Farewell, Ole - Though You Stay!
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said goodbye to Old Trafford yesterday. 20legend announced his retirement last September but only now could his testimonial be held.
The game, against Espanyol, was low-key: the celebrations were moving, the stands' message was emotional but the quality of the football wasn't great. Yet, as in the case of Roy Keane, it was a proper, competitive match and it wasn't arranged that Ole should score.
He did not, but typically, it did not bother him. Watching the game brought back plenty of memories which shall never be forgotten - his debut, his only sending off, his four-goal stunner and of course that winner...
Ole was humble and modest once again, and the match itself reflected his personality. We won, with a Campbell goal but it mattered little of course - and it seemed everyone forgot about Espanyol. But nobody will ever forget Solskjaer, not at Old Trafford. That would be our great loss.
"I knew this was going to be my last game at Old Trafford and today you`ve been absolutely fantastic again. You`re the best supporters in the world,' one of the most loyal players in the world said.
"Next, I`d like to thank the manager. He`s been absolutely fantastic with me.
'He has guided me through my career - I`ve had my highs, I`ve also had my lows, and he supported me very well through that time.
'I can`t thank him enough. I`m going into coaching and if I haven`t learnt from him than I can`t do coaching. So thank you, boss.
"The players… I`ve played with the best players in the world. It`s easy being a forward when you play with these players. They create chances for you - you miss one, you get another one.
'I can`t say thanks enough to them - they`ve made every minute here a special one for me. And the last 25 here, I`ll remember for the rest of my life.
'Thanks to all the staff who have supported me, who have helped me through dark periods. Most of all to the supporters - you`ve been absolutely fantastic, you kept me going."
I stress again that we'll never forget him. It won't be difficult, not now he's staying at the club - but it is great, someone like him was bound to remain at the club, the ties are too strong too severe them.