Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday February 11 2014
When all the dust had settled following us speaking to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over the vacant managerial position head of the appointment of Paul Lambert, his own words were important in understanding how things played out.
For many who see a conspiracy at every corner the fact he didn't take the job was proof positive that Villa weren't good enough to attract a manager with under 50 managerial games to his name at the point. Afterall we sent a jet to speak to him, he must have been the number one choice.
Never understood that actually, Steve McLaren wanted to speak to us, a manager with great experience, international experience but he spoke Dutch once and nobody rated him so it doesn't count. Not that we filled ourselves with glory there either when cancelling the meeting.
The club saying at the time other candidates were being spoken to was just a smokescreen, and the fact Ole had never met our board previously obviously can't have meant it was just a meet and greet and an informal interview as all parties admitted to at the time.
Because we are back to the jet aren't we...Ole had a free few days ahead of their next match, so convenience couldn't figure and it would've been more professional to book him on Easyjet.
Anyway I'm presuming the quotes doing the rounds today are more recent and are from one of the many interviews he's done ahead of tonight's game at the Cardiff City Stadium, but they are eerily similar to what he said first time round.
'I spoke with Mr Lerner but it wasn't the right time, so I thought there was no point to follow that up with more discussions. My family didn't fancy moving and it would not have been right for me to come to the Premier League after winning two league titles. But I am better prepared now after more experiences as a manager.'
Fans with long memories will also recall him at the time removing himself from any additional interviews after the informal meet, citing the above same reasons, and also it would be remiss to factor in Molde's sponsors throwing a bit of fit over the thought of losing him as well.
He did however still say to press in Norway that until he was offered the job formally, he had no decision to make anyway. He pulled out of further chats, not a job offer.
Now for some that won't carry a distinction - he turned us down full stop, and even worse he turned us down before we discussed any real business with him, finances, aims and so on.
For others, maybe it'll prove what we knew all along.
One thing is for sure tonight, it's the perfect opportunity for Paul Lambert to give the fans something to cheer about, show Ole he made a mistake and show that he was the better option for us...then maybe we can look at consistency!
As for team news tonight given this has a Cardiff theme, Lambert was set to give Ron Vlaar a late fitness test to see whether he could come back into contention but there is no fresh news on that score so we'll have to wait for kick off.
As some have said Craig Bellamy is out with a suspension for tonight's game, but as others have pointed out we thought not facing Andy Carrol would be a bonus!
If anyone missed the Ole shenanigans, the coverage is in the archive for 2012, between May and July of the year.
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Date:Tuesday February 11 2014
Dear Randy...A Fans Retort (Sunday April 20 2014)
Club Statement From Randy Lerner (Sunday April 20 2014)
Randy A Willing Seller - But No Deals Done (Sunday April 20 2014)
Vlaar - We Still Need A Win (Saturday April 19 2014)
Lambert Hails Huge Southampton Point (Saturday April 19 2014)
U21 Manchester City Clash Set (Saturday April 19 2014)
Stats: Aston Villa v Southampton (Saturday April 19 2014)
Do Villa Need Another Point To Be Safe? (Friday April 18 2014)
Something For The Weekend (459) (Friday April 18 2014)
Lawro Fence Sitting - Doom Returns For Mystic Mug (Friday April 18 2014)
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