Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard’s myth is disrespecting Manchester United’s hero – Liam Wood


He talks a lot about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and how well the Norwegian is still taken into account that his name continues to resonate in the stands of Old Trafford.

Manchester United have left behind a man who, as a player, produced one of the greatest moments in their history. Business is business, as they say, but his commitment and loyalty will never be discredited.

United will always pay tribute to the figures who helped shape its history. An experience of going to a match proves it.

Despite signs that his managerial reign at United was turning into something special, there was to be no fairy tale ending for the ever-popular Norwegian.

Had things been different, Solskjaer and his distraught United players would have won the Europa League on their visit to Gdansk in May. Who knows what could have happened then.

If and but, you can legitimately argue, but there’s no telling what silverware confidence would bring.

Amidst that heartbreak, United and their supporters received a triple summer boost when Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo were signed. With that came the added expectation and pressure. It was too much for Solskjaer and, with his title hopes in tatters, he was sacked in November.

Having to win comes with United turf and Solskjaer knows that better than anyone.

But no matter how many times he heard opposition fans taunt the Norwegian with chants of ‘Ole at the wheel’, inspired by Rio Ferdinand’s lofty predictions for his former team-mate on his appointment, the misconception is that Solskjaer was a failure. Is not true.

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His history adds up. But at United, the benchmark is simply impossibly high.

So why is it still being ignored by other Premier League clubs in favor of ‘fashionable’ contemporaries?

Frank Lampard and Solskjaer played different positions during their early football careers, but there is something quite comparable in the path they have taken on the bench.

Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer meet on the touchline at Old Trafford.

Of course, the former United striker has bragging rights when it comes to Premier League titles (six to three), but the duo split 25 major trophies almost evenly between them when they were the ones taking orders rather than giving them from the sideline.

Amid recent twists and turns on the managerial merry-go-round, Lampard was appointed by Norwich and his name has also been mooted with Everton’s vacancy. It’s radio silence in that sense when it comes to Solskjaer.

However, his spells at United and Chelsea once again bear a striking resemblance.

Lampard posted 44 wins in 84 games at Stamford Bridge and beyond, averaging 1.75 points per game. As for Solskjaer, there were 92 wins out of 168, including his opening spell in the caretaker spell charge. Also factoring in ties, his ratio stacks up to more than 1.8.

Added to those other strings on his bow, including laudable man-management skills and an infectious personality that helped galvanize his fanbase into such need, Solskjaer is as qualified as Lampard to step down from his tenure at Old Trafford.

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What’s next for Solskjaer as coach? Your opinion in the comments section.

You can’t help but think that those clubs, or maybe even Watford, have missed a trick. It wasn’t meant to be for Solskjaer at United, but just about everyone associated with the red side of this footballing city will be looking for him to succeed wherever he pitches next.

Whatever it is, it should give Lampard and others a run for their money.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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