After months of speculation Manchester United have today annouced they have signed interim coach Ole Gunner Solskjaer on a permanent three year deal.
The Norwegian who spent 11 seasons at Old Trafford has a player, which included scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final only arrived back at the club last December following the Sacking of Jose Mourinho.
At the time he was coaching Norwegian side Molde, who were on their mid season break and took over a United side that were in sixth place and 11 points off the top four. Since then his tenure has been remarkable as he took the club on an unbeaten streak with saw them lose only one of their last 13 games against Arsenal last month. That form has seen them bridge the gap and they are now sitting in fifth place only two points behind the Gunners in that all important fourth Champions League qualifying spot.
During that amazing run of form, he also became the first Manchester United manager to win his first six games in charge, beating the previous record held by Sir Matt Busby.
His Achievements don’t end their as he has guided the side into the quarter finals of this year’s Champions league since 2014. On the way he saw his United side take another first as they overcame a 2-0 first leg home deficit to beat PSG in stoppage time to qualify for the last eight were, they will meet favourites Barcelona.
Speaking about the decision to keep Solskjaer at Old Trafford, Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward described the appointment as “richly deserved” before continuing to say;
“Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves,”
he then added.
“More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club. This all means that he is the right person to take Manchester United forward.”
Although the news comes as a bonus to many United fans the timing in itself could have been better thought out as it comes of the back of two defeats one of them in the F.A. Cup where they crashed out in the quarter finals to Premier League new comers Wolverhampton. Has the bubble burst? Can Solskjaer get his side back on track and finish the job he started in December?
Another key question is will Solskjaer have the same pulling power in the transfer market as the likes of Mourinho and Van Gaal and finally what has happened to the decision to bring in a technical director an idea the club were pushing in the immediate aftermath of Mourinho’s sacking?
All questions that only time will answer, but for the here and now the club is in a lot better place than it was 4 months ago.
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