Pundit delivers bold verdict on Chris Wilder following Premier League managerial appointment

Paul Merson has told The Daily Star that Chris Wilder should have been considered for the Arsenal managerial position.

What did he say?

On Friday, former Gunner Mikel Arteta was given the job in the dugout at the Emirates Stadium. To date, he has no top-level experience, with his only other coaching job being Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.

Writing in his latest column, the 51-year-old said: “Look at Chris Wilder and the job he’s done at Sheffield United. How has he not even been mentioned?

“He’s done everything right, been through the leagues and been hugely successful. Worked his way up. Coped in difficult situations. Gained years of experience.

“Doesn’t even get a look-in. I’m not saying he should have got the job instead but to not even be considered?”

Why?

Mikel Arteta certainly is a bold choice. At 37 years of age and without a single such job on his resume, it will be a baptism of fire for him as he attempts to turn around the fortunes of a side that is currently in disarray. As it stands, they are 10th in the table.

Sheff UTD@3x - Pundit delivers bold verdict on Chris Wilder following Premier League managerial appointment

Chris Wilder, meanwhile, has done a fantastic job with the Blades. He joined the Yorkshire outfit in 2016 on a three-year contract, with the club in League One at the time. During the 2016/17 campaign, they picked up 100 points and, within two seasons in the Championship, they had won promotion to the top tier. Now in the top flight, he has led his team comfortably to the top half of the table, and they do not look out of place at all.

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Why would he want to leave Bramall Lane to move to London? Arsenal are undoubtedly a bigger club, yes, but right now they are in a very difficult position, and they have arguably lost their place at European football’s top table.

In his current position, meanwhile, the only way is up for now. If he continues to take the Blades in the same direction, then he may have his pick of the jobs – perhaps an even better one than the Gunners.

More importantly, though, Wilder is a life-long Sheffield United fan. He even played for them before he hung up his boots. With this their first season under him in the Premier League, you’d have to question his motives for leaving halfway through. Taking your boyhood club to the elite is surely the pinnacle of what you can achieve. By leaving in December, he would effectively be cheating on the club he loves.

Merson may have a point that he deserves to be considered based on his results, but it is a position he would surely not take.

Blades fans will be hoping he continues to be overlooked for such jobs.

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