When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford as caretaker manager midway through the 2018-19 season, he breathed new life into a team that was drifting. In this new and definitive biography, Jamie Jackson investigates why he was the perfect man for the job to bring back the glory days.
After the confusion under David Moyes, the stagnation of Louis van Gaal and the growing trauma under Jose Mourinho, Manchester United were a club increasingly struggling to challenge for major honours, something the fans had been accustomed to during the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson. So when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a match-winning hero of the Reds' great Treble-winning side returned to Old Trafford on 19 December 2018 as caretaker manager, he was welcomed with open arms. Here was a man who understood what it was that the fans demanded, and he had a plan to give it to them. They went on a record-breaking run of victories that secured him the position on a permanent basis, before old frailties re-emerged, showing the scale of the job he had always dreamed of taking on. During the summer transfer window, he began a dramatic reshaping of the team's personnel to set them up for the 2019-20 season.
The Red Apprentice, Jamie Jackson's fascinating biography of Solskjaer, takes the reader back to the Norwegian's early days to discover the making of the man, relives the highlights of a stunning playing career - and that Champions League-clinching goal in 1999 - and explains why he is the natural choice for United in the future.
Jamie Jackson has been the Manchester football correspondent for the Guardian and the Observer since 2012, ensuring him unrivalled access to Manchester United. He is the author of one previous football book, A Season in the Red, published in 2015.