Solksjaer's secret: He didn't want any a**eholes in Manchester United's squad
The Norwegian became a Manchester United hero in his second advent at Old Trafford.
Shortly after his arrival as caretaker coach of the Red Devils in December 2018 following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer was given a three-year deal in March last year after 10 wins from 13 matches, including a remarkable comeback against Paris St Germain in the Champions League.
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He hit a slump shortly after that to become Liverpool fans’ favourite United manager, but had a fantastic run before the coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on the English Premier League season.
Speaking to The Sun, Solskjaer revealed that he had the monumental task of getting rid of some nasty attitudes in the United squad when he took over as boss.
And he didn’t mince words. In language that would make your Siao Mates blush, he declared: “I’d rather have a hole in the squad than an a**ehole.”
Yup. You heard right. And this no-nonsense approach led to the departures of Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Inter Milan, and Alexis Sanchez, who has also moved to Inter, but on loan.
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And who next? Paul Pogba?
Solskjaer said: “You want players to have a bit of ego and edge but they have to be able to adapt.”
He said the team is a united one now, so Pogba’s position seems safe. At least, for now.
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Before the coronavirus lockdown, United went 11 games undefeated – a record that’s better than Liverpool’s current one. The Red Devils are now fifth with the possibility of Champions League action next season, in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and have a chance to make it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
And Solskjaer feels he is the right man for United, describing himself as a loyal, club man.
“I plan for the long term and I want the best for the club long term. I’d like to think they thought I had the personality to manage Manchester United.”
Liverpool fans who laughed at Solskjaer’s dismal start upon being confirmed as manager may end up eating their words now. Or perhaps next season.