Former Manchester United manager Solskjaer reveals the reasons behind his exit
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said it was time to “step aside” in a tearful farewell interview after Manchester United announced his departure as manager.
Solskjaer lost his job as manager on Sunday following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Watford. Manchester United are on a run of five defeats in seven league matches and are six points off the qualification places for the Champions League.
Pressure on the manager increased after a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool that was followed by a one-sided 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.
“This club means everything to me and together we’re a good match, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
Watch the interview below
“You know what this club means to me and what I wanted to achieve here. For the club, for the fans, for the players, for the staff. I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies and I only think it’s right that it comes from the horse’s mouth. I don’t want to answer all … there’s going to be journalists asking me about interviews but no, I’m not going to do any interviews.
“I want to get it out there, I’m going to leave by the front door, because I think everyone knows I’ve given everything for this club.”
Solskjaer joined United initially on an interim basis in December 2018 when the club sacked Jose Mourinho. He was then made permanent manager in March 2019 and signed a contract extension in July of this year. But following a downturn in results, his departure was announced following an emergency board meeting on Saturday evening.
He said: “I want to thank the board and the owners for giving me the opportunity because it’s not for everyone and I’ve had the opportunity.
“I’m so honoured and privileged to have been trusted to take the club forward, and I really hope that I leave it in a better state than when I came.”
Pressure increased on Solskjaer to deliver a title challenge this season following the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. But the Norwegian departs with the club still awaiting their first trophy since Mourinho lifted the Europa League trophy in 2017.
“Well, as I’ve said many times in interviews, I’ve been backed,” he said. “The board and the owners have backed me in [terms of] bringing good people in, good players in and I think, or I know I leave this club with a better squad. The environment is fantastic, it’s an environment I’m proud of leaving because you have to enjoy coming in here working.”
Michael Carrick, who formed part of Solskjaer’s backroom team at Old Trafford, has been named caretaker manager while the club search for an interim manager to take them until the end of the season.
Carrick’s first match in charge is against Villarreal in a crucial Champions League clash on Tuesday.
Solskjaer, visibly emotional, added: “As I’ve said to them this morning as well, trust yourselves, you know we’re better than this. We’ve not been able to show it but go out, chest out, enjoy being a Man United player, Champions League, the biggest stage.
“If and when you win the game, you’re through to the next round, Michael [Carrick] is going to be in charge. Michael, I have the utmost respect [for], I love Michael to bits. I’m becoming emotional now because he’s top, they’ll be fine. I’ll watch them and support them.”