24 Nov 2021 | 07:06
The former Red Devils forward departs with the third-highest win ratio in the club’s history at Old Trafford and has called his tenure “a honour”
A “proud” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that it is time for him “to step aside” as Manchester United manager, in an emotional farewell interview.
The former Red Devils forward, who succeeded Jose Mourinho on an interim basis in 2018 before being appointed on a full-time basis. departs following Saturday’s 4-1 Premier League loss to Watford.
Speaking on his departure, Solskjaer stated that coaching the club had been a “dream”. and has given his full backing to assistant Michael Carrick, who will take charge on an interim basis for the Champions League clash with Villarreal.
What has been said?
“You know what this club means to me and what I wanted to achieve here,” Solskjaer told United’s website. “For the club, for the fans, for the players, for the staff. I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies and I only think it’s right that it comes from the horse’s mouth.
“I want to get it out there, I’m going to leave by the front door, because I think everyone knows I’ve given everything for this club. This club means everything to me and together we’re a good match, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside.
“It’s one of those things you dream of in your life. When you’ve been a player, when you’ve been a reserve team coach, the next job then, the only dream and the only thing you haven’t done is to manage the club, and I have now. It’s been a ball, it’s been absolutely enjoyable from the first to the last minute.
Solskjaer pays Man Utd tribute
While criticism of the end of Solskjaer’s tenure has been just as drawn on individual performances from his squad as his own decisions, the Norwegian was quick to hail their impact within his time at the club, while also praising his staff and the steadfast support of the Old Trafford faithful.
“I have to thank all the players because since I came in, they’re top lads, top people,” he added. “Some have come, some have gone, but all of them, they’ve been such an enjoyable bunch to work with.
“I’m so honoured and privileged to have been trusted to take the club forward, and I really hope that I leave it in a better state than when I came. I’ve made great friends, I’ve reconnected with some great friends, new staff coming in I’ve become really good friends with.
That interview was done on Solskjaer’s terms. He wanted to do it to say bye to the fans.
— Charlotte Duncker (@CharDuncker) November 21, 2021
“The other staff that was here when I was there, we’re good friends and we have connected and that’s what it’s about at a club like this. With the fans, the fans have been amazing. From day one at Cardiff until the last one now. [They’ve been] top, and we’ll see each other again.”
Solskjaer backing for Carrick
Solskjaer cedes command to Carrick ahead of a vital Champions League clash – another rematch of last season’s Europa League final against Villarreal – and the ex-striker feels that his former side will be able to bounce back and show their best following their loss to Watford.
“As I’ve said to them this morning as well, trust yourselves, you know we’re better than this,” he added. “We’ve not been able to show it but go out, chest out, enjoy being a Man Utd player, in the Champions League, on the biggest stage. If and when you win the game, you’re through to the next round.
“Michael [Carrick] is going to be in charge. Michael, I have the utmost respect [for], I love Michael to bits. I’m becoming emotional now because he’s top. They’ll be fine. I’ll watch them and support them.”