Ole Gunnar Solskjær issues a call to arms in honor of Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær has spoken out about his desire to usher in a real period of success under his stewardship for the first time since legendary Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson patrolled the touchline at Old Trafford. Since Ferguson’s retirement from management at the end of the 2012-13 season – which saw United win the league in a send-off befitting his stature both at the club and across football – the fortunes at the club have paled in comparison.
To date, United has yet to lift the Premier League trophy in the wake of the Scotsman’s retirement and has added just one FA Cup, one League Cup, a Community Shield, as well as winning the Europa League under José Mourinho in 2016-17. In that same timeframe, United has never made it past the quarterfinals of the Champions League while also finishing outside of the top four on four occasions in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019.
— Helena Wilkinson (@BBCHelena) May 25, 2021
But under Solskjær, whose famous goal in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich helped the club secure a historic continental treble with Ferguson at the helm, United has looked like re-establishing themselves both at home and abroad. After coming in halfway through the 2018-19 season after Mourinho was let go, Solskjær stabilized the club on the domestic front, and then led them to third in the table the season after, while guiding them to finishing as runner-up to Manchester City this term as well as a trip to a major European final; their second since 2010.
Having won no less than nine major pieces of silverware as a player under Ferguson, the chance to lift his first for the club as its manager, with Sir Alex in attendance, is a moment too memorable to ignore.
Ferguson; an unrivaled legacy
“He [Sir Alex Ferguson] flew out with us and some of the players and staff went to see his documentary. I sat there thinking about what he’s done for the club. He’s a special man.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjær
When Sir Alex Ferguson underwent emergency surgery after suffering a life-threatening brain hemorrhage in May of 2018, the football world waited with bated breath for hopeful news regarding one of the sport’s most beloved and admired figures. But Ferguson would make a full recovery and be right back at it come September of the same year, supporting the club from the stands.
With a legacy in football management that spanned 39-years and took him from East Stirlingshire to Manchester United with stops at St. Mirrin, Aberdeen, and the Scottish national team, few can hope to have the impact on football that the Glasgow-native has. When he took the United job in 1986 it had been 20-years since the last time the Red Devils topped the top flight of English football, and though they would finish as low as eleventh in two of his first three years at the helm, 1991 would be the first year of a period of dominance that has yet to be matched in England. For the next 22-years, United would finish in the top-two on nineteen occasions while winning the league thirteen times, which was double the clubs league trophy haul (7) that existed before Ferguson arrived in Manchester.
All told, Sir Alex would lead United to 28 major honors (not including the Charity/Community Shield), and while no one would ever expect Ole Gunnar Solskjær to achieve even a fraction of the same success, a win on Wednesday evening would be a fitting tribute to the man who helped propel United to true global recognition.