‘That’s b*llocks’ – Sheffield United boss Wilder hits back at ‘selfish’ managers over five subs discussion



Managers such as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have been outspoken in their belief that the rule needs to be changed

Sheffield United head coach Chris Wilder has hit out at “selfish” managers of big clubs who are strongly pushing for the Premier League to allow five substitutions per game this season.

Unlike other leagues across Europe, the Premier League has not continued allowing five subs per game this season as they did following the coronavirus-enforced break last term.

Allowing five changes per game is seen to favour bigger clubs with deeper benches and as such, a motion in September did not get the required 14 votes from clubs and the English top-flight went back to three permitted subs per game. 

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With a condensed schedule this season leading to increased injury concerns, managers such as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Man City’s Pep Guardiola among others have been vocal in their belief that five subs per game are needed.

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But Wilder has hit back at those claims, saying that clubs like the Blades – currently rock-bottom in the table – would be adversely affected by allowing five changes per game.

“Cards on the table, he’s going to look after his own club,” Wilder said of Klopp.

“I’ve got incredible respect for these top managers because they produce top results and win things.

“But they’re selfish, they look after their own clubs. They’re not going to be bothered about Sheffield United, they’re not going to be bothered about England.

“They’re going to be bothered about Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea, which I understand and respect. I would be the same, but I’m bothered about Sheffield United and it doesn’t help us to have five subs.

“I don’t think the common man is going to be too sympathetic to the mental aspect of players on £250,000-a-week not getting into an 18-man squad. That’s b*llocks as far as I’m concerned.

“My sympathy for them is not huge. If Man City are playing on a Wednesday night in Outer Mongolia and then have to play at 12:30 on a Saturday, they have to play at 12:30 on a Saturday!

“If that helps us, we’ll gladly take it because this is the competitive aspect of football.

“Come on! Is any Man City fan gutted that Virgil van Dijk is out injured? Is any Chelsea fan or Man Utd fan, are they disappointed that Virgil van Dijk is out for a long time?

“They’re not because they only look after their own club and I’m just looking after my own club.”



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