We have all seen the movie “Horrible Bosses” or at least seen a trailer or at the very least, we have heard of it. If you haven’t then you would be forgiven for thinking that the movie is set in a Premier League football world where some of the most horrible of horrible bosses ply their trade today
You would be forgiven even further if you were inclined to think that the movie is set particularly in Cardiff where Vincent Tan ruined Malky Mackay’s Christmas before running him out of town with the scorn of five thousand abusive away fans.
Fast forward a month and Cardiff City have installed an old face but new manager in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has been given the keys to a sinking ship and is a man who Tan has described as “much, much better than Malky”. Having thought long and hard about the dynamics of Solskjaer newest role, I have come up with several reasons as to why he took the job.
1 – While the former United frontman was highly successful in Norway with Molde, that in itself creates its own problem. The unknown entity that is the Norwegian league may have kept more of the “serious teams” from approaching him. The likes of West Brom, Tottenham and Sunderland have all replaced their managers since the start of the league in August and are all established Premier League outfits but the risk associated with a man who has only managed Molde may have warned them off. The Cardiff job was an easy way to build exposure and an easy way into the English Premier League for Solskjaer who, despite being linked with several jobs in the past, was never confirmed as being anyone’s first choice before.
2 – Perhaps Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not as good a manager as many have hinted. Maybe Solskjaer knows this too and sees the “Cardiff Project” as one that is simply short term. There are a limited number of things that can happen this year and in no instance does the outcome involve Solskjaer looking like the bad guy. If Cardiff do go down, Tan will be painted as the villain and the sympathy that Malky Mackay received will be spread upon Solskjaer for doing his best in a terrible situation. If they stay up, Solskjaer’s intervention will be seen as the reason and he will be looked upon as the knight in shining armour that came to save the day for struggling Cardiff. Solskjaer probably knows this too.
3 – Perhaps Solskjaer has succumbed to public opinion and knows that Cardiff will go down and he wants to learn the ropes in the Championship first. The only other way he would be taking over a Championship team is if someone gets sacked. If someone got sacked then that would mean the team had been struggling ad the wily Solskjaer doesn’t want any of that. What better situation could he be in than being in charge of a Cardiff team relegated with serious investment potential and with a premiership ready squad that has the experience of both promotion and relegation. Rather than taking over any old Championship team, he is beating his opponents to the punch and getting in before they get relegated so he can be there when they go back up and this time on his terms.
While I may be giving the Norwegian too much credit, I would hope for the sake of humanity that he is not at Cardiff thinking that Vincent Tan won’t do to him what he did to Mackay because despite Tan’s recent appointment of Solskjaer, a run of mediocre to bad results will certainly turn Tan’s admiration into the kind of unprecedented pettiness that saw Mackay walk away from the Bluebirds having had such a poor end to his time there.
As such a wonderful servant to English football during his days on the field, I hope it works out but Solksjaer can’t say he hasn’t been warned