Manchester United: What’s next for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Manchester United sacking?
Ole is no longer at the wheel. On Sunday Manchester United decided to part ways with their manager after a harrowing 4-1 defeat at Watford the day before.
The Red Devils are now on the hunt for an interim boss until the end of the season, with Michael Carrick the caretaker for the caretaker in the meantime, as they look to get the most of a star-studded squad that has been underwhelming this term.
But what about Solskjaer? Sportsmail looks at the Norwegian’s next steps now his time in the Old Trafford dugout has come to a halt.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time at Manchester United is up after the club sacked him on Sunday
WHAT HAS HE SAID?
Speaking in a first-of-a-kind exit interview on Sunday, Solskjaer revealed that he will be returning to his native Norway.
‘That’s been probably the most difficult part, through the pandemic, with Norway being open and here being closed, my family moved back to Norway and the young one, he loves it back there, so we’ve lived apart. So, I’ll spend some time with them.
‘Then, I’ll watch the team of course and hopefully the next manager comes in and I want to support him. I want him to be successful, hopefully I’ve laid the foundations for that to happen because I know I’m good at what I’m doing.
‘I’m 100 per cent sure to create a football environment, that’s where I’m good at and at some point, I’ll probably be back [working in football].’
In an emotional interview on Sunday, he revealed plans to return to Norway to see family
SO, A RETURN HOME IS ON THE CARDS THEN?
Yes, it appears so. As Solskjaer stated he will spend time with his family now. The 47-year-old is married to Silje and the couple have three children: Noah, Karna and Elijah.
Noah currently plays for Norwegian top-flight outfit Kristiansund, while Karna and Elijah were both on the books of Manchester United’s girls and boys academies.
The 47-year-old and his wife Silje have three children together – two sons and one daughter
Solskjaer’s eldest son Noah (left) plays for Kristiansund, while Elijah was at United’s academy
His middle child Karna (centre) played for the academy side of United’s Women football team
AND THEN A RETURN TO FOOTBALL?
Solskjaer intimated that he plans on returning to the beautiful game, but didn’t provide a timeline when that would be.
It’s hard to speculate about his future destination at this possible time – and more so when you consider the differing jobs he’s had: Molde, Cardiff City and then, incredibly, Manchester United.
BUT COULD MOLDE BE AN OPTION?
It would be for a third spell in charge but that opportunity is remote presently. The Norwegian outfit are second in the league at present – five points behind Bodo/Glimt with just three matches remaining.
Molde coach Erling Moe is doing a good job at the club and it would appear sudden for him to depart.
However, speaking about Solskjaer’s sacking he did back his friend to return to management.
Molde boss Erling Moe has backed his friend to be back in a managerial dugout one day
He told VG: ‘I talk to Ole Gunnar, but I keep exactly that kind of thing to myself, because it is between me and him.
‘He is a man who has a good perspective on life. Of course, it’s hard when that kind of thing happens, but I’m not worried about Ole Gunnar in that way.
‘Solskjaer will have many opportunities to get back into football, so there will be no problem. But if I have to think a little, then I will think that he will now take a breath on the ground and enjoy himself with his family. I think that is the first thing on the agenda.
‘He will also definitely return to one or another club eventually.’
Solskjaer made his name as a manager at Molde having been in charge there twice before
A question nobody can answer at present. A break from football would be a wise decision for Solskjaer to allow him to get away from the spotlight and reassess his options. It’s hard to gauge his true managerial level as there have been so many inconsistencies.
In his first spell at Molde he won back-to-back league titles and the Norwegian Football Cup. This was especially impressive considering the 2011 title triumph was the club’s first ever in their 100-year history and Solskjaer’s maiden campaign as a manager.
However, his time at Cardiff City proved a disaster as he was unable to prevent them from Premier League relegation during the 2014-15 campaign.
Life in the 2015-16 Championship started abysmally with the club languishing in 17th after seven games, leading to his sacking after just nine months in charge. His record in south Wales read Played 30, Won 9, Drawn 5, Lost 16.
At United, his record has been well documented. For all the winning runs and positivity, there was also a lot of frustration among fans.
Multiple tame semi-final defeats, that abject Europa League final loss to Villarreal, baffling tactical decisions and embarrassing home thrashings (think of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City in the past 13 months) have left many stating he hasn’t been suitable for the job for as long as 18 months.
It’s hard to see a return to England for him in the foreseeable future, let alone at which level, but stranger things have happened in the past within football.
Intriguingly, the bookmakers have the Norway national team manager as the top price for his next job in the game.
Solskjaer’s spell as Cardiff City manager last just nine months before he was sacked
Solskjaer was left scratching his head after seeing United thumped 5-0 at home by Liverpool
COULD PUNDITRY BE AN OPTION?
Solskjaer’s warm persona would certainly fit the bill for television if he chose to work in the media for a period of time – something he even made a light-hearted reference to in his exit interview.
‘I’m sure we’ll meet again because if there’s anywhere I’m going to watch football games, that’s at Old Trafford,’ he said in a message to the fans.
‘Definitely,’ he continued when asked about returning to Old Trafford. ‘If you want me pitchside with you, I’m there!’
Gary Neville is one former United team-mate of Solskjaer’s who currently works in the media