Former Norwegian winger Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the Manchester United helm for nearly three years, including an interim stint, before Erik ten Hag took over. He left the club in November 2021.
In a sense, it was a special ability to lead a prestigious club for three years without a solid style of play in England, where such greats as Josep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have gathered, but it is true that his abilities were not as good as those of his generation’s most successful managers.
Looking back on his time in charge of his old club, which was not smooth sailing, he described the 2021-22 season as a low point, when he allowed five goals against Liverpool despite being at home, and said that the former Brazilian forward was a constant source of problems for him.
“Those City and Liverpool teams were the best that their clubs, with fantastic managers, have ever had. I know that’s a bold statement because Liverpool were so good in the ’80s, but they were a fantastic side under Jurgen Klopp.”
“In my last season, we played Liverpool at home. I felt the players were ready for it, just like I’d felt they were ready when we’d gone to City and won. We could have sat back and countered but my decision was to go for it. We lost 5-0. It was 50/50, more or less, in possession and chances at half-time, yet we were 4-0 down.”
“I made the wrong decision and that was my lowest point as United manager by a mile. Roberto Firmino was probably the opposition player who caused me the most problems as a manager.”The Athletic
Not a home match, but Liverpool, who did not do so well last season, scored seven goals against their longtime rivals at Anfield and got the whitewash. Manager Solskjaer may be relieved to have his memory rewritten.
The haunting Firmino played down in midfield and joined in the attack building, while as a center forward he continued to create chances while competing with the strong center backs. He was a difficult player for opponents to deal with, whether the final line was to grab him or crush him in midfield.
The Norwegian manager is now a free agent, and the former Brazilian international has sought a new home in Saudi Arabia. One can’t help but feel how quickly time flies, but will the two sides ever play each other again?