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Congratulations Ole Gunnar Solskjaer!

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won the Norwegian league title in his first year of management at the club he used to play for. Molde FK are a 100 year old Norwegian club that most of you probably hadn’t heard of until they sold us a 23-year-old Solskjaer in 1996. He had scored 31 goals in 38 games and had attracted interest from a few clubs across Europe. Åge Hareide was the manager at the time and offered the Norwegian striker to his former club, Manchester City, as well as Everton, for £1.2m. They both failed to take a punt on him.

United put in a bid of £1.5m during Euro 96, a record transfer fee for a Norwegian club at the time, which was duly accepted. Solskjaer was a Manchester United player. He went on to play 366 games for us, scoring 126 goals, winning six league titles, 2 FA Cups and most notably, scoring the winning goal in the 1999 European Cup final.

Upon retiring, Solskjaer was put in charge of the United Reserves. In the two and a half years he spent in post he saw our lads crowned champions of England, champions of the northern league, as well as winning the Manchester and Lancashire Senior Cups. It was during this stint that he was offered the job of managing the Norwegian national team, replacing his former Molde boss, Hareide, which he turned down to stay at United.

When an offer came in to return to Molde, Solskjaer couldn’t resist and no United fan could begrudge him taking up that opportunity, as much as we wanted him to stay.

Before tonight, Molde had never won the Tippeligaen and last season finished 11th out of 16, some 28 points behind champions Rosenburg. Solskjaer has transformed the club, taking them 8 points clear of any other club tonight to win the league with two games to go.

Molde drew with 2-2 with Strømsgodset this evening, with former United player Magnus Wolff Eikrem scoring one of the goals. Eikrem, who was born in Molde and attended Solskjaer’s soccer schools as a boy, has had a great first season with Norwegian club and helped significantly in their title push. To stop Molde winning the title today, Rosenborg had to beat Brann, but after going 3-0 down after 19 minutes, this was never likely. They lost 6-3, confirming Molde as champions.

This of course will lead to people calling Solskjaer back to United, or at least to clubs in the Premiership, but I’d like to think he would be more sensible than that. He is only 38-years-old and should be in no rush to take on a massive job before he is ready. Not only champions, Molde now have the opportunity to play in the Champions League, joining the competition at the second qualifying round next season. How incredible would it be for him to take this small Norwegian club, who have played such an important role in his career, to the ultimate competition. It would be a dream for him to return to United one day but it would be better for us  just to celebrate his current success and see what the future brings.

A massive congratulations to Ole, Eikrem, former United coaches Mark Dempsey and Richard Hartis, and the team.

And Solksjaer has won it!

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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142 Comments

  1. Z says:

    I Agree.

    Solskjær should focus on getting som CL games under the belt and valuable experience, hopefully get to the knock out stages a cuple of times. Just so he knows what to expect when he manages United in 5-10 years time.

    I hope we draw them next year, prob. the only time Stretford could be okay with a defeat.

  2. parryheid says:

    Slim I don’t there’s others who will do that and will use the boss’s experience on the way to becoming manager at United it wasn’t as simple as it may appear.Lot of graft went into that.

  3. James21 says:

    Got to say well done Ole.
    Maybe One for the future Maybe not. Still think we have SAF for quite a few years yet and we need him to put this so called Blue moon rising back into the shaddows where it belongs along with its Vile fans.

    Whoever manages Utd in the future be it Solskjaer, Moyes, Mourhinio or Pep Guardiola then I certainly don’t envy them.

  4. geniusmain says:

    Hello fellow reds.

    never made a comment before but i have been regular reader thru the good and bad times and i also respect everybody’s opinion on here. i have never actually written anything before because most of the time my fellow reds share a similar opinion to mine and they actually put it better than i would.

    reading this historic achievement of our very own legend Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has compelled me to write for the first time. this is an absolutely fantastic achievement by the baby face assassin considering Molde were 11th from 16 only last season and to win their 1st ever norwegian top flight championship the next is what dreams are made of….i think Ole has got the midas touch and if givin the opportunity at the helm of our beloved club in a few yrs time, he will produce wonder like he is already doin at Molde.

    CONGRATULATIONS 20 LEGEND!!!

  5. CedarsDevil says:

    By royal decree Manchester City have been given a choice of two new names…. Any football club with the word Manchester can only be used for United as per the new law…

    Choices are

    Stockport Fucks

    Bitter Fucks

    City board are in an urgent meeting to decide

  6. CedarsDevil says:

    Papii

    Well corrected! hahahaha

  7. WillieRedNut says:

    Cedars – City are bringing out their new fragrance range. It’s called, shadow. As in, always in United’s shadow. ;)

  8. CedarsDevil says:

    Willie – Keep the bastards in the gutters, never mind our shadows…… Fucking useless pieces of shit

  9. t4m says:

    Champions,Champions ole ole ole!!!!!!!

  10. CedarsDevil says:

    Will mention this for the first time…. I think Van Persie is a top notch player….

    Hahahaha

    Sorry fellas, if I annoy you just ignore me, drugged to my teeth here

  11. slim says:

    Red Neck

    Yeah that was the intention, thanks for being kind though, the funny’s not my forte. Tony bee now thats one hilarious red.

    Cedars
    Come on mate. lol. I’m not funny, must be those injections, sigh, feel so jealous but chuffed you don’t have the Nubian princess dotting over you anymore, them Nigerian girls have got a whole lot of junk in the trunk. Truly onion booties – an ass that could make a grown man cry

  12. slim says:

    sorry meant pills you’re taking

  13. WillieRedNut says:

    You’re a funny guy slim. Not clown funny….but funny anyhow.

  14. CedarsDevil says:

    slim

    And you think you are not funny? Fuck this shit, I almost pissed my pants reading your post…

    Onion booties? hahahahaha

    Good night my lovelies…. Keep it red and keep it fun my friends and remember the best 2 words in the English dictionary are cunt and fuck….. Use them often buddies

  15. Fred says:

    geniusmain – nice first comment! Welcome aboard! :)

  16. slim says:

    WillieRedNut & Cedars

    Thanks guys, i do try. cunt and fuck lol

  17. slim says:

    Stevie me looks to be out for a spell, got his leg in a protective cast. haha. Robbo incarnation my foot. get it foot, leg. aww fuck it.

  18. Clint-iamyourpapii says:

    The future staff of United:

    Ole – Manager
    Neville – Asisstant
    Scholes – Assistant Manager (Coach)
    Ben Foster – Goalkeeper Coach
    Hargeaves – Fitness trainer
    Rio – Gym trainer
    Beckham & Giggs – Ambassadors
    Anderson – Kitman
    Gibson – Reserve team Manager ———————-24 & still playing reserve football :lol:
    Nicky Butt – Doctor —————————————— With a Phd in Butts :lol:

  19. Magchester says:

    I’m a Norwegian Man Utd fan! Sorry, can’t but help to see Norwegians here going on about how big an achievement this is. OGS has the potensial to become a good manager, no doubt! BUT, you can’t base that on Molde FK winning the Norwegian league.. The Norwegian league is really crap, Molde nor Rosenborg would be nothing else than a mid table Championship team, in a good season! And if you take into consideration that OGS before this season got, in Norwegian football, big funds to buy players for, I really don’t think it’s all that great! Molde is Man Shitty light in Norway.. He didn’t start from scratch like SAF, he has done it with alot off money.. OGS bought alot off players and made the team OK. Personally I think he would be better off coaching a team in a bigger league. He needs a lot more years on his back and in much bigger clubs before you can even mention him as manager off MUFC! Maybe he can move when he has made Molde FK more consistent, but that’s many years from now..

    I love Manchester United AND 20legend, but please keep him away from the big seat for years to come.
    good night

  20. mattos says:

    what a lord

  21. denton davey says:

    Cedars @ 22:47: “Exactly! For fucks sake, Sir Alex came from Aberdeen! Did wonders with them just as Ole is doing with Molde. It took our boss a few years to get going but look at the eventual outcome….”

    EXACTLY ! and, it’s not like SAF’s successor is going to come into a club with a “bare cupboard”.

    Over the past five years, UTD have added Anderson, Nani, Smalling, Chicharito, DannyTheLad, YoungTom, Phil Jones, Rafael, Fabio, and David De Gea. Not every one of these guys is going to be an automatic first-choice player but it sure looks like most of them will be “UTD quality”. Add to that mix, Pogba and Tunnicliffe, and Morrison, and a few others and you have a young core to go along with TheWayneBoy, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Darren Fletcherinho – all of whom will still be thirty or under in five years time.

    OGS has had success in coaching and managing; it will be interesting to see if he moves on from Molde or whether he will consolidate his success there. If I were advising him – and fortunately for him, he also doesn’t return my calls – I’d tell him to stay on and build a legacy in Norway while getting experience of the Champions League. More to the point, I’d tell him to spurn any calls from the Blackburns or Boltons or Aston Villas. This guy can rocket to the top – going to the second tier might compromise his ascent.

  22. Cyril Sneer says:

    Cos when it’s pouring, you just keep scoring.

    Congratulations Ole Gunnar.

    I don’t think he will leave Molde just yet. There’s no way he can let someone else take them into the Champions League after doing the work to get them there. Besides, why should he miss out on the experience of managing at that level just to go to some shite make-weight club in the Prem with no hope of European football?

  23. dannysoya says:

    BIG BIG CONGRATS OLE!!! STILL LOVE YA and hopefully you return to United one day. Good luck to your team in the champions lge qualifying let’s hope you make it all the way to the group stages. I just read one article in the mirror where A city “legend” Lied about the fans singing blue moon after they beat us 4-0 in 1974. Blue moon was not adopted as a song by their fans for another 20 yrs. HAHAHAHAHA shitty lying cunts haha. Trying to create history where there is none haha.

  24. geniusmain says:

    @fred

    thanks very much. i feel honored.

  25. manlian says:

    We should bring him back now as our assistant manager and designated successor to Fergie. Do it for 2 years and then Fergie can retire and we have a crafted successor! We should not such talent be tempted away by our rivals!

  26. aenemy7 says:

    Ole is our version of Pep Guardiola, once a great player and turn out to be a great manager as well….

  27. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    I knew I’d be greeted with this post! Yeah! Congrats to our baby faced assassin, here’s a toast to him in hope that he’ll be joining the United family soon!:)

  28. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    @clint

    Foster?! VDS you mean.

  29. wiuru says:

    Great one Ole . You carry a great weight of expectation for the future . But , there are few who can follow in the The path trod by great men at our club .

  30. manchuchu says:

    This is a Disney sports movie just begging to be made.

    Fergie has to put this good old boy right up there on his list of successors.

  31. sandeep1878 says:

    Congratulations to OLE,

    hoping to see him in Europe..

    and,

    Happy birthday DENIS IRWIN

  32. nani4ever says:

    All so a huge thanks and congratulations goes out to Magnus Wolfe Eikrem, a former brilliant which we never gave a chance while playing Darren Gibson a decision I’ll never understand

  33. nani4ever says:

    A former brilliant youth player

  34. giggs12gerrard0 says:

    @all

    Lets not get excited about Ole becomeing manager we have done that with Hughes, Keano, Bruce etc and look at how that has turned out.

    Monstrous acheivement for Ole and couldnt be happier for an ex red of his calibre and he needs a good 10 years learning his trade before we can even begin talking about potential United gaffer.

  35. CedarsDevil says:

    giggs12gerrard0

    Hi buddy, hope you are well….. Personally I never thought of Hughes, Keano or Bruce for the United job, not at any stage, just never felt right to me. With Ole its different, might just be my gut feeling but I just know he is the man

  36. giggs12gerrard0 says:

    @Cedars

    Mate I agree and I have a lot of love for Ole but I also had the same for Keano and what he did with Sunderland in the championship was remarkable but with Keano he is a ticking time bomb. Hughes was amazing at Wales But obviously lost it by going to City.

  37. Alom says:

    Congrats Ole..

    What a legend!!!

    Would love to see him at United in the future!!!

  38. Paul Parker says:

    Said it before he went to Molde and I’ll say it again, I’d be very happy to see Ole take over the reigns at Old Trafford one day. Theres no rush to that transition, but its the logical next step. Pep played for his club, managed the reserves, and inherited a brilliant first team complete with Xavi, Iniesta and Messi. Suddenly this man is god apparently.

    But what about Ole? For starters he’s still a a legend at our Club, not just an ex player. Also, he’s managed our reserves to victory, and now he’s managed his local side to victory in his own country. He’s shrewd, likeable, clearly talented, and he breathes Manchester United. Ole has to be the number one contender, one day in the hopefully distant future.

    So until then, well done mate!!

  39. StatesideAussie says:

    I think OGS needs more experience. I would love for him to get that and be ready to take over when Sir Alex is done.

    But if a decision had to be made today (or at the end of this season, say), I don’t think he would get the nod. My personal choice, in the short term, would be Pep G but I think the club’s choice would be Maureen. Why? Because I believe they will view him as the least risky appointment, in terms of our continued success. I am not saying they’re right (although the Virus are putting out some good vibes this season, and playing some seriously hot football), but that’s what I think they would do if they had to make that call now.

    It’s impossible to predict what they would decide several years from now, though. It may be affected by a number of things, including our ownership structure at the time. Under the current regime, I suspect that Sir Bobby and Sir Alex would have considerable influence. As a public company, with an independent board of directors elected by “shareholders” (the major ones probably being large institutional investors), it could get messy.

    In the meantime, OGS just needs to keep on doing what he’s doing. He just needs to focus on proving himself and having incredible fun, since neither he nor anyone else can predict the timing of all this.

  40. StatesideAussie says:

    Paul Parker … I would say Guardiola inherited a very good team — but then made them better. He certainly didn’t “build” the team, and certainly didn’t need to. He made some early decisions to push a few established players out the door and that took guts, but he has been proved right. On the other hand, his record in the transfer market has been mixed. That Ibra thing was a disaster, but several other of his signings have also been moved on after only a year, including Hleb (who was loaned out after the first year, and then sold). But Alves, Keita, Pique and Villa were all Guardiola purchases that worked out. Overall, though, he has won 12 titles in 3 seasons (making him already Barcelono’s most successful coach ever) and it’s hard to argue with that. Even if we agree that the team was destined for greatness when he inherited it, it is still true that (a) they hadn’t yet achieved it, and (b) he certainly hasn’t fucked it up. On the other hand, if Sir Alex is able to complete the current transition to a younger squad before he steps aside, there won’t be much immediate rebuilding to do at OT either.

  41. antn1.b says:

    well done ole. now come and sort Portsmouth out for us! be a great stepping stone for your future at old Trafford!

  42. mckendrick says:

    OLE, LEGEND, LEGEND, LEGEND, LEGEND.

    Brilliant job at Molde, Ole…. and keep it up – it’s perfect practice for your return to Old Trafford in a few years time.

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