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Failure at Cardiff City should not be held against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Aaron Gales
665   //    12 Feb 2019, 22:50 IST

After an impressive spell in charge, Solskjaer is the hot favorite to be appointed a permanent manager of Manchester United
After an impressive spell in charge, Solskjaer is the hot favorite to be appointed as a permanent manager of Manchester United

Whenever a top job in European football comes up, one name frequently linked with any vacancy is Antonio Conte. He has rightfully developed a reputation as a highly coveted manager through his excellent work in recent years with Chelsea, the Italian national team and Juventus.

At Chelsea, he won the Premier League title and FA Cup during his two seasons in charge, while at Juventus he won three Serie A titles which were their first since the Calciopoli scandal that saw them demoted to Serie B in 2006.

However, before this incredible run of success, Conte endured a tough start to managerial life after retiring from his prestigious playing career.

His time started with an unimpressive spell with Arezzo who were relegated to Serie C1 during his time in charge. From there he moved to Bari where he enjoyed some success leading them to the Serie B title in 2008-09.

Following that success he flopped at Atlanta, resigning in January 2010, with the club in 19th place, before spending a solitary season in charge of Siena who he led to a promotion at Serie A. He was then offered the job as Juventus manager and the rest is history.

I use the example of Conte to demonstrate a point in the ongoing debate about whether or not Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has what it takes to be made the permanent manager of Manchester United.

The one key sticking point in his CV is his ill-fated spell in charge of Cardiff City in 2014, when he was unable to prevent relegation from the Premier League and endured a terrible start to the following season in the Championship which resulted in him being sacked in the September of the 2014-15 season.

Solskjaer didn't cover himself in glory and his reputation rightly took a hit. However, it would be wrong to dismiss his credentials based on that short spell, particularly as it has been sandwiched by two very impressive periods in charge of Molde in his native Norway.

He will undoubtedly have learned from his time in charge of Cardiff City and his incredibly impressive start to life at Manchester United is a testament to that.


Whether or not he is the best person for the job, or whether Ed Woodward decides to pursue Mauricio Pochettino, no manager should have their career written off on the basis of one failure.

Unless you are Pep Guardiola or Sir Alex Ferguson nobody is going to get it right every single time. One bad job doesn't make a bad manager and it would be wrong for the Norwegian's future career in management to suffer because of it.

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