United ticket campaign drops Solskjaer hint
Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is spearheading a Manchester United promotional campaign to market tickets for the 2019-20 season, another hint the Norwegian is winning the battle to be appointed manager on a permanent basis.
Solskjaer filmed the season ticket sale videos last week before impressive performances against Liverpool and Crystal Palace extended United's record to 14 domestic games without defeat since he arrived as interim boss in December.
United supporters have certainly made their opinions known about their preference for their club's former striker to be appointed Jose Mourinho's successor on a permanent basis.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was the original bookmakers' favourite to take charge at the end of this season.
But there is a growing body of circumstantial evidence that suggests Solskjaer is edging ever closer to being appointed, such as his involvement in player personnel decisions that United will make this summer.
Solskjaer, who temporarily left his job as Molde manager to join United, being placed front and centre of the Old Trafford club's marketing and promotional material will certainly add fuel to the theory that he has all but won the fight for the permanent position.
"Everyone knows you'd like to stay, of course, but that's not decided until the end of the season," Solskjaer said.
"I've done a photo shoot or a video shoot on season tickets so I'm pleading for them to get their season tickets.
"If it's me as a supporter or manager I don't know but they should still buy their season tickets because the club is going somewhere.
"That's just part of being here, the commercial. Part of being a player here as well. Suddenly you're not here anymore and you see your picture. That's how it is.
"It'll be stranger to see yourself in the video if you're not here but no it's not strange doing it.
"If my kids see a commercial with me in it and I'm back home in Norway, that'll be strange, probably."
- Discussing the future -
Solskjaer's PR value to the United hierarchy is obvious, given his standing at the club and his current success.
But Solskjaer, a failure in his only other English management role with Cardiff, has clearly been heavily involved in advanced planning.
"Yes I have. We've been discussing the future of the club," he said.
"We did that before I had won two or three games and all this talk about if I should stay or not. My contract is up in the summer but I still, as I've always done for Man United, give my 100 per cent and my best.
"You have to plan. Even if I'm not here, I still give my view on who I would like to see as a supporter."
United's resurgence has thrust them into what appears a four-horse race for the two places that will be left for next season's Champions League, along with Manchester City and Liverpool.
And Solskjaer has urged his players to rise to the challenges offered by a stage of the season that once inspired former United boss Alex Ferguson to utter one of his most memorable quotes.
"Squeaky bum time," joked Solskjaer, quoting his mentor.
"But I'm not a nervous guy. I need to relax, I need to enjoy it. I think my players see as well that I do enjoy this.
"This is the best time of their lives playing here. These are the times Man Utd players step up, when the going gets tough.
"You sign up for challenges, you sign up to rise to those challenges when you're at Man United. We've got Arsenal coming up, PSG away coming up, big games.
"These are the periods and times that make them stay in the history of the club."
© 2019 AFP