Former Manchester United star player has been hired as interim coach for the club following the sacking of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday, December 18, 2018. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been made the Interim manager of Manchester United and after just eight (8) games in charge he has led the players to a 100% win, and the latest victory came in a match against Arsenal in the FA Cup tournament.
Hired to replace the ‘Special One’
It seems as if luck had run out for Jose Mourinho (aka the ‘Special One’) at Old Trafford and has club manager as he was sacked just 48 hours after he led the Red Devils to 3:1 defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool. The sacking did not really come as a surprise to many as many fans were expecting it. The questions millions of fans were asking is “When will he be sacked?” Many United fans wanted him to go whereas others wanted him to stay until the end of the season with the belief that he can turn things around and allow Manchester United to finish in a qualifying position for the 2019/2020 Champions’ League.
With the danger of not qualifying for this prestigious and elite competition, the Manchester United fans (myself included), players and owners (I think) began to worry about what position the club will finish the 2018/2019 English Premier League (EPL) season in. Also, they began to wonder if we will ever do well enough to make it out of the Group Stages of the Champions League, but thank God, Man United did!
However, due to the club experiencing its worst start of the EPL due to the heavy losses and unwanted draws, and bad player-manager relationship, according to the media, the board of the club had to make a decision regarding the job of the manager. So, Jose Mourinho was sacked and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former Manchester United player, was given the job as Interim Manager for the club until the end of the season. The special one was no longer doing anything special for the players to perform at their ‘best’ and was no longer making his players feel special either. Despite his major accomplishment as the only United Manager up to this date to win the Europa Cup, and guiding the club to finishing 19 points for second in the EPL behind Manchester City, Jose was on his way out because of this bad start.
There were a number of fans calling for Jose Mourinho’s sacking even from the previous season, due to the club’s failure to close the wide gap between first and second in the EPL, dropping out of the Champions League in the second round to Sevilla, which is a club of a lower calibre than Manchester United, and especially his relationships with players such as Paul Pogba.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to the rescue
Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was announced as interim manager for the club on Wednesday morning. The former Manchester United legend who scored the winning goal for Manchester United against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final has been coaching since 2008 took up his temporary post as United’s manager, arriving from his Norwegian club ‘Molde’ of which he was the manager. When Solskjaer took up the job as interim manager, Manchester United was an awful 11 points behind the top four in the EPL, which is the club’s worst start in 28 years of the Premier League.
But, as soon as Solskjaer took up the mantle, things started to turn around as Manchester United no longer was losing but winning. The Manchester United players got their first victory under their new manager when they thrashed Cardiff City at Cardiff 5-1. In this match, Jesse Lingard scored twice. (Cardiff City was Solskjaer’s first EPL club that he managed.)
Many persons, were excited by this win, whereas others were saying it’s just one match- David Moyes won his first match versus Swansea 4-1 as United’s manager. So, persons were saying “just wait and see”. And wait they did and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have not disappointed thus far as the club managed two from two, three from three, four from four, and then five from five. Many persons were saying that those wins were matched that should have been won by United and that the United players could have won under Mourinho but maybe with some struggle.
There were some critics saying that the match between Manchester United and Tottenham will have to be used to see how well the players are doing under Solskjaer because Tottenham is a really big team and is in fine form right now. But after playing against Tottenham, the Man United players (the Red Devils) emerge with a 1-0 victory. This was a very big victory for United, and, in my opinion, it shows the rest of the EPL teams of this season that the club has returned to a very good form. But, I do expect that form to improve as time goes by and we play more matches.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kept a perfect record
Following the victory against Tottenham Hot Spurs, Solskjaer’s Manchester United have registered eight consecutive wins in all competitions for the first time since January 2017. This is something to be very happy about and I sure do hope that the consecutive wins will continue for a good while and I would be very happy that this trend continues even up to the end of the season. Providing that this win streak continues, United will be in contention for a possible EPL title hold or more realistically, in the top three because Manchester United has 15 EPL matches left to play and if they win all their matches they will end up on 89 points (they are currently on 44 points after 23 matches). The consecutive EPL wins have reduced the deficit between Man United (6th) and the top four to three (3) points, which is very good.
I am sure that Ole will want this winning streak to continue so that he can overtake Arsenal (5th place) and then overtake Chelsea (4th) as well. But I do know that Chelsea and Arsenal will have to be drawing some of their matches and losing some, which would make it an easier for United to join the top three providing that they keep on winning. Right now, I have no doubts about Ole being Manchester United’s manager because I believe the players are now motivated, inspired, revitalized and their locker room experience may just be fired up as they feel that boost of confidence to play very well for the club.
Should Ed Woodward give Ole the permanent position?
Only time will tell if he will. Also, depending on what is on the board’s mind, which is headed by Ed Woodward, then they may give Ole the permanent job or just extend his contract with them to see how well he will do in the 2019/2020 season.
There are talks that the biggest target or the favourite man for the United manager boss is Tottenham’s current manager Mauricio Pochettino. I was also thinking about Zinedine Zidane as the possible replacement for Jose Mourinho. There have been talks (rumours) in the summer of last year that Zidane may be ‘eyeing’ the job of Manchester United manager. The Red Devils want to ensure that at the end of the season, they do not end up trophy-less or in a bad position, such as not qualifying for the Champions League or even worst-case scenario not qualifying for the Europa Cup tournament either.
Right now, as it all stands, United are doing well as they have recorded 8 wins from 8 matches and these statistics have sparked a lot of conversations in the sports industry, especially the EPL as Manchester United fans, especially are discussing who should be given the job as permanent manager. Some are suggesting that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be the manager, while others are saying that Man United should go after Pochettino since he has ‘more experience’ with a big club and he is doing well.
Solskjaer can become permanent manager
Based on how I see things in terms of the matches that United have won, I do think that Ed Woodward should already be considering hiring Solskjaer permanently, and get himself more liked by the United fans. Solskjaer has made these players play better, have more confidence in themselves, and, are putting back joy into the hearts of United fans worldwide.
What do you think about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? Do you think Ed Woodward would consider giving Solskjaer a chance?
You can answer this question or leave your comments. Please let me know what you think.