Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed as Manchester United manager
Manchester United has appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as its new permanent manager after a successful spell as temporary boss.
The club legend had initially taken over until the summer, replacing Jose Mourinho in December after a series of poor results and uninspiring performances.
But with the Norwegian at the helm, United has experienced an upturn in form.
Solskjaer was unbeaten in his first 11 games in charge and his side produced a historic display to beat Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League Round of 16.
In his 19 games in charge, United has won 14, drawn two and lost three, while scoring 40 goals and conceding 17. He has a win percentage of 73.7%.
United announced the news of Solskjaer’s permanent appointment on Twitter on Thursday, stating: “Ole’s at the wheel.”
Speaking to the Manchester United website, Solskjaer said he “felt at home at this special club.”
As well as scoring 126 goals in 366 appearances for the Red Devils between 1996 and 2007, he also coached the club’s reserve team until 2010.
“It was an honor to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here,” he continued.
“The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we’ve done so far.
“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 and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”
Solskjaer’s place in the hearts of United fans has never been in doubt given his heroics in the 1999 European Champions League final where he scored a last-minute winner to secure a historic treble.
After coaching United’s reserve team, the 46-year-old went on to manage Molde in his native Norway before a short and rather unsuccessful spell at Cardiff City in 2014.
Solskjaer returned to Molde in 2015 before the option to take over at United arose in December.
He was due to return to Molde at the end of the English domestic season but United’s performances over the past few months means he will be staying on indefinitely.
“Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves,” Manchester United executive chairman, Ed Woodward, said in a statement.
“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.
“I want to thank Ole and the coaching team for everything they have done so far and congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment. The fans and everyone at the club are behind him as he looks to take us where we need to be and build the next stage of our history.”
Former United defender Gary Neville, who played alongside Solskjaer at Old Trafford, applauded the appointment
“I’m delighted for Ole,” Neville tweeted. “I didn’t think this would happen when he was appointed. However the results and spirit in the club have been incredible since he arrived and he deserves it. He now needs support in the transfer market in terms of finance and the right resource!”
Another of Solskjaer’s former teammates, Peter Schmeichel, tweeted: “Congratulations my friend, it is well deserved. Up and onwards lets chase some trophies.”
Mikael Silvestre, who played for United between 1999 and 2008, told CNN that Solskjaer’s permanent appointment was a “positive” move.
“It is a three-year commitment from the club towards Ole, and vice-versa. That should give him enough time to bring the club back to where it belongs and where it should be, which is winning titles,” Silvestre added.
Current United striker, Marcus Rashford, whose goals have been central to United’s uptick in form since Solskjaer arrived tweeted simply: “Congrats boss.”
United’s next Premier League game is against Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday.