Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stands on the brink of managerial success. Having returned to manage in his native Norway, he is close to bringing the domestic championship to Molde FK for the first time. Given his immediate success in the game, and his previous stint at Manchester United, is he the man to eventually replace Sir Alex Ferguson?
After his playing days ended, Solskjaer spent his time cutting his teeth by coaching at Manchester United. He learnt a hell of a lot from his time spent under Sir Alex, and he has the foundations in place for a successful managerial career, like many of his Manchester United peers. He ended his 14 year stint at the club by heading back to his homeland to challenge himself further and test out his managerial skills.
He has taken Molde FK-the club which was a spring-board for his career as a promising youth-to the brink of the Norwegian league title for the first time in the clubs history. He has made a promising start to his managerial career, and has gone about it as his own man. He is learning his trade out of the harsh English spotlight, which is vital as young managers never seem to get a fair shot in this country, as they often succumb to the knee-jerk reactions of chairmen and the media.
Solskjaer is clearly suited to management, something not lost on Fergie, who suggested Solskjaer was the best watcher of the game he had ever seen. He always studied the game intently from the sidelines, a fact which Ferguson suggests is the reason behind why he had such success upon the field. He would watch every detail of the game and look for weaknesses to exploit and pounce upon. Such a great footballing brain and demeanour make him well suited to life in the managerial hot seat.
He has said in the past he wouldn’t be averse to taking on the Manchester United job, and as a United hero he would certainly be welcome in the job when Fergie decides it is time to call it a day. He was a fantastic servant to United, and would have the respect of fans and the dressing room, should he be the option that they decide upon. Not only that, but he knows the club, the people and the surroundings inside out, so it would be a benefit for the club if he was to take charge. Solskjaer has the potential, personality and intelligence to be a success at the club. He is a great role model for young players and a shining example of what you can achieve with a good attitude and hard work.
Other United greats have been linked with the managers role in the past, the likes of Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes have been suggested, as well as glamorous outside links like Jose Mourinho, or Pep Guardiola. Over the years many have been linked to the job, but we are yet to even reach the point where Fergie might consider stepping down. He could be around for another five or ten years, and no-one knows what the future holds for any manager.
Sure Solskjaer at 38 is still a managerial novice, but he is making all the right waves. He still has minimal managerial success in England, and will undoubtedly move back to this country to further his career at some point. There is never any guarantee that a great player will make any impact as a manager, however Solskjaer is heading in the right direction, and when the day comes that Sir Alex finally steps down at United, Ole must be considered as a legitimate contender to be his replacement.
It is going to be almost impossible for anyone to follow in Ferguson’s footsteps, but if Ole shows the dedication and commitment he showed as a player, then there is no doubt that he will be a huge success at the club as a future manager.
Do you think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the Manchester United manager in waiting? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below or following me on Twitter @LaurenRutter
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