Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retires

I still remember when Man U bought these 2 Norwegians, and I was going: Ole who? But both Ronny Johnsen and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned out to be some of Ferguson's best purchases. Jaap Stam, I think, said of Johnsen that he was the best defender he ever played with; certainly, he was one of the most underrated defenders of his time.

As for Ole, he was a true servant. He remains one of the most clinical finishers of his generation, his most famous goal, of course, being the Champions League winning goal in Barcelona. And he was totally without ego, you would never hear him complain, even when he was confined to a supersub role, or to the right wing just after Beckham left. And while he didn't have the overall talent of a Zola or a Bergkamp, like them, he was the player that opposing fans just couldn't hate. Some of his best moments, Barcelona apart, include a four goal blitz in 10 minutes against Nottingham Forest and the winner against Celtic in the most recent Champions League, showing he was still the baby-faced assassin.

Unfortunately he was bedeviled by injuries for the past four seasons, although Man U, recognising Ole's contribution, stood by him. (Heinze, are you listening?) Solskjaer will now remain at Man U as a coach and in some sort of ambassadorial role.

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