Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be appointed as permanent Manchester United manager after restoring positivity to the club and rediscovering the “Paul Pogba of old”, says Andy Cole.
A fellow member of the Red Devils’ 1999 Treble-winning squad is among those to have watched on from afar as a former team-mate has delivered an upturn in fortune at Old Trafford.
When handed the reins in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s dismissal, Solskjaer was charged with steadying the ship and rescuing a season in danger of collapse.
He has delivered that and more, with 11 wins from 13 games lifting United back into the Premier League’s top four and restoring belief for the future.
As somebody who knows all about the club, and one who has got the best out of key men who had struggled under previous regimes, Cole believes it should be a given that Solskjaer stays on.
The former United striker told beIN Sports of a man currently working on an interim agreement: “I think it’s more than changing the mood and the feel-good factor, what he’s done has galvanised not just the players but the whole football club.
“Man United are playing like Man United now, scoring goals, playing attractive football.
“I can’t see any reason why not to give him it. I’ve been asked this question quite a few times and I keep saying managers, like [Mauricio] Pochettino, have been touted for getting the Manchester United job, they’ve had to learn somewhere to get to the position where they get touted for the job.
“Ole’s done that. Fair enough he had a difficult time when he was at Cardiff, went back to Molde, but since he’s come to Manchester United the run they have been on has been unbelievable.
“If you listen to all the players, the way they talk about him, they want to give him the job. Players are always happy when you are winning football matches and you’re comfortable, you’re playing well and you’re playing the way you want to play.
“Ole has given everyone the opportunity to do just that, especially with Paul Pogba. The way he’s playing, he’s playing like the Paul Pogba of old, what everyone was expecting from him.
“I think he’s got a great opportunity to get the job.”
Solskjaer is thriving where the likes of Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes have failed.
Cole believes that is because, as a former United player, the Norwegian knows what is expected from anybody given the chance to fill the most demanding of posts.
Asked if ties to the club are important given the struggles of previous coaches, the ex-England international said: “I’m starting to look at it now and say 'yeah' because you’ve got to understand the ethos of the club.
“I don’t think anyone should be able to go to any football club and change what that club has been built on. It’s an institute.
“The three managers that have come in have all tried to tinker a little bit and they’ve all fallen short.
“Ole has gone in there and done everything what Manchester United are used to. I’d love him to get the job.”
Solskjaer faces another stern test of his coaching credentials on Sunday when United welcome title-chasing Liverpool to Old Trafford for a rekindling of their fierce rivalry.