Man United appoints Ole Gunnar as Permanent Manager for 3 years

Written By: BBC/Hunja Macharia
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Manchester United has appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager on a three-year contract 3 months after he was appointed interim Manager.

The Norwegian, 46, arrived at Old Trafford on an interim basis in December to replace Jose Mourinho.

Solskjaer spent 11 seasons as a United player, scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.

“This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long term,” Solskjaer said.

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“From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club. It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here.

“The last few months have been a fantastic experience.”

When Solskjaer took charge, United were sixth in the Premier League and 11 points off the top four.

But they have lost only once in 13 league games since – at Arsenal this month – and are now two points behind the London club, who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.

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Solskjaer is the first United manager to win his first six league games, beating a record held by Sir Matt Busby.

United reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2014, after they overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit thanks to a stoppage-time penalty at Paris St-Germain this month.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said Solskjaer’s appointment was “richly deserved”.

“Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves,” he 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.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskaer has a 73.7% win rate in all competitions as United manager

The Solskjaer effect

Solskjaer is United’s fourth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Ferguson led the club to their 20th top-flight title and David Moyes was earmarked as the Scot’s long-term successor. He was awarded a six-year contract but was sacked in his first season.

Former Netherlands and Barcelona boss Louis van Gaal left after two seasons in charge despite winning the FA Cup in his final game.

Mourinho delivered League Cup and Europa League success in his first season, and a Premier League runners-up spot in his second.

This season, United’s points tally was closer to the bottom of the league than the top, when Solskjaer – who started his coaching career as reserve team boss at Old Trafford – returned.

The team had scored only 29 goals in their opening 17 Premier League fixtures under Mourinho while also conceding 29, with many fans critical of the Portuguese’s style of football.

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A thumping 5-1 victory in Solskjaer’s first match at Cardiff – where he was relegated from the Premier League during an eight-month spell as manager in 2014 – immediately raised morale.

That was swiftly followed by victories at Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea with a return to a more attacking style of play.

What about Molde?

Molde’s 2018 season had finished when their manager Solskjaer moved back to Manchester on a temporary deal.

However, that story has since been removed from the club’s website.

Asked about his contractual situation in March, Solskjaer said his deal with Molde had expired.

He had been in his second spell at Molde after rejoining a year after he was sacked by Cardiff.

In his first spell, Solskjaer led the club to their first Norwegian title in 2011, going on to retain the trophy in the following season.

 

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