Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepared for management by playing Football Manager


Should Manchester United fans really be surprised that it’s not working out well for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford?

The Norwegian was relegated with Cardiff City in 2014 and then returned to Molde, where he stayed before Man United came calling in 2018.

The Premier League is a significant step above the Eliteserien, Norway’s top flight, and it seems to be too much for Solskjaer.

That’s not his fault. He was never going to say no when United turned to him following Jose Mourinho’s departure, and he’s doing the best he can.

The problems at the club extend beyond Solskjaer and, while #OleOut regularly trends on Twitter these days, the fans seem to realise that the Glazers and Ed Woodward deserve more blame.

However, should the Red Devils have hired their former striker in the first place?

He won a couple of Norwegian titles with Molde in 2011 and 2012 but none in his second spell at the club.

And his previous taste of English football came with that disappointing spell with Cardiff.

Newcastle United v Cardiff City - Premier League

In the wake of United’s most recent embarrassment, a 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley, fans are being reminded about how Solskjaer prepared for life as a manager.

Back in 2013, he told Dagbladet about how playing Football Manager during his days as a United player helped him learn about football.

We seriously hope there was more to it than that, Ole…

“When I played for Man U, I relaxed by playing Football Manager," Solskjaer revealed, per the Manchester Evening News.

“It's a fantastic game, I have learned a lot about football. I have learned a lot about players, especially young talent.


"It resembles real life, when it comes to who will be good players. They have done incredible research.

"I remember thinking the same then, that I do as a manager, you want to give young guns the chance, see them develop.

"You could push a few buttons and get extra millions to buy a player. I never enjoyed that. I would rather win in spite of, than because of.

"Many of my players play FIFA and Football Manager. I think it helps them to understand football better."

Unfortunately for Solskjaer, there’s no option to quit the game and restart it when United lose in real life.

This is the real thing and it’s hard to imagine that much of what Solskjaer learned on Football Manager is really helping him out now.

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