Why Man Utd have always loved Solskjaer

For those of us under thirty Solskjaer is somewhat of an unknown entity. Like with many other managers very few of us can claim to know much about their coveted playing careers. We all know that Ancelotti, Guardiola, Capello, Souness and Mancini were great players but have we ever watched them?

A few quick google searches can throw up a few pictures of a rugged looking Mark Hughes being hugged by Sir Alex, or a Conte - sans hair - sporting a black eye in the classic Juve jersey and we can feel satisfied that yes... they looked the part. But, think of the young generation now, googling pictures and finding a baby faced Norwegian in a frumpy Man Utd top. Somehow the super sub's contribution to United just hasn't stuck like it has with Keane, Scholes, Cantona and Beckham.

Think of the young generation now, googling pictures and finding a baby faced Norwegian in a frumpy Man Utd top

It's time to tell these young whippersnappers just why he was so important to Man Utd:

Instant Impact

Rather like the effect he has to the current Man Utd, Solsjkaer's instant impact came in the form of goals. After joining Man Utd in 1996 having scored 11 goals in 16 league games for Norwegian side Molde, he scored on his debut against Blackburn, and then just didn't stop.

He finished his first season in English football with 18 goals as they win the Premiership title.

Super Sub

During his time at United Solskjaer became known as the super sub. In February 1999, he managed to score four goals in twelve minutes against Nottingham Forest after coming on as a sub.

He scored 28 goals off the bench for Man Utd, and held the record for the most goals as a sub in the Premier League until recently when it was surpassed by Jermaine Defoe.

Man Utd through and through

He has made no secret of the fact that he is as much a fan as he was a player or now a manager. After starting his career at Clausenengen and then Molde, he stayed with Man Utd until his retirement. Spanning a period of eleven years. He played 366 times for Man Utd and scored 126 goals. Not only was he loyal to his club, but he also accepted his role as a sub for long periods in his career.

The 1999 Champions League Final

The 1999 Champions League final remains one of the classics. Sir Alex's Man Utd had come runner's up to Ottmar Hitzfield's Bayern Munich in the group stages but the two giants were now meeting at the Nou Camp for the final. Pierluigi Colina has since stated that this was the most memorable game of his career, comparing the atmosphere to that of a 'lion's roar'. 

Basler puts Bayern in front in the sixth minute, and the score remains 1-0 after 90 minutes. As they head into injury time up pops Teddy Sheringham to equalise, before Solskjaer, who had come on as a sub twelve minutes earlier snatches a second in the 93rd minute. The rest is history, and for this reason, among many others, Man Utd fans will always love their baby faced assassin.

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