Last night I was on the edge of my seat, I was gripped . . . waiting to see if Manchester United could achieve something never done in Champions League history before. I'm a Spurs fan, a pretty big Spurs fan to be honest, but Solskjaer had me believing. I believed Utd could do it and so, it seems, did his team. So, what's his secret? Ole follows three simple principles (well, that's my take on it) and they seem to shine through in everything he does and says . . .
1. The Power of Positivity. Growing up through the late 80's and through the 90's, I remember listening to my old man's motivational tapes by Zig Ziglar. They were called the Power of Positivity and had you believing anything was possible. Looks to me like Ole Gunnar follows the same principles and this feeds through to his players. He never doubted his team's ability for a second - at the end of the first leg, after a 2-0 defeat, his response was simple 'mountains are there to be climbed'. Going into the game United had 10 injured players, again Ole never complained, he said he believed in the players and felt they could do it and they proved him right.
2. Embraces History. Solskjaer clearly loves Man Utd. He's part of their amazing history after all. He speaks all the time about the clubs history of comebacks, achieving the impossible - comes backs in Turin against the mighty Juve, turning things around against Bayern in 1999, beating Real Madrid in 1968. He loves it and paints this history for his players, making them believe that they are something bigger than themselves - which they are, of course. His response at the end of the game yesterday was excellent. When asked about the comeback he said 'We're Man Utd, this is what we do'.
3. Trust and Empowerment. Ole trusts his team and empowers them to enjoy themselves on the pitch. He plays them in the right positions that play to their strengths too - in this way individual and team performances have hit a new level. There's a good quote from Pogba - 'He trusts us and we trust him'. This trust was on display again last night as he invested in youth - the message this sent was a positive one - 'I believe in you'.
So, I hope Utd give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the job. His team believes in him, he's getting results and he shares the United philosophy - attack, attack, attack. If they offer him the role permanently, there is another benefit too . . . it'll keep Poch at Spurs for a little longer at least.