“This Is A Club Which Rises To Challenges'' Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Outlines Vision For Manchester United On Old Trafford Return
Despite the uncertainty of how long he’ll remain in the hotseat, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a scintillating start to life as Manchester United manager, almost single-handedly eradicating memories of the Moyes, Van Gaal, and Mourinho era of stoic football with a swashbuckling 5-1 win over Cardiff City in his opening game at the helm.
Though extremely premature to even remotely speculate whether the Norwegian will remain beyond the end of the season after being appointed interim, nor if ‘the good old days’ are well are truly back for the Red Devils, ahead of welcoming Huddersfield to Old Trafford, Solskjaer has produced his first programme notes to fans flocking to the Theatre of Dreams and the message, as the Manchester Evening News rightly points out, is a ‘defiant’ one.
Solskjaer talks through the direction he wants the club to go in, his vision over the next few months – including, importantly, the role United’s young players will have – and pinpoints the highlights United can look forward to over the next few months with him at the helm.
Most endearingly, he thanks the club and supporters for their initial support.
After the initial necessities of "Hello and welcome to Old Trafford’, with affection reeking from the ink the Baby-Faced Assassin says;
"I should start by underlining how excited I am to be back at Manchester United.
"I feel like I have come home. From the moment I found out that I was doing this role, today is the day that I really couldn't wait for. To walk out at Old Trafford means so much to me and I want to thank you all for making me feel so welcome. Walking into the training ground on that first day last week was quite something, to see all the staff, many of whom I knew and a few new faces too - it was something special.
"After today's game against Huddersfield Town, we will be halfway through the Premier League season and I am under no illusions as to the scale of the job ahead. We all have a lot of work to do in order to get this club back towards where it should be. Not only do we have to improve our results, we have to remind people what Manchester United is all about. We have to show everybody who we really are.
"This is a club built on environment and excitement, on giving young players the opportunity to express themselves. These players have shown that they have the never-say-die spirit that United has always had. There is a lot of talent in our squad and this is a big opportunity for these players to demonstrate that and show everybody why they play for this great club. I want Old Trafford to see that today.
"It has been a difficult season so far, of course, but throughout it all, our supporters have been incredible. This is how I remember the fans from my previous time at the club: Home and away, the players are always able to count on your backing. It is time for that faith and support to be repaid.
"There are plenty of games left this season and lots to be optimistic about. We still have a lot of games to play in the Premier League and ground to make up on the teams above us; we have an FA Cup campaign starting next month and, of course, there is a very exciting Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain to look forward to.
"We have a huge challenge ahead over the rest of the season, but this is a club which rises to challenges and relishes them. It will require hard work from every single person associated with the club, but it can be done and I am very excited to be involved."
Quite appropriately the Manchester United legend who provided some of the first real joy Red Devils have had all season last weekend signed off,
"I hope you all enjoy the game."
Manchester United versus Huddersfield Town kicks off at 3pm, Saturday 26th December 2018.