Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to manage in England, says Ipswich Town midfielder Lee Martin
SPECULATION that Alan Shearer has been sounded out for the vacant managerial role at Ipswich Town is rife, but Blues midfielder Lee Martin believes another former free-scoring Premier League striker also fits the bill – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Dubbed the ‘baby-faced assassin’ because of his impressive scoring record off the bench for Manchester United, the Norwegian – currently in charge at Norwegian club Molde and linked with the vacant position at Blackburn recently – saw his odds of joining Town plummet from 50 to 25/1 with some bookmakers last night.
Blues chief executive Simon Clegg has already revealed that his list of candidates – numbered at 39 on Wednesday night – includes ‘high-profile individuals, both domestically and foreign’.
Martin came on leaps and bounds under the guidance of Solskjaer during his time as the Red Devils’ reserve team boss in 2008. And asked whether he felt the 39-year-old is now ready for his first management job in English football, he replied ‘100 per cent’.
Last week skipper Carlos Edwards said he felt previous manager Paul Jewell had been ‘too nice’ and that some players had ‘taken advantage’.
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There is a theory that a new manager would need to bring some discipline to the dressing room, with younger and less experienced bosses such as Solskjaer, Shearer, Paul Tisdale (Exeter) and Karl Robinson (MK Dons) considered too raw.
Speaking ahead of today’s visit of Sheffield Wednesday to Portman Road – the rock-bottom Blues hosting their nearest rivals – Martin said: “I don’t think that’s the case. There are so many players to manage and everyone’s different. Some need a kick up the backside, some need an arm around the shoulder. It’s about understanding every player.
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“Each manager has their own approach and not everyone will respond to that. As far as the dressing room, I don’t think it needs a massive kick up the bum though.
“Everyone has got their opinions (on who the new manager should be), but it’s down to the owner to decide that. It’s a great opportunity for whoever comes in.”
Town team mate Michael Chopra has revealed that his choice would be his former Newcastle United team mate Shearer, below left, who has been pictured in Barbados this week – the Caribbean island where Blues owner Marcus Evans’ business is located.
Shearer won just one of eight games in charge of his beloved north east club as they slipped to relegation in 2009 and it may well be that he is just acting within Evans’ ‘close circle of trusted advisors’ that Clegg described earlier this week.
Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who like Shearer is a BBC pundit, is also understood to be in that group.