Manchester United announce Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager

‘We are confident they will unite players and fans’: Solskjaer confirmed as Manchester United’s interim boss – with Phelan his No 2 – as Woodward bids to sweep away the mess left by Mourinho

  • Manchester United have announced former striker Solskjaer as interim boss 
  • The Norwegian replaces Jose Mourinho on a short-term deal at Old Trafford 
  • Mourinho was sacked on Tuesday after a dreadful start to the current campaign
  • Solskjaer will be assisted by Mike Phelan, Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna
  • He faces former club Cardiff City in first Premier League match this Saturday 

Adam Shergold for MailOnline

He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, also working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. 

Solskjaer and Phelan are due to arrive at United’s Carrington training complex on Wednesday afternoon to meet the squad and staff for the first time. 

His first match in charge will be on Saturday against Cardiff, whom he had an unsuccessful spell in charge of between January and September in 2014. 

‘Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,’ said Solskjaer.

Manchester United accidentally broke the news of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's appointment online

Manchester United accidentally broke the news of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment online

United's website uploaded a video of Solskjaer scoring during the 1999 European Cup final

United’s website uploaded a video of Solskjaer scoring during the 1999 European Cup final

His first games in charge of United 

Premier League unless stated

Saturday Cardiff City (A)

Boxing Day Huddersfield Town (H)

December 30 Bournemouth (H)

January 2 Newcastle United (A)

January 5 Reading (H)

FA Cup third round

January 13 Tottenham (A) 

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added in the club’s announcement: ‘Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles. 

‘His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back. We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.’  

The club appeared to accidentally confirm the appointment on Tuesday evening, when videos on their official website included taglines naming the Norwegian as their temporary boss. 

Solskjaer was briefly manager of Cardiff City back in 2014, taking charge of 30 matches

Solskjaer was briefly manager of Cardiff City back in 2014, taking charge of 30 matches

After their visit to Cardiff this Saturday, United have winnable fixtures against Huddersfield Town, Bournemouth and Newcastle United over the festive period. 

Solskjaer was congratulated on his appointment at United by the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. 

She wrote: ‘FINALLY CONFIRMED! Great day for Norwegian football. Good luck keeping control of the Red Devils, @olegs26_ole.’ 

Solberg jumped the gun on Tuesday night by tweeting her congratulations to Solskjaer 

Solberg jumped the gun on Tuesday night by tweeting her congratulations to Solskjaer 

United paid £1.5m to bring Solskjaer, then largely unknown, from Molde during the European Championship in 1996.

Initially expected to provide back-up to strikers Eric Cantona and Andrew Cole, Solskjaer quickly established himself and scored 19 goals in his first season at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer often performed the ‘super sub’ role without complaint, especially during the 1998-99 Treble campaign when his impact from the bench often won United crucial points.

Solskjaer celebrates scoring a last minute winner against Liverpool in a 1999 FA Cup tie 

Solskjaer celebrates scoring a last minute winner against Liverpool in a 1999 FA Cup tie 

The Norwegian won six Premier League titles with United, the last of them coming in 2007

The Norwegian won six Premier League titles with United, the last of them coming in 2007

Solskjaer pictured on the training field with manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2007

Solskjaer pictured on the training field with manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2007

The goal that would come to define his career and ensure legendary status at United came in the dying moments of the 1999 Champions League final with Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp.

Having trailed into the final minute, United turned the game around in stunning fashion, with Solskjaer extending his leg to divert home Teddy Sheringham’s flick-on and complete the Treble.

He continued to be an important part of Alex Ferguson’s forward line for a number of seasons before leaving the club in 2007. 

Solskjaer by numbers 

6 – Premier League titles won with United, between 1996-1997 and 2006-2007.

£1.5million – transfer fee paid by United to sign the forward from Molde in July 1996.

9 – games won during a 30-match spell as Cardiff manager in 2014.

18 – Premier League goals scored during his first season at Old Trafford.

2 – number of Norwegian league titles won as manager with Molde and FA Cup victories in England as a United player.

235 – Premier League appearances.

67 – international caps for Norway, scoring 23 goals.

91- Premier League goals.

1999 – year Solskjaer’s goal deep into stoppage time earned Manchester United a dramatic 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final at the Nou Camp. 



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