OSLO, NORWAY - JUNE 29: (FILE PHOTO) Molde FK coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on during the Norwegian Tippeligaen match between Valerenga Fotball and Molde FK held on June 29, 2011 at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo, Norway. The former Manchester United striker and current coach of Molde is to hold talks with Aston Villa following the club's sacking of manager Alex McLeish earlier in the week. (Photo by Audun Braastad/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
In what is unquestionably stunning news, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has pulled himself out of contention for the Aston Villa managerial position according to Mat Kendrick of the Birmingham Mail. The former Manchester United striker has opted instead to stay at the helm of Norwegian club Molde. Apparently the decision came after Solskjaer met with the owners of Molde this afternoon.
Aston Villa are insisting that Solskjaer was not the club's first choice, but rather one of many, but you'd have a hard time convincing a number of Villa fans about that. This means that the search continues, and the likelihood of one of the more commonly brought up names becoming manager rises. If I were a gambling man, I'd stick to the blackjack tables. However, if someone forced me to wager on the next manager of Aston Villa, I'd probably guess Norwich's Paul Lambert. He was initially the odds-on favorite for the job, and with Solskjaer out of the running I think he's got to re-assume that role.
I'd say this is a little disappointing, but nothing we should be too shocked about. If nothing else, the club's simple willingness to consider Solskjaer should make us all happy as it means they are willing to look outside of the same, old, tired retreads. I've got no idea who will be leading Villa next season, but thanks simply to the OGS saga, I feel confident that it will be someone that is a far cry from Alex McLeish.