Sheffield United hired Jokanovic without a plan. His sacking shows club’s muddled thinking – The Athletic

And so, Slavisa Jokanovic joins Daniel Farke in the strange, niche “Managers sacked immediately after winning a game” club.

Like Farke and Norwich’s victory over Brentford a few weeks ago, the dye had been cast before Sheffield United inched past Reading on Tuesday.

Even with that victory the Blades are closer in terms of league position to the relegation zone than the playoffs, and were it not for Derby’s transgressions they would be closer in points to the bottom than the top.

From that perspective, it’s hardly surprising that a newly-relegated team with designs on an immediate return to the Premier League would make a change before the halfway point of the season.

But from another, Jokanovic can feel aggrieved that he has been dismissed, a decision that lays bare, at best, a lack of foresight from the club and suggests they have wasted a chance for promotion under a manager famed for doing exactly that.

Jokanovic has been promoted from the Championship with two different clubs, both times in jobs with similarities to Sheffield United. With both Watford and Fulham, he arrived at clubs in the second tier but who felt they belonged a level higher, both enduring some form of disarray and/or identity crises.

When he arrived as the permanent replacement to Chris Wilder in the summer, it was these things that made him seem perfectly suited to the club.

But there’s another similarity that he could quite easily present as an argument against his dismissal: bad starts.

After 19 games of this season the Blades have 23 points, having won six times.

Add comment