As a boy, the young Chris Wilder wanted to be a neuroscientist, he would spend hours in his bedroom cutting out pictures of his favourite neuroscientists and pinning them on the wall. His dad told the young dreamer that his hopes were just pie in the sky and that he should instead focus on do what everyone in the town did and become a member of the long term unemployed.
But Chris was a strong willed boy and knew that in order to become the first northerner to go to university, he would have to work his socks off and pass his maths O Level. Being positive and bang at it and professional, Wilder studied with a passion. He consumed himself in his text books, he’d work late and get up early, just to study.
The day of the maths exam came and young Wilder felt confident that he’d done enough to pass. As the examiner told the students to turn over their papers, there was an audible gasp and faces all around him were ashen. Wilder set to work, putting into practice all he had learned. He finished way before everyone else, all those around him toiled. It was, he thought, easy.
But when he got his results, to his dismay, he had not read the question properly and he’d failed. It destroyed any chance he had of becoming a neuroscientist. From that day on, he promised never again under-think a problem.
Fast forward several years, and to Saturday, and Lord Wilder was again faced with a key decision. Putting into practice the vow he made of that fateful day. He over analysed his big day because he was so desperate to please and impress. Oddly, his selection against Burton in the 1st round last year was similarly peculiar. This was the first time in football history that a team played with two left backs and two right backs in the same team (Purkiss, Batt, Tonkin and Kinniburgh). And there was no James Constable. Perhaps he has a theory about the FA Cup? Perhaps it is wrong.
This year, Asa Hall, who appears to be spending November raising money for Children In Need by playing in every conceivable position, played up front. Constable was missing, and Harry Worley dropped to the bench. We know what we’re good at, and should stick to that, sadly, sometimes Lord Wilder fails to keep it simple.
Then again, if you hurt the ones you love the most, then perhaps we’ve seen where Chris Wilder’s heart really is.