Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been out of work - and the limelight - since he was relieved of his duties by Manchester United following a chastening run of form in November 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been out of work since leaving Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been out of work since leaving Manchester United

It’s almost two years since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unceremoniously axed as Manchester United boss.

The writing had been on the wall for weeks, but a humbling 4-1 defeat at Watford was the final straw, with his departure confirmed on November 22, 2021. And in the 22 months since his emotional exit interview, the Norwegian has been largely…silent.

From the most high-profile job in English football, Solskjaer has managed to retreat back to the comfort of relative anonymity - and away from the scrutiny of the Old Trafford hotseat.

Many tipped the United legend to jump straight back into management, that’s the route many of his contemporaries have taken. Frank Lampard quickly got back on the horse after his first Chelsea dismissal, Steven Gerrard wasted little time after suffering the same fate with Aston Villa.

But in an industry where the adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’ couldn’t be more apt, Solskjaer has been happy to bide his time. He hasn’t been short of offers either. Had he fancied another managerial job - or a stint in the punditry sphere - he would likely have been snapped up.

Instead, he took the enforced break as a chance to spend quality time with his family, having been away during the coronavirus pandemic. “I’ll spend some time with my family,” he explained after his sacking

“That’s been probably the most difficult part, through the pandemic, with Norway being open and here being closed, my family moved back to Norway and the young one, he loves it back there, so we’ve lived apart.”

“So, I’ll spend some time with them. Then, I’ll watch the team of course and hopefully, the next manager comes in and I want to support him. I want him to be successful, hopefully I’ve laid the foundations for that to happen because I know I’m good at what I’m doing.

Solskjaer has been largely out of the limelight since his final game in charge of Man Utd Solskjaer has been largely out of the limelight since his final game in charge of Man Utd (


Getty Images)

“I’m one hundred per cent sure to create a football environment, that’s where I’m good at and at some point, I’ll probably be back [working in football].”

But while the wait for an official return goes on, he has been back on the touchline in some capacity. Last year, Solskjaer dusted off the tracksuit to take charge of his son Elijah’s Under-14 team. Local news outlet Tidens Krav via VG reported that the 50-year-old was training the youngsters two or three times a week.

He has continued to split time between Norway and his family home in Cheshire, with at least one Premier League club sounding him out over a potential appointment. Earlier this year, he was touted as a possible candidate for the Club Brugge job, a position which was ultimately filled by former Celtic boss Ronny Deila.

It perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise he has been so selective over his next role. Despite still being relatively green as a manager, he has been burned by experiences both with his beloved United and with Cardiff City.

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Speaking last year, he told fans that it would take a special club to bring him back into the limelight. “There are so many clubs, but I’m not going to work just for the sake of working. It has to be something special, a new culture, or a club that really excites me.”

And which club is more special and likely to excite “the Baby-Faced Assassin” than Manchester United? A return to the dugout remains highly unlikely, but don’t rule it out completely, especially if the aforementioned “new culture” arrives.

Since leaving United, Solskjaer has called for the Glazers to leave and said the prospective takeover has to be completed. Sheikh Jassim, one of the frontrunners of the protracted sage has plans to get club legends back into the fold - something Solskjaer is very open to.

“Maybe they will want me back at the club (United) in some capacity, who knows?”

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