Manchester United parted ways with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the humiliating 4-1 loss to Watford on Saturday, bringing to an end the former player's three-year stint at the helm of the club.
His sacking was a long time coming with the club struggling under him not only for decent results but also for direction or a clear gameplan.
The Norwegian, though, in a rare gesture, chose to give the club's media team a heartwarming interview after his departure was announced.
“You know what this club means to me and what I wanted to achieve here. For the club, for the fans, for the players, for the staff. I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies and I only think it’s right that it comes from the horse’s mouth,” said Solskjaer.
The 48-year-old said that he was doing the interview as he did not want to speak to journalists after his sacking.
“I want to get it out there, I’m going to leave by the front door, because I think everyone knows I’ve given everything for this club. This club means everything to me and together we’re a good match, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside,” he said.
Solskjaer was appointed in December 2018, following a similar mid-season firing of Jose Mourinho. Though appointed as an interim manager, he was later made permanent. And though results have not gone his way, Solskjaer feels that he has left the club in a better state than where it was when he took over.
He had a special mention for the memorable comeback win over Paris St Germain in the 2019 Champions League fixture. “We were down and out, everyone thought we had no chance against a very good team with good players. But they showed the Man United character and pride. That performance, I’ll remember that of course and I’ve got a very nice picture of me, Sir Alex [Ferguson] and Eric [Cantona] celebrating, and some videos from the dressing room.”
“I am a fan and I wish the players all the best. There are some very, very good players there, some good people. I’m sure we’ll see them puff their chest out and they’ll go on a run.”
Solskjaer played for United from 1996 to 2007 under Alex Ferguson before taking charge of the reserves squad until 2011. He then managed Norwegian side Molde before returning to United in 2018.
With Michael Carrick being appointed as caretaker manager, the club is looking for a long-term replacement, although it has stated that there would first be an interim manager until the end of the season, before a decision is made for a permanent one next summer.
According to The Guardian, PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane Erik Ten Hag, Luis Enrique and Brendan Rodgers are being considered for the permanent job.