Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been given the permanent position of manager of Manchester United by the board of directors and club owner Ed Woodward.
The 46 year-old Norwegian had been in temporary charge of the Premier League club since 19th December 2018, when José Mourinho was sacked. He has since turned the fortunes of the club around, leading them to a string of great results and into top four challengers.
Solskjaer is a club legend, making 235 appearances over 11 seasons at Old Trafford, where he won 6 Premier League titles and 2 FA Cups as a player. His standout achievement was scoring the winning goal in the 1998/99 Champions League final against Bayern Munich in their famous ‘treble’ winning season.
His first senior role in management was in 2010 with his former side, Molde in Norway where during his 4 year stint, he lead them to two League titles and a domestic cup success. He returned six month later, after unsuccessfully trying to guide Cardiff City to Premier League survival in 2014, where he stayed for another three years.
United approached Solskjaer after the end of the Norwegian domestic season in December, to become interim manager and he took charge of his first game at Cardiff City, winning 5-1. He returned to Old Trafford four days later to a raucous reception to see his team beat Huddersfield.
Victories at Arsenal and Chelsea in consecutive FA Cup ties led former players and pundits alike to demand he be given the job on a full-time basis, heaping praise on him for rejuvenating the ‘boring’ style of play and lifting spirits at the club. Former teammate Roy Keane described the team as the “Manchester United of old”.
However, it was a magnificent performance against PSG, that helped cement his credibility as permanent boss to owner Ed Woodward, as his team orchestrated one of the best Champions League comebacks ever,
overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit to advance to the quarter finals in a match since dubbed ‘The miracle in Paris’.
Solskjaer has also improved United’s league form with the Red Devils being 13 points adrift of Champions League qualification for next season when he first took charge to only 2 points behind a top four finish now and has consequently signed a three-year deal to remain at the helm of United.
“I’m delighted for Ole. I didn’t think this would happen when he was appointed. However, the results and spirit in the club have been incredible since he arrived and he deserves it. He now needs support in the transfer market in terms of finance and the right resources!”Gary Neville – on Solskjaer’s permanent appointment.
Ole, who represented Norway 67 times over 12 years during his international career has being praised for creating a more focused and disciplined team unit and getting the best from Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, amongst others.
His team have developed the ability to counter-attack at will, drawing comparisons to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side that won 6 Premier League titles between 2007 and 2013. Ferguson won 13 league titles during his 26 year tenure, and if Solskjaer’s performances so far are anything to go by, he will be looking to put the Red Devils at the pinnacle of English football once more.
Manchester United have given the other Premier League teams a statement of intent: Ole’s at the wheel!!!