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6 Points Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer! The name’s got a certain power to it. How do you reward such an employee who has done the aforementioned things?

Sourav Ghosh
Last updated: 30.03.2019
6 Point Solskjaer | Sports Social Blog

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer! The name’s got a certain power to it, no?

In 3 short months, the baby faced assassin has done what 2 reputed managers and David Moyes couldn’t do. He has put smiles on everyone associated with the club. Players, support staff, Woodward, the owners and most importantly the fans. Yes, it’s not even been 20 games but the transformation regarding every aspect of the club is astounding. Players are happy! The football has been a joy to watch! The fans are singing his name! Goals are flowing, insurmountable challenges are being overcome and a seemingly dark season may just produce light at the end.


So, how do you reward such an employee who has done the aforementioned things? Well, you give him a goddamn promotion of course!

That is exactly what the Manchester United hierarchy did! Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was bumped up from temporary manager/caretaker to the permanent boss with a 3-year contract. While there’s no doubting the fact that this was a widely appreciated decision, there remain a few pragmatic and analytical people (like me) who were quick to point out certain, you could say, uncertainties with the appointment at this stage of the season.

Now, I will do what an analytical and calculative person does and that is arguing with myself while producing arguments both in favor and against the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager.

1. Relative Inexperience (AGAINST) -

The biggest point that any bloke with some decent football knowledge can chuck will be Solskjaer’s lack of management at the highest level. His Molde stint with 3 trophies doesn’t quite help the fact that his only stint as a Premier League manager ended in relegation for Cardiff City. He took over with the team at 16th place and they finished the season in the last place. While that seems like a long time back, it has to count for something given the much larger stature of Manchester United and the attached expectations.

2. Experience hasn’t worked previously (FOR) -

Counter to the previous point, Manchester United hasn’t exactly had much success with experienced and successful managers after 2013. Take Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. These 2 were world renowned managers before their stint at United and had a combined haul of 41 trophies in various countries such as Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany, and England. While they did win a few trophies at Manchester, the club was nowhere near the bigger trophies as rival clubs surpassed them in terms of progress and success. So, if all that experience literally bored the Old Trafford faithful to death, why not bank on someone relatively new who’s resuscitated the club.

3. There were other options (AGAINST) -

When Mourinho was sacked back in December, a lot of names were thrown around. Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane, Max Allegri, and a few others. These were floated even when Solskjaer was in his interim tenure. Pochettino might not have won a trophy but his work at Spurs has been nothing short of remarkable if you take into consideration the shoestring budget on offer. Zidane was the only unattached manager and we all know of his work at Real Madrid. Allegri has taken Juventus to new heights domestically and has also made them a force in Europe. The question is why didn’t the board wait till the end of the season to appoint any of them?

4. Solskjaer knows Manchester United better than other managers (FOR) -

Counter to my above point, none of the managers I mentioned have any past association with Manchester United whatsoever. Not Pochettino, not Allegri, not Zidane, not one (previously considered) candidate for the job knows United as a club and what it means to be associated with the red of Manchester. Spending 11 years as a player under one great manager does teach you something about the club. Add to that 4 years as reserve coach for the club and you get a through and thorough person who has experienced so much at the club that his management philosophies bear resemblance to the great Scott himself. So, if you have someone who knows the club inside out, why would you go for someone who has no roots with the club? Want an example? Rafa Benitez and Zidane at Real Madrid. We all know how that worked out.

5. Greater and tougher challenges lie ahead (AGAINST) -

Solskjaer came in to salvage a season that was threatening to go from bad to worse after each game. He was given the task of steering this ship to safety and restored the feel-good factor among everyone. He’s done that and more, which has led to him being given the nod for the permanent role. Before this appointment, there were bare minimum expectations placed on the Norwegian. He easily swept aside any challenges and proved a lot of his critics wrong by getting results from seemingly impossible situations. Now that the job is for the long term, expectations will be different and challenges will be harder. Not only he has to worry about the current season’s objectives but also face the ginormous prospect of tending to a lot more sectors such as transfers. This exactly where we feel he might falter big time if he isn’t backed well.

6. He has it in him to succeed (FOR) -

A relatively easy fixture list helped start his stint with a bang and a lot of the credit was denied to him. Then came Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea,  and PSG. If you think Solskjaer is tactically naive, watch those games again. For someone who hasn’t managed at the elite level, he sure had a lot of tricks up his sleeve. It’s no coincidence that the players just started playing well under him. He has made a lot of changes to the team since taking charge. Giving Pogba the free role he flourishes in, bringing in Herrera to add steel to the midfield, allowing Lindelof to play as an aggressive center half, integrating academy players and whatnot. These are things we didn’t praise him for. But to get a group of previously disjoint players to play beautiful football takes way more than beginners luck

Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of the work Solskjaer has put in, in the last few months but managing Manchester United isn’t exactly an easy task given the commercial structure of the club. This is a job that will test Solskjaer’s infectious positivity. His repertoire and camaraderie with the club’s bigger egos will definitely be something to keep an eye out for in case complacency creeps in. There you have it folks! I’ve made my points and their respective counter’s. Yes, I’m a bit pragmatic about this whole thing but there’s nothing I’d like more than to see United perform well under Ole and prove me wrong.

It was his dream to manage Manchester United and finally he’s there, at the Theatre of Dreams to fulfill his.

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