Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it clear following Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Wednesday that he wanted the manager job on a permanent basis.
The Norwegian has transformed the mood around the club, winning four games in a row with a bold style of football going forward.
His success on the pitch and excellent rapport with players has prompted many to call for Man United to give him the role on a permanent basis.
Speaking after the win at St James’ Park, Solskjaer made the most concrete statement yet regarding his future. He doesn’t want to go anywhere.
It is understandable to see a large majority of supporters in favour of Solskjaer staying. His team is playing a kind of football which supporters have yearned to see for five years. The players are happy. Homegrown stars like Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are excelling. More broadly, he gets United.
But managing this club is not that simple, even if Solskjaer is doing a great job of making it seem so. The club appointed him specifically as caretaker – with Molde, his actual club, insisting he was coming back in May – to take the pressure off United, to give them time to think about a long term plan which incorporates a new manager and a director of football.
Once the time-frame at Old Trafford for Solskjaer goes from six months to, well, indefinite, the complexion of his role changes, becoming more loaded with responsibility, more pressurised.
What the 45-year-old has done superbly is serve as an indication of what direction United must head in starting with the 2019/20 campaign: a manager who wants his team to play on the front foot. Whether he is suddenly the solution to the wider problems United as a club faces, after just four games, remains very doubtful.