Sheffield United’s next manager: The candidates

Written by Adam Stanworth

Life after Chris Wilder is a reality that is still difficult to come to terms with for many Blades fans.

However, two months have passed since Wilder left the Bramall Lane dugout following a dismal campaign and it remains rather unclear who will replace him on a permanent basis.

Paul Heckingbottom has been in charge during that time as interim boss and is reportedly on a five-man shortlist to take on the role full-time, but with just one win in six games there are question marks over his ability to lead the club.

The Potential Candidates

Paul Heckingbottom 

Along with former Bournemouth manager, Jason Tindall, the former Barnsley and Leeds manager has been in charge since the dismissal of Chris Wilder and in that time a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion has proven to be the only points he has registered.

He enjoyed an outstanding season at Barnsley and was awarded ‘Sports Hero of The Year’ by the Yorkshire Post, however Heckingbottom left Oakwell to take the Leeds United job and enjoyed a difficult four months at Elland Road.

Heckingbottom has not attracted a great deal of praise from the Blades faithful, with many fans taking to social media to voice their opposition to the caretaker boss and this was not helped by a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, but he is among the favourites to take the job full-time.

Slavisa Jokanovic

Jokanovic is one of the outstanding candidates for the full-time role and would be an excellent appointment were Sheffield United to bring the Serbian in over the summer.

For a club that will have an eye on a return to the Premier League, he is arguably the ideal candidate for United given his experience in winning promotion to the top-flight on two occasions.

It is imperative that the Blades re-build this summer and with Jokanovic in charge, such a task would be made all the more simple as they would have a man at the helm who knows how to set up a side capable of competing at the top of the Championship.

He succeeded where others had failed at Watford for nearly eight years, when he won promotion with the Hertfordshire side back in 2015 before a three-year project with Fulham that culminated with a return to the Premier League via the play-offs.

A steady, experienced hand who could help re-build a faltering club.

Eddie Howe

The former Bournemouth manager has been out of work since his sacking last year and has been courted by a number of clubs in recent months, including Celtic.

Howe did a quite incredible job with The Cherries, guiding them from the Football League basement to the Premier League over two spells and under his stewardship the South Coast club more than held their own in the top-flight, playing an attractive brand of football.

Howe is another popular choice among Blades fans but rumours that he will ultimately fill the vacant Celtic post are starting to gather pace and it will be a tough ask to lure him to a Championship club over a side that will challenge for titles.

Alexander Blessin

Blessin has been strongly linked to the Bramall Lane hot-seat and fans are excited at the prospect of bringing in the German, who is currently in charge at KV Oostende where he has enjoyed remarkable success over the last year.

With his side playing a high-intensity style of football, he has taken Oostende from second tier basement battlers to promotion hopefuls and has won plenty of admirers in the process.

However, there has been a Brexit-shaped roadblock in that he does not have the required qualifications to earn a work permit to manage in England.

Blessin also tempered rumours when he told the Sheffield Star: “You shouldn’t always believe what is being told.”






Written by Adam Stanworth

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