‘Club legend’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Manchester United caretaker manager

In this Saturday, March 29, 2014 file photo, Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds fans after the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City at Hawthorns Stadium in West Bromwich, England. (AP)
Updated 19 December 2018
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‘Club legend’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Manchester United caretaker manager

LONDON: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on Wednesday named as Manchester United's caretaker manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
The former United striker will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place while the club looks for a new full-time manager.
Mourinho was axed on Tuesday after just two-and-half years in charge at Old Trafford, with the 20-times English champions languishing in sixth place in the Premier League, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool.
Solskjaer, 45, will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.
"Manchester United is in my heart and it's brilliant to be coming back in this role," said the Norwegian. "I'm really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,"
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: "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."
United appeared to accidently announce the appointment on their website on Tuesday, with a video posted on the club's official website celebrating Solskjaer.
A video of him scoring the winner for United in their 1999 Champions League final triumph against Bayern Munich was accompanied with the headline 'The most famous night of Ole's career'.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg also appeared to confirm Solskjaer's appointment on Twitter.
On Wednesday she tweeted: "FINALLY CONFIRMED! Great day for Norwegian football. Good luck keeping control of the Red Devils, @olegs26_ole."
Solskjaer joined United as a player from Molde in 1996 and was part of Alex Ferguson's team that won the treble of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in 1998/99.
He scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007 and in 2008 he became the club's reserve-team manager, before taking the managerial role at Molde in Norway.
The Norwegian's first game in charge of Manchester United will be Saturday's trip to former club Cardiff.
Solskjaer managed the Bluebirds between January 2014 and September 2014, failing to stop them being relegated from the Premier League, returning to Molde in 2015.
Speaking moments before Solskjaer's appointment was made official, former United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen warned it would be a huge job for the Norwegian.
"It would be a good choice in terms of the fact that they want to bring back some of the spirit that was at United in the time of Sir Alex Ferguson, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a big part of that," he told Sky Sports News.
"In that respect I can understand they were looking for a candidate who can live up to those expectations.
"If they do decide for Ole and Ole decides to accept then again it is a big ask for everybody. But I think in the short term it would be a good choice to make."
Molde have confirmed that Solskjaer will return to the club in May, with chief executive officer Oystein Neerland saying they are happy to "lend" their coach to United.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane are among the bookmakers' favourites to take the United job on a full-time basis at the end of the season.


Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

Updated 19 March 2019
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Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

  • Kingdom's athletes claim three golds, one silver and three bronzes on day four in Abu Dhabi.
  • Saudi Arabia medal tally now up to an impressive 25.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia enjoyed another good day at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi winning three golds, one silver and three bronzes to take their medal tally to an impressive 25 after four days.
Abdulaziz Alharthi got the day off to a great start in the pool, the 17-year-old from Jeddah picking up gold in the men’s 25m freestyle.
That was then followed up with the second gold of the day as Mohammed Alolayan powered home in the 5,000m. It was his second medal of the Games after he took home a bronze in the triathlon.
Moayed Aldarwish completed the hat-trick of golds coming home first in the 400m.


That was not the end of the success for the Kingdom as Fares Almateq and Naif Alshammari won silver in the men’s doubles table tennis. This was Fares’ second win of the week, having impressively won gold in the men’s singles event earlier.
Heba Shawli then became another multiple-medal winner when she took home the bronze in the softball throw event — she having won gold in the 25m run event.
Faisal Algosaibi and Faris Khouj, also part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team, each won bronze in their division of the 25m freestyle swimming.


Other winners of multiple medals include Hassan Alhadhariti, who won three golds and one silver in powerlifting; Sara Felemban and Jana Albeshri, who both won silver in bocce women’s singles and women’s team events, and Shahad Sunbul, who won silver in the bocce women’s team event and bronze in the bocce women’s singles event.