August 28, 2007

farewell ole

1996 - 2007

You are my Solskjaer

My Ole Solskjaer
You make me happy
When skies are grey
Coz when it's pouring
You can't stop scoring
Please don't take
My Solskjaer away

The year is 1996. Manyoo had just won the Double. With kids. Alan Hansen has a pie in his face. All eyes are on Alex Ferguson. How would he build on the success? His main target was Mary Poppins. After being rejected by Mary Poppins, he signed a little known striker called Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for £1.5 million, as opposed to Shearer's eventual £15 million transfer to Newcastle. Lined up against the summer recruits that year, not many people gave Solskjaer a chance. Ferguson had signed Jordi Cruyff who brought along with him that famous name and Karel Poborsky who had a cracking Euro 96 and brought along his Pob-Lob.

Solskjaer? Who?
Molde? Where?

There is no doubt he surpassed all expectations. The model professional. Never once complained about being benched. Never once dissapointed when called upon. The ultimate team player. The infamous super-sub.

99 was Ole's year.

He supported Liverpool as a kid, and after the game against Liverpool where he scored that injury time goal, he endeared himself to the United faithful by further adding that this was proof that he was one of us. Which United fan would forget 4 goals in 13 minutes after coming on as a substitute against Nottingham Forest? Nou Camp? Enough has been said about that night. He wrote himself in United folklore - cast his name in stone with just one flick of a boot.

And despite all those fantastic achievements, when asked what his greatest moment of his United career was, his answer, as is typical of Ole Solskjaer - typically modest. It wasn't Nou Camp or Nottingham Forest. It wasn't finishing United's top scorer in his debut season. It wasn't his first goal after coming back from a nightmare injury.

'I feel proud to have represented Manchester United for 11 years, and have some very special memories.'

His fondest, though, will always be scoring on his debut just six minutes after coming off the bench to secure a 2-2 home draw with Blackburn on August 25, 1996

'I've been asked many times what's the greatest moment of my United career,' said Solskjaer.

'Scoring that goal in my first game and turning round to see that Eric Cantona was the first one coming towards me to celebrate, that just made me realise, 'I'm at Old Trafford now'.'

How do you not worship a player that says things like that?

Cheers, Ole!
You're a freaking legend.

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