Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the former Norwegian football player who sprang to international fame during his years at Manchester United, is heading back again to where his brilliant career began. He’ll take over as manager for Molde football club, on a new three-and-a-half-year contract.
Solskjær is starting his new job immediately and was set to coach the club in its match on Thursday against Celtic in the Europa League. He told reporters he’d “missed the buzz” of big matches since a short-lived stint at Cardiff came to an end after only nine months last year. Manchester United, meanwhile, congratulated Solskjær on his “return to management” in Molde.
“It was great to meet the players today, we look forward to a challenging and exciting time,” Solskjær said. “I have felt that I’m hungry enough to take up the fight. I challenge the players to feel the same. They’ve been used to winning.”
Solskjær coached Molde to not only league championship but cup victories in Norway before heading off to Cardiff and Molde continued to perform well, but had a downturn this past spring and summer. Asked whether he could turn the club around, Solskjær replied that “they have to be hungry. They have to realize that they want to be part of a winning team.”
He added that he thinks the players are “very, very good. The troop is fighting against Rosenborg and Strømsgodset to be on top.”
Molde’s administrative officials called it “a happy day” with Solskjær back among them. Solskjær replaces Erling Moe who in turn had stepped in for Tor Ole Skullerud after he was fired earlier this year. Moe will remain part of Solskjær’s apparatus.
Few in Norway were surprised that Solskjær was returning to Molde. “He had great success there,” noted state broadcaster NRK’s football commentator Karl Petter Løken, and the manager’s job was open. Løken said that Solskjær had “recharged his batteries” after the Cardiff fiasco and has had time “to think through what he experienced there as manager. This will be a new start in many ways.”