Sheffield has been waiting for this for a long time because United have just not been good enough to be in Wednesday’s league. Finally, United have the right manager in place. Chris Wilder is a pal of mine and he has done a great job. It will be buzzing at Hillsborough.
Every team think their derby is the biggest and the Steel City will stop. Everybody will be watching it on television. The game is sold out and it will be very tense.
It will be quick to start with and won or lost by a mistake or moment of magic. That one player will be lauded for the rest of his life by the fans of whichever team he plays for. I have some good derby memories and some not so good. I will never forget Wednesday beating United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley when Chris Waddle scored a beauty.
It was a great day going down to Wembley with 50,000 Wednesday-ites. I remember once being chased out of Bramall Lane by United fans, and the derby games are the worst to watch. You are just desperate for your team to win and they are never pretty.
As a kid, school was awful the Monday morning after a weekend derby, or the Thursday morning if it had been played midweek. United had the better of us when I was at school and that kind of one-upmanship among school mates lasted until the next derby.
Whoever wins will have three months to enjoy that. Can Wednesday give us three months of winding up United fans? That is all we are after.
Wednesday will be favourites because they have been in the Championship for a while. United have started well but lost at home last week to Norwich and I am hoping that has robbed them of any kind of confidence.
We have been able to take the mickey out of United fans for a few years because they were lost in League One. But now they have a bit of momentum, are competing on a level footing, perhaps not financially, and have a manager that seems to get the best out of his players, which is the worry for Wednesday.
But I think Wednesday have the quality. I will not be at the game. I will be commentating at Bristol on the one-day international. The same goes for Joe Root, who is a Blade. No question there will be a text going his way or mine depending on who wins.