Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: A big talent and a huge gamble
New Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been touted as one of the most promising young managerial talents in Europe.
The former Manchester United striker started his coaching career managing the reserves at Old Trafford, under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, whose only apparent managerial weakness was the ability to name a successor.
Solskjaer then moved back to his native Norway to manage Molde, and after a shaky first few games took the Tippeligaen (that’s the Norwegian League for folks who aren’t big on Nordic football) in his first season.
He retained the league title the following season and also went on to win the Norwegian cup.
Whilst at Molde, he turned down an approach from Aston Villa, and was in talks with other clubs – rumoured to include West Bromwich Albion – before eventually moving to Cardiff City.
He was, it’s fair to say, quite in demand. And it’s easy to see why. He was young, talented, and very well thought of in the managerial community.
However despite all this, Solskjaer is still a huge risk for Cardiff. Despite coming with bags of talent, he comes with very little experience.
Crystal Palace – 1.57
Sunderland – 1.60
Cardiff City – 2.40
(Odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are current as of today but subject to change.)
Many will say I’m being far too harsh on the young Norwegian, and point to the similarly inexperienced Mauricio Pochettino. Many Southampton fans were dismayed at the sacking of Nigel Atkins. ‘Foreign owners know nothing about football!’ they cried. Those cries petered out as The Saints shot up the table.
Vincent Tan will be hoping for – or more likely expecting – a similar effect. However Pochettino is more likely the exception than the rule.
You only need to look to Cardiff’s fellow new-comers (and members of crazy owner club) Hull City to see what experience can get you.
Steve Bruce has worked wonders on a far smaller budget with Hull. A lot of that will be down to his experience. Bruce knows about a relegation scrap; he’s been in enough of them.
Cardiff fans will be delighted to see Solskjaer take the reins at Cardiff, especially considering the other names that the Welsh club were linked with. The likes of Ian Holloway, Alex McLeish and Paolo Di Canio were linked with the top job at Cardiff. Quite frankly I think Cardiff fans would rather Vincent Tan manage the team himself than have any of those three.
Solskjaer offers a lot more promise than many others on the list and could potentially lead the club on to many great things. His lack of experience could also see them slide down the table. Or maybe they’ll stay right where they are. I don’t know. I’m terrible at predictions.
Betting Instinct Tip – Cardiff City to beat West Ham United on Saturday is 2.02 with GR88.com
PAUL STOLLERY (paulstollery) is a Cardiff City fan and Ron Swanson enthusiast. He writes about football and rugby for Betting Instinct