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From A Great Player To An Underperforming Manager - Lesson To Learn From Solskjaer's Man Utd Career

On July 26 1996, a certain Norwegian who at the time was 23 years old signed for Manchester United under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson. As a striker, he was expected to be a back up plan for the retiring Eric Cantona, but after a few Impressive display, it became clear that the youngster from Norwegian would be an integral part of the first team squad, his name was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Playing up front at Old Trafford, Solskjaer only had one job to do, scoring goals and this he executed perfectly. Of the 126 goals he registered for the club in 365 appearances, none was more memorable that his stoppage time winning strike against Bayern Munich in the Champions league final back in 1999.Although Injury forced his retirement in 2007 at the age of 34, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had already done enough for the Red Devils to endear him to the hearts of the faithful supporters. He was given a ceremonious exit, a gesture that proved what a great player he was at the club.

11 years after his departure, Solskjaer returned to replace Jose Mourinho as manager despite his limited experience in that role, somehow it was hoped that he could learn and excel like other great managers who coached their former clubs such as Pep Guardiola (Barcelona) and Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid). However, since taking over almost three years ago, the closest he came to winning a trophy was the Europa league final last season which his team lost to Villarreal on penalty shoot-out, but somehow he has managed to remain as the club's head coach till date. Moreso, following United's embarrassing defeat at the hands of Liverpool in their own turf yesterday, it is now crystal clear that the Norwegian was never the right manager for the job all this while.

Lesson To Learn

One significant lesson we can learn from the career of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United is the truth that a great player doesn't always make a great manager. Frank Lampard was a great player at Chelsea, but his managerial career at the club left much to be desired. Mikel Arteta impressed as an Arsenal player, but his current struggles with the club is not hideous to anyone, the list goes on.

Moreover, many will agree that Solskjaer's extensive stay as United coach is born out of his previous exploits as a player (favoritism) and the hope that he will turn good. He has no track record of managerial success and frankly he doesn't look like acquiring one anytime soon especially at Old Trafford. It is high time the board realized their huge mistake in hiring him and effect corrections while there's still time to salvage something this season. Take nothing away from Solskjaer's accomplishments as a player, but the progress of the team is at stake here and since he has proven not to be able to propel the club to the next level, then he should be replaced immediately by a more competent hand.

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Bayern Eric Norwegian Old Trafford Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


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