5 point plan for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to land the Manchester United job
The challenge of taking on Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley at the weekend will be the toughest test of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial credentials to date.
The quality of opposition has played an important role in the former striker claiming five wins from his opening five games, but in equal measure, he has changed the mood around Old Trafford with optimism and belief that appeared to be long lost under predecessor Jose Mourinho.
There is irony in the fact that Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino remains a leading candidate should the Manchester United board decide to look beyond Solskjaer for a permanent boss in the summer, but the popular Norwegian is currently in position, and will not let go without a fight.
And Solskjaer has five crucial months remaining to prove to his employers that he has the ability to lead the club forward and into an overdue era of success.
In the coming five months there are five elements that will boost is credibility with those tasked in making one of the biggest decisions in the club’s recent history, and it starts with a competition he knows only too well.
#5 – UEFA Champions League success
It was 20 years ago that Solskjaer came off the bench at the Camp Nou to score his injury-time winner against Bayern Munich in the 1999 final.
It was the historic goal that defined his playing career, and established his name in Manchester United and Champions League folklore forever.
It is the competition that headlines the achievements of Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson, and it could yet be the competition that cements Solskjaer into the job that he craves.
The challenge of Paris Saint-Germain will be difficult, but not insurmountable. Their domestic complacency in Ligue 1 will play into the hands of a rejuvenated Manchester United, and there is every reason to believe they can progress to the next stage.
Beating the best is a pre-requisite for European success, but Solskjer and United have a personal history of upsetting the odds on the continent.
But even if lifting the trophy proves too much for Solskjaer this time around, domestic success could prove to be just as valuable in boosting his chances of a permanent appointment.
Qualifying for the competition through the UEFA Europa League in 2017 earned Mourinho kudos with his increasingly desperate employers, but Solskjaer will need to mirror last season and disrupt the top four of the English Premier League if he is to achieve the same feat.