Great Britain

Klopp has had a sensational season at Liverpool but Sheff Utd boss Chris Wilder is my Premier League Manager of the Year

PLENTY of plaudits have been going Chris Wilder’s way again after his Sheffield United side humbled Chelsea.

And for me, Wilder is the Premier League Manager of the Year.

Jurgen Klopp has had a sensational season and Liverpool have won the league at a canter.

But you have to look at where the respective teams have come from.

And let’s not forget Liverpool were second in the Premier League last season — only beaten to the title by a brilliant team in Manchester City — and won the Champions League.

Whereas Sheffield United came up from the Championship and find themselves just five points off fourth place.

At the end of last season, you would have said for sure that Liverpool would be going for the title.

You wouldn’t have said that the Blades would be looking at finishing among the first five and securing a possible Champions League place.

I remember covering them in League One and very little has changed.

The only thing they do sometimes now is play 3-5-2 instead of 3-4-1-2, which gives them that extra man in midfield who drops a bit.

No matter who they face they want to stamp their authority — and it is a joy to watch.

As I’ve said before, the way they play is organised chaos — it shouldn’t work, but it does!

For example, they commit their two outside centre-backs forward, yet only two teams have conceded fewer than them.

They have kept defensively strong while maintaining their attacking emphasis.

A number of teams who have tackled the Blades this season have matched them up system-wise and that is a massive compliment to a newly-promoted team.

Collectively, they are an outstanding team.

Yes, they have highly talented individuals but the dressing room is phenomenal.

The team that beat Chelsea on Saturday featured only three players in the starting XI who weren’t in the Championship last season.

If John Fleck was not injured, it probably would have been just two.

Every single player in that team is a better player since joining — and Wilder deserves huge credit for that.

As he does for not ripping up the team that earned promotion into the Premier League — and we have seen clubs do that on numerous occasions.

I love the way Sheffield United play.

Whether they are home or away, they take the game to the opposition. They’ve been absolutely phenomenal.

As for Chelsea, their issue at the moment is conceding goals.

Despite that, I believe Frank Lampard has done unbelievably well this season considering they lost Eden Hazard and had that transfer ban.

Just like Sheffield United, I don’t think many people gave them a chance of finishing in the top four or five.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard ‘learnt a lot about the players’ from 3-0 drubbing versus Sheffield United

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