Solskjaer is Albion fans' favourite to replace Steve Clarke

West Bromwich Albion fans today named former Manchester United hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the favourite to be their new head coach as the race to replace Steve Clarke began.

Ole-Gunnar-Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Almost one in four supporters voted for the 40-year-old Norwegian in an Express & Star poll with many also backing former boss Roberto Di Matteo for a shock return to The Hawthorns.

A Di Matteo comeback is thought to be a non-starter despite bookmakers making the Italian second favourite for the job behind ex-Baggies midfielder Martin Jol.

Clarke was placed on ‘gardening leave’ by chairman Jeremy Peace on Saturday just hours after the 1-0 Premier League loss at Cardiff City – Albion’s fourth successive defeat.

Former Wolves midfielder Keith Downing and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely were placed in caretaker charge and are expected in manage the team in Saturday’s crucial home game against Hull City. In another online poll, E&S readers were split on the decision to sack Clarke with 48 per cent in favour and 52 against wielding the axe.

Solskjaer, who spent 11 years with United and scored the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final, has been manager at Norwegian side Molde since 2011, winning two league titles.

He polled almost 25 per cent of votes in a poll at expressandstar.com with Di Matteo second on 18 per cent and German Ralf Rangnick, who was interviewed twice before Clarke’s appointment in 2012, the only other man in double figures on 12 per cent.

Clarke last night claimed he had ‘unfinished business’ at The Hawthorns after being told of his departure on Saturday in a late-night meeting with Peace and other Albion directors at the club’s Great Barr training ground.

In a statement issued through the League Managers’ Association, the 50-year-old Scot said: “I believe I have unfinished business at West Bromwich Albion Football Club so it is with deep regret that I was relieved of duties as head coach.

“It has been an honour to manage this club and I would like to thank the staff who have assisted me in every possible way as well as the fans who have been tremendous throughout.”

Clarke led Albion to eighth place in the Premier League last season but they have won just seven of their 34 league games in 2013 and sporting and technical director Richard Garlick said: “We felt it was important we acted now to give the club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season.”

Comments for: "Solskjaer is Albion fans' favourite to replace Steve Clarke"

Albrightondek

I don't know if the sacking of Steve Clarke was right or wrong, but at least the WBA board have acted decisively unlike what happened at Molineux. If you going to replace the manager, the time to it is in December, not in February.

The new man will have sometme to bring in players duing the January transfer window, and about four months or so to stave off relegation.

Dek,

AVB just been sacked by Spurs.....can we afford him?

Or do we want a safe pair of hands like Jol?

I personally cant see the attraction in Olle S - I could win the league in Norway?

Cyril

What on Earth does 'unfinished business' mean ? Is he going to sue for wrongful dismissal ? Gardening leave means he gets full salary. Does this mean he can't start a job somewhere else, say Chelsea, unless he resigns ? We should be told. Then maybe we'll undersand what the heck is going on.

Jack the Hat

Cyril,

What I glean out of it he means his work at our club was only half done at the time of his dismissal, mate. Who is to know how the finish would have panned out and Jeremy wasn't about to hang around to find out, as I see it.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

funny old world

Garden leave or gardening leave describes the practice whereby an employee who is leaving a job (having resigned or otherwise had his or her employment terminated) is instructed to stay away from work during the notice period, while still remaining on the payroll. This practice is often used to prevent employees from taking with them up-to-date (and perhaps sensitive) information when they leave their current employer, especially when they are leaving to join a competitor.

Cyril

When I retired, it was supposed to be December 1995, so taking a year's classes wasn't on. I turned up, did lots of help, etc., but I was surplus to requirements really. So they told me I could play away at home from October until Dec 31st because I'd worked hard and been a good boy. I believed them ! Now I know they were scared I was going to run off with the female Principal ! My illusions have now been shattered. Tay fair !

Jack the Hat

funny old world,

That is not the answer for what Cyril was asking, he already knows all about garden leaves and garden rakes.

L☺Ls.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

funny old world

Jack the difference between Cyril and yourself, Cyril's intelligent, you on the other hand think you are.

Jack the Hat

funny old world,

.... and your good self apart from funny of course. Humphrey would say " Here's to laughing at you kid ". L☺Ls.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Jack the Hat

Obviously the poll isn't worth the paper it is written on as the voting is " Free house " which gives a distorted view. One only has to read the posts on the voting site to realize this. Wonder what the true figures would be without the outside influence?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

JohnWishbear

Not a chance

JohnWishbear

AVB is on thin ice for Tottenham. Maybe worth a tenner.

Jack the Hat

JohnWishbear,

No ee ay et's just gid way.

L☺Ls.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Mboy

I'm afraid it's pretty irrelevant what us fans think - just a bit of "fun" speculating. Only one man will make the decision.

We Only Need One Half!

True, but lets get any potential poison about potential candidates out of the way now, not once they are in the job.

wbabomber

For me I see someone like Mike Phelan as being the right fit for our club structure. A bit akin to Steve Clarke, he has the up to date experience of the PL and could hopefully hit the ground running. He would also have some experience of our squad, Ole has considerably less experience.

Mike Phelan for me, or of that ilk.

I must admit some of the names being banded about do not fill me full of confidence.

The Real Bully Hoo.

I said yesterday, the thought of Solskjaer excites me but the thought is based entirely on hope and guesswork.

All those who have voted for him as our next manager can I ask, what do you base this on?

Do you have any knowledge of the Norwegian League?

Or is it because he scored a few goals for Man Ure?

I know when an appointment is made that whoever comes in will be fully researched but it isn't an exact science.

A certain poster who is one of the "I'm never wrong about anything" elite, has blamed Richard Garlick for Steve Clarke's appointment. I believe it was actually Dan Ashworth who oversaw him coming in but why let that get in the way when you're out to attack anything and everything to do with Albion?

PS.

Steve Clarke has reacted with the same dignity to his sacking that he has shown throughout his time with us. We've lost a good man.

BURNLEY BAGGIE

Bully you, i and many more are saying the same we have lost a good man.

However we have to move on and whilst i have no knowledge of football in Norway Solskjaer has served his apprenticeship as a manager so i certainly believe he will get an interview.

CantelloRocket 78

Bully,

it is all speculation at the minute, and the fact that over 75 per cent of voters went for other names, with 52 per cent believing SC should've been around for longer, shows a distinct lack of certainty amongst fans.

I don't know what JP and SC have in mind, but if patterns are followed, then last time we sacked a less-experienced manager in mid-season, we brought in someone who was more experienced, had recently been working in the top flight, was sacked at the 'other' place, and was then freely available, so Martin Jol would 'fit the bill' - especially as a popular former Baggies player who said a few seasons ago he would like the Albion job.

I guess he's a little dour, and struggled at Fulham, but just trying to read JP's mind, would it be a safer bet than someone untried in this country?

Maybe not my personal choice - Solskjaer IS a more attractive proposition - but possibly worth that fiver bet in the circumstances.....?

CantelloRocket 78

I did mean Richard Garlick not Steve, head's a bit cloudy this morning.......:-)

BURNLEY BAGGIE

Cantello

If w are going old school with experience as i said yesterday Ray Wilkins is a good shout, or how about Glenn Hoddle with Wilkins as number two both options must be better than Jol.

In fact Hoddle with Clarke as number 2 wow i'm a genius. This director of football lark is easy.

P.S also no mention yet of Alan Churlishly he gets linked with every job in football so what's wrong with little old Albion, (he even got on the dingles short list). LOL

CantelloRocket 78

Burnley,

I would prefer someone fresh and charismatic, but will it happen - who knows?

If you mention Hoddle to some Wolves fans they'd turn the air blue, the thought of Wilkins also made them groan awhile back-

I also spotted someone mentioned Sam Alladyce, his club are lower than ours, and can't score goals!!

Talking of fresh, I need some fresh air.........

Jack the Hat

Cantello,

Ar maet bu Sam's a BlAck Cuntry mon ay ee. Maks orl the difrunce dow it, ay.

Maybe we should once more go with a player Head Coach, Johnny Giles did okay. How about Gerrard, Giggs, Company, Lescott, Lampard for e.g., the list is endless and they can get their boots on in the short term.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Hi Burnley.

I wasn't knocking Solskjaer, just questioning how much we know about him. To me it would be like putting your house on a horse in the Grand National because you like the name.

You scare me with Ray Wilkins. When I hear Lee Dixon talking about a game I hear somebody explaining things to me that I hadn't seen and didn't understand. When I hear Ray Wilkins, I always feel that he understands less than me. I rate Glenn Hoddle but has he been out of the game for too long?

Rocket.

Martin Jol I like but has his time at Fulham damaged him? I wouldn't be heart broken though if we went in that direction.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Trbh

Hello mate

I ain't adverse to ogs but I worry about when he has lost a few games is he going to have the experience to change it as I believe this to be sc and rdm problems some one mentioned Nigel Adkins ???? A good man manager. Richard sneakes had just said Zola and curbishley together what you think to this

The Real Bully Hoo.

Warrow Bhb.

I like Nigel Adkins but he seems an honourable sort of bloke so I can't see him walking out of his job. For me Curbishly has been out of the game much too long and great player that he was I think Zola is probably too nice a bloke to be a manager. There are certainly some interesting names coming up now and I feel a bit more optimistic than yesterday. My money is still on somebody that hasn't been mentioned. All the best mate.

BURNLEY BAGGIE

Solskjaer is all over the media this morning as favourite. His record as reserve coach at Man U is good with two titles and two titles in Norway with Molde plus a cup in three years (as far as i can see it's the clubs first titles) so this is an interesting choice but his record so far is exceptional.

wbachris

I would try and prise Nigel Adkins from Reading, Proven man manager and doing so again at Reading

Cyril

In the Stun this morning it has it that we have approached Paul Clement from Real Madrid. His odds would be long though as he isn't a Scot ! Has anyone noticed that if you deduct the foreign managers, then the Scots, there's hardly any left ?

BURNLEY BAGGIE

Paul Clement is Neil Clements brother you learn something everyday

CantelloRocket 78

Cyril,

So Scottish Managers are in favour?

Never mind Fergie, personally I blame Bill Shankly.

Still, it's not as if it's a matter of life or death, it's..........;-)

Cyril

Rocket, you have to admit, the number of Scots in football management outweighs the ratio of population. It's the cold weather up there toughens 'em up.

Jack the Hat

Cyril,

He could turn out to be " aPauling InClement " weather, mate.

L☺Ls.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Cyril

Jack, when I read that, I went cold !

BURNLEY BAGGIE

As i predicted yesterday AVB is now available

Sacked this morning at Spurs

If Solskjaer is our man we have to move quickly as he is on the Spurs radar as well

Cyril

You may be sure Spurs will have watched JP and his interests the same way our scouting system is monitored. Ain't no secrets in football. The agents and the men make sure everyone knows when they are available. Would we actually want AVB ? And how many more will fall off this Magic Roundabout between now and Jan 31st ?

BURNLEY BAGGIE

Cyril

AVB is very much tongue and cheek, He is the most overrated manager i have ever come accross

Jack the Hat

BURNLEY,

Over rated! even more than Wo1-Ves Ken Jackett?. Gorra loff ay ya?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

I will send me season ticket back if Phelan gets the job , that bloke was a disgrace when he played for us . You can put a big NO against Jol and RDM as well.

Solksjaer is a great call and i must admit it does excite me . Whoever we get is a gamble .

I see the 'Plastic Mourinho ' at Spurs has just had the bullet and you can put a big NO against him as well .

Cyril

Max, there's only one thing for it aer kid. ME an' THEE ! We'd show 'em.

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

Cyril

It would be an honour to work alongside you Mate , you would obviously be the brains of the operation and i would give em a good kick up the derriere when needed .

The Real Bully Hoo.

Max.

If you do get the job you'll be sure of the full support of everybody on this site. Hee, hee, hee, hee.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Whb whb whb

Lets finish off our little escapade from yesterday shall we mouth almighty. Firstly why don't you shut up or put up idiot. The first I remember off you is you leaving a reply to about twenty thirty replys with just single word replys like " garbage " and then as usual went into depth about your views. Well I was one off them people and I'm not YOUR lackey or verbal punch bag ok wtat ( can you work that out ) as I said we can all play big man with big mouth hiding behind some name on a web page all I want from this forum is to speak to normal people and hear there views. And your not normal. Is your aunty your gran any chance

smethwickbaggie

I generally enjoy reading the posts on here, but I have to say I'm more than a bit saddened to read bhb's outburst about whb. I'm surprised the mods let it through tbh.

Mickdag

While I'm not a West Brom supporter, I'd like to give my take on the whole OGS situation for those of you who don't know much about him.

Some say that the baggies need a more experienced manager, but most managers on the market atm have proven to be quite average, which is why they are on the market.

I watch quite a bit of Norwegian football, and can honestly say OGS did the impossible there. Most teams play like Stoke, long ball, target man, the whole deal. When he took over, he made them play football the right way. fast passing, free flowing.. the whole deal. He also won back to back titles with a team that was considered as unlikely to win it as was Montpellier when they won the ligue 1 over the likes of Lille and PSG. And this season, he lost a couple of his stand out players, and while he was unable to win the league, he did win the Norwegian cup.

Plus he has a very good relationship with Manchester United, and is very respected in football. He managed to acquire 2 of the stand out manchester united youth players and they have been big hits with him. Magnus Eikrem and Mats Daehli ( who atm is one of the best in his age groups in Europe ). Also with manchester united atm open to loaning or selling with a buy back clause the following stand out youngsters : Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell, Zaha and Keane ( who are atm making fantastic strides in the championship and might need either a permanent or temporary home ). If they manage to do what Ravel Morrison has done at West Ham or Rossi at Villa Real you lot might be in for a treat.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Thanks for that insight Mick. Even if he doesn't win the Grand National at least I have some idea what we're putting the house on now. Sounds interesting.

DwarfzappA

Confusion

It was acknowledged by 'all' in English football and our very own posties ;-)) that SC is one of if not the top 'coach' in the Country, and we just got rid of him ;-)).

Purely from a football point of view, our players know that the next 'coach' in will not match up to SC. The next man in 'whoever' will not have the proven track record of working with top teams/players.

So, my conclusion to this potential 'snowball in motion', is, we will finish up with a Manager who could well be out of his depth and a new coach who could'nt lace SC's boots.

Funny Old Game.

Jack the Hat

DwarfzappA

Worrow mate, if only Steve had been more attack minded over the last four games. things would have been so much different. The last two matches especially were crying out for two strikers with Sessignon falling back or out wide.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

Sorry to be pedantic , but if he is such a 'Great Coach ' how come our performances and results were not better ?.

DwarfzappA

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

You are correct to question my silliness.

But let us see whether SC continues along the managerial merry go round.

Actually the more i read my own post, the more sense it makes ;-))

There are very few who would dare question your reply.

Make it a Happy Chrimbo you Baggie Boys.

DwarfzappA

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

Replys can be misleading, especially when a non contributing word is introduced.

Did i use the word 'Great'.

priceywba....Plymouth..

What,s going on..... Ive all ready took all my Albion stuff out my car and now this joke, we got rid of the best manager SC he will go to spurs now and watch spurs go. Get rid of some of the player,s who let SC down, let,s face it there,s no one any good to take over at West Brom now. It,s back to where we started going down.

Jack the Hat

priceywba....Plymouth..,

Maybe Steve played some players out of position which made for the descending run

I take it you will now watch Argyle until we move up the division again.

See you soon.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Ronnie Allen

This bloke was a great player for United, but he just cannot be the bloke for the Albion.

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

As your a Dingle we should appoint him , cos the thought obviously worries the life out of him.

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

Should read 'out of ya ' . Going for a lie down the emotion is all to much.

Ronnie Allen

WHB - what you know about me, you can write on the back of a postage stamp. I like life that way.

And I don't know you, but I do, if that makes sense. Because you write regular rubbish on this site and keep in touch with all your mates. Don't you? Good man. So that makes you a REAL Albion fan. And because I sometimes post on the Wolves site, that means I am a Wolves fan. Smashin.

Off the fence lad, who do you want to replace Clarke? Don't be shy. Tell this site and all yer mates. We all want to hear what a REAL Albion fan wants for his club.

Balloon.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Ron Allen

Looks like its your turn today mate because your talking sense and whb don't like that

TheShadow

Marcelo Bielsa

The Real Bully Hoo.

I've looked him up and he's another interesting name. Have you heard something?

brian.wood.58323

give zola a go,did well last season,sheer class footballer,worth a chance.

thommo44

A Norwegian, with a good record in Norway? Ring any bells? Solksjear or Solbakken, lets not go there!

Jeffersobiwan

Jeffersobiwan

December 16, 2013 10:34 pm

There is no way Spurs would have Steve Clarke as their new manager. He is a great guy by all accounts but he is not the finished article to manage a team like Spurs.(IMHO)

There is a saying that …'nice guys never win anything'. It seems you have to be a Ferguson to get the best out of players i.e. Rule by fear which is of course abuse!

The very best managers are few and far between. Those who can lead fairly and have that amazing ability to motivate even ordinary players to achieve well above their normal levels are like gold dust.

I remember Johnny Giles collecting a bunch of average players together and moulding them into a very good team. Ron Atkinson seemed to have the Midas touch first time around. Ossie Ardiles was another. Gary Megson was a manager in the Ferguson mould who eventually ran out of steam.

WBA is not a fashionable team as someone else pointed out on another thread, and we will always be looking for a brilliant manager who, when we get him, will, after a short time, be pinched by another club and our search will begin again. Or, we will employ someone like SC who has proven ability as a coach but cannot quickly step up as the main man and when results fade, JP hits the alarm button to make sure we do not sink into the Championship. We as fans would not want the team to drop into the Championship and we would not be happy with JP if he let that happen. It is a very difficult balancing act that the Board have to carry out in order to keep the TV money rolling in and the fans happy and keeping the first team supplied with the right players.

I feel Steve Clarke should have been given until after Christmas to turn things around but from my armchair or match day seat, I have never been fully confident in his ability over the months he has been with us and in all honesty, I don't want our club to drop into the Championship in order to find out whether over a longer period, Steve Clarke might actually grow into the 'Golden Nugget' we all want, only to see him pinched by another club.

A new manager?? I like Malky Mackay at Cardiff but he is not proven at this level. I don't know any of the top coaches who would come to us, so it looks like a young, fairly inexperienced guy who JP unearths from somewhere and puts his trust in for 14 months!!

I love my club.

smethwickbaggie

Jeffersobiwan. I think that's a really good post and you've summed things up really well.

johnstanley1954babe

ole if there is any justice in this life you will get the job at the hawthorns your winning per centage is the best of all the major contenders. you were a top top player in the premiership and europe for the best part of 10 years and i am sure you could turn saido berahino into a world class player if jeremy peace is tuned in he should drive over to norway and drag you all the way from your country immediately i personally would come over and piggy back ride you to the hawthorns if i were jeremy peace please give him the job jeremy whatever it costs albion shareholder