Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has sent a message to pub patrons who claim they were unlucky not to have a career in football to “shut up”, as they clearly did not have the same desire to succeed as Leicester striker Jamie Vardy.
Vardy came up the hard way in the footballing ranks, first being released by Sheffield Wednesday as a youth and grafting his way through the lower tiers before eventually being signed by Nigel Pearson for the Foxes in 2012.
The English attacker, now 33 years old, would go on to win the Championship and then the Premier League just a year after being promoted, and Wilder was candid in his assessment of the big talkers who claim injuries or bad luck prevented them from reaching the same heights as Vardy.
“I go to the pub quite often after we've had a win and it makes me smile sometimes when you might be sat in company and people will say, 'I could have made it' or, 'Yeah, I was a bit unlucky' and, 'I had an injury and something didn't happen for me',” the Blades boss told a press conference.
“You know what? Sat in the pub watching the TV up in the corner and going, 'Yeah, that could have been me', well, it wasn't you. It wasn't you, that's what I would say. It wasn't you because you didn't do it. You didn't get off the canvas like Jamie Vardy.
“You didn't go and prove yourself, you didn't take the setbacks and keep coming back and step back and keep coming back. You didn't. So you deserve to be in the pub and have the career that you've had, not the one that Jamie Vardy's got. So shut up.”
He added: “From a professional point of view and watching him in his career, it's been a magnificent effort.
“To be released by the team you love is a hammer blow and to get up off the canvas and prove people wrong by getting his hands dirty at Stocksbridge and Halifax and Fleetwood, and then Nigel to take a punt for a million quid was a huge statement and one that's proved justified.
“To prove himself in the Championship and into the Premier League, Premier League winner, England international, serial goalscorer and still having the drive and determination to go right to the final breath he has a footballer, he's an incredible example for a footballer.”