Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s smiley public image doesn’t always tally with the bad loser Manchester United players see behind closed doors.
Solskjaer takes his perfect record to Stamford Bridge on Sunday with United five points clear of Chelsea in their race for the top four.
The Norwegian has silenced critics who likened him to a P.E. teacher but still believes his competitive nature is underestimated by outsiders.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) has insisted he expresses himself as forcefully as some of his stars
Solskjaer will share a touchline with Thomas Tuchel again when United face Chelsea
Midfield general Bruno Fernandes has earned comparisons with Roy Keane by wearing his heart on his sleeve in an incessant desire to win – and expressing irritation and frustration on the pitch.
In contrast, Solksjaer usually keeps a placid poker face in front of the cameras, an image he says can be misleading.
‘If you are at Man United and enjoy losing, you are at the wrong place,’ said Solskjaer.
‘I don’t show my frustration maybe so much as Bruno but I think maybe I am the worst loser at the club. You have probably not seen it but some of the players have.’
Solskjaer doesn’t go out of his way to act tough but there is an inner steel about him that’s starting to be appreciated with United unbeaten away from home this season.
Solskjaer’s previously had the better of ex-bosses such as Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge
He even backs Thomas Tuchel’s right to take off substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi at Southampton last week which saw the Chelsea boss accused of being heavy handed.
‘Managers live by results and if you feel something has to change, you change it,’ said Solskjaer.
‘You have got to make some tough decisions because at the end of the day it’s down to results which are down to the manager. It doesn’t really matter if it’s someone who has played 75 minutes or 30 minutes.’
Having beaten Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard in three previous visits to Chelsea, Solskjaer now faces Tuchel whom he’s met four times in the Champions League.
United famously beat PSG in the knockout stages in 2019 and Solskjaer knows his rival can spring a surprise.
‘I can’t remember if Thomas played the same way twice against us with PSG! He is one of these coaches who knows his football and is prepared for every game and opposition. We have to prepare for different scenarios.’
Playmaker Bruno Fernandes has been likened to club legend Roy Keane because of his passion
Solskjaer, who turned 48 on Friday, is already the 28th longest-serving of the 92 league manages despite this being only his second full season.
United appear to be reverting to the tradition of being a manager-led club again having turned over David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho in relatively quick succession, something not unusual at Chelsea who sacked Lampard in January.
Solskjaer doesn’t consider himself fireproof – and stressed he didn’t want to compare his own situation to how…