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Ole: Chat With Charlton About Busby Taught Me United Lesson

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored that goal against Bayern Munich, you probably felt you loved him as much as you could love any other man without actually being gay. That was the best moment of my life and Solskjaer gave it to us.

However, since then he’s given us more reasons to love him: his strength and determination when coming back from what might have been a career-ending injury for another player, his connection with the fans which saw him become the only player to openly support MUST in our battle against the Glazers, and his willingness to continue on with the club developing stars for the future in the academy.

Following United’s 1-0 defeat to Motherwell, which was played to mark Sir Matt Busby’s 100th birthday, Ole gave an interview which might make you love him that little bit more.

“Not long after I came to the club from Norway, I had a long chat with Sir Bobby Charlton,” recalled Solskjaer. “Sir Matt had passed away by then but I always remember Sir Bobby telling me about a lesson that had been passed down from him. He basically used to remind his players before every game that the people coming to watch them worked hard for a living all week. When they came to the football on a Saturday they wanted to be entertained. That is a fantastic lesson for any young player to be taught because it is the basis on which all football should be played. They are the traditions every club should want to follow.”

Solskjaer was pleased with the match despite the result because he believed it was a good opportunity for our youngsters to learn more about the club’s history.

“It is great for us to be here and commemorate Sir Matt Busby’s birthday and help raise money for the scholarship,” he added. “It is a really good occasion for United’s young boys to learn more of the history. This is what something like this is about. It is very important for me working with these young lads and it is important for the club itself to have the heritage it has. For all of us connected with the reserves and the academy it is vital to have that rich history of the club bringing young lads through. We can say to these lads and show the facts that they will get a chance at United. And Sir Matt is where it all started back in the 50s. That is where the roots were put down.”

Solskjaer is also pleased because it meant his boys were given a real test in playing against men, rather than other Reserve teams.

“This has been a good experience for all the young boys,” he continued. “Football experience wise it is also very good. We’ve played young teams so far in the league but this was a chance to play against men. These lads have been ready to play against men. It is important to test them against a higher level. You go back to Sir Matt giving the Babes their chance against men in the old First Division and he found out how good they are.”

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.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. myanlee says:

    Ole: one hell of a legend.

    Everytime I watch that goal from 1999, I still get the shivers up my spine. Amazing.

  2. aig alex is god says:

    good morning all.

    same here.i too started following United in 2001 after reading the history of the club.It was arsenal and not United who were doing well back then.but the history of United had something special that attracts you towards the club.

  3. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    its not just a cute smart way to sell t-shirts
    its by far the truth
    and with a 10word headline with 3 of those been ole charlton and busby
    you must know scott your gonna get a lot of comments that say legend
    I would love ole to leave the reserves to manage a first team anywhere to get to grips with a full side and then he would replace sir alex

  4. Callum says:

    Ole is probably the only United legend I would consider having as manager. Remember what Fergie said, he came off the bench and changed games because he was intelligent and could read the game so well from the bench.

    Either him or Eric because of that interview where he vowed to return one day and ‘play football how it should be played.’ I doubt it’d be successful, but it’d probably be a hell of a show.

  5. Stephen says:

    As much as I love Ole it is certainly still a little premature to be saying he should scucceed SAF.
    I will be really odd not having Fergie at the helm but a manager with experience (Not Mourinho) is I think a must which surely must be something David Gill must start to have the think about becuase if we win the league this year and “knock Liverpool off their fucking perch” I can see Fergie callingg it a day.

  6. Callum says:

    Success is a terrifying prospect at the moment indeed. If we win the Champions League again, i’m sure Fergie will decide to hang up his Wrigley’s.

  7. maci says:


  8. CURTIS says:

    mourinho and ole as his assistant… for a few years when SAF retires
    they will bring us loads of success while grooming ole to eventually take over and reign for 20+years

  9. parthshah312 says:

    @Curtis, I disagree with you completely. Mourinho’s teams play anything but entertaining football. Doesnt matter if it wins trophies, but his style of play is everything Man Utd stand against. Free flowing, fast, attacking football is not Mourinho’s cup of tea. And Ole as his assistant would only create problems between the pair. Completely different idealogies. It will be the clash of the titans, and the real loser would be the team. So, no Mourinho.

  10. Stephen says:

    Also Mourinho never promotes youth and is utterley classless.

  11. King Eric says:

    Cannot speak highly enough about 20LEGEND. Love the man in a non homosexual way. Even love his “Manc” accent. Really wish SAF would have given him the number 2 job but he will however learn alot from managing the reserves. Would one day LOVE to see him manage United as I reckon he will have what it takes. A top top bloke and not too bad a player either!

    Was a bit shocked to hear only 200 United fans turned up for the great man, although I put this down to being up in Scotland. Why didn’t they hold the match in Manchester?

  12. willierednut says:

    And solskjaer has won it! ill never forget those words, proper united legend.

  13. venu says:

    Ole, Ole Ole Ole!!! Definitely our future!!!

  14. andsolskjærhaswonit... says:

    I love my Username… :)

  15. denton davey says:

    I think that he is being groomed to succeed TheGreatMan. I know that JoseTheMoaner would love to get the job but he has a lot of baggage – and an incredibly high pay package, too. Ole, on the other hand, is gaining experience and is being brought through the ranks. Whoever succeeds SAF has a tremendous challenge – and there will be lots of ABUs looking to knock him off his golden perch !

    Very rarely, does a “succession” work in managerial ranks. Look at the shambles that occurred when Sir Matt Busby retired and UTD went to-hell-in-a-hand-basket. Plus, it’s very, very, very hard for the old guv’nor not to look over his successor’s shoulder. To succeed, the new guy has to be his own man – and be very, very lucky. Behind his gentle (and gentlemanly) exterior, one suspects that O-GS has a steely determination and a ferocious will to succeed. And, he has always been very, very lucky.

    “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough” !

  16. andre_k says:

    i just love this guy! moscow was nothing compared to 99 for me… my daughter was born at midnight before the moscow game, so my mind wasnt 100% on the game, couldnt cheer loud cause she was next to me etc… solskjaer, however, gave me the best feeling i have ever had other than at 11:59pm 20th may 08!

  17. bigphil2003 says:

    Id be very surprised if another champions league victory would cause SAF to retire- one behind liverpool? I cant see it!

  18. cantona7 says:

    erm my tears really did drop that day.. there was no feeling when i saw the ball went in, but as i came to my senses, tears have already dropped. i think it was wonderful.

    it was his spirit. Ole was the spirit of Manchester United.

  19. 20legend99 says:

    “When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored that goal against Bayern Munich, you probably felt you loved him as much as you could love any other man without actually being gay.”

    I feel exactly the same way Scott, hence my name lol.

    I will never forget that day as long as I live, and even still when I watch the highlights on Youtube I get shivers. Same thing with the 1999 semi-final replay. What a fantastic year for United. I think I’m tearing up a bit.

  20. Mic says:

    That’s it, i’m going gay for him! Love him too much! x

  21. Sketch says:

    Ole is a legend. He is my favourite player of all time :D . I would rather have him as manager than that cunt Mourinho.

  22. Giles Oakley says:

    Did anyone notice that at the 100th birthday event for Sir Matt at Motherwell his son Sandy spoke eloquently about his father and how proud he would have been to see the football scholarship set up in his name? The odd thing is that Sandy made a surprising mistake about his Dad, saying that Matt’s father Alexander (i.e. Sandy’s grandfather, obviously) was killed at the Battle of the Somme when Matt was a child. Actually Alexander was killed by a sniper at Arras, in 1916, when Matt was 7. It’s as if the whole of WWI has become fixed in everyone’s mind as consisting entirely of the Somme, Ypres and maybe Passchendaele. It was also at Arras that the great Sandy Turnbull, scorer of the only goal when United won the FA Cup for the first time in 1909, was killed, in 1917. I don’t suppose Ole had any of this in mind when he put the ball in the Germans’ net.

  23. 20legend says:

    you are my solskjaer, my ole solskjaer
    you make me happy, when skies are grey
    oh alan shearer, was fucking dearer
    but please dont take, my solskjaer away

    who put the ball in the germans net?
    who put the ball in the germans net?
    who put the ball in the germans net?

  24. 20legend says:

    And just for fun cause I can’t chant the previous one without following it up with this…..

    Who put the ball in the scousers net?
    Who put the ball in the scousers net?
    Who put the ball in the scousers net?
    Jerzy, Jerzy Dudek!!


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