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." 


Philippines clinches top two spots in Saudi Arabian women’s bowling competition

Updated 39 min 40 sec ago
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Philippines clinches top two spots in Saudi Arabian women’s bowling competition

  • Competitors from Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Philippines, the US, India and Saudi Arabia joined the tournament

ALKHOBAR: The Philippines claimed the top two spots in a bowling championship in Saudi Arabia.

Kryztine Cruz and Irene Pua emerged as champion and runner-up at the Women’s Bowling Championship, which was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation and held on Saturday at the Al-Gosaibi Bowling Center in Alkhobar. Saudi Arabia’s Nahla Adas finished third.

Competitors from Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Philippines, the US, India and the Kingdom entered the tournament. The field was cut by half to 26 after the preliminary round. The top 13 in the first round advanced to the semifinals where the top three qualified for the stepladder finals.

In the first match of the stepladder, Cruz beat Adas 212-158 to earn a shot at No. 1 qualifier Pua. The Eastern Province-based and second-seeded Cruz brought down Pua 243-189 in the title match.

Adas has participated in local championships in addition to competing in the Arab Championship held in Egypt earlier this year. She said she had found “true pleasure” in bowling and that the competition was very vigorous at Al-Gosaibi. 

“I am proud of the presence of Gulf women and the increased awareness and acceptance of winning and losing in the spirit of the game,” said Adas.

“The atmosphere was different and, for the first time, we hosted a bowling championship in our homeland with this number of skilful players of several nationalities. The presence of the first Saudi bowling team by my side in every shot has played a big role in crucial rounds. I’m also grateful for Kuwaiti and Bahraini support until the very end. Jeddah players were also present for the first time ... which means that the competition will become more vigorous in upcoming tournaments with the presence of three Saudi women’s teams.”

The Arab Bowling Championship was won by the hosts Egypt, with Oman claiming silver and Bahrain the bronze. The Saudi women’s team of four finished in seventh place in the team event, but were hopeful that the experience could prove to be a springboard to future success and greater participation of Saudi women in the sport.

Razan Baker, a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Bowling Federation, said after the event that she was “honored” to supervise the team during its first tournament outside the Kingdom.