Man Utd legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives verdict on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival | Football

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited for Manchester United’s future with Sir Jim Ratcliffe (Picture: Getty)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer predicts ‘very exciting times’ ahead for Manchester United following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival, with the club’s new co-owner ‘breathing belief’ back into supporters.

Ratcliffe acquired a 25 per cent share at Old Trafford back in December, a move which saw the 71-year-old businessman take control of football operations.

The British billionaire – the CEO of the INEOS chemicals group – has major ambitions for United both on and off the pitch and his presence has brought a renewed sense of optimism amongst the fanbase after years of misery with the Glazers at the helm.

But with United knocked out of the Champions League and languishing down in sixth place in the Premier League table, Ratcliffe is under no illusions about the size of the task at hand in bringing the glory days back to the Theatre of Dreams.

United head coach Erik ten Hag said he had a ‘fantastic feeling’ after talking with Ratcliffe and Sir Jim Brailsford about their ambitions going forward and Solskjaer is similarly excited about what lies ahead for his former club.

‘It’s very exciting times with Jim Ratcliffe,’ the ex-United manager and striker said at a media gathering in Bangalore, India on Friday.

‘I think it has breathed belief into both fans and supporters. But we need more consistency.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe shakes hands with Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag had a ‘fantastic feeling’ after meeting with Ratcliffe (Picture: Getty)

‘You can see even the better teams are not as consistent as they were.

‘If you go two years back, Liverpool 99-100 points, that is consistency.

‘If we want to get to the top again we need at least 90 points, and need more consistency.’

Manchester United travel to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa this weekend (Picture: Getty)

An issue Ratcliffe must look to resolve is the state of Old Trafford, with supporters’ complaints of leaky roofs, cramped concourses and crumbling concrete going back a number years.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has given his blessing for United to build a brand new stadium and Solskjaer believes major changes are necessary if the club are to compete with the very best again.

‘We have to move on with the times at the moment. Something has to happen at Old Trafford,’ United’s 1999 treble winner added.

‘It’s either a renovation or a new stadium because we’re falling behind if we are staying at the same place. We need new stadiums like, for example, the Tottenham stadium, it’s an unbelievable place.

‘That’s the last win I had as Manchester United manager too. It’s such a nice place. But yes, history is important.’

During his three-day visit in India, Solskjaer revealed that United’s 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in March 2019 was his ‘most special’ match from his three-year tenure as manager.

The incredible comeback in Paris sealed United a place in the the Champions League quarter-finals and the Norwegian still looks back on that performance with pride.

‘That’s probably the one game that I would say is the most special one because we had loads of injuries and lost 2-0 at home,’ he explained.

On Sunday, the Red Devils travel to Aston Villa, where Ten Hag’s men can make it four wins from four in all competitions should they come away from Villa Park with all three points.

Victory could see United move to within three points of fourth-placed Tottenham, with Ange Postecoglou’s side hosting Brighton tomorrow afternoon.


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