Loads of Everton fans have been reacting on social media, after a clip circulated of Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder claiming he holds a special place for the Toffees.
Wilder has been in charge at Bramall Lane for the past three-and-a-half years, and has overseen the Blades’ rise from a mid-table third-tier outfit to one competing for the European qualifying places in the Premier League.
The Blades job would have been one he coveted for many years before his appointment, though, as Wilder is a lifelong Sheffield United fan and attended his first Sheffield Derby aged 12 back in 1980.
But Sheffield United are not the only side that have caught his admiration over the years, as Wilder revealed on the Blades’ One Of Our Own podcast that he has always considered Everton to be his second team.
“When I was an apprentice at Southampton, all my family over there were Liverpool fans,” Wilder said. “But this is quite a funny one, because I watched the team [Everton] at the time when I was an apprentice at Southampton come there when they were champions two seasons on the bounce.
Would you have Wilder in the Goodison dugout?
“I couldn’t believe how together they were and what a good group they were and how that group of players played, how you’d enjoy playing for that team.
“Obviously Howard [Kendall] managed here as well, and you knew about how they enjoyed themselves away from [the pitch], so I suppose that’s possibly one of the big reasons.”
Sheffield United ended the 2015/16 season 11th in League One before Wilder was appointed, but the South Yorkshire side would clinch the third-tier trophy in their first year with the Stocksbridge-born coach in the dugout.
Wilder then oversaw a tenth-placed campaign in the second-tier in ’17/18 before securing the Blades’ progression into the top-flight as Championship runners-up.
The Bramall Lane side are now proving a surprise package in the Premier League, having won nine of their 25 games, taken 36 points and are sitting high in sixth with just a point between them and would-be Europa League qualifiers Tottenham Hotspur.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans shared their love for Wilder’s comments on the One Of Our Own podcast, noting his admiration for Everton…
Good choice mate
— Garry Willams (@garrybutter) February 5, 2020
Our next manager right there pic.twitter.com/Oml2s3ghNz
— Gareth (@GarethH41055207) February 5, 2020
The guy is class so it makes perfect sense really
— towerefc (@towerefc) February 5, 2020
I knew he was soundest fella in football but this just tops it. Would love to go for a pint with the big man
— MK (@MatthewKneale1) February 5, 2020
Love Chris Wilder
— Owen (@owenparkes123) February 5, 2020
I think you’ll struggle to find a nicer man in the football world atm
— Michael (@greenallefc) February 5, 2020
Always liked wilder, top man, top manager
— John McDonald (@John__McD) February 5, 2020
I think Wilder is a top manager done a brilliant job an obviously he saw with his own eyes what team spirit can bring. Unfortunately we’ve got a few charlatans in our squad.
— chris jones (@cjones3066) February 5, 2020
@D_a_n_M good lad is wilder 👌🏻
— chris callanan (@ChrisCallanan06) February 5, 2020