Anthony Miller, PhD Candidate and Lecturer at Staffordshire University, writes for the Conversation
With speculation rife over who will be taking over as manager of Manchester United FC in the coming season, any talk of appointing current caretaker and former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is strictly under wraps.
With limited experience in top-flight football, the Norwegian currently in charge of the biggest club in the world has renewed players’ confidence and attacking flair. The turnaround from ex-manager Jose Mourinho’s dismal performance this season can be explained by what social psychologists call the social identity approach – the study of interpersonal relationships and emotional connections within a group.
Solskjaer scored 126 goals for Manchester United between 1996 and 2007 under manager Alex Ferguson, but he is best remembered for coming off the bench to score in the 93rd minute of the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Barcelona. His winning goal in the dying seconds of this legendary match gained him the respect and adulation of fans and a place in the club’s history. When he was appointed interim manager the day after Mourinho was sacked, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him back. We are confident he will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.
Read the full article on The Conversation