“A shambles.” “Absolutely hilarious.” “United writing off their season.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as interim manager in December was met with a good deal of scepticism.

Some fans, like Mufaro, were so opposed to the appointment they thought what may have seemed unthinkable in the dark final days of Jose Mourinho’s tenure.

Tweet from Mufaro saying 'I already miss Mourinho'

And, with a star-studded list of potential successors including Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino, admiring glances were being cast elsewhere.

But fourteen weeks later, Solskjaer has signed a three-year contract to take the job on a permanent basis.

How did he do it? Here’s a social media timeline of how Solskjaer silenced the doubters – and you can vote at the bottom of this page on whether it’s the right appointment.

19 December: The (interim) appointment

Despite his legendary status as a player, Solskjaer’s return raised a few eyebrows – particularly after his doomed spell as manager of Cardiff City, who were relegated from the under him.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, former United director Edward Freedman said the news “doesn’t excite me” while ex-Red Devils midfielder Darren Fletcher said the club risked “writing off” the next two seasons by appointing an interim manager.

Tweet from Phil Herring

BBC Radio 5 live presenter – and former United trainee – Robbie Savage: “For to be appointing an interim manager is a shambles.”

1GoldPLTrophy: “Let’s not lie about this; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking the United job is absolutely hilarious. It’s like us sacking Wenger and replacing him with Christopher Wreh.”

Snuffleupagus: “Sacked by Cardiff, good enough for United. Oh, how the times have changed.”

Others managed to look on the bright side of life…

Tweet from Phil Howarth saying 'Imagine if Ole wins us the Champions League'

22 December: The first match, the first win

The first time we got a taste of Solskjaer’s United was at his former club Cardiff.

Three days into his tenure, the Red Devils never looked back after a third-minute Marcus Rashford goal, and thumped the Bluebirds 5-1.

The United fans had a new song – and ‘Ole’s at the wheel, tell me how good does it feel?’ bellowed around the Cardiff City Stadium.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was full of praise for the ’s newest manager, as was former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

Tweet from Gary Lineker saying 'Solskjaer is a managerial genius'
Tweet from Peter Schmeichel saying 'What a difference a smile makes'

The people’s poet: “Nice to see a Man Utd manager SMILING for once.”

Some fans, however, saw past the smiles…

Robo: “Same old story. Overpaid, spoilt players withdraw their labour until the nasty man who shouts at them has gone, then switch it on again. Not a thought for the supporters.”

Tweet from Joe Blackmore saying 'Speaks volumes of the players'
Tweet from Don Pauleono saying 'That performance raises more questions than answers'

After the win, left-back Luke Shaw said: “Of course we want top four. I don’t see why we can’t if we keep playing like that.”

With United eight points adrift of fourth place, that proved to be a conversation-starter for all the wrong reasons…


Matches at and Arsenal are never easy for an interim manager hoping to impress a new employer – and especially when that employer is a club of the stature of United.

But Solskjaer laughed in the face of such adversity – his side won 1-0 at and 3-1 at Emirates Stadium. The latter, by the way, made it eight wins from eight matches since his appointment.

In his match report of the game, BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil McNulty said: “Solskjaer has given a disaffected squad unity of purpose once more… and this run of wins has rebuilt fractured confidence and belief.”

Tweet from Rio Ferdinand saying 'Ole getting the best out of all these Man Utd players now. Something Jose failed to do'

Mohamed: “Madrid had Zidane, had Pep, Solskjaer is Man Utd’s version of the two.”

Samuel James Lee: “Saying things and doing things a Man Utd manager should.”

Tweet from MUFC away days saying 'fans are buzzing, players are buzzing'

12 February: The first wobble

Unbeaten runs have to end at some point. In Solskjaer’s case, it was 12 matches in. A Tuesday night in February and a 2-0 home defeat by French champions Paris St-Germain in the ’s last 16.

McNulty described it as the Norwegian’s “toughest night”, adding: “He will not give up hope but logic suggests this is the end of the road for ’s ambitions.”

Tweet from Matthew Chapman saying 'Well that honeymoon at Manchester United has just ended'

Adrian: “Oh wow, you mean super Solskjaer, the manager of the century, actually lost a game? How is that possible?!”

Mark: “Out of his depth tonight – he looked like he was going to cry.”

Tweet from Josh after Man Utd Champions League defeat by PSG

18 February: The bounceback

The dip was brief. A 2-0 win at in the FA Cup kick-started the ‘Ole to be permanent boss’ talk all over again…

Tweet from Talking Tottenham saying 'Let me guess - Ole to get the United job again now?'

4PetesSake: “Every player has improved under Ole and his leadership team who are United through and through. Give Ole the job now.”

6 March: The night he got the job?

United fans travelled to Paris for the return leg of their tie more in hope than expectation.

But an odds-defying victory – secured with an injury-time penalty scored by a United youth product – wrote Solskjaer’s name into the club’s history. Again.

Remember when Robbie Savage described the initial appointment as a shambles? Well…

Tweet from Robbie Savage saying 'Give Ole the job now'

Finkelstein: “Brilliant United. will be renamed ‘Ole’s Trafford’ Brilliant win. From a Spurs fan.”

Jenny: “Suddenly I’m back in 1999. Smile on my face. Thanks OGS.”

Tweet from Liam Canning saying 'Best night since Sir Alex Ferguson retired'

Even the haters couldn’t help but appreciate a football masterclass.

A. M. Peacock: “Amazing. I’ve grown up hating Man Utd but even I want to see Ole succeed.”

7 March: The morning after the night before

Hope had been restored, and all was well at .

So much so, this supporter decided to bet his job on it…

Toby Briggs message

Just four days after that amazing night in Paris, United failed to spark on duty, losing 2-0 at Arsenal.

Another six days on, they were out of the FA Cup after a 2-1 defeat by Wolves at Molineux.

Tweet saying 'Ole's at the wheel' with a person falling off a bike
Tweet from LSW saying 'Average manager whose honeymoon has ended'

Khalid: “Honeymoon over, bubble burst. Man Utd back to mediocre.”

Red of Oscar: “Can someone please give Solskjaer the job now before they realise he’s a fraud?”

Tweet of Sir Alex Ferguson holding up 'Ole out' banner

28 March: The (permanent) appointment

“Get the contract out, put it on the table, let him sign it. Let him write whatever numbers he wants to put on there. Ole’s at the wheel, he’s doing his thing. Man Utd are back.”

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand was in no doubt after United’s win at – and he was soon on Twitter after the official announcement:

Rio Ferdinand twitter

Current and former players, as well as fans, were very happy:

Chris Smalling twitter
Peter Schmeichel tweet
Gary Neville twitter

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