Solskjær’s Cardiff rev-ole-tion continues: Meet the new men pitted with keeping the club in the Premier League
Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær is set to announce the signings of former Molde players Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Møller Dæhlie in the next 24 hours. As the new manager, players and backroom staff settle into the club and attempt to turn around Cardiff City’s fortunes at the bottom end of the Premier League, ViewFromTheStands looks at the men tasked with implementing this Norwegian revolution in South Wales…
As far as managerial spells go, winning the league title back-to-back – including the clubs first in their 100 year history – alongside lifting a domestic cup, is pretty much as good as it gets. That is exactly what highly-rated manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær achieved in his three year stint in charge of Molde FK, becoming somewhat of a hero along the way.
Now, in his return to the isles in which he tasted so much success as a player, Solskjær is aiming to turn Cardiff City from a club battling turmoil both on and off the pitch, into an established Premier League side – but first, he must keep his new side in the division.
In order to achieve that, the former Manchester United forward has turned to former players Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Møller Dæhlie. It must be said, not a lot is known about these two men, other than the fact they are both known well by Solskjær.
Grainy Youtube footage puts across the image that these are players with potential, though perhaps not able to make it in the Premier League – alas much-maligned Andreas Cornelius, who has so far failed to adapt to life in English football.
Harsh, maybe, though what Cardiff need right now is a set of players who can push the club clear of trouble, before Solskjær can then plan – and implement – his own full-term rebuilding project.
So what do we know about the two men who are set to be announced officially in the coming days? Firstly, Dæhlie, as Norwegian journalist and Molde fan Erik Skavold Lystad tells ViewFromTheStands, is a player with “a touch unlike anyone else in the Norwegian top-flight.”
Dæhlie arrived at Molde from Manchester United’s reserve squad last summer, with the promise of first team football under former United Reserve team manager Solskjær. The 18-year-old made an immediate impact.
“His creativity and technique is very pleasing to watch,” Lystad said. “His lack of outright pace is compensated for with his smart movement and ability to keep the ball.
“At such a young age, we should expect great things from Dæhlie.”
Great things, indeed. As this is a player who has already represented his country at senior level and also captained Manchester United’s reserves- a team which included Adnan Janazaj, who is also touted for a promising future in the Premier League.
Reports suggested that Solskjær had targeted the youngster to compensate for Cardiff’s lack of a ball-keeping midfielder alongside record signing Gary Medel. In fact, besides Medel’s incredible 90% pass accuracy rate, fellow midfielders Peter Whittingham (80%), Kim Bo-Kyung (83%), Aron Gunnarsson (78%), Jordon Mutch (70%), Craig Noone (67%) and Don Cowie (83%), are struggling to retain possession in the middle of the field. The most damning aspect of this statistic being that the average pass range of said players is around 9 yards. Read more…