Ryan Giggs: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Is 'Not the Nicest Bloke in the World'

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2019

Manchester United's  Norwegian head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer awaits kick off in the FA Cup quarter-final football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on March 16, 2019. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Ryan Giggs has said Manchester United interim coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not the nice guy he is portrayed to be.

The Wales boss cited his time playing with Solskjaer at Old Trafford and stated people have the wrong idea about the Norwegian.

Solskjaer has appeared relaxed and composed since arriving in Manchester last December, but Giggs told the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman the 46-year-old possesses a driven and competitive character.

Giggs recalled Solskjaer's comment to Rio Ferdinand soon after the defender signed from Leeds United in 2002.

When Ferdinand lost control of a long pass in training, Solskjaer told the new record signing: "Is this all you get for £30 million these days?"

11 May 1997:  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) of Manchester United and Rio Ferdinand of West Ham United jump for the ball during an FA Carling Premiership match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Manchester United won the match 2-0. \ Mandatory Credit: B
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"See, he's not the nicest bloke in the world like people say he is and that's because we rubbed off on him," said Giggs. "Ole was the nicest guy in the world until we got hold of him. When you got in that environment with us it was a tough school and you changed. You had to. That day with Rio we were just testing a new player and if Ole hadn't said it then someone else would have. That's what it was like. Every day. It helped us to win."

United have been rejuvenated under Solskjaer, and the team has played some of their best attacking football since the retirement of iconic manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

The Red Devils were miles off the Premier League pace for the top four under former coach Jose Mourinho, but they are now only two points behind a UEFA Champions League qualification spot for next season.

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Solskjaer has empowered his side to drive forward and score goals, playing the brand of football the former striker was taught under Ferguson.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06:  Manchester United Head Coach / Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc des Princes on March 6, 2019 i
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Giggs added he did not know who Solskjaer was when the Scandinavian was signed by United in 1996, but after his first session working with the Norwegian, he told friends he had "just trained with the new [Alan] Shearer."

United are yet to appoint a full-time manager for next season, but Solskjaer has given the perfect audition if he desires to stay in Manchester.

He has led his team into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and United have the chance to record a memorable finish to what had initially been a campaign to forget.