Manchester United legend Solskjaer faces warm welcome on return to Molde

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to end a 14-year relationship with Manchester United by accepting the manager’s position at Norwegian Tippeligaen side Molde, the same club from which he joined the Red Devils in 1996, and Eivind Berg of Molde supporters’ website says the man known in England as ‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ is far and away the supporters’ first choice.

No question about it. At this point anyone else will be a massive disappointment. It’s like a dream come true. He is a legend in Molde and his return will give the fans, the club, the city and the whole region an enthusiasm and belief in the future that we’ve never seen before.” And, Berg adds, Solskjaer’s likely appointment will raise his the expectations of his fellow supporters’ higher than ever: “They will skyrocket and if Solskjaer comes and he gets to strengthen the squad as rumoured I have no doubt that most will believe that we will again try to knock Rosenborg off the top of the league.

Solskjaer will replace another Manchester legend in the manager’s hot seat if he does, as expected take the role – but this time from the blue half of the city. Former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler is the outgoing Coach, and Berg feels the German can leave with his head held high: “Bear in mind we only had Rosler for eight games. He came in and took over a struggling side, did a fantastic job and he and the team performed well over our expectations while he was here,” and Berg notes the reason for Rosler’s departure is not football related: “It’s always been the plan that Rosler would only be at Molde until the end of the season as he’s returning to his family in Manchester.

The 2010 season was, by Berg’s admission, a disappointing one for Molde, an 11th-place finish the sum total of the team’s achievements a year after finishing second in the league and reaching the Norwegian Cup final, and Berg is pessimistic regarding the quality of the division Solskjaer looks ready to join. He said: “It used to be quite a bit better than it is as of now. The difference in quality is high. I would expect the top clubs to struggle in Premier League whereas I could see the bottom clubs to struggle in League One.” And despite the path from Norway to England being a well-trodden one, Berg does not expect many players to make the journey in the near future. “With the current squad I don’t see many players that Premier League clubs would be interested in. Magne Hoseth was linked to both Blackburn Rovers and Fulham this summer. I could also see Emil Johansson getting there in a couple of years. He’s a Swedish left back and was voted the best in the last European U-21 Championship.

I expect the link between Molde and Manchester United to strengthen if Solskjaer signs for Molde. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a couple of up and coming youngsters at least going over to United to train.

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