Solskjaer Sacked – But Was He All That Bad?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time as Manchester United manager came to an end over the weekend when he was sacked, and it got me thinking. Just how bad was he as the Manchester United manager?

It is a question that is surprisingly difficult to answer, as it is dependent on what constitutes good and bad.

Many football supporters measure their team’s success in terms of trophies won, which is perfectly understandable. We all want to see our teams win a trophy or two, don’t we? On that measure, Solskjaer has failed. He won nothing as Manchester United manager, and indeed is the first United manager since Frank O’Farrell not to win anything.

So far so bad. But by another measure, Solskjaer is the third-best manager in the history of the club.

Take look at this table of Manchester United all-time manager, with the winning strike rates in the third-column from the right. Staggeringly, Solskjaer is ranked third (marginally!) behind only Sir Alex Ferguson and the supposed recent failure in the role, Jose Mourinho.

I’m not saying that Solskjaer is one of the all-time greats… But – just maybe – considering Manchester United is widely regarded as being a badly run football club, perhaps Solskjaer deserves plenty of credit for managing to win as many games as he did.

We can perhaps say the same for Mourinho before him too!