Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Aston Villa boss that never was
Remember the summer when we dreamt of having Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the Aston Villa boss? It was a hazy summer with Randy Lerner’s private jet allegedly leaving a carbon footprint across Northern European, as he sought to land the Baby Faced Assassin.
Solskjaer was a fresh and bold choice. At the time, he was the bookies favourite to become the Villa manager. Inexperienced? Yes, but certainly worth a punt. If nothing more, it would have certainly built on Villa’s Norwegian following, amassed mainly thanks to John Carew.
Anyway, he said ‘no’, and the rest is history, and tonight the inevitable has happened and Solskjaer is in an opposition Premier League team dugout.
In the pre-match press conference to the Cardiff versus Villa game, the former Manchester United striker finally publicly expressed the reasons for turning Lerner down.
“I spoke with Mr Lerner but it wasn’t the right time, so I thought there was no point to follow that up,” he said. “My family didn’t fancy moving and it would not have been right for me to come to the Premier League after winning two league titles [with Molde in the Norway].”
There were reports at the time it wasn’t just a family matter that influenced his decision, but rather the threat that the club’s main investors Aker and Rokke claimed to be pulling their money out of the club due to the prospect of Solskjaer leaving Molde. So out of loyalty to Molde, he stayed put.
The club weren’t as successful after his decision, but Solskjaer insists, “But I am better prepared now after more experiences as a manager.”
He always seemed a good guy, and we wish him well…after tonight. UTV
I think the question “How much do I have to spend Mr Lerner?” Followed by the answer “Fuckall Mr Solskjaer.” Might have had something to do with it.
I’m not so sure the job was his to turn down. He may have been in the running but that doesn’t mean he was first choice.
I think he was approached first, but after initial talks, turned down the chance to discuss it further. It would have been a clean deal for Villa, and preferable to the hassle they had to go through with Norwich to get Lambert. If Ole was keen, I’m pretty sure he would have been Villa boss, as the fans were largely on side with the idea too.
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