’re innovators in football. People might look and think, tracksuit, gruff voice, bit overweight! – but we feel we’re quite up to speed with what’s going on here. I’m always pushing the backroom staff, looking at other clubs and what they do, whether it’s little bits on the pitch, physical conditioning or video analysis.”It’s a work ethic throughout the club. George Baldock (the wing-back), bloody hell, he’s out training again. He wants to learn everything about the game and who he’s up against. We’re all thinking, where can we improve? Peop

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