There is no doubting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s place in Manchester United folklore – but the fact he is now their caretaker manager has raised a few eyebrows.
Solskjaer scored 126 goals in 366 appearances during his 11 years at Old Trafford and is best remembered for scoring the winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999.
The fans’ favourite – affectionately known as the ‘baby-faced assassin’ – also won six Premier League titles and two FA Cups with United.
But as a manager, he is somewhat unproven.
Solskjaer has enjoyed two successful spells with Norwegian club Molde but, between those, he lasted less than nine months at Cardiff City and got them relegated from the Premier League.
Arguably that failure is a blot on an otherwise burgeoning CV, but it is a significant enough one for some to doubt whether he would be the right man to succeed the sacked Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
“For Manchester United to be appointing an interim manager is a shambles,” said former United midfielder Robbie Savage.
“Yes, Solskjaer might have scored the winning goal in the Champions League final but is this where Manchester United are?
“He’s a legend and the fans sing his name, but really?”
One of Solskjaer’s former United team-mates, Darren Fletcher, is a little more open to the idea.
“Ole has got cutting words,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The smiling assassin sums him up. He’s a lovely fella but Ole will let people know if he’s not happy with them.”
‘His Molde group is somewhat similar to watching Liverpool’
Tor-Kristian Karlsen is the donning executive at Norwegian club IK Start and recently held indistinguishable job at clubs such from Monaco and Maccabi Haifa.
Karlsen has pursued Solskjaer’s playing and administrative profession and his IK Start side have confronted Solskjaer’s Molde on a few events.
“As far as I can tell, Solskjaer seems progressively prepared to confront another test now than when he joined Cardiff,” Karlsen disclosed to BBC Sport.
“I’m certain that encounter shown him a lot and is something that will demonstrate helpful learning if he somehow happened to get another go in the Premier League.
“Molde began off the season gradually, yet as the group gelled and create they wound up playing some elating football.
“In my view, in spite of winding up second behind Rosenborg, they were the extraordinary group this season.
“What’s more, had they not confronted a droop in frame amid the mid year months, in which they dropped some superfluous class focuses – the early European rounds incurred significant injury – they would have gotten Rosenborg at last.
“Molde played with a ton of vitality, pace and energy. Their home win against Rosenborg towards the finish of the season was the best execution I’ve seen from a group in Norway this season.
“Unexpectedly, it was somewhat similar to watching Liverpool against Manchester United at the end of the week – Rosenborg could scarcely get this show on the road the ball out of their own half.
“Solskjaer has additionally done particularly well by bringing through some new skilled players this season. Erling Braut Haland has just been sold to Red Bull Salzburg for a gigantic exchange expense and Eirik Hestad wound up as a standout amongst the most energizing midfielders in the group.”
That accentuation on brave football and sustaining youthful players is definitely what United are searching for after Mourinho was esteemed to have neglected to convey on both those fronts.
So what sort of chief is Solskjaer?
Solskjaer is a principled mentor however one whose man-the board may need to enhance in the event that he is to prevail at United, as per previous Wales and West Ham safeguard Danny Gabbidon, who Solskjaer marked at Cardiff.
“From being a player in the changing area under Solskjaer’s administration, I couldn’t generally say anything awful regarding him as an individual,” Gabbidon disclosed to BBC Radio Wales.
“In any case, regardless of whether he could deal with those huge identities and be the person to set out the law when it’s required, I’m not very beyond any doubt.”
Gabbidon was one of 18 players marked by Solskjaer amid his concise spell at Cardiff, and the larger part of those were disappointments.
Guido Burgstaller and Javi Guerra were among the individuals who immediately blurred from view, while Mats Moller Daehli, Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Jo Inge Berget were three players selected from Norway who attempted to have any important effect.
On occasion, Solskjaer’s scattergun approach in the exchange showcase gave the impression he was enjoying a genuine form of Football Manager, the PC diversion he said he had delighted in playing before making the real move to the burrow.
Given that track record, if Solskjaer is to steer at United, it will intrigue perceive how much impact CEO Ed Woodward will permit the Norwegian when the move window revives in January.