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21st January 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Replaces Jose; Is Pochettino the Long-Term Aim? 

By a press release (18/12/18)  

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the baby-face assassin, has been tasked with aim of reuniting Manchester United after being appointed interim manager.


Ed Woodward sought a populist appointment after sacking Jose Mourinho on Tuesday - believing 1999 Treble hero Solskjaer would put ‘smiles back on faces’ at Old Trafford.

United believe that is equally necessary within the dressing room as on the terraces after Mourinho’s relationship with members of his squad turned toxic.

Solskjaer will be joined by Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant Mike Phelan. Woodward said: "Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles.

"His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back. We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season."

Solskjaer added: "Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club."

United wasted little time in ensuring Solskjaer would be in place for Saturday’s trip to Cardiff - the club he used to manage. The Norwegian is the first part of Woodward’s three-pronged search for the men to bring United into the modern age.

The sacking of Mourinho has paved the way for a dramatic restructure of the club that will include a permanent managerial appointment at the end of the season, as well as a director of football.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is Woodward’s long-term favourite to transform United - and he will feature heavily in a ‘thorough and extensive process’ to find the ideal successor to Mourinho.

But it was also felt that a high calibre caretaker was needed to salvage what has been a turbulent campaign. United insiders say Solskjaer ‘ticks all the boxes’ to fill the seat until a permanent appointment is in place. Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna will remain part of his coaching staff. (Photo: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer).

With the club through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and still capable securing a top four finish, the Molde manager will not simply be charged with steadying the ship, but also lifting the atmosphere inside the club.

Should the Treble-winning hero oversee a resurgence in the second half of the season, he could leave Woodward with a difficult decision to make – particularly given his enduring popularity with supporters.

At the very least, it would be an opportunity to push himself into the reckoning along with a stellar cast of candidates, which also include Max Allegri, Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone.

In a statement United added: "Solskjaer will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new full time manager."

Solskjaer scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007. He became the reserve team manager in 2008 before taking over at Molde. Molde confirm Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will return in May after Man Utd stint. Molde have confirmed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will resume his management responsibilities at the club following his stint in charge of Manchester United.

The Norwegian season runs from March to November, meaning that Molde will be without Solskjaer for the first three months of the new campaign. But despite this, Molde are happy to ‘lend’ United their manager.

Chief executive Oystein Neerland confirmed the move in a statement on the club’s official website. "That Manchester United ask Molde FK to lend the manager is by itself an event, and not least a statement of trust for both Ole Gunnar and Molde FK," Neerland said.

"We are happy to lend Ole Gunnar, we wish both him and the club a success. This is a big opportunity for Molde FK, we think it will be developing and helping to put Molde FK further on the football card."

Solskjaer also backed his Molde first-team coach Erling Moe to hold the fort while he was gone, and thanked his employers for allowing him to take up the opportunity at Old Trafford.

"In football you never know what can happen. We get proof time after time. This is an opportunity I had to take. I am looking forward to leading Manchester United until the summer. At the same time, I will follow closely what is happening here at home," Ole noted.

Courtesy: London Standard newspaper

TRIBUTE: Alpha Shaw

Journalist, Student Activist, Leader, 1958-1980

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