Daily Sports Smile: Manchester United players express heartfelt gratitude to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds fans at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Everton, at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is stepping down from his role after four seasons with the club. Solskjaer is beloved by many club supporters after his stellar playing career and managerial success.

Manchester United thrived under Solskjaer early in his tenure. However, the club hit a rough patch in recent weeks and the organization decided to go in a different direction.

Several players shared heartfelt reactions after learning about the news. Manchester United defender Harry Maguire expressed his gratitude for Solskjaer signing him. Forwards Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and goalie David de Gea were among many to share their thoughts.

“You always gave everything, and everyone knows you are a legend at Manchester United,” de Gea wrote in a social media post.

Solskjaer was on the hot seat after a pair of disappointing losses. Manchester United lost 5-0 at home to rival Liverpool in October and recently dropped their last two matches. In those games, the club scored just one goal against Manchester City and Watford.

Manchester United has lost seven of their last 13 matches. As a result, the club decided to go in another direction.

“Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision,” the club wrote in a statement. “While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.”

Solskjaer got emotional in his final interview as manager. The club will turn to assistant coach Michael Carrick to finish the season.

“I am so honored and privileged to take the club forward,” Solskjaer said in the interview. “I really hope I leave it in a better state than when I came. I’ve made great friends and reconnected with some great friends.”

Solskjaer leaves a legacy with Manchester United that extends beyond the pitch. His ability to change the culture as a player and coach is something many fans will remember about his coaching tenure.