United must learn lessons from the Dooley era if they are to succeed with the next man in charge

The Blades
The Blades

If only it was about Sheffield United picking the right man for the job.

If only it was that simple.

It certainly isn’t - even allowing that there is no shortage of good candidates for a job of this stature.

No. What it’s really about for me is creating the right support structure for the next boss which again, as a personal opinion, has been lacking in recent times.

Without it, the next incumbent, however adept, might also be doomed - or deemed - to fail along with the likes of Kevin Blackwell, Micky Adams and Danny Wilson.

One easy question appears to confirm this: Who are the Blades’ most successful bosses of the past 25 years?

Easy answer, too. Dave Bassett and Neil Warnock.

And what is the common denominator between them?

Simple again. It is that both had the day-to-day support of the late, great Derek Dooley. Of course, Dooley was incomparable and irreplaceable.

It would be foolish to suggest there is anything like a modern equivalent. But there is a lesson in there somewhere.

Owner Kevin McCabe will know the conditions in which the club’s highest achievers flourished.

They had strong relationships on the ground, a channel to the main board through a man who was trusted by both parties.

Can the McCabe family find someone to whom they can entrust the football business?

A few years back, they explored a football-based chief executive when Graham Taylor and John Barnwell were among names touted.

That trail went cold, although both the club’s recent chief executives - a position glaringly unfilled recently - had a part-playing background; Trevor Birch and Julian Winter, who intriguingly is at the centre of return rumours on the internet.

Right now, bemoaning a series of poor decisions and bad luck - yes, that is a genuine factor in all thin dividing lines - serves no purpose.

Readers know what I thought of Danny Wilson’s sudden sacking then and now.

What counts is getting it right the next time and I feel the Blades have to look at themselves from the top downwards in order to do that.

Ladies and gentlemen, all rise... for the greatest football manager of all time. Sir Alex Ferguson: a legend in his own “Fergie time” - and everyone else’s.

Good of you to retire and let somebody else have a go!