NO one should underestimate the steely determination of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Dwight Yorke saw it as a team-mate in Manchester United’s Treble-winning campaign of 1999 and now he can see it in him as the club’s interim manager.
A desire never to give in, a belief that he can make something happen.
Former Old Trafford hitman Yorke told SunSport: “He has always had that.
“I only learned after the European Cup final in 1999 that he had phoned a friend beforehand and told them he felt something special was going to happen for him that night.
“How did he know that?
“Yet every time he came on the pitch he looked like someone who was going to make something happen — and usually he did. He was a rare breed.
“He would probably accept he was fourth choice among the strikers at the club when I arrived, with Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole already there.
“There were even rumours that he was going to join Spurs.
“But he was determined to stay at United. He understood he was not going to be first choice but when any opportunity came he was going to take it.
“Perhaps it is that patience and that desire to grasp the opportunity which is helping him now.
“I have never known a player like him. Often if a sub comes on late they can just play the match out.
“Not Ole, as soon as he came on you could see that glint in his eye, that determination to score, to do something.
“I have never seen anyone sprint around the pitch the way he did after he came on.”
Solskjaer’s most famous late intervention came in that memorable Champions League final in 1999.
Sir Alex Ferguson brought him on with nine minutes left as United trailed 1-0 to Bayern Munich.
And after fellow sub Sheringham had levelled, Solskjaer floored the Germans with the winner in the third minute of injury-time.
Supersub Solskjaer often made people forget what happened earlier in games — as Yorke remembers only too well.
He said: “Ole would sit on the bench and study a game to work out what he was going to do if his chance came, where the weak links were in the opposition, how he would exploit them.
“Even if the game was wrapped up and he came on he was not satisfied.
“I remember the game at Nottingham Forest in 1999. We were 4-1 up, I had scored two and was after my hat-trick when the gaffer brought me off and put Ole on.
“I was furious because I wanted that hat-trick but then Ole comes on in my place and scores four!”
Still Yorke is surprised, looking back, that the quietest man in the dressing room is now at the helm of Old Trafford and showing that United can be a big noise in the game again.
He said: “If you had asked me to look around that dressing room and pick out someone who would one day manage Manchester United, Ole would have been last on my list. He was so quiet.
“I thought the job he had with the youth and reserve players at United was him — nice guy, bringing along the next generation.
“But what he has done is amazing, you cannot fault it.
“I knew this team was not 19 points worse than Manchester City as they were last season, or that much worse than Liverpool. No chance, not with the quality there is in this squad.”
The former Trinidad & Tobago forward added: “Looking at it now what you needed was someone to bring it out. Someone to reconnect the club with its past, with how we used to play. We lost that connection when Sir Alex retired, not just because he had gone but the likes of Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen were not kept on. That was a mistake.
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“But now Micky is back, too, and there is a real feeling that we are back playing how we should be.
“Manchester United is a very special club, the biggest in the world. You cannot just forget and discard what made it that way — and Ole is getting us back there.
“He has given the club that connection again, a connection that should never be lost.
“I look at how they play now and it reminds me of how we played. The players are enjoying it all again.
“If Ole keeps on going like this and maybe wins a trophy he should get the job, why not?”
So on to Wembley and Spurs tomorrow — and for many the true barometer of the Solskjaer revolution.
Yorke, 47, admitted: “Of course this is the biggest test for Ole so far.
“Spurs have got a great side. But this United team is playing without fear now, so they should have no fear going to Wembley.
“That is what Ole has changed. He has taken the team back to a time when the opposition was afraid of them — and for that he deserves great credit.”
This post written by rforrester originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.