Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Is Destined to Be Sir Alex's Successor

Max TowleAnalyst IAugust 4, 2012

TRONDHEIM, NORWAY - AUGUST 07:  Molde FK manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on during the Norwegian Tippeligaen match betwen Rosenborg BK and Molde FK held on August 7, 2011 at the Lerkendal Stadion in Trondheim, Norway. (Photo by Fridtjof M. Jonassen/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

It is the day most Manchester United fans dread.

An uncertain date that many would prefer to put out of mind, not wishing to contemplate this doomsday-esque shadow that has sat menacingly on the horizon since the turn of the century.

But unfortunately, unless the Scotsman can quickly discover the elixir of life, Sir Alex Ferguson will soon retire.

When this happens, the deserving tributes and superlatives will certainly flow from the world's media, but meanwhile Manchester United Football Club will have to make a decision that will perhaps be the most important in its recent history.

Who to replace the greatest football manager of all time?

For as impossible as it will be to fill Sir Alex's shoes, one man must try.

Contenders have come and gone, some peaking too soon, some not at all.

But then there is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer—a United legend who only hung up his boots in 2007, six years after Ferguson was originally due to retire.

During his 11 eventful seasons at the club as a player, he earned the reputation as a "super sub," amongst his tally arguably the Red Devils' greatest goal at the Nou Camp in 1999.

Perhaps it was all of this time spent on the sidelines, analyzing the game as he prepared to take the field that has stood him in good stead as a manager.

Perhaps it is the quiet exterior masking a ferocious intelligence that has seen the "baby-faced assassin" succeed off the pitch.

For succeed he has—leading his old team Molde FK to its first Norwegian league championship in his first year of employment.

As a United fan, there is something reassuring in his presence, a feeling that harks back to the days when cheers would erupt whenever he was sighted warming up during a match—as if he were the only man on the planet who could save the game with a trademark goal. 

He has quietly gone about his business as a manager, conducting himself in a wholly professional manner.

The Norwegian is not without ambition, though—I have little hesitation in believing that his reported interest in the Aston Villa job this summer was genuine, but it was perhaps a sense of loyalty to Molde that prevented this interest into developing into something more tangible.

It was as if he knew that getting a year of Premier League football under his belt would swing the United job in his favour.

Because like it or not, whether it's in two or three years, Sir Alex Ferguson will step down and subsequently try to help the club find a worthy successor.

Because that's the beauty of the game—football is a constant.

Manchester United will not stop playing when Sir Alex stops managing.

And when that cloud finally does rear its ugly head, there could be no better candidate to withstand the storm than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Related

    Highlight: Benzema's Winner for Real Madrid 🎥

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Highlight: Benzema's Winner for Real Madrid 🎥

    beIN SPORTS USA
    via beIN SPORTS USA

    Who Won and Lost the PL Weekend?

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Who Won and Lost the PL Weekend?

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report

    Mourinho 'Sad' for Struggling Man Utd

    Ex-Man Utd coach thinks the Red Devils have gotten worse this season

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Mourinho 'Sad' for Struggling Man Utd

    Ex-Man Utd coach thinks the Red Devils have gotten worse this season

    Goal
    via Goal

    Lampard Explains Why Pulisic Is Not Playing

    He's not featured in Chelsea's last three matches

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Lampard Explains Why Pulisic Is Not Playing

    He's not featured in Chelsea's last three matches

    Joe Prince-Wright
    via ProSoccerTalk