Chris Wilder's departure sad but inevitable
For Wilder, Sheffield United was his everything. Having been the club's ballboy, then player, then manager, Bramall Lane was very much his second home. However, the life of a Premier League manager can be brutal at its worst of times.
During his tenure, he took the Blades from the depths of League One to the dizzying heights of the Premier League.
Sheffield's first season back in the top flight was nothing short of remarkable and at one point, they even threatened to take one of the European spots.
This season, however, things have not gone United's way. A far cry from last season's heroics, they currently sit bottom of the table with 14 points from 29 games. Poor run of results and near-certain relegation has led to Wilder's inevitable departure.
Sheffield now begin the task of finding a successor. Paul Heckingbottom has been given the job for the remainder of the season but it is still unknown who will lead the team into next season.
Here are five candidates who could take over at Bramall Lane on a permanent basis...
Paul Heckingbottom - 11/4 William Hill
Paul Heckingbottom is the current caretaker manager and has been told he will hold the position for the remainder of the season.
He took charge for the first time in the 5-0 loss to Leicester on Sunday. While not a great result, it's hard to expect much from someone who was thrown into the job last Friday.
READ MORE on Football365: Newcastle lined up Wilder as Benitez successor in 2019...
Heckingbottom was already with the club as the manager of the U23's and has proved to be a good manager in the past. His first shot was with Barnsley where he got them promoted from League One and won the Football League Trophy in 2016.
Should Heckingbottom impress as the caretaker boss, there's nothing to suggest why he couldn't do the role on a permanent basis. William Hill currenlty have the 43-year-old at 11/4.
Jason Tindall was manager of Bournemouth before being sacked in February after a poor run of results. He has now been brought in to assist Paul Heckingbottom at Bramall Lane for the rest of the season.
Tindall previously worked and played alongside former Cherries manager Eddie Howe. He played for the club between 1998-2006 until a recurring knee injury ended his playing career.
In 2008 he was brought back to Bournemouth as the assistant to Jimmy Quinn. When Quinn was sacked in January 2009, Howe was given the job and he kept Tindall as his assistant. They partnered together until August 2020 when Howe was sacked and replaced by Tindall.
Despite only lasting five months at Bournemouth, Tindall is a serious contender for the Sheffield Untied post - especially if the board deems Heckingbottom's work unsatisfactory.
Eddie Howe - 8/1 William Hill
Eddie Howe has been without a job since being sacked from Bournemouth last summer. He had been with the club as a manager since 2012 and played for the south coast side the majority of his playing career.
While manager of the Cherries, he took them from League One to the Championship in his first season. He then gained promotion to the Premier League in 2015 and kept them there for five years.
READ MORE on Football365: Howe revels in memorable victory over 'excellent' Liverpool...
However, it all came crashing down in a dismal 2019/20 season which saw the Cherries face relegation and Howe face a sacking.
Sheffield would be an interesting desitnation for the 43-year-old. With Jason Tindall already at the club, could this be an indicator of United's future plans?
Neil Lennon - 7/1 William Hill
Neil Lennon recently left his post as Celtic manager after failing to lead the club to their tenth successive league title.
He first managed Celtic from 2010 to 2014 where he won three league titles in a row and two Scottish Cups. He returned midway through the 2018/19 season after Brendan Rodgers departed for Leicester City.
Lennon's lone tenure in English football was with Bolton from 2014 to 2016. He avoided relegation from the Championship before troubles with the club led to his departure in March 2016.
With the exception of this season, Lennon's track record in Scotland is a successful one. Question is whether the Sheffield United board will think the same when they come to make their decision.
Frank Lampard - 10/1 William Hill
That one season was enough to catch the eye of Chelsea who decided to bring the club legend back to West London. His first season in charge was a success having defied a transfer ban to finish fourth in the Premier League.
Things went downhill in his second season despite enormous investment in the playing squad. Poor results and fear of missing out on the top four led to his departure in January. Lampard has been without a club since then.
What he needs is a team who is willing to take him on long term - something that's very rare these days in the Premier League. He has the potential but he hasn't been given enough chances. Sheffield could provide him with what he needs, and in turn, he is capable of bringing them success.