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Chris Wilder has left Sheffield United – Can Newcastle United keep hold of Steve Bruce?

4 weeks ago
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It has been finally confirmed late on Saturday night, by ‘mutual consent’ Chris Wilder has left Sheffield United.

Friday morning it was first reported by the media that manager and club had parted company and now made official (see below).

Newcastle United fans now left with the worry of whether they will lose Steve Bruce.

The bookies have included him in the betting (see below) to be permanent replacement for Chris Wilder.

As a former Sheffield United player and Bramall Lane where Steve Bruce first took up a management post, it could be a match made in heaven.

Sheffield United Under 23s boss Paul Heckingbottom is going to take temporary charge until the end of the season.

However, I will say here and now, if Steve Bruce really wants to leave Newcastle at the end of the season, as an NUFC fan I will be prepared to swallow my disappointment and not complain if / when he leaves us.

Obviously Steve Bruce has to get on with the immediate matters in hand and complete his job of relegating Newcastle United first.

On a run now of only two wins from nineteen games, Bruce may well accomplish this well ahead of schedule and ensure Newcastle are relegated before the final stages of the season, allowing him to reunite with the Blades after over two decades away from them.

A return to Steel City would also allow Steve Bruce to be in close proximity to all those Sheffield Wednesday fans, who will no doubt welcome him with open arms back to their city, after he spent an entire 18 matches with the Owls before walking out on them, after they had bent over backwards to accommodate him.

Steve Bruce of course did his best to help save Sheffield United this season, after a six month run of 20 Premier League games featuring eighteen defeats, two draws and no wins, Sheffield United won their first game of the season in January beating Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United. To ensure his team had no chance of scoring against Sheffield United, Steve Bruce picking a five man defence and three defensive midfielders in his side that night.

So Steve Bruce, fellow Geordie and staunch Newcastle United fan, we thank you for your fabulous efforts in assisting Mike Ashley ruining our club. We now give our blessing and are willing with tears in our eyes to now set you free at the end of the season…though if you are willing to leave this Sunday morning, The Mag are prepared to pay for your taxi to Bramall Lane. Just say the word.

Next Sheffield United Permanent Manager Odds from BetVictor:

Paul Heckingbottom: 5/4

Neil Lennon: 8/1

Frank Lampard: 10/1

Eddie Howe: 10/1

Danny Cowley: 14/1

David Wagner: 20/1

Mark Hughes: 20/1

Steve Bruce: 20/1

Valerien Ismael: 20/1

John Terry: 20/1

Martin O’Neill: 20/1

Sheffield United was Bruce’s first job as a manager and after only one season (1998/99) he resigned.

Sheffield United Official Statement:

‘Sheffield United confirms that Chris Wilder has left the Club by mutual consent.

The Board and Chris Wilder, who has managed the Blades to more than 100 wins in his almost five years at Bramall Lane, made the decision following discussions.

Chris Wilder commented:

“Being manager of Sheffield United has been a special journey and one I’ll never forget. I was delighted to be given the opportunity back in 2016 and have been delighted with the success which we have achieved, including two promotions and a highest ever Premier League finish. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Club’s accomplishments along the way, including the players, staff and, in particular, the supporters.”

Earlier this season, Chris Wilder surpassed 200 league games in charge of the Blades, becoming the sixth United manager to reach this milestone.

We are confident that all Blades fans around the world will join us in thanking Chris for his hard work, commitment and expertise in driving the Club. Now the Club will turn its attention to completing the season as strongly as possible and if we are relegated, to preparing for the Championship. We confirm our intention to keep the core of the player group together and will continue to invest further in the Academy and the First Team, to place us in the best possible position for the future.’

Sheffield United Second Official Statement then confirmed plan to the end of the season:

U23s manager, Paul Heckingbottom, will take charge of Sunday’s Premier League fixture at Leicester City, following the announcement of Chris Wilder’s departure as Blades manager,

The former Barnsley, Leeds United and Hibernian manager will remain in charge for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign.

Heckingbottom will be supported by former AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, Alan Knill and United’s current backroom staff.

After overseeing Friday’s 5-0 victory over Birmingham City in the Professional Development U23s League, taking the young Blades to top of Group A, Heckingbottom was asked to take over first team duties ahead of the visit to the King Power Stadium.

He told sufc.co.uk: “It is a great honour to be considered to lead this Club until the end of the season and I thank the Board for putting their trust in me. We have a lot of work to do, but have a great support network, all of whom will bring valuable knowledge and experience, as we look to finish the season strongly.”

United’s chief executive officer, Stephen Bettis, commented: “The appointment of Paul and the integration from development to senior level is testimony to the great work that is currently being done at the Academy. The Club sees the following months as an opportunity to further develop some of our talents at the Academy and to give them valuable time to train with the first team.

“Additionally, Jason has a fantastic pedigree and his fresh input will hopefully add a different dimension when he joins the Club on Monday. He will have a watching brief at Sunday’s game at Leicester.”

Tindall, who was pivotal in Bournemouth’s rise from League Two to the Premier League, including three promotions, added: “It is a privilege to be asked to be involved and I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ve previously worked with a couple of the players before and have experience at this level, which I hope will be of benefit to Paul and the team.”

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