Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Confirmed as Manchester United Manager on 3-Year Deal

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2019

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach / manager of Manchester United during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on March 16, 2019 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Molly Darlington - AMA/Getty Images)
Molly Darlington - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager on a permanent basis on Thursday, with the Norwegian signing a three-year deal at Old Trafford.

United announced the news via a statement on their official website.

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: Manchester United confirm Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their permanent manager on three-year deal https://t.co/RgsXlx69Cs

Solskjaer said:

"From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club. It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here. The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we've done so far."

Per the Press Association's Simon Peach, he added:

Simon Peach @SimonPeach

Solskjaer: “This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve” #MUFC

Peach also relayed comments from executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward:

Simon Peach @SimonPeach

Woodward: “I want to thank Ole & the coaching team for everything they have done so far & congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment. The fans & everyone at the club are behind him as he looks to take us where we need to be & build the next stage of our history” #MUFC

Football writer Liam Canning and Rich Fay of the Manchester Evening News welcomed the announcement, though ESPN's Liam Twomey and Alex Shaw questioned the timing of it:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Ole Gunnar Solskjær deserves the job and good luck to him! Understands the principles and standard at Manchester United and has shown promise of what he can do. Happier times ahead.

Rich Fay @RichFay

Only right Solskjaer has been rewarded for his phenomenal impact at United. Has blown all other candidates out of the water and it's still utterly ridiculous that he has salvaged any hope of a top-four finish. Just need to get the rest of the coaching staff confirmed now #mufc

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

The fact United felt the need to confirm Solskjaer now suggests little has changed at the top of the club. Why no proper process? Is there no recognition that the job they’re giving him is very different to the one he’s done since December? #mufc

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

I simply have no idea what United have to gain by making an announcement on Solskjaer getting the job now. It's not as if there's a rush and he's in demand elsewhere. If anything it is counterproductive. Can't it wait until May?

The Red Devils legend took charge as caretaker boss after predecessor Jose Mourinho was sacked in December.

United picked up just 10 wins in the Portuguese coach's 24 matches in charge this season, scoring 38 goals and conceding 35.

Despite his only top-level managerial experience outside of Norwegian club Molde being a brief and unsuccessful stint at Cardiff City in 2014, Solskjaer engineered an immediate turnaround at United.

They have won 14 of his 19 matches in charge and racked up 40 goals, shipping 17.

B/R Football @brfootball

🎶 Ole’s at the wheel 🎶 https://t.co/B1EtjnYdJJ

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

32 - Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment at Man Utd in December, the Red Devils have won more points than any other Premier League team (32). Wheel. https://t.co/J2gHZBEAwg

That run includes victories against Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as an impressive comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League.

Having lost 2-0 at Old Trafford in the first leg of their last-16 tie—his first defeat in any competition as United boss—Solskjaer guided his side to a memorable 3-1 win at the Parc des Princes in the second leg.

Base Soccer's Doron Salomon felt the 46-year-old deserved great credit:

Doron Salomon @DoronSalomon

The way Solskjaer managed that game was incredible. Took Bailly off in the first half. Moved to 5 at the back in the second half to see off PSG pressure and ensure 10 mins at the end to find a winner. Ends up making CL history with an Academy kid making his debut. Remarkable

After the dour final months of Mourinho's reign, Solskjaer's management of the team and dealings with the media have been almost the polar opposite, restoring positivity to United's play and to the atmosphere surrounding the club.

He's given the team more licence to attack than Mourinho did, and as a result, he's coaxed much more from the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.

What United will hope he can do is maintain the momentum he has built up into next season to close the gap on rivals Manchester City and Liverpool and challenge for the Premier League title once again.