Ole's at the wheel for three more years! Solskjaer fully deserves dream job at Man United

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The Norwegian has been appointed as permanent manager and it is the right call given the way in which he has changed the atmosphere at Old Trafford

It says a lot about the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer effect that Thursday’s news of his permanent appointment as Manchester United manager came as an outright inevitability.

After the Jose Mourinho era had hit the rocks earlier in the season, United’s decision to call upon their former striker in December appeared highly likely to be a temporary solution which would allow executive vice-chair Ed Woodward and the board some time to consider a viable long-term appointment.

But Solskjaer has made the job his own in three short months.

From the moment he walked back through the door, he talked the talk. He hasn’t just dealt with expectation, he has demanded it.

Having experienced life at Old Trafford as a player, he knew that a lack of expectation would only generate further failure. He wants United to be great again, and believes defeats should be a rarity for a club of their magnitude rather than a periodic certainty, as has been the case over the past five seasons.

The results have been discussed far and wide, but it was the magnificent performance in Paris to overturn a 2-0 home-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain which surely gave the board all the evidence needed that they already had their man.

And whatever happens at home and abroad this season, the manner of United's play of late has been proof enough that Ole is the right man at the right time.

It is clear that Solskjaer holds dearly to the teachings of Sir Alex Ferguson, but that appears to be exactly what United need at this juncture.

Those managers who have tried and failed to take the club back to the glories the Scot was able to bring with regularity have generally attempted to distance themselves from the great man’s practices. But maybe Ferguson was so successful in M16 because he got exactly what made United tick as a footballing force.

And Solskjaer has so far managed to harness that. He has got them playing with pace and vigour once more.

“Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club,” said Woodward in announcing Solskjaer’s three-year deal, and he couldn’t have summed up the 46-year-old’s approach more eloquently.

One of his predecessors, Louis van Gaal, this week blasted that the Norwegian’s side is playing football more akin to Mourinho than Ferguson at this point.

“The way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played,” the Dutchman told the BBC . “It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Louis van Gaal Jose Mourinho

But, in truth, Solskjaer is employing his own variation of Ferguson football and it is working. There has been a flair about their attack, a clinical nature to their counter-punch, and even the occasional late bludgeoning in true ‘Fergie Time’ style.

Opponents know they’ve been in a game when they play United these days and a trip to the 'Theatre of Dreams' is once more a prospect to be feared rather than an eagerly-anticipated away day.

It is that deep understanding of which Woodward talks that has been the difference so far between the mood Solskjaer has fostered around the club and the one which has seen the back of David Moyes, Van Gaal and Mourinho in recent times.

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The next three years will, of course, provide much greater challenges than have been presented over the past three months. Solskjaer will face more prolonged periods of ire as well as the opportunities to stamp his own impression on the squad.

Right now, though, Ole can continue to make the plans he has been forming with the board since the day he walked in the door. He has always had United at heart, and having landed his dream job there are endless possibilities as to where this adventure could take him.

United have their soul back, and with Ole at the wheel for the next three years there are grounds for optimism once more.

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