So, by now many of you will know that our Baby-Faced Assassin is back with a bang! Many people seem a little underwhelmed and undecided about being happy to have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm, but I’m actually rather optimistic about the whole thing. For years, fans have been crying out for a club hero who played under Fergie to take the top spot at United, granted most thought it might be Giggs, Neville or Scholes who first took the leap, but out of all them Solskjaer HAS to be the best choice.
For starters, he is the one who, once finishing his career, dived straight into coaching, becoming the reserve team coach at United. When he was done there, he moved back to his native Norway and took over Molde, leading them to back to back titles in his first season. This shows me that he has what it takes to put together a title winning team, he’s won league titles. Granted, it’s in Norway where some might say that it’s no place to prepare yourself for the Premier League, but if you ask people who focus on the Norwegian game, they’ll tell you that he plays attractive, attacking football whenever possible. This, for me, is like a Maurizio Sarri type story, he came out of nowhere to manage Napoli before moving to Chelsea and he isn’t doing a half bad job there, which shows it isn’t always the amount of experience that decides if you’ll be a good coach. All in all, he’s got a winning mentality, he likes to play attacking football and he’s definitely already got the fans onside (a win against his former club Cardiff on Saturday would help even more). In addition to this, and I may be pulling at straws a little here, but he does have Premier League managerial experience. It was only about 8 months or so at Cardiff, but now he knows what to expect and he went back to Norway to graft his teeth a little more and wait for his opportunity.
He seems like he’s a chilled person and his backroom staff will help him with that. Mike Phelan has somehow come out of the blue to come roaring back to help, how did that news get so buried under everything? I love Big Mike and I’m happy to see the man back as assistant, as he was our assistant when we couldn’t stop winning, so he too knows his way around. Michael Carrick has also stayed as an assistant, who I originally thought might be a good choice to take over, of course I was forgetting Solskjaer at the time and that was published sort of in the flurry of everything. Being a defensive midfielder, Carrick has to have a cool head on his shoulders, and it’s also good to see him stay and learn his craft from watching others go before him. The fact that he didn’t leave when he was passed shows his patience and willingness to wait for his opportunity, this all smells like the old Liverpool Boot Room coaching structure that was once so lauded.
Overall, the structure is there for us to succeed, we have a coach who likes to play attacking football, and for anyone who thinks he might be a bit too nice to handle it, have you seen the clip of him shouting at his Molde players? He could most definitely work with Romelu Lukaku to see if he can get him back and scoring, his technique (which has been admittedly god awful this season) could see a real upturn from someone like Solskjaer, who was so deadly in his day. He was so deadly in fact, that when I got the Treble season on VHS as a birthday present, the commentator screamed “SOLSKJAERRRRRRR” so loud that my Dad took it back to the shop because he thought there was a problem with. There wasn’t. It was the man we’re now calling Gaffer, who makes us happy when skies are grey, he was taken away, but has come back and I couldn’t be happier to see him.