Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his name as a player at Manchester United for his impact off the bench and his ability to work the same magic from the dugout has earned him the full-time manager’s job at Old Trafford.
Few expected Solskjaer to remain beyond his caretaker spell to the end of the season when he was hired in December in an emergency solution to a spiralling crisis towards the end of Jose Mourinho’s reign. Solskjaer was summoned from Molde in his homeland, where he had won two league titles, but his only previous Premier League managerial experience ended in relegation and the sack at Cardiff after less than nine months in charge.
His first day began by delivering a bar of Norwegian chocolate to the long-serving receptionist on his arrival at the club’s Carrington training base. It was a simple gesture but one that showed a personable side and deep understanding of Manchester United that has spread to help cleanse the toxic atmosphere that characterised the end of Mourinho’s era.
“From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club,” said Solskjaer on Thursday. In just over three months, he has not only transformed results on the pitch, but the whole atmosphere around the club to such an extent that the announcement that his caretaker role was being made permanent on Thursday seemed just a matter of time.