Ole at the wheel: Solskjær’s Manchester United managerial timeline

19 December 2018 United name Solskjær caretaker manager a day after sacking José Mourinho. The Norwegian had signed to manage Molde earlier in the month. Pundits aren’t convinced. “Is this where United are really at?” asks Robbie Savage. “Really, the biggest club in the world appointing an interim boss who manages Molde?”

22 December 2018 United beat Solskjær’s former club, Cardiff, 5-1 in his opening game. He then becomes the first United manager to win his first five games in charge since Sir Matt Busby in 1946, and is named manager of the month. “Honestly, I’m a little bit against individual team awards for a team sport,” he says. “We want to move up the table and this is the start of it.”

28 March 2019 After winning 14 out of 19 games, Solskjær signs a three-year deal as permanent manager. “This is the job that I always dreamed of doing, I’m beyond excited.” Ed Woodward: “Ole brings a wealth of experience. He’s the right person to take Manchester United forward.” United go on to finish sixth.

Quick Guide

How do I sign up for sport breaking news alerts?

Show

  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play store on Android phones by searching for ‘The Guardian’.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you’re on the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Turn on sport notifications.
Was this helpful?

26 July 2020 At the end of a season of solid, mostly unspectacular progress, United finish third – just the second time United have secured a top-three finish since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. They reach the semi-finals in the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League, but fall short in all of them.

4 October 2020 United lose 6-1 at home to Tottenham. “We have contributed a lot to our own downfall, but to explain is quite difficult,” says Solskjær. “It’s the worst day of my career as Manchester United manager and the worst day for all of them as United players. But we’ve bounced back before.” Later in the season, having failed to make it beyond the Champions League group stage, they lose the Europa League final to Villarreal. A title challenge fades, but they finish runners-up on 77 points and register a brilliant 9-0 February win at Southampton.

Solskjær walks on the pitch after the 6-1 rout by José Mourinho’s Spurs.
Solskjær walks on the pitch after the 6-1 rout by José Mourinho’s Spurs. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AP

4 July 2021 Solskjær signs a three-year contract extension, with an option for a further year. Woodward: “We are more confident than ever that, under Ole’s leadership, we are heading in the right direction.”

18 September 2021 United win 2-1 at West Ham to set a record for being unbeaten in 29 Premier League away games.

24 October 2021 United lose 5-0 at home to Liverpool. Solskjær calls it his “darkest day” as a manager. “But I have come too far to give up. I am not built that way. This is the lowest I have been but I accept the responsibility, that is mine and mine going forward.”

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.

6 November 2021 Pressure builds again after a one-sided 2-0 loss in the Manchester derby. Bruno Fernandes says United’s players need to “look in the mirror” because they are “not at the same level” as City. “We have to speak less and do more. We have to change because this has happened many, many times already.” Roy Keane adds: “Man United are in a bad place. There’s a way out of it, but is Ole the man to do it? Huge question marks … Ole has to look at himself in the mirror and go, ‘I need to do better here.’”

20 November 2021 Solskjær takes United to Watford, where they lose 4-1. “It is difficult to explain,” he says. “We are in a very bad moment. We have a lack of momentum and we are in a very bad period … But I believe in my staff, my players and myself.” United hold an emergency board meeting, where his fate is decided.

Add comment