It’s official. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will stay at Old Trafford until 2024 after extending his contract. The Norwegian coach today signed the contract extension with the Red Devils that will see him head United for the next three seasons.
He replaced José Mourinho in the Old Trafford dugout in December 2018, and became his permanent manager in March 2019. The 48-year-old said he was delighted to put pen to paper on the contract extension agreement. .
Our past. Our present. 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲.
✍🇳🇴 We are delighted to announce that Ole has signed a new contract with the club! #MUFC
– Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 24, 2021
Ed Woodward, United’s chief executive, praised Solskjaer after he extended his contract as he believes the Norwegian has a long-term goal in mind at Old Trafford that he is coldly and calmly assembling.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian expressed his feelings about continuing step by step in his time as Manchester United manager, as the Red Devils have the motivation and drive to achieve even greater success than they have achieved so far.
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepares for the new season after having signed a new contract extension, FootTheBall takes a trip down memory lane to recount all of his Old Trafford moments as a manager, including the good, the bad and the ugly memories.
A RECORD START TO LIFE AT OLD TRAFFORD
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed Manchester United’s interim manager on December 19, 2018 by the club when he signed a contract until the end of the 2018-19 season which initially became a permanent contract after his record-breaking exploits with the Red. Devils.
After his first win as a manager against former Cardiff City, a 5-1 win, he did not lose a single Premier League match for more than two and a half months.
Meanwhile, he set a plethora of records, winning Manager of the Month in January 2019 (the first United manager to win the accolade since Sir Alex Ferguson), and equaling Sir Matt Busby’s record of winning his first five league games. which was established in 1946.
The Norwegian earned more points than any other manager in Premier League history in his first nine games in charge at Old Trafford, guiding United to six straight away victories for the first time in nearly a decade.
FINISHING SECOND IN THE 2020-21 PREMIER LEAGUE
During the 2020-21 season in England, Manchester United finished second under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Premier League, their best overall English top flight since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
In doing so, United achieved the unique distinction of maintaining an unbeaten streak in all of their away games in the Premier League. And the icing on the cake this season was their mammoth 9-0 win over Southampton at Old Trafford.
This game saw eight different scorers recording their names on the scoresheet as the referee blew the final whistle.
United also scored the second-highest number of goals, behind only Manchester City, to reserve their place in the Champions League group stage for the 2021-22 season. For a team that was becoming notoriously infamous for its “boring games” with Louis Van Gaal and José Mourinho, this was a breath of fresh air for the fans.
THREE SEMIFINAL DEFEATS IN THE 2019-20 SEASON
The 2019-20 season saw Manchester United work their way to the commercial final of cup competitions, both in England and Europe. But they were eliminated in the semi-finals of all the cup competitions in which they participated, including the Europa League.
First in the FA Cup, United were able to reach the semi-finals when they found themselves on the kinder side of the draw. But in the semi-final, they faced Chelsea at Wembley Stadium and ended up on the wrong side of a 3-1 scoreline.
This defeat ultimately ended their 19-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, as United succumbed to their first loss to Chelsea since the 2018 FA Cup final (in the same venue).
In the EFL Cup, they lost to their rivals Manchester City in the semifinals 3-2 on aggregate and in the Europa League they were eliminated by Spanish Sevilla in the away goals rule after the tie ended 2-2 in the Manchester global. So close, yet so far away for the Norwegian, a pattern that has continued ever since.
DEFENSIVE FRAGILITY CONTINUES WITH SUCCESSFUL PLANS
In his first full season at Old Trafford, the 2019-20 season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer led Manchester United to third place as the Red Devils conceded 36 Premier League goals.
This was the second worst defensive record among the top four in the Premier League, behind only Chelsea (54 goals conceded) who had finished tied on points with United (66 points each).
In the 2020-21 season, United posted even worse defensive stats, conceding 44 goals in 38 games, the worst defensive record among the top four teams in the English top flight.
Manchester United have been chasing Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane to join Harry Maguire at the heart of defense starting next season as they look to make their bottom line tight.
THE UGLY ONE
MANCHESTER UNITED 1-6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
The Red Devils’ loss to Tottenham Hotspur on matchday three of the 2020-21 season was described by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the worst day of his entire managerial career. United had opened the scoring after Bruno Fernandes’ penalty at 2 minutes.
But the tide turned shortly after when Ndombele tied for the Lilywhites just a couple of minutes later. Anthony Martial was sent off for slapping Erik Lamela and it all went downhill for United after that point.
– Premier League (@premierleague) October 4, 2020
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane scored doubles with Serge Aurier completing the list of goalscorers at Old Trafford as United fell to their toughest defeat in the Premier League.
The four goals conceded in the first half were the most United had sent home since November 1957 (also against Tottenham) when a gloomy night came to an end at the Theater of Dreams.
FINAL OF THE EUROPEAN LEAGUE 2021 IN PENALTY SHOOTOUT
Manchester United were expected to win the title decider in Gdansk with ease, but Villarreal made things very difficult for the Old Trafford side. United had originally been in the Champions League, and were eventually transferred to the Europa League after a disastrous exit in the group stage.
In the Europa League, they had sidelined players like AC Milan and AS Roma on their way to the final, but fell at the last hurdle when Unai Emery’s Villarreal turned out to be a tough nut to crack in Poland.
The Spanish team opened the scoring in Gdansk courtesy of Gerard Moreno, but United were back on level playing field in the second half after Edinson Cavani scored a goal from close range.
There were no more goals in regulation time and in extra time, as the game went straight to the wire with the penalty shootout that was coming.
Villarreal held their nerve as all the Spanish club’s players converted their penalties (including goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli), but David de Gea hesitated in his attempt as a compatriot Unai Emery won the Europa League for a record fourth time.
In conclusion, it can be said that Solskjaer has led United to a position that is the best since the days of Sir Alex. Whether it’s attacking football, players playing with a smile on their faces or the rebirth of “Manchester United DNA”, Solskjaer has done a lot of things right.
However, questions remain about his ability to lead United to become a trophy-winning machine once again. The new contract shows that the board is willing to give you time to answer that question.