Harry Redknapp backed Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United to succeed this season and also described VAR as a “nightmare”, when Forge Press caught up with him at a University event.
Redknapp spoke at an evening talk at the Octagon Centre organised by ex-England international Dave Thomas to raise money for the charity Guide Dogs. Thomas lost his sight 20 years ago due to Glaucoma, and is the first former top-flight footballer to be registered blind and awarded a guide dog. He’s since raised over £75,000 for the charity, with Redknapp pledging a donation of £10,000 on the night.
On United’s chances of staying up, Redknapp said: “I think they’ve got every chance. They’ve got a fantastic manager who knows what he’s doing, and who’s got a group of players who look like they give everything every week.
“I don’t see how they’ll go down, I’d be very surprised if they went down this year. I think they’re building a team who can establish themselves under Chris in the next few years.”
Redknapp further praised Wilder’s brand of football, saying: “What a job he’s done. He’s got centre-halves overlapping, breaking out from the three at the back.
“If that was Pep Guardiola doing that it’d be ‘This man’s a genius, no-one’s ever seen it before’. When Wilder does it, it’s ‘this is alright’.”
“I think he’s brilliant Chris Wilder and they’ve got good players and they’re going away from home to tough places and deservedly getting good results. “
Redknapp was less enthusiastic about VAR: “It’s a nightmare. The goal goes in and people celebrate, then you’re wondering what’s going to happen, it’s the anti-climax.
“As a sport we’ve managed all these years without it and I think it takes a lot away from the atmosphere and the fans.”
The Blades have had mixed experiences with VAR this season. Wilder was unhappy with the decision not to award his side a penalty in their 1-0 loss to Southampton, but the Blades were perhaps lucky not to concede a spot kick in the 1-0 victory against Arsenal.
Redknapp added: “It shows you how many mistakes referees make.
“That’s how difficult it is to referee today; every decision is scrutinised on TV anyway but it looks like it’s probably here to stay.”