Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot wait to take on tough task of bringing success back at Manchester United

Thumbs up from Solskjaer who has got the United job full-time. (AFP)
Updated 28 March 2019
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot wait to take on tough task of bringing success back at Manchester United

  • Fan favorite gets three-year contract after impressive start in Old Trafford dugout.
  • Decision greeted with approval from fans and former players.

LONDON: Having finally been appointed permanent Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he could not wait to get to work in a bid to bring the good times back to Old Trafford. 

The Norwegian has been in the hot seat on an interim basis since Jose Mourinho was sacked. Since then the Reds have won 10 and drawn two of their 13 Premier matches — the best record of any club during that time — and now have hope they may finish in the top four and get into the Champions League. 

On top of that he led United to a memorable comeback victory in Europe against Paris Saint-Germain — down 2-0 at home in the first leg they roared back to win 3-1 in the French capital to make it to the quarterfinals. 

After that it was a no brainer that the Old Trafford board would appoint Solskjaer on a full-time basis and the former United player is ready to justify the faith put in him.  

“From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club,” the 46-year-old said. 

“It was an honor to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here. The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we’ve done so far. 

“This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”

Aside from the great results Solskjaer has got the side playing attacking, entertaining football once again and got the best out of players such as Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. He has remined true to his footballing philosophy of playing to entertain and he says that will not change. 

“The day I walk out the doors, I hope it’s with a smile on my face. Giving the players, staff, supporters a good time. I will always be myself. I’m not going to change. I’ll always be a positive guy. We’ll do this together," he said. 

That was something United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, alluded to when explaining the decision. 

“Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves,” Woodward said.  

“More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club ... he is the right person to take Manchester United forward.”

As for the ultimate aim Solskjaer is in no doubt what it is and he wants to achieve it sooner, rather than later. 

“To lift the Premier League trophy again is what we expect, what we are used to, what we have done so many times. We can’t wait for too many years." 


Kane stunner earns Spurs victory over Juventus

Updated 21 July 2019
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Kane stunner earns Spurs victory over Juventus

  • Juventus struggle to adapt to their new manager’s ‘Sarri-ball’ tactic of playing out from the back with short, quick passes

SINGAPORE: Harry Kane scored a stunning 93rd minute winner from the halfway line as Tottenham Hotspur edged Juventus 3-2 in an entertaining pre-season friendly in Singapore on Sunday.

The England captain latched onto Lucas Moura's short pass and launched a first-time shot high over a scrambling substitute Wojciech Szczesny in the Juventus goal as Spurs rallied past new manager Maurizio Sarri's Italian champions in front of a delighted National Stadium crowd.

“It’s probably one of the best goals of my career. I noticed the keeper was often off of his line and thought if I get a chance to shoot I will, and it just went in,” Kane said in a post-match interview.

A youthful Spurs dominated the first half as Juventus struggled to adapt to their new manager’s “Sarri-ball” tactic of playing out from the back with short, quick passes. Instead of moving the ball forward, Juventus often found themselves defending desperately after being caught in possession as Spurs pressed high up the pitch with the Premier League side going on to take a deserved lead on the half-hour mark.

Son Heung-min started the move by holding up play and feeding Troy Parrott for a clear run at Gianluigi Buffon in the Juventus goal, with the 17-year-old forward's low strike parried by the keeper straight into the path of an unmarked Erik Lamela for a routine tap-in.

Juventus had more success after the break when they increased their tempo and went more direct, and halftime substitute Gonzalo Higuain levelled the score in the 56th minute with a drilled strike after exchanging passes with Federico Bernardeschi.

Buoyed by the equalizer, Juventus were soon ahead when Ronaldo arrived late to drive home Mattia De Sciglio's cutback four minutes later, leaving to rapturous applause by an adoring crowd when he was substituted immediately after scoring.

Spurs were level five minutes later, however, when Champions League semifinal hero Lucas fired home record-signing Tanguy Ndombele's low cross, the French midfielder finding the Brazilian with his first touch after coming on as a substitute.

Kane and Higuain both squandered good chances to score winning goals in the final 10 minutes before the England striker prevented the contest going to a penalty shootout with the most brilliant of strikes.

Meantime, Tottenham forward  Moura insists he does not  hold a grudge against boss Mauricio Pochettino despite being dropped for the Champions League final.

“I need to respect the decision of the coach and respect my teammates, so no problem with this,” said Lucas who was left on the bench for the final in spite of scoring a dramatic hat rick in Spurs' stunning semifinal comeback at Ajax.

Pochettino preferred to use  Kane in attack against Liverpool in Madrid despite a lengthy absence following injury.

Brazil international Lucas eventually came on in the 66th minute, but was unable to prevent Tottenham slipping to a 2-0 defeat.

“Of course it was difficult because every player wants to play. But it was even more to lose the game,” Lucas was quoted as saying by several British media outlets.

“For sure he (Pochettino) has a good reason for this (decision) and I am sure that it was difficult for him as well to choose a player. He needs to choose only 11.”

“I respect, I am a professional. No problem for this. Now I look forward to the next season.”